Wednesday, September 29, 2010

an extraordinary interview with joel plaskett

every journalist has a secret wishlist of people he wants to interview. joel plaskett has been on mine for ages and i've tried on and off for the last year to talk with him, but it's always fallen through. he's on tour in ireland, or working on an album, or otherwise unavailable.

last week, i finally got through to him for a quick e-interview for a metro halifax special on clayton park.

From suburbia to superstardom
Plaskett still fond of his teenage home

By Jon Tattrie
For Metro Halifax
Clayton Park produced Joel Plaskett, one of Canada's top rock stars. In honour of his current album, Three, Metro asked Plaskett three questions about the suburb.
What was your favourite Clayton Park hangout as a kid?
JP: "I liked hanging out at the Northcliffe Park with my friends. We'd go to the McDonald's at the Clayton Park shopping centre where our friend, who worked there, would give us free hamburgers through the drive-thru window."
How did its breed of suburbia influence your music?
JP: "It was as good a place to grow up as any, but I suppose being from the suburbs gave me a feeling of being outside of the city and the scene downtown. There were more places to disappear to back then, before all the development. I remember when the Canadian Tire mall was still woods and Bayer's Lake was just a box-store glimmer in some developer's greedy eye."
If Paul McCartney came back to Halifax, where in Clayton Park would you take him?
JP: "I'd probably see if that friend was still working at the McDonald's drive-thru and then see if some university student would buy us a bottle of Golden Glow from the Rockingham Ridge liquor commission."

"I suppose I've written about Clayton Park and my experiences growing up because I like the idea of immortalizing a fairly plain place filled with memories and interesting people." - Joel Plaskett

Sidebar: Joel Plaskett became Halifamous as the frontman for the 1990s band Thrush Hermit. A desktop signed by the group was displayed at Clayton Park Junior High years after the guys graduated. The band's second album, released in 1999, was called Clayton Park. The band broke up the same year and Plaskett went solo for a stint before hooking up with the Emergency. Plaskett alternates between solo and band albums. In 2009, he opened for Paul McCartney on the Halifax Common. He's not forgotten his Clayton Park roots, though. His 2007 album Ashtray Rock is named for a forest hang out in the area.
Photo credit: Photos By Ingram Barss
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