AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Ryder Havdale of The Mohawk Lodge (Canada)

Ryan Havdale, Canadian songwriter and performer going by the moniker The Mohawk Lodge, is currently in the country for some killer shows! Having previously been acquainted with Australia through a surfing trip as a teenager, we can only have guessed what fun and hijinx were going to come with this trip - to find out more, we sent him some questions to field about the Australian tour.

Hey Ryder. Awesome to hear you're coming to Australia. Will this be your first time down under?

I was on the Gold Coast surfing for a year when I was 19. Can’t wait to get back up that way.

This tour is set to coincide with the release of your fourth album, Damaged Goods. Given the album only stretches out to thirty minutes, should we expect your live performances to be stretched out with old material and some all-out punk jams?

Most of the material will be from the new one, but, there’ll be a few tunes from each of the three older records as well as a couple brand new ones.

150 shows... that's quite a lot. Do you often embark on such extensive tours?

Usually I tour for a month or two a year. I’ve been running a label the past 8 years and put a lot of my energy into those releases. I decided this year, that I wanted to get back to playing and set 150 as my goal for the year. I’ll be close to 70 shows by the time this tour is over.

How much do you know about your Australian fan base?

Just that they have impeccable taste! It’s all just starting down here, thanks to Jimmy Hawk and our new Aussie home, First Love Records.

In what ways does your new material differentiate from some of your old stuff?

This one's heavier and rawer than past releases. No filler in the tunes.

You've showcased at some pretty incredible events, such as SXSW and CMJ. Could you tell us a bit about your experience at those?

SXSW? Free barbecue and drinks all day long for a week … It’s pretty blurry!

I've heard comparisons to Swervedriver, Neil Young, Springsteen... what would you say your sound could be likened to any artists in particular?

I think people hear a bit of all those in the tunes. But, this record was definitely influenced by my love of the Duffy and the Doubters record Scriptural Supplies. I couldn’t get enough of that record when I was banging this one out.

You're originally from Canada, but you're now residing in Berlin (if my sources are correct). What brought on the move?

I was in France for a music conference (MIDEM) and figured I’d go check out Berlin for a few weeks. I loved it and ended up cancelling my flight back to Canada. I ended up with a work visa there that’ll take me to the end of this year. It’s amazing as a home-base to tour out of so I’ll be back there in September.

How would you say living in Europe has influenced the nature of your music?

Well, I’m currently working on two albums that were directly influenced by my stay there. One is going to be my dance album that’s been an awesome learning curve for me working with drum machines and synths. The other is the result of a four-day songwriting session with six Danish songwriters who were in Berlin. I walked out of that with nine new tunes.

Are there any other projects on the cards in the near future we should know about?

Yeah, the two records above. Not sure if I’ll have The Mohawk Lodge moniker for those.I’m thinking of going with my name, Ryder Havdale. Also, I’ll be recording some of the Lodge hits with my various backing bands over the next year and that should see the light of day in 2014 as well…

The Mohawk Lodge's Australian tour stops in Adelaide this Thursday, before continuing until the final date on August 6th in Melbourne. Head to http://themohawklodge.bandcamp.com/ for more details.