Exclusive Q&A With Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea

After a successful last year and the release of his biography, Where I Belong, Alan Doyle is ready to rock the new year with his new solo album, So Let’s Go. We had a quick chat with him about his new single, and what’s in store for 2015.

Q: What has been your inspiration behind So Let’s Go?

A: My inspiration was to marry the music I grew up with in Petty Harbour like the piano, accordion and mandolin, with the most contemporary song writers and producers making Canadian music right now. I really wanted to push the boundaries between my traditional influences and wrap it in contemporary sounding music.

Q: How is So Let’s Go different from your first solo album, Boy On Bridge?

A: My first solo album was really a journey outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to concentrate on learning new things. I went to different places and this was as much a physical journey as it was a musical journey. I just wanted to learn to make music the way my friends made music, so I consciously didn’t have a lot of my traditional music influences on that album.

On So Let’s Go, I tried to include my earliest influences with the new stuff I’m learning too – it’s an extension of my first album and it’s more inclusive.

Q: How has it been touring as a solo artist compared to touring with Great Big Sea?

A: Touring with Great Big Sea is at my comfort level because I have the backing and support of a twenty-year catalog. The exciting thing about touring with a new band is getting to play music that is not all folk based. It’s nice to hear new instruments and new voices and variety is such a great thing. The new band is amazing and they’re some of my old friends: Kendel Carson, Cory Tetford, Kris Macfarlane – just a gang of really awesome musicians that are open to playing any kind of music.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your experiences as an actor.

A: Republic of Doyle was super fun. The show is run by my friends and they asked me to be a part of it from Day 1. It was great to get the chance to be a part of something that’s so big in Newfoundland and across the country, as well as learning the craft of acting from Allan Hawco. He’s one of the best I’ve ever worked with and he was incredibly patient and helpful.

I love being on a movie or television set because you get to learn to tell a story a different way. You also get to hang around with people who have different talents and skill sets. Until you work on film or TV set, you don’t realize how many people it takes to make one frame look good.

Q: What can we expect at the concert?

A: You can expect a great mix of songs from my two solo records, songs from the Great Big Sea catalog, stuff that I’ve done from movies and TV shows, and music that I’ve done for other people’s records. It’s just a great review of the music of my life. I’m looking forward to coming back – I’ve had lots of great nights in KW.

If you’re excited to see him perform at The Centre, here’s a little teaser of what’s to come on January 21: