Vancouver’s Juno award-winning rock outfit Econoline Crush made a stop in Oshawa this month as part of its Canadian tour to back its latest album.
When the Devil Drives is the band’s first studio LP in nearly 15 years. The group’s vocalist and songwriter Trevor Hurst is happy to be making music again after such a long period.
During the band’s hiatus Hurst decided to go back to school and, ultimately, became a psychiatric nurse. Although the band continued to perform, the desire to create just wasn’t there.
Around that time, his mother died and he got a divorce. Hurst began working for Canupawakpa Dakota Nation’s unit for creative coordination in Manitoba and says the encouragement he received from the community and elders reignited his passion for creating music.
“They convinced me and they gave me faith in myself again,” he says.
While playing a show in Kitchener a few years ago during his downtime, Hurst met a filmmaker who produce a documentary outlining how the community inspired him create music again. The film called Flatliners is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Hurst channeled his reclaimed energy into When the Devil Drives using his experiences to write.
“I really wanted to make a record that addressed a lot of the stuff that I’d gone through, that addressed my grief, addressed my feelings of belief in life again and the growth of relationships in my life,” he says.
He says the music industry has changed quite a bit since the band’s last full-length release giving artists less corporate oversight and more freedom in the creation of their work.
Artists can now create music and present it to the public through streaming platforms and reach more people than ever. However, he says making money has never been more challenging with artists needing to get creative in producing revenue.
Like many other bands, Econline Crush is fighting to keep merchandise sales within the band.
“Yeah, it’s something that you have to battle with on a per contract basis and, and, and deal with,” he says. “And I find it distasteful.”
Despite the difficulties the modern music industry presents, Hurst is happy to be touring again.
“You know, the music industry is like a microcosm of society,” he says. “And we we’ve just got to do our part to reshape it.”
Hurst says he’s optimistic. “So, I always find ways to see positive and things, I feel like we’re turning the corner,” he says.
Hurst and Econoline Crush are invested in putting on a great show during this tour.
“I love high intensity, sweaty, you know, jumping around, putting on a really wicked rock show energy thing,” he says. “And I feel I love when I feel completely drained after the show and I can barely stay awake. I just I love that.”