EXCLUSIVE: Interview With James Barker Band

James Barker Band are one of Canada’s top country music acts who are quickly breaking into the lucrative US marker. Their new single ‘Chills‘ has over 2 millions streams on Spotify and topped the Canadian Country Radio Chart, the track has also won five Country Music Association Awards.  While their previous release ‘Lawn Chair Lazy‘ was the fastest rising country single in Canadian history.

Here we speak exclusively to James Barker Band about their musical history, growing up in Canada, future plans, and much more;

Growing up in Canada who did your love of Country come about?

My love of country music came as a product of how I was raised. I grew up on a beef farm in rural Ontario and my parents were both huge country music fans, so that’s pretty much all we ever had on the radio, in the kitchen, in the truck or in the barn. 

Canada has a rich musical history with many big stars such as Shania Twain, and Shawn Mendes hailing from there, where do you see yourselves amongt these acts?

Those are some big acts to be compared too! Honestly we don’t usually compare ourselves just strictly to other Canadians. I think that great music is great music, no matter who writes it and where they’re from. Hopefully when people hear our music they don’t think “they’re good for a Canadian group,” but instead they think “these guys are an awesome group.” 

How did you all meet?

Connor and myself actually met at band camp when we were in high school, and we started playing together in an alt rock band shortly after. We met Taylor because we had won a battle of the bands competition that his recording studio running. The three of us met Bobby through a cover gig that we all played together. It’s kind of a long winded explanation, but weird little collections like that are what the music industry is all about!

How did the band name come about?
It kind of just came about on it’s own to be honest. We had just started playing shows as James Barker, but I think people started to see how much of a band of brothers we are and they just started calling us James Barker Band. It seemed to be a really natural fit. 

Who are your musical heroes?

As a group we have a really wide range of musical heroes, but to name a few: George Strait, Keith Urban, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matchbox Twenty, Eminem… the list goes on and on.

What would be your dream collab?

A dream collab that we’ve talked about a lot as a band would be Eric Church. He is probably the coolest artist in the genre right now, and he’s never afraid to push boundaries or try something way left of centre. 

What inspired your latest single “Chills”?

“Chills” is really inspired by that first time feeling idea. Everyone remembers the first time meeting their significant other; it’s just one of those feelings you never forget. 

How excited are you by the response to the single?

We’re pumped about the release. The response has been absolutely amazing. It’s always really nerve-racking when you put new music out into the wild; you’re kind of stuck in limbo for that first week until you start hearing peoples opinions. 

Do you have any plans to release a new album soon?

We don’t have any hard plans right now for new music, but the plan is to put something out in 2018. It’s a crazy industry these days when it comes to music. Things get old so fast because people have access to all your music all the time. so it makes it hard to know when the best time to release a full album is. 

Will you be touring this year?

We have a summer that is entirely booked up with festival dates that range all the way from the east coast to the west coast, and chances are we’re going to be on some sort of tour this fall/winter!

What are your 2018 goals?

Our goal for 2018 is the same goal we’ve had since we started playing together in 2014, and that’s to just keep growing; as a band, as writers, as musicians and as people. As long as we are making music that we’re proud of and that our fans can relate too, we’re doing it right!

James Barker Band’s new single ‘Good Together‘ is out now!

Make sure you follow James Barker Band on Twitter @jamesbarkerband to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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