Small town pride

Tara Chislett – The Aquinian
Saskatchewan six-piece Rah Rah will play the Capital Oct. 10.  (Submitted by Vanessa Benson)
Saskatchewan six-piece Rah Rah will play the Capital Oct. 10. (Submitted by Vanessa Benson)

Regina and Fredericton aren’t all that different to Joel Passmore.

The bass player for Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah, Passmore understands the ups and downs of being in a band from a small town.  Living three hours outside of Saskatoon, he said making things work takes a lot of time and dedication.

“The biggest challenge is the logistics of it,” he said. “If you’ve got a band, you need transportation and the time and the will to get into a van and play elsewhere if you want it to work.”

The band started with Passmore’s sister, Erin and a mutual friend, Marshall Burns.  Passmore would join the band three years later with a couple others, eventually leading them to become the six-piece they are today.

“Regina’s not very big but the music scene is quite supportive,” he said. “That’s definitely one of the advantages. You tend to meet people and find people with common interests.”

Working with people who can play many different instruments is another thing Passmore said makes the band work.

“The great thing about this band is there’s no shortage of inspiration,” he said. “We don’t tie ourselves to one genre or one instrument but we seem to be able to write songs and that’s kind of neat.”

Refusing to work in one genre is something Passmore said makes the process of writing songs exciting for the band.

“Sometimes Marshall or Erin will have a song and they’ll bring it and we’ll figure out the structure and the parts, but other times, it’s very on the spot, kind of like improv,” he said.  “In the end, it really depends on the occasion.”

“Marshall writes a lot about the human condition,” he added. “It sounds kind of cheesy.  But I mean, you know, like being in love, being in and out of love, those sorts of reactions are things we try to put out there in a way that people can relate to. If not in their own life, than seeing it in other people.”

Another common theme for the band is hometown pride.

“It’s something we’re all proud of and it’s something we don’t try to hide,” Passmore said.  “When people see us or when they hear our music, I think they can tell where we’re from.”

While Passmore said being proud of their roots is something that’s important, he understands how important the live music experience is to success.

“It’s one thing to get your music out there online,” he said. “But I think it’s still important for bands to get out there and be seen and to interact with people in a live setting.”

“Travelling can be hard because sometimes it’s far and expensive,” he added.  “Gas isn’t cheap and that can be a challenge.  But it’s definitely fun.”

“A lot of us wouldn’t have the opportunity to see new places if it wasn’t for the band.”

October 10 won’t be the band’s first time in Fredericton, having played a show with Sleepless Nights in June.

Playing tracks from their first full-length album “Going Steady,” Passmore said to expect a show with a lot of silly antics and energy.

“We try not to take it too seriously and I think that can be contagious.” he said. “When you watch a band having fun, it’s hard not to be there with them.”

“It’s really more like a children’s party than a rock and roll event.”

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