By Jason SchneiderIt's been 15 years since Ian Blurton fronted Change of Heart full time, leading him to become more familiar to the current generation through his work with C'mon and as an in-demand producer. But with C'mon officially calling it a day last year, Blurton has found the time to reassess the band that originally built his reputation and came to define one of the most vital eras of Canadian indie rock.
Having already announced that Change of Heart will perform September 15 at Hamilton, ON's free Supercrawl festival as part of Exclaim!'s ongoing 20th anniversary concert series, Blurton tells Exclaim! in an interview that the festival performance and a handful of other concerts will coincide with the release of a long-overdue Change of Heart retrospective. While Blurton is still in the process of putting the package together, he did divulge some details and the impetus behind the project, which will be released through Sonic Unyon Records.
"My living room is packed with all of this stuff -- tapes, artwork, posters -- so I mainly just want to get it out of my house," Blurton explains. "It's been really fun going through it all, though. We're aiming for a 22-track double vinyl with some extra songs for iTunes, and then a bonus CD of seven-inches and unreleased weird stuff that will just be available with the vinyl. There's also a lot of leftover merch that we'll be randomly throwing in with the vinyl."
As for what fans can expect of the Change of Heart reunion shows, Blurton says that they will feature the late-period Steel Teeth lineup of bassist Rob Higgins (now of Dearly Beloved), drummer Damon Richardson (formerly of Danko Jones) and long-serving keyboardist Bernard Maiezza. However, an as-yet-unconfirmed Toronto show will feature nearly everyone who was ever in Change of Heart, including co-founding bassist/lyricist Rob Taylor and Blue Rodeo's Glenn Milchem, who played drums on CoH's landmark 1992 album Smile.
"Some of us haven't talked for a really long time, so it's going to be nice just to be in a room together," Blurton says. "We're just going to sort of play it by ear and come up with a set list that we all feel comfortable with."