It’s been 15 years since Canadian rock band Econoline Crush released a studio album, but the band that peaked in the 1990s is going back on the road with their new album and a tour kicking off Saturday night at London Music Hall.
The two-time Juno nominees, formed in 1992 in Vancouver, have played shows intermittently in the 15-year hiatus since the release of their last album. But the release of their latest, When The Devil Drives, has singer Trevor Hurst – the lone remaining founding member – hoping the tour reignites the band's popularity.
“We're going to try and open up some other markets, you know, and take the thing worldwide,” Hurst said. “But it's a start, and it's where we're at right now. And I kind of love the scrappiness and the feel of it."
Hurst is optimistic and said he’s always thought of the band as being an underdog. He says that when the band’s 1998 hit Sparkle And Shine was released, it had detractors in the music industry but became a radio hit and reached No. 10 on Much Music’s Top 30 Countdown.
The band is also known for other hits such as You Don’t Know What It’s Like and All That You Are.
But the tour is bittersweet for Hurst, and there will be a noticeable absence on stage during the tour: Guitarist David “Ziggy” Sigmund, a band member since 1995, and close friend of Hurst, died unexpectedly in March 2022. Sigmund was "almost like a brother" to Hurst.
“There's this weird thing that comes around and acceptance, you know, in the stages of grief and then the celebration of his life,” Hurst said.
Now working full-time as a psychiatric nurse in Manitoba, Hurst said his friend's death served as motivation.
“This was a giant wake up call to the fact that I'm still here, I'm still able to do shows,” Hurst said. “I'm still able to create, I'm still able to have a voice for marginalized individuals and a voice for change, positive change."
Locked In Your Stone, a song on the band's new album, was written by Hurst as he worked through his grief. Sigmund contributed to three songs on the album, two in which he is credited as a co-writer.
“I can feel him when we play shows, and I just know he's with me, and I know that this stuff makes him happy, that we're playing shows,” Hurst said.
“I feel so grateful that I am allowed to still be an artist, and still create music. It’s just beyond my wildest dreams, and I just don't want to stop doing it. And I love it so much. And I love playing live shows so much."
Econoline Crush will share the London stage with Finger Eleven, another well-known Canadian rock band, and London-based rock band Hartlet, on Saturday evening. Their 13-show tour will be mostly in Ontario but also has stops in Quebec City and Winnipeg, before wrapping up in Langdon, Alberta on Nov. 21.
They arrive in London amid something of a wave of 1990s-era Canadian bands playing in the city. Wide Mouth Mason performs at Aeolian Hall on Nov. 1 and the Tea Party and I Mother Earth perform at London Music Hall on Nov. 3.
Who: Econoline Crush with Finger Eleven and Hartlet
When: Saturday Oct. 28, doors at 7 p.m.
Where: London Music Hall
Tickets: Start at $45, available online at www.econolinecrushmusic.com
Brian Williams, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press