Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Sep 15th 2009 3:30PM by Steve McLean
"He's always been kind of a mentor," lead singer/guitarist Liam Corcoran tells Spinner of Plaskett. "He's already gone through basically everything that we're going through from being in Thrush Hermit and as a solo artist. There's hardly anything that we go through that he can't help us out with."
Plaskett produced Two Hours Traffic's 2005 self-titled full-length effort, 2006's 'Isolator' EP, 2007's Polaris-nominated 'Little Jabs' and the new 'Territory,' which arrived in stores earlier this month.
"In terms of the producing, we're fine-tuning our relationship a little bit more with each record," continues Corcoran. "We were quite in awe and intimidated by him in the beginning. With each successive record, we butt heads with him a little more -- but in a fun way. We wrestle back and forth with ideas."
The relationship also seems to have rubbed off musically on Two Hours Traffic, whose 'Just Listen' could easily fit in on a Plaskett recording. Not that the prolific Plaskett needs any help on the songwriting front -- 'Three' contains a whopping 27 tracks -- but keeping his weight up could be a different question.
The wiry 34-year-old has battled health problems in the past (discussed on the title track to 2001's 'Down at the Khyber') and was seen turning down food at a post-show party following his triumphant concert at Toronto's Massey Hall in May. But Corcoran dismisses any concerns about the Dartmouth, N.S. resident being too thin.
"He's a very skinny guy, but I can definitely vouch that he eats with us every time we eat," he says. "Have no fear that he's not eating. He works so hard and never stops, so he definitely has to get some fuel in there."
Plaskett obviously worked long and hard on 'Three,' and the eclectic triple-album should be one of the favourites for the Polaris, a prize Plaskett was also a finalist for with 2007's 'Ashtray Rock' (he lost to fellow repeat nominee Patrick Watson).
'Jabs' wasn't in the running for the award two years ago and 'Territory' won't be eligible until next year's honour, but Corcoran insists that there's no plot to keep Plaskett and Two Hours Traffic albums from competing against each other in Polaris voting. "That's never been a conscious thing, but that's the way it works out with scheduling. Whenever he's on his downtime, that's when he's able to produce. So it's worked out that way, but it's never been talked about."
Plaskett will perform at the Polaris gala along with the nine other nominees and has North American dates scheduled through the fall. Two Hours Traffic are playing across Canada in support of 'Territory' until Oct. 24.
Stream Joel Plaskett's 'Three' along with the other nine nominated albums in our Polaris Prize Full CD Listening Party