The members of Blue Rodeo are pondering their own longevity, as the Canadian alt-country group marks its 25th anniversary with a new release and an upcoming 25-city Canadian tour.
"There is a lot of collective creative motivation in the band and everybody wants to keep going. We're all friends and we want to keep going so that is a good motivation," frontman Jim Cuddy told CBC News at a rehearsal in Toronto earlier this week.
Cuddy and fellow guitarist Greg Keelor are the principal songwriters for the band, which has turned out hits like Try and Bad Timing that have succeed despite having a sound that is far from the mainstream.
Much of Blue Rodeo's success has been in the Canadian market. It has a reputation for giving back to younger artists: the band invited colleagues then early in their careers — including Sarah McLachlan, Great Big Sea, Ron Sexsmith, the Sadies and Kathleen Edwards — to join them on tour as a way of gaining exposure.
Tougher times for new artists
The music business has changed over the years and Cuddy and Keelor said they've become aware they were fortunate to have started their band in the 1980s, when it was a little easier to make a living.
"When we grew up, people bought records," Cuddy recalled.
"When you [went] out to tour for everybody and come back, there is enough money left over to keep doing it full time."
After working with young artists now, including his own son Devin, Cuddy says he believes times are tougher.
"You've got a much easier time getting widespread information, because the internet is ridiculous, but now you go back to your day job and you don't take on music full time," he said.
Earlier this month, the band released Blue Rodeo: 1987-1993, a box set of their first five albums, with a remixed Outskirts, Casino Demos and Odds & Ends package.
Blue Rodeo's 25-city Canadian tour begins Jan. 2 in Whitehorse, with stops in Iqaluit, Yellowknife, Vancouver, Halifax, Saskatoon and other Canadian cities.