Creighton Doane | interview

Earlier this year Shipwreck Island Studios was lucky enough to score a interview with Harem Scarem guitarist Pete Lesperance and get the low down on his debut solo album: Down In It. Pete wasn't the only member of Harem Scarem to put out a solo album this year as drummer Creighton Doane has just released his sophomore album: Learning More & More About Less & Less. The album is chalked full of outstanding musicianship and some of the catchiest hooks that gives the songwriting team of Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance a run for their money.

Harem Scarem are currently working on their latest studio album, one that the band has promised to rock hard and continue with the distinctive vibe that the group is known for. Aside from being the back beat of Harem Scarem Creighton has an impressive track record writing, producing, and performing with such artists as Maureen Leeson, John Boswell, Amy Nodwell, Easily Amused, and Canadian Idol: Billy Klippert.

After listening to his latest release we decided to track Creighton down to get his thoughts on Learning More & More About Less & Less, how the new Harem Scarem album is coming along, and songwriting and producing... Here is what was on Creighton's mind...

First off congratulations on the release of your new solo album – Learning More & More About Less & Less, it is truly an amazing album - a power pop tour de force just full of great hooks. What is your initial reaction to the finish product and what has been the reaction for the album been overall from others?
Creighton: I'm really happy with record. I'm amazed and flattered that people seem to like it. I'm getting excellent feed back.

I know that when I listen to the album I find myself going back to Dummy, Ugly Bug, and Unexplained to name a few but all in all the whole disc is great. Are there any particular songs on this release that stand out more and that you are proud of?
Creighton: Unexplained is the most self indulgent track. Lyrically and musically it's very personal so that makes it a favorite of mine. It surprises me when others dig it. Losers is another fav. It's my life theme. I don't consider any of the songs throw away but some are just about the fun factor (CU Next Tuesday, Give It Up etc..)

It seems you come from a very musical family; your sister Melanie has a successful career on her own. Which leads me to the next question how were you influenced growing up? Were there any key factors that made music a career choice?
Creighton: In my house everyone played and sang. That was a fact of life. My parents are musicians and music teachers so the career choice for all the Doane kids was no surprise.

Not only is Creighton Doane a successful musician but you're also an accomplished songwriter and producer working with such musicians as Maureen Leeson and John Boswell to name a couple. When Pete (Lesperance) did an interview with us, earlier in the year, he said that artist development has become a big part of what we do on a daily basis. I have heard some of both John's and Maureen's material and it's really good so another question is what do you (and Harry and Pete) try to bring to the table when helping develop an up and coming artist?
Creighton: It's the same when making any music. Make the music great and make the artist the best they can be. How one does that depends on the project. Production, songs and good coffee.

Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance are two of the greatest musicians/songwriters I have heard in quite a while. I got into Harem Scarem a couple years ago and enjoy all the music they have made over the years. So what is like working with two musicians of this caliber?
Creighton: It's always a pleasure to work with Harry and Pete.

If you could describe them in one sentence what would you say?
Harry: Ribs and diet coke
Pete: no pets

Harem Scarem is currently working on a new studio album. Both Harry and Pete have promised a harder sounding melodic album with it being a bit heavier than 2002's Weight Of The World. Pete recently posted on his website that you are getting ready to enter the studio to cut the drums for the album. So how is the general recording of the album going? Could you clue us in a bit more on what this album will have in store for Harem Scarem fans?
Creighton: We just finished recording drums the other day and it went great. The record is going to be heavy.

Which is your favorite Harem Scarem album? You've recorded a couple albums with them under the Scarem moniker but you guys are such a diverse band. Is there any album in their back catalogue (original lineup or Harry/Pete/Darren/Barry lineup) that you like? It is kind of a tough question but here is another - Which do you prefer: Weight Of The World or Higher?
Creighton: Both have cool things about them. I'm a Mood Swings fan and I really like the Live at the Gods. Live records usually suck. Sure we we're tired, yeah it was the first show of a tour but the record turned out to be a really awesome moment in time.

Ok now going back to Learning More & More About Less & Less, I see you wrote all the songs on the album by yourself. So do you prefer to write by yourself or collaborate with others? I see that Harry and Pete (as well as your sister and a whole slue of other amazing musicians) perform on it but is it more challenging to write an entire album alone?
Creighton: I like writing period. I do a lot of co-writing, so when I decided to write another solo record it came together pretty fast. Writing alone is really freeing and after several years of making songs work for other artists it was extremely therapeutic to just do my thing.

How long did it take to write your new album? Your last release, Gladly The Cross-Eyed Bear, was released in 1998 so that is a good 6 years between albums so I'm guessing that with that much time between albums gave you the time to write but being busy with Harem Scarem, being a producer/songwriter etc. also ties in to that. Hopefully fans don't have to wait another 6 years for a new Creighton Doane solo album (HaHa)… Your thoughts?
Creighton: I wrote the songs in about a month and a half. Bullseye Canada became involved and then I was on their schedule for the recording, completion and release. It was over a year in the making. When I recorded "Gladly" I was thinking about doing music as a solo performer. With "Learning" I've figured out that I really enjoy making my own music in addition to my other musical exploits. The pressure is off to make this the sole focus of my career but I am currently writing more solo material.

On this new solo disc you do: Vocals, drums, bass, guitars & keyboards. Is there anything Creighton Doane can't do?
Creighton: I'm stupid enough to try anything but thank God for all the great musicians on this CD.

So what is next for Creighton Doane? With the release of Learning More & More About Less & Less and a new Harem Scarem album on the way in 2005 is there any other projects your working on with other musicians/bands that we should look forward to?
Creighton: There are always irons in the fire.

Looking at your career in music what is the most enjoyable part of all this, for you?
Creighton: There are countless highlights but the most enjoyable part of my career is just getting up everyday and making music. I've got the best job.

Lastly thank you Creighton for taking the time to stop by and answering our questions any final words to our readers and your fans?
Creighton: You're very welcome. I would like to thank all the amazing Harem Scarem fans for their loyal support and wish everyone a peaceful holiday season and a happy new year.

Interview by Jere
Originally posted at Shipwreck Island Studios