|Wide Mouth Mason, featuring band members, from left, Gordie Johnson, Shaun Verreault and Safwan Javed. (DAVE PAUL/QMI AGENCY)
Most fledgling musicians have a Plan B in case their dream job doesn't work out.
So Wide Mouth Mason drummer Safwan Javed's decision to become a lawyer well into the established Canadian blues rock band's career is pretty unusual.
Javed had done his undergrad around the time the band formed in 1995 in Saskatoon but decided to go back to law school between 2005 and 2009, when frontman Shaun Verreault put out a couple of solo albums and bassist Earl Pereira started his own side band, Mobadass, eventually leaving the group.
"I thought it was a good way to kill some time," joked Javed from his Toronto home this week before WWM began a cross-Canada club tour that wraps up Oct. 19 in Vancouver.
"Let me tell you, the amount we've paid to lawyers, it was kind of a no brainer when I said, 'OK, I'm going to go to law school."
WMM regrouped in 2010 to record their latest album, 2011's No Bad Days, with high profile Texas-based Winnipeg-born producer Gordie Johnson (Grady, Big Sugar), who also decided to play bass and become a permanent member of the band.
Javed says Johnson's presence has brought new life to the group.
"We're still us," he said. "The chemistry that Shaun and I have had, we're childhood friends, we grew up together, we went to elementary school together, we went to high school together, and we were musically sharing experiences throughout every stage of our lives so I think that's the core of what makes this band. It's undeniable that Gordie Johnson is a force when it comes to musical output and he's going to leave his mark wherever he goes musically. There's a new sort of hunger and a new energy. I think we feel there's been new life breathed into the band."
The group recorded No Bad Days in Willie Nelson's studio just outside Austin which is where the album title got its name from a bumper sticker that was a tour slogan from one of Nelson's tour managers.
"In large part, it perfectly describes the experience," said Javed. "It was great, we got to hang out with (Nelson) one day too, he's a pretty funny guy, just a Rolodex of jokes."
And did they get a contact high from the pot smoking musician?
"No comment," said Javed with a big laugh.
WIDE MOUTH MASON TOUR DATES:
09.26.12: Montreal, QC - Cabaret Underworld
09.27.12: Kingston, ON - The Mansion
09.28.12: Loretto, ON - Loretto Tavern
09.29.12: Toronto, ON - The Horseshoe Tavern
09.30.12: Sarnia, ON - Dirty Jack Doyle's
10.01.12: Hamilton, ON - Club Absinthe
10.02.12: Sudbury, ON - Coulson Nightclub
10.04.12: Winnipeg, MB - Canad Inn
10.05.12- 10.06.12: Kenora, ON - Bijou Steakhouse
10.10.12: Saskatoon, SK - Louis Pub
10.11.12: Edmonton, AB - New City Legion
10.12.12: Red Deer, AB - Wild Bill's
10.13.12: Calgary, AB - The Gateway Bar
10.14.12: Golden, BC - Jack Peppers
10.17.12: Nanaimo, BC - The Queens
10.18.12: Courtenay, BC - The Avalanche Bar
10.19.12: Vancouver, BC - The Commodore