Aidan Knight and his band needed a van. It’s tough to tour without one and the band needed to somehow get off Vancouver Island. A van was bought. Now, the only problem was how to pay for it. Thus the Telecommunicate EP – an album born our of necessity. The whole process started only weeks before we spoke.
It’s a four track digital only release based on the story of Robin Van Helsum, or “Forest Boy” as he was dubbed by the press when he wandered out of the woods in Germany claiming to have lived in the woods for five years with his father. Aidan says he was reminded of the story when he saw a poster created for the band by fellow musician and friend of the band Reagan McLean.
“He tells all these authority figures that he’s all alone in the world. He doesn’t know who he is,” said Knight on the phone from London, Ontario last week. “He has this moment where he’s put in protective custody and he has this real chance to start his life over.”
The album is a creative solution to Knight’s situation and the album itself is fun to listen to.
It’s an entrepreneurial approach to the problem of making a living as an artist in Canada, something that Knight is thinking quite a bit about. “Going to shows in Victoria, a lot of it was do it yourself” said Knight. “When you would put on an all-ages show in a sweaty gymnasium you would essentially know all the people that were coming to the show and you’d be advertising to them directly and they would come to the show and support what you are doing.”
The newer models of crowdfunding still require support from the community, but that community has become more distributed and has moved online.
Knight has been able to raise the money he needed and the tour is in-progress, including a stop at the Blacksheep Inn on May 23rd.
Knight is no stranger to the Ottawa region. I, like many other Ottawans, first met Knight at the 2010 Ottawa Folk Fest where he played a great show and an impressive workshop. Knight has a new full-length album since that festival and he’s already toured much of Eastern Canada on this most recent venture off of Vancouver Island.
It should be a good show this week. Knight’s work is precise and impressive, offering up a fun mix of folky pop and intelligent lyrics.