Here is the complete text from our interview with Eddy Quinn. A shortened version appeared in our newsletter.
TB: It’s been twelve years now since the first Fiddlers’ Sons CD, “Beaches of Home”. How has your approach to singing and song writing changed since that time?
EQ: In the beginning, I really wasn’t song writing at all. It’s about the time that we put out Eagles Fly that I had my first burst of song writing. I can only hope that I’ve grown a bit musically over those 12 years and certainly gained a whole lot more life experience in the past decade. The things that are important to me now, the topics that I like to write about, are a little different than they would have been back then.
TB: There is a new Fiddlers Sons CD out this year. Particularly during the summer, you have a non-stop series of shows, both with Fiddlers Sons and with Old Habits. But you pretty much limit your appearances to PEI. Is there a desire to take that work ethic on the road?
EQ: Well, I always say they keep telling me not to quit my day job, so I haven’t yet. Now that might sound like criticism to most people, but I consider that sound financial advice. The reality is that I work a daytime job, as does John Webster. Garth Matthews just retired, and Courtney Hogan is in UPEI. So we don’t really have the aspirations to go off Island and go for broke to make the music business a full time activity. We enjoy, and are successful, at what we do. We have a comfortable life here on PEI, one of the best places in the world to live, and we get to play our music in the evenings. We have that creative outlet, and get to write some songs, and I suspect we’ll continue that for years to come.
TB: What were the early musical influences for Eddy Quinn, and what else do you listen to today?
EQ: Earliest influences were fiddle music – my dad plays fiddle. Growing up in my house, I heard everything from Elvis to show tunes. My oldest sister is a piano player, and teaches piano, so she was very much into classical music. My teenage years, I listened to a lot of country music, and my first job in music was in a country band called the Urban Outlaws. From there, I’ve been influences a lot by the musicians I’ve played with on stage, by their music and the music they listen to. I listen to a wide variety of music, a lot of singer-songwriters and a lot of East Coast music, because they sing about things that are close to home. Right now, in the CD player, I’ve got JP Cormier’s CD “The Message”.
TB: How do you see the state of the music industry on PEI, and what can be done to help local and independent musicians?
EQ: There is a lot being done in that area. There is lots of young talent coming up, and Music PEI has done a lot to prepare those artists for export – help with their live shows, CDs, tours, and bringing in buyers to get more exposure for these artists. This is an opportunity they wouldn’t have without an organization such as Music PEI. I think that the arts industry on PEI could be a very lucrative export with the right support, and we’re going in the right direction.
TB: Do you have any advice you would pass on to new or young musicians?
EQ: Work hard on your instrument. Make sure that when you do get the opportunities that you are well prepared. Practice. Play the kind of music that you really care about, because if you are trying to sell someone on it, they are seeing through you right away. Music fans are a pretty savvy bunch, and they are not going to let anyone pull the wool over their eyes. You have to do what’s in your heart. From my experience when you do that, that’s when you will have success. People will like what you’re doing when you’re sincere. That’s half the battle right there. Beyond that, my advice would be, the same as any music teacher would pass on to their students, and that’s practice, practice, practice. Make sure that you’re prepared.
TB: What is next for Eddy Quinn and Fiddlers Sons?
EQ: I do have a couple of projects in the back of my mind. Since country music was my first love, and I’m probably best when I’m singing country music, there is probably a country album in the works for me at some point when I get the time. There is another project I have in the back of my mind for Fiddlers Sons. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag right yet, but I have a project that will require a little bit of research and some song writing, but I’ll keep you posted on that one.
TB: Any time frame on this next Fiddlers Sons project?
EQ: I hope to have a new project this spring, but it will depend on how the creativity flows. I’m not the sort of fellow that can sit down this morning and say I’m going to write two songs. I write them as the inspiration comes, so I’ll have to see how the song writing goes.
TB: Eddy Quinn, thank you for your time.