INTERVIEW: Down With Webster

asapmusicblog.ca got the opportunity to chat with Cam Hunter from Down With Webster before their tour stop in Calgary on the 30H!3 tour. It’s been a busy year for the seven-piece band from Toronto, and Cam chats with us about their live performances, the new album, and what’s coming up in the new year for DWW. Check back on Thursday for a playlist from the Down With Webster tourbus!

asapmusicblog.ca: The response that Down With Webster has received in Canada has been pretty incredible – you guys have had a really busy year with touring, getting the Juno nomination, as well as playing the Much Music video awards. What’s coming up next for you guys?

Cam Hunter: We’re finishing up this tour right now with 3OH!3, and then we’re going straight to play the opening game for the Grey Cup – which is Canada’s football thing, it’s going to be televised. After that I think we’re going to literally lock ourselves in the studio for a couple of months, and just finish the record. Everything’s written, it just needs to be recorded properly.a: Speaking of sports, I noticed that you guys were a part of the NHL Faceoff season opener last month, representing as one of Canada’s top musical acts. Are you guys hockey fans?

CH: A lot of us are, there’s seven people so I can’t say it’s unanimous, but I think the majority are hockey fans.

a: You were the one with the [Vancouver] Canucks hat, I think.

CH: Yeah, I’m wearing that hat right now!

a: Nice! Representing in Calgary eh?

CH: (laughs) Yeah, totally. I’m sure we’re going to get some boos for it, but I like the hat.

a: You should definitely wear it at the Vancouver show!

CH: Yeah, the one place it will be a hit – I’ll save it!

a: Sounds good! Like you mentioned, you guys are currently on tour with 3OH!3 on their North American tour, what’s the difference that you find between playing the Canadian and the US shows?

CH: I’d actually say it’s very similar, the kind of response that we get is similar. Obviously people in Canada know us more, as the result of Much Music and the radio out here and stuff. It’s really the same pop culture that everyone is exposed to, and it’s not that much different, which is cool.

a: You guys also mentioned in a recent interview that you guys were hoping to do a little more promotion in the States?

CH: Yeah, totally. It only makes sense, our record label is from the States, the States is connected directly to Canada – you know what I mean? I look at largely as the same thing, it’s like this giant continent that we live on, that there’s a whole giant part of it that doesn’t know us that well. So hopefully, we break down there.

a: The sound of Down With Webster is a very diverse mix in itself – you guys kind of take all those sounds, and really make it your own. Are there any Canadian artists that you would name among your influences?

CH: Canadian artists among my influences… not mine, per say. Canadian artists that I obviously like – it’s really hard to pin down your influences. Things that influence you just kind of happen, you don’t really realize you’ve been influenced, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s where that came from!’. So, I can’t necessarily think of anyone… a lot of my influences I guess, would be like Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys, and for me people who are rapping but not necessarily rapping about ghetto things. I can’t really relate to a lot of that, considering I didn’t grow up in the ghetto, and not a gang member. I think a lot of the stuff that influences me is that kind of hip-hop, which Canada – there’s not much hip-hop coming out of Canada, some really good stuff has though, [but] all of the hip-hop that I grew up on was American.

a: There’s seven of you guys in the band, of course, during the live shows you have even more people on stage with you…

CH: Yeah, sometimes we have a horn section that we hire – we throw them onstage.

a: So what’s the group dynamic like within the band?

CH: It’s very informal, it’s very friendly. Like everyone in our band, no one joined the band because it was like, ‘Oh we really need a guitar player, so let’s go hold auditions, this guy seems cool – and now he’s in the band’. Everyone who’s in our band is someone we knew from a very young age, and we hung out with, and we know their parents, and it’s a family thing. I’d say the dynamic is like a giant family, so there’s obviously squabbles, and stupid fights, but the majority – it’s harmonious, everyone gets along – it’s cool.

a: What can fans expect from your live shows? You mentioned earlier that you guys sometimes add a horn section.

CH: Well due to the constraints of touring on a bus, there’s not room for the horns, so it’s just going to be seven of us. We’ve actually been trying to play more shows that are just seven of us, because it’s really – having seven people travel around is already hard, adding any more to that mix is extremely hard. But I think we do a pretty good job of holding it down, seven people going insane onstage is still a lot of mayhem. People can expect a lot of energy, good music, loud music, lots of interaction – they’re definitely going to be a part of the show.

a: From the sounds of it, and on your Facebook page – a lot of fans are really happy to see you guys, and really enjoy the shows.

CH: Yeah, it’s awesome! We’ve been getting great feedback, hopefully we’re doing something right.