Partying in Calgary with The Tea Party

For the first time in six years Calgarians will be able to experience a true Tea Party. Not the frilly dress kind and definitely not the right wing political kind, just a lot of rock and roll.

After disbanding in late 2005 due to personal problems, the trio reunited this summer for a series of shows in Ontario and Quebec. Now, they’re back on the road for six West Coast dates.

And the timing couldn’t be better as the band received a lot of press lately when businessweek.com reported that the the band stands to make more than US$1,000,000 by selling the domain name teaparty.com to bidders interested in the US political party.

Avenue sat down with bassist/keyboardist Stuart Chatwood to talk about the tour and what a new Tea Party album would sound like.

Why did you decide to do this fall tour?

After doing some really successful shows around Ontario and Quebec this summer, we wanted to finish our tour of the whole country. People were missing us out west and had even started a Facebook page to get us out there.

What’s it like being back together?

We’ve let the music do the talking. We’ve never been the best of communicators to begin with. I don’t think we’ve ever been tighter and we’re enjoying it more. We’re not as self-conscious about playing at all. Before we used to walk on stage and put up a front like, “I don’t care what people think of us” when deep down you’re like, “oh, maybe I do.” Now we really don’t care what people think of us. We’re just going to get out there and do what we do.

Does this mean there will be new music in the future?

We’re artists by nature and recording records is what we do, so I’m sure at some point in the future we’ll be recording together again. In the meantime we’re just getting to know each other again and there are some fences to mend.

What would a new album sound like?

I think we have such a rich catalogue it’s going to influence us, definitely. So it’s going to sound like an evolution and amalgamation of what we’ve done prior.

There’s been a lot of international press about teaparty.com. Has it affected the band and your decision to tour and record?

The press has been great and it’s made people more aware of the band but it didn’t play into the decision to tour. We were going to play shows regardless of this unexpected interest in the band.

Is the band going to sell teaparty.com?

The name is so valuable to someone else that we are considering it. We rely on Facebook to keep people informed nowadays, so the website has become less prominent.

Is there a difference in your Western fan base and fans in Ontario or Quebec?

Not really. I will say the fans in Alberta are similar to the fans in Quebec, as in they come to shows to have a great experience. In Ontario, the audiences can be more reserved.

What is your favourite thing to do in Alberta?

We haven’t been back for a little while so I’d still say Whyte Ave in Edmonton is always good and Calgary is now home to some world-class restaurants.

What’s next for the band?

More dates. Our agent in London, UK has discussed playing European festivals next summer and hitting Australia in the spring.  As far as Alberta plays into it, we’d love to come visit for Stampede or a summer festival.

Check out The Tea Party at the Edmonton Event Centre on November 18 and in Calgary at Flames Central on November 19. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca.

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