There is no denying that Nanaimo’s Shawn Hall and Vancouver’s Matthew Rogers know a thing or two about long-distance musical relationships.
Since the mid-2000s, Hall and Rogers have been making music under their blues band’s name, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, despite the fact that they are separated by roughly 34 nautical miles of water.
Tonight, (Jan. 22) the duo will be performing at the Queen’s.
“We’re totally excited to tear the roof off the Queen’s,” Hall said. “For once I can house all the musicians in my house here in town. I don’t have to be in a hotel room. I am really excited. I got family and friends who will be coming out to the show, too.”
The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer were formed after Hall and Rogers, who had worked on numerous projects in the past, decided to form their own group.
Hall explained that their work ethic has been a big reason why they’re still making music.
“We are not flaky. That’s what you need to actually succeed in music. It is much more than talent. It is that continuous blinded persistence,” he said.
Last June, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer released their third album, A Real Fine Mess to Tonic Records. In order to create the record, Hall had to travel frequently from his home in Nanaimo to Vancouver.
“It was tough logistics,” he said. “People put together records across countries and stuff like that but it doesn’t mean it is any easier.”
When it comes to creating records, Hall explained that blues bands sometimes develop a habit of covering songs rather than focusing on cultivating new material, adding that The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer have focused more on creating than covering.
“We’ve been able to shake the curse that most blues bands have of relying on covers,” he said. “The genre has got such history, such weighted history in the songs and songwriting, that a lot of blues artists get stuck trying to replicate stuff from the past.”
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