On the heels of two previous EP releases, Winnipeg indie rockers Hearing Trees released their debut full-length album Quiet Dreams at the start of March. The band has been touring the country since early March and kicks off a series of shows in the Maritimes tonight in Moncton before making their way back west early next week.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Hearing Trees founder Graham Hnatiuk from one of the band’s tour stops in B.C. last month:
Is this the first trek to the East Coast for Hearing Trees?
Definitely. We’ve done a number of tours from Manitoba west, but this will be our first time coming east.
I’m not sure if you’re sick of talking about it or not, but I understand your decision to begin making music was at least somewhat driven by a mental health issue?
I’m definitely not sick of talking about it, it’s just become part of the story. To I experienced a mental breakdown in 2009 wouldn’t be inaccurate, though. I had been going to school for a number of years and just hit a breaking point where I developed some fairly seriously mental health issues. The thing is, I had been really wanting to get into playing music for a long time, but I didn’t sing and didn’t play guitar so I was scared to take the leap. But when you feel you have nothing lose, there’s no idea that can be too crazy.
So before that happened in 2009, were you already pretty ingrained in the music scene in Winnipeg?
Not at all. I was never really a part of the local scene while I was growing up, but actually still feel a bit like an outsider. That being said, I’ve inserted myself into the scene much more these last few years.
For all intents and purposes then, you’ve been a bit of a late bloomer with respect to deciding to pursue music.
Yeah, I was 24-25 years old when I first began playing music. I assembled the guys for the band around the time I was 26-27, and we completed our first tour when I was 27-28 years old. I’ve been very deliberate about how I’ve approached just about everything.
Did the band come together fairly easily?
The goal from day one was to be a band. I wasn’t looking to be a solo artist, but I actually got so frustrated trying to get a band together in the early days that I quit my job and went to Brazil for a month. It was after I got home that the band just kind of fell into place. Six months later, we played our first show.
Did having a couple of EPs in your back pocket make the process of bringing Quiet Dreams to life that much easier?
There’s no denying I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing with those early releases, but I knew I was going to make mistakes. All I wanted to do was to learn from them, really. Rather than rushing to make a full-length record, we toured and developed these songs, and just tried to be as patient as possible. I couldn’t be happier with Quiet Dreams though. Anytime I hear it, I always think to myself there’s no way I made this. There’s a definite sense of pride that goes hand-in-hand with the album.
Catch Hearing Trees live:
April 11 — Moncton, NB — Plan b Lounge
April 13 — Halifax, NS — Gus’ Pub
April 14 — Miramichi, NB — The Well Pub
April 15 — Charlottetown, PEI — Baba’s Lounge
April 17 — Montreal, QC — Barfly
April 18 — Toronto, ON — The Piston
April 19 — Hamilton, ON — The Mule Spinner
April 20 — Sudbury, ON — The Townehouse
April 21 — Thunder Bay, ON — The Foundry
June 1 – Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre (Quiet Dreams Album Release Show)