Oct 6, 2011
When Spirit of the West embarked on one of their first tours, little did they know that the unfortunate circumstance of being replaced on the bill would result in their most successful song to date - and the most well-loved Canadian party anthem. We talked to singer John Mann about the creation of "Home For A Rest".
Tell us a little about the making of "Home For A Rest".
We were on one of our first tours in the United Kingdom, and we were pretty pumped up about it. We were supposed to be opening up for this country western star at the Town & Country Club in London, which was this huge venue. We were the opening act for seven shows in a row, so we were pretty pumped. We arrived there on the day of and the manager of the act - a guy called Hank Wangford (I'm pretty sure that's not his real last name) - anyway, he finished his sound check and then his manager came up to us and said, "I'm sorry, but we're going to blow you off because KD Lang is going to open up instead. So we had this tour set up, but now we had nothing to do for a week. So we spent our time going up and down Charing Cross road, going into all the different pubs and listening to lots of live music. It's like a high-octane travel log of our experiences, just being in the pubs.
What was memorable about your time in the studio?
It was a fun time. The producer on that album - Danny Greenspoon - we were great friends. The only odd thing about the recording of the song; the guy who built the studio, apparently he died in the studio. One night we were recording and we were shutting things down. I heard someone say, "John." I said, "Who's there?" because almost everyone had left. I heard it again, "John." Someone else in the band heard it too, but there was nobody else around. It was a very odd experience.
What was your first clue that "Home For A Rest" had become a Canadian party anthem?
We knew people liked the song when we were playing it live, but then when we'd be on tour and we'd stop in at bars and we would hear ourselves being played at the bar. Then it popped up on radio, and that's when we kinda thought that we might have something. It was an exciting time, because for us, we started off basically as a folk band and it just felt like, oh! Maybe there's something in it for us here.
We're really pleased with it, and I think it's great that it was selected for Cover Me, because like I said, it's a high octane song! I'm going to be really curious to see how it's done.
Well, Georgia describes her sound as alt/soul, so it will be interesting to see what she does with it.
Yeah I know! I'm really curious because in my mind it's always just been a bang bang foot stomper, and I would love to hear something different come up. It would be fun.
What's your advice for her?
Just enjoy it! Bring yourself into the equation. Don't try and mimic - bring your own character into it and then you'll just shine.