Q&A with Made Them Lions: Road Gold, Long Drives and Weird Tour Stories
Montreal's Made Them Lions are a band on the rise. From sharing the stage with the likes of Hedley and Our Lady Peace to their single "Red Cups" taking over a spot on the Top 5 of the Top Anglo Radio Chart in Quebec, the band was proud to add a Road Gold certification to their growing list of accomplishments.
Road Gold is awarded to Canadian artists who have achieved a high-level of success on Canadian tours through the past twelve months. Recognizing how difficult it is to ‘make it’ on the road as a touring band in this country, Road Gold provides a new metric for success that paints a more complete picture of an artists’ career, dedication and drive. You can find more information about Road Gold at the end of this page.
Made Them Lions is Mike Valletta (vocals/guitar), Matthew Gillis (guitar/keys), Jeff Cohen (guitar/vocals), Jono Thorpe (bass/vocals/keys) and Stu Asprey (drums/vocals). The band released their second full length album, Made Them Lions, in August 2014 on JNJ Production/Select Distribution, featuring singles like "Tidal Wave" and "Crazy". You can pick up your copy of the album on iTunes by clicking here.
After receiving their framed Road Gold certification and performing at CIMA's Annual General Meeting in September, the band headed right back out onto the road for more tour dates in Fredericton, Charlottetown, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax, Laval and Ottawa. In between tour dates, the band took the time to answer a couple of questions about Road Gold, what it means to be recognized for touring success and shared some strange tour stories.
What was your initial reaction to finding out you were going to be Road Gold-certified?
We felt extremely proud and a little shocked to be honest. We didn’t know what to expect when we first applied, we’re just really happy it turned out the way it did.
What does the possibility of being recognized for the hard work you’re putting in on the road mean to you, personally?
It brings a sense of self worth and pride to be publicly recognized. Often times it feels like nobody will ever know how much work is being put in behind the scenes, and the Road Gold award sheds some light on what we do besides making music. It’s really gratifying, to say the least.
What’s the weirdest tour story you can share with us?
Our drummer Stu waking up in a random white and blue skirt in Kamloops BC, after a long night of camping in the mountains with “Mr. Kraken” (spiced rum).
What’s the longest you’ve driven on tour without stopping?
19 hours straight from Golden BC to Winnipeg Manitoba.
Strangest place(s) you’ve found yourselves staying the night on the road?
Sleeping in our van in a public parking lot in downtown Toronto, next to an on duty police officer taking a nap in his cop car.
What’s the biggest misconception your friends and family have about tour life?
That we have a nice van.
Any golden rules of advice for young bands who are just getting started in the biz and on the road?
Start touring as soon as you can!
For more information about Made Them Lions:
Launched in the summer of 2015, Road Gold is a new certification program that establishes an important industry standard for success that includes a band's or artist's accomplishments in Canadian touring.
The Road Gold certification is awarded by CIMA through an online application process. To learn more about Road Gold please click here.