This Hisses to perform at Winnipeg Fringe Festival (Travis Cole)
We knew going into our show that they were starting to call a state of emergency.
—Julia Ryckman, This Hisses
On the strength of their newest album, Anhedonia, This Hisses was invited to play at the Sled Island Festival in Calgary in late June.
You might remember what happened to Calgary in late June.
"We were really excited and geared to play the show, but as soon as we arrived the rain started and didn't let up for two days," says drummer Jean-Paul Perron. "It was coming in waves."
But the show must go on and This Hisses did perform. Other bands kept playing, but eventually some of the venues started closing down. "We knew going into our show that they were starting to call a state of emergency," says singer and bass player Julia Ryckman.
"And then it hit so fast. Everyone was partying. We were in this venue in this bubble, having this great time. You didn't expect to be caught in that in a major Canadian city. I was pretty worried."
That night Perron was staying at a hostel when, at 5:00 in the morning, everyone was woken up and evacuated. Water surrounded the hostel and he made it out on a raft aided by firemen.
It was a troubling time for the band members. "Some of my own emotional things became really consolidated and I saw things very clearly in that state of emergency," says Ryckman. "I made some personal life decisions in that flux."
It was several days before they were able to leave the city in their van. "What made it very sad for us leaving is that we were going home to a city that was dry and we were leaving friends and people we didn't know that had been evacuated, who had been hit by completely terrible circumstances," says Ryckman. "I felt almost guilty in that we were able to make this great escape."
This Hisses performs next on the Cube Stage at Old Market Square as part of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival on Monday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m. Let's hope they avoid a similar downpour to what fell on the Cube stage on Thursday night.
Catch Julia Ryckman and JP Perron in conversation with guest host Joanne Rodriguez on SCENE On Air. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.