Singer-songwriter Donovan Woods has had a busy 2016: He released his fourth album and a companion EP, toured across the country several times, topped a few charts, made the Polaris Music Prize Long List and more. We managed to find a couple minutes to catch up with him ahead of his concert at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Friday, October 28.Donovan Woods performing at Massey Hall as special guest for Matt Andersen. (Photo: Jag Gundu for the Massey Hall archives)
Q: What’s stuck out for you this year?
A: I feel very lucky to show up and have people excited to listen and participate and have a good time. It just makes the whole thing a pleasure. I played so many awful gigs, including one open mic at the now-defunct Dufferin Mall Boston Pizza, and it’s starting to look like I may not have to play any Boston Pizzas again. That feels great.
Q: We’re about to watch you perform in a church. How will the surrounding affect your performance – and our experience of it?
A: I really like it in this church. I saw Hayden here and it was great. More importantly, I used to photocopy, fax and scan things at the Kinkos next door, when faxes were still a thing you had to do sometimes. So, at times, I’ll be thinking about that. Overall it feels like a very intimate space for fairly large group of people and that’ll feel really perfect.
Q: You’ve spent a lot of this year on the road. What’s the one thing people should know about touring that they might not?
A: You’ve heard it’s not glamorous, but it feels good to me. I really like hotels. I like seeing new towns. I like leaving places. Opening for Matt Andersen, I travelled on his bus and one thing I didn’t know was how much you literally just sleep in parking lots: The whole thing is mostly just sleeping in parking lots. But there’s a glamour in that too, if you look for it.
Q: What are five must-listen-to jams for you right now?
A: “Mr. Rodriguez,” Rayland Baxter; “Same Drugs,” Chance The Rapper; “All Time Low,” John Bellion; “You Want It Darker,” Leonard Cohen; and “Burn That Bridge,” Port Cities.
Q: What are the biggest misconceptionsw people have of you?
A: I’m happy that anyone has conceptions of me at all. Misconceptions are fine. You never REALLY know anyone anyway, right?
Q: What are you planning for the next 12 months?
A: It’s been long stretches between albums, so I’m trying to lock into a cycle that gets new music out more often. I hope to dive back into recording as soon as I can
Donovan Woods performs at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Friday, October 28 with special guest Joey Landreth.