Photo: Aaron Wynia
Photo: Aaron Wynia

Five Questions With… Noah Reid

Toronto’s Noah Reid has become well known for playing Patrick, the levelheaded better half of Dan Levy’s flamboyant David Rose on Schitt’s Creek. But the show’s devoted international fan base is about to be reminded that Reid is also an accomplished singer-songwriter as he gears up to release his second album, Gemini, this May. The first single, Honesty, is available now on all digital platforms.

The brightly folk-rocking track was produced (like the rest of Gemini) by Matthew Barber, and conveys the feeling of rebirth and energy that comes when a new romantic relationship blossoms. From a musical perspective, it stays true to Reid’s easy-going on-screen personality, displaying his fondness for the great singer-songwriters of the 1970s like Jackson Browne and James Taylor.

Reid’s musical ability was first recognized in 2015 when he was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Song in the feature film People Hold On. But Schitt’s Creek audiences got a full taste a couple of years later when the episode “Open Mic” featured Reid performing a solo acoustic version of Tina Turner’s The Best. It was later released as a single that hit #3 on the iTunes Canada charts and brought attention to his 2016 debut solo album Songs From A Broken Chair.

With Schitt’s Creek now wrapped up, Reid is focusing on music for the immediate future, with his “First Time Out” North American tour now underway. We caught up with Reid just before he hit the road, and to get further info on his itinerary, head over to noahreid.com.

Congrats on your upcoming new album Gemini. What sets it apart from your previous work?

Thank you! I think the main thing about this record was that we took more time to let the record come together in the studio. On my first album Songs From A Broken Chair, we spent two days in the studio and did everything live off the floor, and those songs just kind of fell off the truck that way, with very little rehearsal and only a few takes each. In my head it started out as more of an archival recording, but turned into an actual record. With Gemini, we took two weeks, recorded 17 songs, 12 of which made the cut, and just spent more time finessing arrangements and parts. That approach just allowed the sound to grow I think. It allowed the scope of the record to open up a bit.

What songs on the record are you most proud of and why?

I’m proud of all of them in different ways. I’m not a parent, but I think it’s kind of like having 12 kids, you know, they all have their own identities and individual strengths. When we were mixing the record, I’d go through one-day periods where one song would be my favourite that day, and then the next day it was another one, probably all based on some small moment we were working on. But I’m proud of them all. Proud and ashamed—I’m a Gemini.

You worked with Matthew Barber again on this record. How did that collaboration come about?

Matt’s been a friend of mine for many years, and I’ve always admired his songwriting, his voice and his musicianship. When I was interested in making Songs From A Broken Chair, I asked him if I could take him out for a beer and pick his brain about how to go about trying to make a record, and that conversation sort of blossomed into him offering to produce. His experience and craftsmanship really took it to a level I wouldn’t have been able to access without him, and we had a great time making it. Not only did he produce the record, but he played drums on it and mixed every song. When it was time to make another record, there was nobody else I wanted to work with. I just love the way he hears it.

Obviously, Schitt's Creek has raised your profile significantly. Now that it's wrapped up, what's your perspective now on the experience, and what do you hope the show's legacy will be?

Schitt’s Creek has been a really beautiful chapter in my life. From getting to know some truly incredible people, to getting to work on a show that contributes so positively to so many peoples lives, to the countless live shows and award shows we’ve been to, it’s been truly the craziest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’m hoping it continues to have the kind of impact it’s already had on so many people, and represent a more hopeful, loving, accepting, hilarious way of living.

What's your best touring story?

Well I’ve just started touring, and with five shows under my belt it’s hard to come up with anything too crazy. It still feels wild just to be playing for rooms full of people who want to hear my music. I’ll get back to you this when I’m a hardened road veteran. For now, I’m just soakin’ it up on my first time out!

PR: Cortney Harkin / baselineMUSIC

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