Photo Credit: Brad Ardley
Packing a bag and leaving the day to day behind. It’s a dream a handful of people make reality every year, but only a select few of those are doing it to make a living with a guitar in hand like Rob Moir. With hundreds of shows to his name, Rob Moir isn’t just living the dream of many who spend their days cooped up in an office, but also finding himself out on the road. We talked about how the numerous shows helped build him up from the inside, as well as his latest single, “Sometimes You Gotta Go,” and more.
Kendra: First off, are you tired all the time? I can’t imagine doing something like traveling and touring some 200 days a year. Seriously though, with that many tour dates – do you have a system down packed of what to bring, how to get the right flights, etc.?
Rob Moir: I’d say I feel a healthy tired. I think I’ve gotten the system down pretty flying to Europe every other month, it’s always a rough entry but it’s so nice to play for audiences there. The hospitality is amazing and even the small concerts have such a great atmosphere to them. So it’s worth the nonstop jet lag!
My packing system is truly something to marvel. All my personal clothes fit in a small backpack even in the winter months, I can’t understand why some travelers need those tent style backpacks.
Kendra: You’ve noted how you found your confidence on the road. Was it after a particular show or was it a culmination of a certain string of dates?
Rob Moir: For me, it was important to get as much stage time as possible. Realizing how to make my show work with sometimes limited sound gear or even with no sound gear at times. After a few hundred shows as a performer, you start to understand how to play to a wide selection of audiences and you learn these tricks that stay with your performances forever. I’d say I might feel more capable than confident if that makes sense.
Kendra: Where were you both physically and mentally when you wrote “Sometimes You Gotta Go?”
Rob Moir: I was in Melbourne, Australia and I had just finished a long year of touring. I was totally exhausted. At the same time, I couldn’t deny the spirit and excitement of what I was doing. To travel and see so much of the world singing your own songs and entertaining audiences with your experiences just never gets old to me, that song came from realizing how many others I meet along the way want to do their own version of what I do.
Kendra: This is your first solo-solo effort. Other than being completely on your own, how do you feel your music now compares to your past, Adventure Handbook in particular?
Rob Moir: Those two albums are kind of night and day. With Adventure Handbook I really wanted a big explosive sound. Hoping at some point to start bringing a band on the road to backup my project. Where with SR, I realized how many of my supporters like the version of just myself and guitar. Since 99% of the concerts are solo, it gave me a challenge to write almost a whole record where my voice was the loudest thing you’d hear and the music was super minimal. This is definitely not something as a songwriter I could do on my first record.
Kendra: You’ve toured with the likes of Frank Turner in the past, which made 100% sense to me. You fall into that edgy folk scene that takes the typical singer-songwriter and runs them through a punk filter of sorts. Did you grow up with an eclectic album collection that caused you to genre blend?
Rob Moir: Absolutely. I always loved Northern California punk rock, which was a lot more melodic and power-pop driven than the harder stuff. Music for me has always been a genre-bending journey. When I was 12 I loved rap music. At 14 I loved Nirvana and Green Day. Then in my 20’s I really got into Radiohead but also alt-country and more singer-songwriter stuff like Wilco. Today I love when any of those genres can bend like Sturgill Simpson or Phoebe Bridgers.
Kendra: Other than music, you’re a fan of comedy. Seeing that John Mayer and Dave Chappelle are known to play together, what comedian would you love to share the stage with?
Rob Moir: Backing up Sarah Tiana doing roast battle, or Bill Burr playing drums.
Kendra: I’m sure there are a ton of dates in the works already, but what’s to come for you when we roll into 2019?
Rob Moir: Yes! I start with some Western Canada dates in January, followed by dates in France, Netherlands and French Switzerland in February. March sees me back in Germany and the German part of Switzerland. May and June I’ll be touring Italy, Austria and possibly the UK. The summer should be mostly in Toronto aside from possibly a few festivals on both shores. The fall will see me touring Ontario and Quebec again as well as a late fall tour back to Germany.