Photo: Wayne Hoecherl

Founded in 1987, Canadian rock icons Odds have been fixtures of the music scene since the early nineties, with their major label debut album, Neopolitan. They’ve just released “Crash The Time Machine”, their first new single in quite some time, and the title track of an album set for release on August 4th. We caught up with frontman Craig Northey once again, this time to chat about the new single, some of the weirdest and most memorable live shows he’s played, and what fans can expect from the new album.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Crash The Time Machine”.

Craig Northey: Well…It’s the title track from the upcoming album, so I suppose it encapsulates something about how we were feeling. This rock ‘n’ roll song is as immediate as we could get. I think recordings are a snapshot of a point in time. Where would you go in your time machine? We chose right now.

From The Strait: What can fans expect from the upcoming album of the same name?

Craig Northey: I think the people that have followed along with who we are and how we sound will be excited. This album has all the feels that we create naturally as a band…the stuff we can’t avoid doing because it’s our joy. It also goes new places and explores new musical territory, which to us is what a new album should be. 

From The Strait: It’s been nearly ten years since your last release – what brought on the new music after a decade away? (From a fan’s perspective, I’m damn glad for the new songs.)

Craig Northey:  I guess we just keep moving. All of us are doing multiple things in music and collaborating with others so we don’t really notice how long it’s been until you tell us. We never feel like it’s “a decade away” from anything. We’re just living our musical lives so to us it feels like we are always here. These songs grew into themselves over about asix year span I guess. Pieces of one became pieces of another. A global pandemic came along and we had time to cobble all those sweet pieces together.

From The Strait: If you had to take a deep dive into Odds discography, which song are you fondest, or most proud of?

Craig Northey: I don’t often do that deep dive. Some songs stick around with me that maybe listeners don’t focus on over time. I am a different person than I was 36 years ago but there are parts of me that don’t change. I guess some songs carry that part that doesn’t change and I still like them and can sing and embody them more easily. The dark horse tunes that work like this might be…and my mind skips to these… “The Last Drink”, “Suppertime”, “I Feel Like This All the Time”, “Anything You Want”, “He Thinks He Owns
You”. Not all of those get played live much. I like playing the songs everyone knows too…smiles are good fuel for rock ‘n’ roll. I’m proud of a lot of it but the farther back I go the more I might wince at a few things.

From The Strait: Of all the live shows you’ve played in your career, what shows stand out as the most memorable, or even weirdest, if that’s easier?

Craig Northey: You’re talking shows in the thousands now with a number of different artists in unique scenarios. I guess the easiest way to answer would be some of the “firsts”. I’m just going to riff here. First gig as Odds at the Savoy in Vancouver November 25, 1987. That was explosive and joyful. The first shows in front of massive outdoor crowds — Canada Day with The Tragically Hip in Barrie for 60,000 plus in 1993(?). Playing all Canada’s big hockey barns with The Tragically Hip and Change of Heart in 1995.
The weirdest big one of that era was “Edenfest” at Mosport Raceway for “reportedly” 100,000 people in 1996. We were sandwiched between Porno for Pyros and Love and Rockets and ironically the whole event ended in flames and explosions. Another is the whole tour we did as Warren Zevon’s band in 1991/1992, was a coming of age for us and seems more surreal all the time.

A lot of firsts… Strippers Union at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010, not our first show but maybe our most exciting. Touring the Northey Valenzuela record as an acoustic duo and opening for Sponge in Passaic New Jersey at The Capitol Theater. We walked onstage carrying our 24 of beer so nobody could steal any…then we had to get that crowd on our side. Madrid in 2005 with Colin James Band…the crowd arm in arm singing a song to us to get themselves an encore. That was new. Murray’s first show with Odds on the lido deck of a huge boat sailing at night across the Caribbean on Barenaked Ladies first Ships & Dip concert cruise. A lot of new bound up in one. The Steven Page Trio residency at the Café Carlyle New York City in 2016, it was a weird and wonderful context and the beginnings of a band being born.

From The Strait: Last but not least, a question I’m sure will be on the minds of many music lovers – will there be an Odds tour to go along with the new album?

Craig Northey: Touring as a thing has changed a lot in the last few years. We approach it in the “several small meals” way. It’s healthier for us than binge eating. OF COURSE we will be playing live. We love each other and we love playing together and we’ve always loved sharing that feeling. Why would we miss out on the “new firsts” (see last question).


Check out “Crash The Time Machine”, the latest single from Odds!

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