Published May 27, 2014It's been over a decade since Alberta metal fusionists the Smalls threw in the towel, but Corb Lund's old band have announced that they're getting back together. The group will be reuniting for summer dates at Calgary's X-Fest (August 30) and Edmonton's Sonic Boom (August 31). And, yes, these shows will feature the classic lineup of Lund (bass), Mike Caldwell (vocals), Dug Bevans (guitar) and Terry Johnson (drums).
"The 'Goodbye Forever Tour' was supposed to be goodbye forever," Johnson tells Exclaim! of their amicable 2001 split. But talks to reunite began around the 10th anniversary of the breakup, and these tentative plans have finally come to fruition.
Speaking during the Exclaim! interview, Lund observes, "It's one thing to say, 'Hey, we should play some shows.' But we've all got other lives and we've got to rehearse, because it's really complicated stuff that takes a lot of physical stamina to play. It's not like we just get together on a weekend and play a show. It takes months of planning."
A couple of casual rehearsals have already taken place, and both Lund and Johnson offer similar descriptions of the experience: Lund says that it was "better than I thought it was going to be," and Johnson agrees that it "didn't go as horribly as we thought."
Both musicians were audibly excited about the impending festivals, and although they've only got these two shows booked, they're open to the possibility of extending the reunion.
"I lived in a van with these guys for 12 years. It's like getting the family back together again," reflects Johnson. "Just getting back on the road and playing those tunes with those guys — it's always up and down on the road, but the up part is that hour every night on stage, and that's going to be unbelievable."
While Lund says that it's unlikely the band will make new music together, he admits, "never say never."
What's certain, however, is that the gigs at X-Fest and Sonic Boom will be a blast from the past for the Smalls and their fans.
"You know how you smell a certain perfume or something and you get these memories? It's kind of like that," says Lund. "Relearning these songs is really crazy — it's triggering all these old memories of people and places that I'd completely forgotten about. I'm hoping that it does that for the audience too."
Below, watch a short two-minute teaser video about the reunion.