Constantines singer quits nightlife

DENIS ARMSTRONG - Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:17 AM ET

Constantines singer Bryan Webb's three essentials on the road aren't sex, drugs and rock & roll any more.

Now, they're his bicycle, his skateboard and a little solitude.

Last year, Webb, 31, realized that being the face of one of the most exciting alternative bands in Canada meant an open invitation to a lot of parties that seemed to follow every gig.

"I had to get away from Toronto nightlife," Webb explains from his new home in a quiet Montreal neighbourhood.

"I wanted more of a balance between the wild tour like and quiet time at home. So I reconnected with an old girlfriend and moved next to a park."

Then, during last year's tour, he brought his bicycle with him. And his skateboard.

Now, Webb spends whatever free time he has on tour checking out the city rather than crashing the free hospitality suite. And he's after his bandmates Doug MacGregor, Dallas Werble, Will Kidman and Steve to do the same.

"We know how far we can push ourselves on tour before it becomes destructive," he says. "Healthier is happier. Screaming at the top of my lungs and drinking free beer all night is not the healthiest route to take."

Portable transportation will also come in handy during their latest Rolling Tundra tour with The Weakerthans which begins in St. John's, Nfld., hits Ottawa on Saturday with a sold-out date at the Bronson Centre and ends 30 cities later in Whitehorse in May to plug their latest album Kensington Heights.

Curtailing the party lifestyle for a little healthy day-tripping is, according to Webb, entirely consistent with the band's lo-fi, DIY philosophy about making things such as music or a simpler lifestyle happen one step at a time, and evolves out of an alternative lifestyle Webb experienced as a young teen growing up in Guelph, listening to the Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads and Bad Brains

"If I hadn't gotten into skateboarding when I was 12 I wouldn't have gotten into music because it was all a part of the scene for kids into punk rock in the late 1980s.

"We were exerting our own identity. We weren't a part of any scene before that. We had to take our own space and change it to suit our needs. It was the same with the music."

Ferocious live (another reason for all the post-gig parties), the Constantines are constantly cited as one of the top indie bands in Canada. They were nominated for a Juno for Best Alternative Band in 2005 for Tournament of Hearts and are up for another Juno for Best Album art for Kensington Heights.

"The most important part of music is the social connection between people. There's more humility in punk than there is in rock. Rock still has its gods and heroes, punk is a tight community. Punk rock mocks big rock bands."


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