A&E » Music

Yukon Blonde headlines Dancing Bear Festival

Daniel Wesley, The Boom Booms also play Quest University's annual music and arts show



Brandon Scott of Yukon Blonde does not have a condiment problem.

"It's not true! Oh my God. For some reason they all ended up on my side of the table!" he laughs.

But check out #YBFacts on their @yukonblonde Twitter account, and there seems to be incriminating photographic evidence of a laughing Scott seated in front of several small containers of sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

"We brought our friend Mac on our last tour and he took over our Twitter account for us, so he decided to take everything he saw and Tweet about it. Right now he's live tweeting about hockey games," Scott says.

The Vancouver indie rock band is playing its first gig in south western B.C. in over a year at the Dancing Bear Music & Arts Festival at Quest University in Squamish on Saturday, April 22.

"We haven't been playing in this part of B.C. that much. We've been touring and this year so far has been more of a writing year for us," Scott says.

The one-day festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., includes Daniel Wesley, The Boom Booms, Peach Pit and Guck. The musicians are onstage from 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased via the Dancing Bear Music & Arts Festival Facebook page. Quest University students have free entry.

Scott says Yukon Blonde promises a lot of energy and danceable music.

"We'll bring that and some new music," he adds.

There is also a free community market with food trucks and a Whistler Brewing Company beer garden.

Guitarist-vocalist Scott — who performs alongside Jeff Innes, Graham Jones, James Younger and Rebecca Gray — says they've just completed a six-show tour of Alberta and B.C., which has got the live-music creative juices flowing again.

"Prior to that we were recording with Colin Stewart, who did our last two records, and we've just finished two songs with Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat. We got a chance to try out the songs in all the major cities in Alberta and they went over really well, which was great," Scott says.

With the band members now in their early 30s, it is a different experience from the years where they were "sleeping on couches and staying up late."

"These days we're not so much off the cuff. We like a little more planning," Scott says.

"Jeff's got a lot of energy, though!"

Yukon Blonde's most recent album On Blonde came out in 2015, and Scott says the band is about halfway to creating its next one, which is as yet unnamed. He describes the album as elaborating on their previous releases, a continuation of their experiments.

"I love to say that we love pop music, so we are always trying to create catchy songs, lyrically focused maybe a bit more on this one," Scott says.

He laughs: "It's such a weird purgatory being in the middle of the cycle, you know? It felt nice to do a small run of shows and not two months. It was an exciting test run, to see what people think — if they care or notice!"

He laughs when asked if doing that makes them nervous after three albums and two EPs.

"The first two shows are nerve-wracking and then you get comfortable with it. Things flow a little better. It's probably more exciting than anything," Scott says.

Several songs had been written before 2016 touring took over the musicians' lives, and he says they were happy to pick them up again.

"The album is still in the rough works — we've been poking at it for about four months. There's no name for it yet. We've got about seven tracks recorded now and I feel like we're halfway in, but the end I'm not sure."

Scott has written two tracks this time around.

"We've got one recorded and one we still have to record and it's really exciting. I haven't done that with this band, really," he says.

"But I got some ideas, fleshed it out and James, our bass player, comes over and we work through songs in my living room. He is adding some textures and parts. It has been really collaborative, which is a change with this record."