Ivan Otis Canadian singer Jill Barber embarked on her Australian tour…
- Posted on May 9th 2011 11:00AM by Karen Bliss
Barber, currently touring theaters across Canada in support of her new album, 'Mischievous Moon,' understands exactly why she is covered in media outlets that normally would stay away from adult contemporary music and jazz.
"Because I came up in that [indie] world and that's where I'm coming from -- not musically but in my soul as a musician," Barber tells Spinner.
"As a teenager, I fell in love with music, going to all-ages shows at the Rivoli [in Toronto to see] bands like Hayden, Poledo, tristan psionic, Sloan, Thrush Hermit and Jale. I was totally swept up in what at that time was the Canadian independent music rock scene. It was through seeing those bands that I said, 'I want to be up on stage doing that. I want to write my own songs.'"
So that's what Barber did, playing local coffee house gigs. She then moved to Kingston, Ontario, to attend Queens University and put together a band called Bent Ivy, which played the local club scene and once ventured to Montreal for a show. "I was developing as an independent musician," she says.
Then she moved to Halifax where Sloan, Thrush Hermit, Jale, and all those acts she loved as a kid had been instrumental in creating an east coast indie rock scene that still thrives to this day. "I became friends with the guys in Wintersleep and Holy F---. Those guys released my first record on Dependent Music."
Barber, who now lives in Vancouver, fully agrees that if she emerged on the music scene today, writing and performing the kind of romantic torch material that appears on 'Chances' and 'Mischievous Moon,' it would be a different story.
"For sure it would be," she says. "I feel like I've come about being a professional musician really honestly by touring back and forth across this county like any rock band would. I've had my fair share of playing s---ty rock clubs. Diana Krall probably hasn't. But while all of this is happening, while I've been building my career and audience, I've been growing and evolving as an artist and my career has reflected the changes."
She notes that her current tour is in lovely soft-seater theaters and starts at 8PM, not 11PM, "and people are going to be quiet."
"I suppose I feel different from those artists like Diana Krall or some jazz singers who have entered on this kind of level," Barber reflects. "I've always felt different, that I come from a different place. But then, of course, I've always felt that I come from a slightly different place artistically than your average indie rock band."