Meet the Band: Raccoon Bandit

Ah, folk. Is there anything more comforting? Take the music of Charlottetown’s Raccoon Bandit for example. The four members (Fraser McCallum, Adam Gallant, Scott Gallant and Roger Carter) play genial songs that evoke the feeling you get while sitting around a campfire singing with friends while enjoying a cold beer on a warm summer’s night.

Naturally we feel in love with them and the folktastic tunes on their new, East Coast Music Award nominated record Into The Hills. So we gave them a shout and asked them to be part of our Meet the Band feature and here’s what singer Fraser McCallum had to say.

How do you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you before?
Folk-rock. Think Neil Young in the ‘70s or Wilco with a heavy Arcade Fire influence.

What was the craziest live show you've ever seen?
Hmm...Arcade Fire's Montreal CD release for Funeral in 2004. The energy and crowd response in the room was insane. Arcade Fire played their arses off and the crowd supported them 100% as they played in an old church.

What was the craziest live show you've ever played?
Crazy can mean a number of things but we had a great time playing Canadian Music Week recently. It was at the Dakota Tavern and I got to play an old upright piano they had there. Bars were open until 3am that week and when we got on 1am the crowd was ready for a raucous good time. We also got our new album Into the Hills that afternoon [in Toronto] so to be able to stand, be a sweaty mess, selling them off the stage at 2am was really exciting.

What's your favourite song to play live? Why?
Right now, probably “Silver Bullet”. It has got a very infectious energy and drives from beginning to end.

What was the first record you ever bought? When was the last time you listened to it?
Probably the Blue Album by Weezer. I listened to it last Christmas break and still love it inside-out.

Who was your favourite band (or artist) when you were 12 years old? Do you still like them?
I'm sad to say it was Our Lady Peace. I don't think about them now.

If you could only listen to one band or artist for the rest of your life, whom would you pick?
Probably Bob Dylan. He has so much material with great ups and downs over his long career. For the sheer variety and wonderful songwriting it would be Dylan.

Say, for some strange reason, all the music in the world is going to be destroyed, but you can save all the songs from one decade. Which decade's records would you save? say the 1960's is fairly obvious and important so let's say the 2000's. Tons and tons of great stuff since the Millenium (but not including Willenium).

If you could switch places with another musicians in some type of "Freaky Friday" type incident, who would you want it to be?
Hmm...Radiohead during the OK Computer/Kid A period. They toured some brilliant albums all around the world.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life?
Do I have to? All right...the Fleet Foxes first album for variety's sake.

If you could have one musical superpower, what would you want it to be?
Oooh... a life free of writer's block.

If you were going to be a roadie for one band, who would it be?
Arcade Fire.

Seriously, How much do you hate your hometown?
Do you mean love? I think you mean love. Raccoon Bandit loves Charlottetown very much. Its' a wonderful music town. Every 4th person you meet has a band and its very clean and proper.


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