Andy chats with Gary LaBarr and Mike Swain of WALKER’S CAY
Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today.
Gary: You are most welcome! Thank you for having us!
Can you tell us a little about how Walker’s Cay was founded?
Gary: Well I own a radio station, and one evening, Mike was a guest on one of our live talk shows. I met him after the show, and we began talking. I found out that we shared a lot of common interests, (especially in music), and we began to talk about maybe putting together a musical project in the future since he stated to me that he was a guitar player. And the rest is in the present!
Your music reflects some of the greats of the 70’s and 80’s Rock era, was it your inspiration from this era that drove you to create music in this style?
Mike: Since Gary and I share a lot of the same musical influences, we agreed that we loved the sound of bands such as Boston, Def Lepard, and most bands of that era. The sounds, tone, and writing of the music meant something back then. Real “meat and potato’s” of sort. So we opted to go that musical route.
Gary: I concur. Musicians were more “raw” back then, actually tuning their guitars, and cranking their amps up to “11!” Hey, it worked for Spinal Tap, why not Walker’s Cay?
Does having two music producers/engineers in the band make things easier when creating songs?
Mike: By having two engineers/producers in the same band, there is a no-nonsense approach when it comes to recording, editing and mixing. A sort of “checks and balances” if you will. Four ears are better than two……MOST of the time! We that kind of experience, you want to be more creative, and more professional in your recording process. In that way, you usually will create better songs.
Seeing as there are two members that have had successful music careers, is songwriting a team effort or are Gary and Mike the driving force behind Walker’s Cay?
Gary: I usually write most of the songs for Walker’s Cay. However, having said that, I put all of it together for the band to hear, and then say…”Well, what do you think?” And boy, does that statement open up “Pandora’s Box!” Ha! Only kidding. Mike then runs by any advice to me such as arranging, dynamics, or technical issues that he may see for a particular song, and then after we agree, (or disagree), on that advice, we start the process of rehearsing the song, and then eventually recording it.
How is the Canadian music scene at the moment? Obviously, the Covid situation has put a hold on a lot of tours and shows in general worldwide. I know that Edmonton has, or had a huge scene when I was there 9 years ago.
Gary: The Canadian Music Scene is hurting to some extent, just like the rest of the world’s music scene is. A lot of venues have closed down permanently, and have gone out of business. When a venue is open, it is open for a smaller crowd due to Covid, and that means less money for the venue and the artist. That of course causes a lot of issues to pay the bills. But it is what it is. We just need to continue to wait and see what this virus does in the long term. Keeping folks safe and healthy should be the #1 priority.
Do you have any plans to tour once the Covid situation has calmed down, or indeed, been cured?
Mike: No plans yet to tour due of course to Covid, but when all is said and done, we want to “Rock On!”
You seem to have a huge following in South Africa, that must be a great feeling? How did all that start?
Gary: Wow! Not sure how that all came about, be we WILL take it! Bless the folks in South Africa!
What plans do the band have in the near future?
Mike: We are continuing to write and record, and start to put together our song videos to be released. So we have lots to do. The ultimate goal of course is to play live, but that will come eventually I hope!
Thanks for your time once again, all the best in the future. Cheers!
Gary: Thank you very much again for giving us your time. We really appreciate it! Please stay safe and healthy!