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For Gordie Johnson, it feels good to get back in the driver’s seat of Big Sugar again.
A classic car collector, he likens the band to a reliable vehicle with a lot of mileage and history.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” he said of the band while on tour in Nanaimo. “This is a really nice car. I don’t have another one like it. It doesn’t go really fast but it’s a great cruiser.”
The legendary Canadian reggae rockers will be cruising into Thunder Bay to play Crock’ Nov. 11 in support of a new record, 2011’s Revolutions per Minute, and a live DVD and album called Eliminate Ya!
While the band itself may have been put in the garage for almost a decade, the members stayed busy. It’s one of the reasons Johnson said people shouldn’t expect to see a 90s revival act at a Big Sugar show. All career musicians when the band first started more than 20 years ago, Johnson said they never stopped playing. He himself is proof of that, forming blues-rock band Grady along with playing bass in Wide Mouth Mason and producing some hit records along the way.
“It’s not like we’re a band that learned to play together in the garage in high school and had some hits and had the same haircuts and now we’re having a revival,” he laughs.
That doesn’t mean that the band won’t play the hits though. They have such a large repertoire that no show is ever the same twice. Some classics are always in there though, not because the band feels obligated but because they still love those old tunes.
“One thing that will not be true is that we just phone it in and play the hits and collect our cheques and go home. That is not something that we will ever do because we built our reputation on our live show and the somewhat unpredictability of it,” Johnson said.
“The day I don’t’ feel like playing ‘Digging a Hole’ I’m not playing it. But feel like playing it because I love it. That’s the only reason to play it.”
No two shows are ever the same for Big Sugar Johnson said. But there is always some consistency.
“It will be loud as hell and really fun,” he said.
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