Where hard work is concerned, Toronto’s Ian Daniel Kehoe isn’t shy of rolling up his sleeves.
Touring as the drummer for fellow Canadian, Tamara Lindeman’s The Weather Station, and antipodean songstress, Julia Jacklin, in-between these endeavours Kehoe also spends his time chipping away as a solo recording artist.
While lockdown has given everyone time for a little extra breathing space, Kehoe has made good use of these uncertain junctures of life, releasing not one, but three albums.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Illusion dropped at the beginning of August and to accompany the album, Kehoe made two other new releases available via his Bandcamp page.
An unapologetic deep sea diving adventure into the ’80s, Rock ‘n’ Roll Illusion is an album filled with glittery hooks and instant melodies. It’s almost a nod to karaoke culture, but in a good way. One wouldn’t have thought such a thing was possible but Kehoe seemingly defies the odds.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Illusion is a total contrast to his other two albums released this year, the disco-inspired Disco Body Buzz and Charging the Stone which leans more towards the Americana milieu of the two aforementioned acts where he turns into beat provider from behind the kit. Across these three albums one thing is clear. Ian Daniel Kehoe is having fun.
We caught up with Kehoe last week who was in quite the jovial mood, as you’re about to find out.
1. Your new album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Illusion, has just been released. How’s the reception been so far?
Ian Daniel Kehoe: “I think it’s been received very greenly. A bright green. Soft and abundant with a mellow soapiness, like watching young aspens mesmerising me like boooooom.”
2. Can you tell us a bit about the process and inspiration behind Rock & Roll Illusion?
IDK: “Absolutely. I got an electric guitar and ‘got it in my head’ to do an album that was like if Reckless was Bryan Adams alone in a small room, zero budget but wanting so bad to make something big. So I painted enormous disco dancers, hung them, and sang to them, my audience, my band mates, my engineers, when tracking lead vocals.”
3. You’ve also got two other new albums available on Bandcamp, which are more influenced by disco and Americana, respectively. We’re these written during lockdown?
IDK: “Disco, absolutely. Americana, if Mind Games is that, also yes. Although is there much slap back in the Americana? Because for not the disco one I put slap back on everything…”
4. I know you’ve been a part of The Weather Station and Julia Jacklin’s band. How different of an approach is it to work and write your own songs?
IDK: “I’m not involved when Tam and Julia write, but I did notice a hawk in the sky above a neighbourhood in the city today, facing into the wind, and heard it call once, and briefly, a dry sound. That’s like how I write. Gliding without moving into a wind and at some point a brief sound is made, albeit less dry.”
5. As an outsider, the Toronto music scene has always seemed like a healthy one. How does it stack up against the other scenes in Canada in your opinion?
IDK: “Toronto is incredible. Whole labels of worlds of artists each of whom defining eras, being total virtuosos and total sweeties.”
6. You must have a few, I’m sure, but what is your funniest band story?
IDK: “I can’t remember past last year but last summer at a festival hangin’ on some hay bale seats got to talking how cool it was when the picture of the black hole came out and how much you saw it’s picture on Instagram and how after that, space just wasn’t in the news anymore, and when someone said, ‘there’s probably a meteorite headed straight for us that we have no idea about’, I said, ‘guys…. we should jam’.”
7. When did you last make yourself do something you didn’t want to?
IDK: “I’m just going, ‘what must we do to stop convincing ourselves, always, that we don’t want what most we do?'”
8. Films or boxsets?
IDK: “I just watched Beau Travail and um… thunder.”
9. Any book recommendations for our readers?
IDK: “Ed Roberson‘s To See The Earth Before The End Of The World.”
10. Favourite album released this year?
IDK: “Black Is King and the new New Fries (Is the Idea of Us)”.
12. What’s next for you, then? If we get a vaccine next year then I’m sure some touring is a possibility?
IDK: “Y’know, it’s hard to imagine me not touring again at some point. It was hard to imagine a pandemic before a pandemic. I’ve always had a perfectly simple easy time imagining our world of music consisting of mostly music. I think I think it will.”
13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
IDK: “Ummm you mean other than you rock, thank you for thinking of me, I love you.”