Minto enjoying magnificent first tour


It helps for band members to be from all over Canada, especially when embarking on their first cross Canada tour.
Vancouver based rock band  Minto, who play Henotic, Nov. 6, are enjoying  it so far.
“We’ve had really good shows and we’ve played with a lot of really great people. And we’ve sold a lot of merch. We’ve had to order more,” said Fredericton born Minto lead singer Ryan Hoben, adding there has also been a few mishaps along the way.Minto
“Our guitar player almost died in a four wheeling accident in Morden, Manitoba. He flipped his quad over,” Hoben added, noting the guitarist, Kalvin Olafson is fine now. They were staying at Olafson’s parents’ farm for Thanksgiving.
“So we got the full fresh farm Thanksgiving experience,” he said.
Minto brings an interesting combination of country, rock, pop and folk which is reminiscent of Tom Petty and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
 They started out as straight folk combo, but their sound has evolved to be a little more Neil Young and Crazy Horse style heavier.
They recorded  their new CD (“Lay It On Me”), their first as Minto,  in Chicago with producer Steve Albini who has worked with the likes of Cheap Trick,  Nirvana and the Pixies.

“It was a little un-nerving on the first day, but he’s such a cool cat. He lives in his studio. It was the best experience of our lives. But he hates being called a producer, he’s an engineer,” Hoben enthused adding the band got a chance to check out Chicago  as well.
“It was awesome, we lived and breathed  in his studio in Chicago for two weeks. He’s got students working for him so they were bringing us coffee. It was the best experience of our lives,” he continued adding the new CD shows the next step in the band’s musical evolution.
“We started off as an outlaw country band and that seemed to work, but we’ve just started  getting progressively heavier,” he said adding the tour is going well. “Some shows have had huge turnouts and have been completely wild, other ones we have just been playing  for the staff. So far Saskatoon has been the best.  We had a huge turnout and It was completely wild. We had 300 people. It was just really fun,” he said adding they are enjoying the experience of driving across Canada.

“We’ve been playing a lot of 20 questions in the van,” he said adding when the band isn’t on the road, they have a variety of day jobs.The band includes writers, actors, film makers  and bartenders. Kalvin is the actor  while Hoben works for the Vancouver Rowing Club.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor