Torontoist talks to some CMW 2012 performers. Up first is Will Whitwham, aka Lake Forest.
Toronto musician Will Whitwham is clearly influenced by the outdoors—he’s one part of the dreamy folk quintet The Wilderness of Manitoba, who recently released a solo album entitled Silver Skies under the guise Lake Forest. We caught up with him just after he crossed the border on his way back from Austin, where he repped the true north strong and free with his Wilderness-mates at SXSW, and asked him about his upcoming CMW gig: tonight at the Cameron House Backroom, at 1 a.m.
Why should we see you at CMW?
I don’t know why someone should see me, uhh. I’m not sure how to answer that. Why should people see anybody? It’s something to do Thursday night? (laughs) I really don’t know how to answer that.
What’s your favourite Toronto venue, and why?
That changes from year to year depending on what I’ve seen there, but at this point I’d have to say The Tranzac because you can see something interesting any random night of the week. I like the Horseshoe as well though, for messier nights and occasions.
What’s your preference: indoor or outdoor venues?
I’d say outdoor, but that’s only for such a short time of the year. Indoor is more reliable, but outdoors is just a whole other experience. I’d say I prefer that every time.
What’s your preference: giant music festivals, or single shows?
I love festivals because the live performance is a different animal. You have a different pressure, different time constraints, usually your energy is a lot higher when you’re trying to run around and see as many bands as you can. I love that. There’s a different energy in the room when you’re playing too. Always I have to say I prefer festivals than a single show or touring.
Any advice for CMW-goers?
I’d say, don’t worry about what you’re missing, because you’re always missing something. That’s probably the most comforting thing I can say, because we always forget that we can only be one place at a time. But try to see everything you can and stay out as long as you can.
What’s your favourite moment in a concert you’ve played so far?
One of the more interesting things that has happened during a show, it would have to be the time a girl actually passed out near the front row. We had just finished a mellow extended instrumental—not exactly rocking out like my teen band in the 90’s where everyone threw urinal cakes onstage—when this girl was lying face down in front of me. Obviously, we stopped the show and everyone made sure she was okay before anything continued but I think it was one of the few times the room felt worried while I was up there.
What’s happening for the band after CMW?
I’m starting to record a second album, but we’re going to put our next album for The Wilderness of Manitoba out soon. We’re not sure exactly when yet, but it’s done. Then we’re going to the UK in the spring. So yeah, lots of recording, and a few more Canadian dates before the UK hopefully.