Upper Class | A&C | Secret City The fight to determine the best Canadian…
- Posted on Feb 15th 2012 4:30PM by Drew Berner
So why did the Ontario blue collar rockers decide to call time out? Frontman and newly minted solo artist Bry Webb hints that the demands of touring pushed him to hit the pause button.
"As much as I absolutely loved the Constantines and playing in that band, I got to be really unhealthy for me, just the way I was singing and stuff," Webb tells Spinner. "I was sick like 80 percent of the time we were on the road, which is just crazy, so I burned out."
Webb isn't kidding about burning out -- he quit the music business altogether and got a job working in construction in Montreal. During that time, he confesses he didn't even want to listen to other people's music, let alone pick up a guitar.
"Going a year and a half without playing much when, prior to that, music had pretty much been my identity -- it was everything I did and most of what I thought about -- you start to focus on other things in your life and realize that those other things define you," says Webb. "It's hard for me to get back into that head space where I'm a 'musician' or people know me as a musician because I've been out of it for a while."
But after some fortuitous attention from Feist, who tapped him to sing on her new record 'Metals' and to open on her Canadian tour, Webb seems to have rediscovered his passion for music. He released a solo record, 'Provider,' in November and has played a smattering of dates since -- though he's limited his touring schedule to spend as much time as possible with his wife and their new baby.
Of course, being a solo artist affords Webb much more control over his touring schedule than he had with the Constantines. There's no need to accommodate the timetables of a handful of musicians or take extended road trips in order to make a living, so he can afford to travel light and to pick and choose when and where he plays.
"We have a plan to [play at Sappyfest in Sackville, N.B. next summer], our family's going to convoy with another friend's family -- maybe I'll play a few shows along the way," Webb said. "I can do that kind of thing rather than it being a 'tour' where we do as many shows as possible because it's only financially viable if we play every night."
Wistful Constantines fans may still hold out hope for Webb and co. reuniting in the near future -- after all, it certainly wasn't acrimony that drove them apart. But Webb seems keen to focus on his family for the time being.
"A really selfish part of me would love to do it again, another part of me thinks it's best to let it lie where it is," Webb says. "Everybody's doing such amazing things right now, it's hard to think about doing the Cons again. I loved that band and a huge part of me would love to imagine doing it again, but I really don't know."