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CMW 2014, Interviews, Music

Interview: CMW 2014 – The Pistolwhips: Playing Big to the Small Rooms

By: Patrick Topping (@ptopp_ing) –


The Saskatoon-based indie rock group The Pistolwhips returns to Toronto for Canadian Music Week 2014 to perform at the Hideout on Queen Street West tonight (May 8). With the release of their new single, “Whatcha Doin”, the band are driven to make an impression on the festival crowd.

Aesthetic Magazine chatted with the band’s frontman and co-founder Rylan Schultz about opening for The Sheepdogs in their hometown, their upcoming debut record, and the grit of being a band at one of Canada’s biggest music festivals.

You have the new single “Whatcha Doin” out now, and a debut record to come, tell us about your experience recording the new material.

It’s been awesome. We recorded with Ryan Anderson of Red Door Studio in Saskatoon. Having a new drummer and recording our first album together has really shifted how we write songs as a team. It’s a lot more collaborative. It’s our first album out as a team and we’re really excited about it. It’s taken longer than we hoped, but taking your time the first time around is not a bad thing.

Since your performance at CMW last year in Toronto, the Pistolwhips have played alongside some big Canadian acts. What was a highlight for the band, and what impact did it have on the group?

We opened for The Sheepdogs on the Redbull Hometown tour in front of 5,000 people on Broadway in Saskatoon last summer. That definitely gave us incentive to translate our stage presence from a smaller venue vibe to the big stage.

During your set at Cherry Cola’s during CMW 2013, you charged the venue with a ton of energy and got the restless crowd moving. What experience or impression do you want the audience to take away from your set tonight at the Hideout?

We have a lot fun on stage and people can tell, people get into it. We’ve definitely grown into the songs and are stronger as a band, so hopefully thatssomething that shines through.

Performing festival gigs are notoriously hectic, what motivates you to push through the obstacles and deliver your best possible performance?

We’ve all been in multiple bands and we know what the drill is. There is a lot of crap to deal with coming up in music and you can never predict when it will happen but the payoff at the end of the day is worth it.

Coming from Saskatoon’s music community, what do you want to represent to the music industry in Toronto and the world-at-broad attending the festival this week?

Saskatoon is a pretty tight-knit scene. We’re all buddies who see each other at shows and end up playing in each other’s bands or jamming at open mics. We don’t have “band rivalries” – everyone is stoked to support each other and help out. Our first music video is filled with people from other bands and in the local art scene.

Catch The Pistolwhips at The Hideout at 8pm. 


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