Few musicians are as honest, hard-working and forthright as local folkster, Charlie Weber. Whether he is playing solo or with a band, Weber’s depth and stage presence is always impressive.
LondonFuse was able to hit up Weber with an email QnA while he’s been out on the road. He’ll be back in town for a big show Sunday, June 3 at Rum Runners.
1 – What’s your summer schedule looking like?
Summer is always a mixed bag, it seems like you have no bookings and then you turn around and suddenly you’re booked up to the teeth.
The big show I’m working on right now is June 3 at Rum Runners where I’ll be opening for two of my musical heroes Dave Hause and Northcote. June 14 I have an afternoon gig at Masterpiece London from 12-2 p.m.
Heading to Ottawa at the end of June. I’m working on setting up something with a local brewery for July. What I really want to do is a bunch of house shows across South Western Ontario. So if any of your readers wanna host, hit me up on Facebook. I’m super easy to reach.
2 – Favourite place to play in London?
My all time favourite venue to play is the prestigious St. Regis Tavern. It’s dark, dirty and dingy, it feels like home to me. My friends and I have a running joke that If I was any bar personified it would be the St. Regis.
It holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first places I booked and played and actually got payed a decent amount. Plus the staff is always super nice.
3 – Favourite place to eat in London?
You can probably find me with a big ol’ bowl of Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen at Sakata on Queen and Clarence.
4 – What’s the worst thing to ever happen to you on stage?
Where do I start, between falling over, spilling beer on all your electronics, or having someone else’s songs called out to you. I’m gonna have to say the worst is having the battery in your guitar pickup go.
You never see it coming, no matter how long you have been playing.
5 – How do you keep busy when you’re not making music?
Working is really important, I find it helps with the creative process. Having to do something you hate to finance something you love is so inspiring, it also just gives you ambition to wake up in the morning, not the afternoon.
Other than that I’m a huge fan of watching television and table top RPGs.
6 – What is the most important lesson about performing you have learned so far?
I think the best thing you can learn about performing is what they teach you the first day of grade nine drama class. Always say yes, and by that I mean roll with the punches.
Read your audience, because it’s a service industry when it comes down to it, and if they aren’t happy you won’t be either.
7 – How do you prepare for a show?
I used to do a lot.
I used to practice for hours on end, prepare a set list. But now it’s a lot more spontaneous at least when it comes to solo shows. I kind of make it up on the fly. It comes back to that rule of rolling with the punches.
BUT, when I do a full band show we do about 2-3 practices to get the timing down, because I love to change up the set list. Most of it comes down to me learning a new song frantically a few days before the set.
8 – If you could put any special demands in your performance rider, what would it be?
Well it depends on what they’re willing to give me, but honestly I’m pretty easy going – maybe just a case of beer and maybe a free meal. As long as I don’t have to spend money while I’m at work it’s been a good day.
BUT if I had my pick of anything, I’d see if they could procure a kiddie pool full of water and have a bunch of beers floating in it, you know just to sit in and drink and relax.
9 – How many places have you played so far? Most memorable?
All in right now I’m up over 130 shows as a solo artist, ranging from London to Halifax.
Playing my first full band show at Cowboys earlier this year was pretty memorable, or the time I unexpectedly played a gay bar in Halifax (I probably should have guessed from he bar name) or trying to play Sam Roberts covers to an anti-Sam Roberts audience in Montreal.
Or the time I opened for a punk band and neither of us had any equipment, the promoter didn’t show up, and we played with a mic duct-taped to the mic stand. I find the best memories are the small details that can go unnoticed in the grand scheme.
10 – Name three London acts Fusers should listen to right now.
Local: Mountain of Wolves, Strangeways and of course Averages
Global: Frank Turner, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Mastodon
Just to name a few.
11 – If you could be eating anything right now, what would it be?
I really want ramen now that I’ve mentioned it.
There’s something about how they made soup a meal… People have been trying and failing but Japan did it – they made soup a god-damned meal and it’s delicious. That or, I’m always down for a bagel with Cheez Whiz, and I’m not even ashamed of it.
Cheez Whiz is the spread of kings.
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