The Frames play the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne), Friday (April 20). $15. 416-870-8000.
What Toronto restaurant do you like to eat at before a show, and why?
Whenever you're on tour, there's a steady routine: load in, sound check, dinner, maybe a snooze, play the show, maybe a drink or two, load out, head for next city. Since time is limited, you have to find dinner close, in walking distance to the venue. The last time we played in Toronto we played the Phoenix, a 10-minute walk from an Indian restaurant called Saffron Tree (700 Bay, 416-850-3179). Small place, clean, cheap and cheerful, family-owned and operated. I remember the food being really nice. I enjoyed the mango lassi.
Favourite Toronto artists? Explain.
Neil Young and Phil Hartman. Neil Young has had a huge impact on this band. Phil Hartman is a legend - Saturday Night Live, the work he did on The Simpsons. We constantly throw Simpsons quotes at one another. It was a sad day when Phil left this earth.
What do you love most about Toronto?
Queen West is my favourite part of Toronto. It feels like the East Village in New York - so many shops, places for coffee and music stores to check out. We cherish places like this on tour.
What do you hate about the city?
What I hate about every sprawling metropolis - poverty and homelessness, the stark contrast between the haves and have-nots.
Most memorable border-crossing experience heading to Toronto?
The border crossings on the way to Toronto have always been pretty smooth and painless [touching wood]. I do remember one crossing where the agent with the guy next to us was going over every detail with a fine-tooth comb - every rule, every regulation, by the book. She'd just started her day with a fresh cup of coffee. I felt bad for that guy. Our agent was probably at the end of his shift, kind and courteous.