Kiefer Suther­land gets per­sonal dur­ing mu­sic tour

The Prince George Citizen - - A&e - Vic­to­ria AHEARN

TORONTO — When Kiefer Suther­land starts tour­ing Canada for his coun­try-rock al­bum Reck­less & Me this week, au­di­ences will see a vul­ner­a­ble side that he ad­mits took some get­ting used to shar­ing.

The Toronto-raised 24 and Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor star says the highlight for him on the tour, which hits Win­nipeg on Thurs­day af­ter per­for­mances in Europe and the U.S., has been con­nect­ing with fans in in­ti­mate venues by ex­plain­ing what he was go­ing through when writ­ing his songs.

But it also had the Golden Globe win­ner feel­ing ex­posed in a way he didn’t an­tic­i­pate in the be­gin­ning, he said, not­ing he’d pre­vi­ously been able to hide be­hind his onscreen char­ac­ters.

“I made the ter­ri­ble mis­cal­cu­la­tion that if I had 35 years of ex­pe­ri­ence on­stage and in front of the cam­era, that that would some­how help me in live per­for­mance mu­si­cally,” Suther­land, 52, said in a phone interview from a tour stop in Pitts­burgh.

“The ter­ri­ble mis­cal­cu­la­tion is that the songs are very per­sonal and I’m say­ing things that I nor­mally would never, ever have said in an interview, let alone to 500 strangers in a bar... It took 20 shows to get to a place where I felt re­ally com­fort­able about do­ing that.”

Among the per­sonal songs is the ti­tle track, which re­flects on both him­self and his days as a team roper on the rodeo cir­cuit in the 1990s.

“It was re­ally a won­der­ful time in my life, and one of the things that I re­ally en­joyed was pack­ing up from one rodeo, load­ing up your horses in the tack and just driv­ing through the night to the next one, and all the ex­cite­ment of what that next town might bring,” Suther­land re­called.

“So I started writ­ing a song about that, and this horse that I had, Reck­less. And be­fore I knew it, I couldn’t fig­ure out if I was writ­ing about the horse or if I was writ­ing about this part of my own per­son­al­ity that I’ve had to try to keep in check and can be a bit reck­less. So while I’m telling that story in the show, I say to the au­di­ence, ‘It’s up to you to de­cide.”’

The 10-song Reck­less & Me al­bum is the fol­lowup to Suther­land’s 2016 de­but al­bum, Down In A Hole.

His sig­na­ture raspy vo­cals and gui­tar play­ing are backed by four other band mem­bers on tour: gui­tar player Austin Vallejo, bass player Joseph De La O, drum­mer Jess Cal­caterra, and multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Phil Par­lapi­ano.

Tour stops have in­cluded Riga, Moscow and Helsinki, where Suther­land opened for Muse for sta­dium au­di­ences – a much big­ger show­case than his usual crowd of about 500 to 1,000.

The Cana­dian tour will also hit Saska­toon (July 6), Ed­mon­ton (July 7), Cal­gary (July 8), Kelowna, B.C. (July 9), Van­cou­ver (July 10), Ot­tawa (Au­gust 23) and Mon­treal (Au­gust 24).

The son of ac­tors Shirley Dou­glas and Don­ald Suther­land said he didn’t catch the mu­si­cal bug from his fam­ily but rather the vi­o­lin lessons his mother made him take when he was young.

He’s “acutely aware of the stigma of an ac­tor do­ing mu­sic” but has found au­di­ences drop their pre­con­ceived notions when they come to his shows.

“I think I’ve fi­nally got to a point in my life where, A: I’ve felt my songs had some­thing to say, and B: if some­one is go­ing to make fun of me for it, if I can’t take that at this point, then that’s on me,” said Suther­land, whose films in­clude Stand by Me, The Lost Boys and Flat­lin­ers.

“And yet the real­ity of what has hap­pened is very different than that. I felt like that when we started, and I think that maybe is a lit­tle more cyn­i­cal than it needed to be. The au­di­ences that we’ve had have been ex­traor­di­nary and incredibly gen­er­ous, not only with their time but their en­ergy.”

Suther­land said he’s ap­proach­ing his mu­sic ca­reer “one show at a time” with “no agenda” and no plans “to sell a bil­lion records” or play sta­di­ums.

He also has no plans to give up act­ing, he said, not­ing he jug­gles both his ca­reer onscreen and on­stage si­mul­ta­ne­ously. He even toured with his band dur­ing his days off from shoot­ing Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor in Toronto.

“I’m an ac­tor to the death, it’s the thing that I re­ally love,” Suther­land said.

“This is another way to tell the story and on a more per­sonal level, and I love play­ing with this band, so that’s why we keep do­ing it.

CP PHOTO

When Kiefer Suther­land, shown in a handout photo, starts tour­ing Canada for his coun­try-rock al­bum Reck­less & Me this week.

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