In 2004, the D'Urbervilles left Oshawa for Guelph to make it big (or, at the very least, open for Cuff the Duke). The young post-rockers are now on to bigger things, including debut full-lengths (We Are The Hunters), cross-country touring and a partial move to Toronto. It's all got singer/keyboardist John O'Regan feeling psyched. The band plays Rock 'Em Sock 'Em 1 & 2 at the Tiger Bar (414 College) on Friday (December 12) and Saturday (December 13).
The D'Urbervilles live in Hamilton, Guelph and Toronto? How do you practice?
We're a GO Train band. It's actually cheaper for us to take the GO Train to Hamilton where our drummer lives then to cram into a Toronto rehearsal space where you're sharing gear with other bands and only have three hours to work. So we go to Hamilton, hang out for the day, play, have a cup of tea, go for a walk.
Are you big Thomas Hardy fans?
Tess Of The D'Urbervilles was required reading in our Grade 12 English class. The name seemed very non-indie-rock band. It's totally not Crystal Wolf Mountain Ghost, you know? It's cumbersome, antiquated. Who's talking about 19th century literature these days? Not really anyone. It's not cool, which we liked.
How did getting diagnosed with Crohn's disease half way through a busy year change things?
I was in and out of hospital all summer, and had to move back in with my parents for a bit to get things under control. It put a damper on lots of fun plans, but at the same time, brought us closer. We're already a pretty tight crew, but it was nice to see how willing everyone was to put their lives on hold. Now I'm finally feeling good, and the band's had a spectacular fall. Not many people get to drive around in a van with their best friends, listening to Lil Wayne and playing their own music at night.
Are you enjoying life in Toronto?
It's great in terms of exposure and seeing lots of good music. At the same time, last summer Tim [Bruton] and I moved back in with our parents in Oshawa to save money and it was like being in Grade 11 again. His parents have a pool. We'd wake up and go swimming, then go in the basement and write songs. The suburbs are the best place to be in a rock band. You've got ridiculous big gear and space, versus Toronto where kids living in tiny apartments on the fifth floor. It'd be way easier if we all bought sprawling suburban ranch-style homes with big garages and basements where you could set up Marshall stacks and a pool table, and play ping pong.
What can we expect from your Tiger Bar shows?
Great bands, Don Cherry videos, definitely coordinated clothing, maybe sports jerseys, and special guest performances, which are still being worked out. No Christmas songs, but there will be covers. Secret ones.