Old Cabin, a.k.a. Jona Barr, kicked off a little tour in his home territory of Yukon yesterday and will make stops in Ontario and Quebec this month. Last summer, he released the Saturn Returns EP but started recording a bunch of new music over the winter. We have the premiere of one of those songs, “Mindreader”, right here in video form. Here’s a little Q&A with Old Cabin about the new song and what’s up at home in Whitehorse.
First off, tell us a little bit about the unreleased track “Mindreaders”. Is it from the Saturn Return sessions or something entirely different?
It’s from a new batch of songs that I started putting together this past winter. It’s pretty much about being depressed and a few of the symptoms that come with depression.
You seem to have an interesting neighbourhood mail carrier (who appears in this video and “I Got You”). Tell us a little bit about this interesting character.
He is a rad guy and he makes his own rad music.
It’s almost been a year since the release of Saturn Return. Have the songs changed at all after playing them over the past little while? Are there any you’ve really enjoyed playing live? I’m always fascinated by how songs subtly take on a life of their own over time.
Yeah, the songs change depending on the band. But the core of the song is usually there. I think we’ll rearrange a few of the songs for this tour. I’m pretty excited to play a bunch of newer songs. It’s nice to try songs out with an audience before you record them. I think we’ll play some of the more rock songs (I got you, Joe, !?!)
In Whitehorse, you work as a coordinator of a youth drop-in arts space and all-ages venue. What’s the all-ages scene like there? There are always challenges with all-ages spaces across the country, but is there anything particularly interesting about the northern scene?
The all-ages scene is on an upswing, I feel like there’s always been bands or younger folks that want to play music, but not many places to play. I mean, there’s a yearly battle of the bands and every festival has some sort of youth stage, but I’ve noticed a big difference since art studio Splintered Craft opened. The scene is growing for sure, it’s become more diverse which is exciting.
Who are some artists from Whitehorse (and Yukon in general) that people should definitely check out?
You should check out: Soda Pony, Cryptozoologists, Calla Kinglit, Rob Dickson, Dena Zagi, and Jeremy Parkin makes some sweet beats.
Finally — you’re off on a summer tour backed by members of Pony Girl. How did you connect with those fine folks and what’s it like playing with them?
I met those guys a few years ago at a magazine fundraiser in Ottawa. We’ve done a couple of tours together now. They are all around rad folks, super fun to play with!
Catch Old Cabin in the following cities: