Interview with RUSTY CREEK
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Alex: I first got interested in music when I was about 5 years old, listening and watching my Irish
Grandfather play violin along with any Classical record he put on. I took lessons until I was about 13. At school I always sang in the school choirs. Even sang lead in a school performance of Oklahoma. I joined Sea Cadets and played trumpet in the Navy Band and got a taste of playing front of people.
Soon after I picked up the guitar and joined school mates hoping to be the next Rolling Stones. I started writing songs when I was about 16. If I hadn’t got into Music I probably would have ended up being a Deep Sea diver with the Canadian Navy.
Peter: Discovered the joy of playing at an early age in a school recorder group and just carried on with high school band (clarinet) and then guitar and banjo in many other genres. I just loved the connection of creating something unique with other people, and still do. If I had not gotten into music I would probably be a graphics designer or chef.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Alex: When I’m not actually playing I write many lyrics which turn into songs. I also write poetry and currently writing a book of short stories and working on an Autobiography for an Audio book with recorded songs for each chapter.
Peter: When I’m not playing instruments I like to build and repair them. Sometimes the modifications you make will lead you down a new musical path previously unexplored. Also playing an instrument you built yourself forms a connection that just seems to get the creative juices flowing.
How long has your band been around?
Since late 2015
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Alex: Rusty Creek is based out of Vancouver BC. Living in Vancouver didn’t really influence me. I guess the discovery of Buddy Holly’s Rave on grabbed me first, then I discovered Muddy Waters and then the British Invasion came with electric blues. I have travelled a lot and have been heavily influenced by Celtic, Cajun, Zydeco, Texas Swing, and Bluegrass which all show up in our original music.
Peter: I’m not sure how Vancouver influences our music as we draw from many genres: country blues, bluegrass, western swing, cajun etc., but I think working over the years with some of the most talented musicians anywhere has probably made us strive to be best we can be.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Peter: Really it came from a list I compiled in the early days that played with themes sounding somewhat rustic but with an old-time vibe. Plus the name needed a somewhat humorous quality, after all creek can have a sound all its own.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Alex: For me our first gig was at the Sylvia Hotel, all our friends and fellow musicians showed up and the place was packed. We also did 3 annual Reunions at the Fairview Pub, where we also had our first CD release party. I guess lately our favourite venue besides the Sylvia would be the Cornerstone Bistro in North Vancouver, great audience participation
Peter: For me one of the most memorable ones was our very first gig with the full band at the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver. A certain buzz had been building all that summer and the night we played the place was packed with such a wonderful crowd that I felt we could do no wrong. It was great way to launch the band and really gave us an impetus.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Alex: I guess lately our favourite venue besides the Sylvia would be the Cornerstone Bistro in North Vancouver, great audience participation. The gigs are put on by Paul Hovan who really supports local musicians and it provides a lovely place to play original music . Going forward I would like to play locally in the Commodore, Blue Frog, and the Rogue Roots and Folk club. Out of town, the Dream Café and many theatres throughout the Province. I also have might sights on playing throughout Canada and especially the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Alex: If it could happen, Little Feat, Asleep at the Wheel, Vince Gill, Chris Stapleton.
Peter: Well, it would amazing to be on the same bill as Asleep at the Wheel, The Deep South, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings or Ry Cooder to name a few. Although locally we would be very happy to join our friends Tillers Folley or Cannery Row on any stage.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Alex: Don’t get stuck in one genre, open your musical horizons, study composition and practice and practice and make sure you have fun. Most of all play with musicians who are better than you and grow.
Peter: Just play for the love of it. Learn from your less than perfect gigs and never give up. It will happen if you let it.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Alex: The advice above goes to me as well.
Peter: My previous answer.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Alex: So many, but Hello Old Friend means the most I wrote it about a dear friend who walked on to early a fantastic drummer, author, a civil rights activist and a damn good friend I miss so much. We used different instruments on it and captured the kind of rhythm that our friend would play. It's not a dirge but I guess a celebration of life. Our friend I think would dig the groove.
Peter: Lately Hello Old Friend (our next video release) has become my favourite. Written about a mutual friend of ours who died fairly recently and far too soon. The song hopefully captures his vibrant spirit and cherishes his memory without being too somber. It’s really a celebration of life.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Alex: Well, I guess they would be Hello Old Friend, Kitchen Party, Pretty Things and Hot Nights and Life is What You Make It. People ask for them and join in singing along.
Peter: Besides Hello Old Friend, my favourites include Hot Nights, Kitchen Party, Lookin Back and Pretty Little Things. We seem to get the most requests for these.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Alex: To date, I usually bring a completed song and the band has at it arranging the feel and working on the instrumentation. I used to write about current events, and whatever came to me. Nowadays I’m writing from my own life experiences. Going forward Peter and are going to co-write for the next albums.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Alex: Happiness, peace, love and party and enjoy life.
Peter: Hopefully positive ones. Be good to each other, cause no harm and try to enjoy life. Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Alex: Don’t really have any. The odd times we argue about the key, the beat or who sings what. Mostly we come to a mutual agreement and move on.
Peter: Rarely. The odd argument may arise over lyrical content or song arrangement, but we work them through and come up with solution that works for all.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Alex: Need to finish our new songs and head back into Stella studios with our amazing creative producer Tim Hearsey and start our third album. Probably late October, In the meantime very soon we will be releasing a brand new video for Hello old Friend .
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Certainly, you can find us at: