Juno with­drawal was clear as black and white for Green

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Nick Patch

TORONTO — City and Colour’s Dal­las Green knew some fans would in­ter­pret his with­drawal from a sched­uled Junos per­for­mance as sour grapes, but says he doesn’t think the an­nual awards bash should book per­form­ers who aren’t nom­i­nated. Green was named as a per­former for the March 30 show at Win­nipeg’s MTS Cen­tre prior to the nom­i­na­tion an­nounce­ment. Once the slate of con­tenders was un­veiled and Green saw he wasn’t among them, he put out a state­ment say­ing that he would not per­form as planned and would pre­fer to see a “new nom­i­nee be af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to per­form on the show.” And then the 33-year-old, wiz­ened vet that he is, braced for a back­lash. “I knew people were go­ing to take it as I was be­ing a sore loser,” Green said in a tele­phone in­ter­view. “(But) it’s an award show and I wasn’t nom­i­nated for any, so why have me there? And I wasn’t say­ing that like: ‘Oh, you didn’t nom­i­nate me, I’m not com­ing.’ It wasn’t that. Ba­si­cally, I was just try­ing to ex­plain to the people that run (it) that they were do­ing things in­cor­rectly. Be­cause if you’re go­ing to ask some­one to play, make sure they’re nom­i­nated, is the way I looked at it. “Maybe they didn’t as­sume any­one would have a prob­lem with it. Or maybe they as­sumed that most people would pick the spot­light no mat­ter what. But I’m just not that kind of guy. And the fact that I had been there be­fore and won some, you don’t need me to go up.” The St. Catharines, Ont., na­tive is a two-time Juno Award win­ner for his solo work as City and Colour and he claimed an additional tro­phy for his long run with post-hard­core out­fit Alex­ison­fire. In re­cent years, he was prac­ti­cally as re­li­able a fix­ture at Junos as that sleek crys­tal stat­uette. Had he trekked to Win­nipeg af­ter all, it would have been Green’s fourth per­for­mance of the past seven tele­casts. His Juno-el­i­gi­ble record­ing, The Hurry and the Harm, mean­while, was one of the year’s best­selling Cana­dian al­bums, top­ping the chart en route to plat­inum sales. “Part of me felt like they were just ask­ing me to play be­cause maybe I would help with rat­ings, which I’m also not will­ing to be a part of,” Green said. “Ob­vi­ously they wanted me to be a part of it — they knew that I’d done it be­fore and we’re pretty easy to deal with, so maybe they wanted one less ego­ma­niac or some­thing, I don’t know. “But yeah, if they come call­ing again, like I said, I hope in the fu­ture now they’ll fig­ure out who’s nom­i­nated first and fig­ure who they’d like to per­form on the show.” And, Green points out, it’s not as though his Win­nipeg fans are left to lament his in­def­i­nite ab­sence. He’ll be back at the MTS Cen­tre tonight on what is his first head­lin­ing arena jaunt across eight prov­inces. With four (plat­inum-cer­ti­fied) al­bums from which to draw, Green says his show has inched up to about two hours. He doesn’t fore­see any fur­ther sprawl. “First of all, I wouldn’t want to play for more than two hours, and I don’t nec­es­sar­ily think any­one would want to watch me play for more than two hours,” he said. Grad­u­ally, his shows with City and Colour have be­come louder and more dy­namic. The same is true of his records, of course; a ca­reer that started with the gen­tle acous­tic folk of the hastily recorded Some­times has pro­gres­sively broad­ened in sonic scope. Green has writ­ten “eight or nine” new songs that sit in var­i­ous states of pol­ish. Al­though he isn’t yet putting them in the con­text of a new al­bum, he says his cur­rent tour­ing band — which in­cludes bassist Jack Lawrence of the Dead Weather and Racon­teurs and for­mer Con­stan­tines drum­mer Doug MacGre­gor — has pro­vided in­spi­ra­tion. He sounds in­tent on in­volv­ing his band­mates more in the song­writ­ing process this time. And if that re­sults in an even more dy­namic record that nudges City and Colour even far­ther from its folk roots, so be it. “My fan­base has been very will­ing to evolve with me,” Green said. “And I think the evo­lu­tion of my sound has also opened the au­di­ence up. “I think that more people have got­ten into it be­cause of the evo­lu­tion of the record — in­stead of me moan­ing for six min­utes with an acous­tic gui­tar.”

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