Published Feb 21, 2014Ladyhawk may not be a full-time touring machine anymore, but the hard-rocking Vancouver vets will be celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band this spring by heading out on their "Decade of Passive Aggression" Canadian tour.
Punnily titled after Slayer's Decade of Aggression live album, the trip kicks off out in Ontario in mid-April and will work itself out towards BC by the end of the month. Six-stringer Darcy Hancock tells Exclaim! that the trip was somewhat booked around nostalgia and will have the outfit playing clubs they've hit up over the years and teaming up with old pals along the way. This includes an early stretch of shows with Marine Dreams, westward dates with Shotgun Jimmie and a Vancouver show with Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio.
"It seemed like a good excuse to get the band to do something. It's kind of amazing that we have been a band for 10 years," Hancock explains, noting Ladyhawk haven't been jamming since wrapping the promotion cycle behind 2012's No Can Do, in part owing to vocalist/guitarist Duffy Driediger currently living in Summerland, BC.
When asked about how the band have changed since starting up 10 years ago, Hancock confesses that Ladyhawk aren't exactly the hard-partying road warriors they used to be. This is, remember, a band who were pictured on the back cover of their sophomore set Shots spitting beer all over each other's bare chests. For the record, Hancock feels the change is for the better.
"It's interesting how hard we partied and somehow made it to every show," the guitarist recalls. "We didn't live a very good lifestyle when we were working hard. Just too much drinking, which creates a lot of anxiety... but we've gotten past that. I think we can have more fun at shows."
While No Can Do toned down the blazing, classic rock-inspired solos Hancock surged into their earlier albums, the guitarist admits that the tour will still have him hammering out some fiery fretwork onstage.
He explains: "Even though I'm not really into rock'n'roll these days, when I'm playing live it's still fun. I can still harness whatever I was doing, whatever made me be a lead guitar player when the band started. Every solo is a fun moment to be lost in."
Ladyhawk had originally intended to hit the studio and record a fourth album once the trip wraps, but the band have opted to put more prep work into a follow-up to No Can Do. Hancock reports that Driediger has a handful of songs on the go that apparently take influence from '90s Liverpool janglers the La's, though no one else has heard the new tunes just yet.
For now, Ladyhawk will put their energy back into their live show temporarily before putting the focus on their other projects, including Hancock's time spent backing up Louise Burns and bassist Sean Hawryluk's duties with crusty hardcore crew Baptists.
"We're not creating stress by attempting to build our career further, just having fun when we know we can work," Hancock says. "We could change our mind at some point and try to work hard again, but once you back off from living in a van and your lives get more domestic... it's hard. I like the touring life a lot, that's why I tour with Louise, but it's not for everyone."
04/15 Peterborough, ON - The Red Dog *
04/16 Ottawa, ON - Cafe Dekcuf *
04/17 Toronto, ON - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern ^
04/18 Guelph, ON - Ebar *
04/19 London, ON - Call the Office *
04/20 Hamilton, ON - This Ain't Hollywood *
04/21 St. Catherines, ON - Detour Music Hall *
04/23 Regina, SK - O'Hanlon's Irish Pub #
04/24 Winnipeg, MB - Windsor Hotel #
04/25 Sakatoon, SK - Amigo's #
04/26 Edmonton, AB - The Pawn Shop #
04/27 Calgary, AB - Commonwealth Bar #
04/29 Nelson, BC - Kootenay Co-Op Radio #
04/30 Kelowna, BC - Fernando's #
05/01 Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar #
05/02 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret $
* with Marine Dreams
^ with Marine Dreams, the Highest Order
# with Shotgun Jimmie
$ with Joel Phelps and the Downer Trio, Shotgun Jimmie