Occupation: Musician, Promoter, king of paperwork at Targett Trucking
Bio: Born and raised in Corner Brook, Neil took up the drums in junior high and gave electric guitar a shot before settling on the bass, which he has played with Corner Brook indie bands like Kuroda, Korgsican Brothers and Starred Opposite. He completed a humanities degree at Grenfell, started promoting shows at a club called 709 when playing with Kuroda, and is now to the go-to guy for playing in Corner Brook. Most of the time, it’s that Corner Brook show that makes it financially feasible for a band to come from the mainland and play in St. John’s. Neil’s house usually ends up being the crash pad for many musicians playing shows in Corner Brook.
I hear you have a huge vinyl collection. Any gems you’re particularly proud of?: “I have probably a couple thousand records of all different genres. As for gems, I found copies of this early electronic album called Silver Apples of the Moon by Morton Subotnick, along with albums by Moondog and The Fugs, at a Church sale here in Corner Brook… that was an unexpected find!”
Have there been any particularly unruly houseguests that you’d like to embarrass in this column?: Unfortunately, no. “My friend Mark was living with us for a while and he came home late one night, when a band was staying here, to find a naked guy lying on his bed. Thats about as crazy as it gets.”
Are you excited about the ECMAs being held in Corner Brook next year?: “Most definitely. It’s an opportunity for a lot of musicians, who would probably never otherwise consider it, to play here and to see how beautiful it is, and perhaps include Newfoundland in their future tours. It’s very expensive for bands to travel here, obviously, but bands always do better and better each time they return.”
Favorite Corner Brook show: “Halloween 2004: C’mon and Kuroda along with two bands from Vancouver, Black Rice and Blood Meridian. The show was at 709, which only held around 100 people, so it was insanely packed. Everyone was in costume and having a great time.”
— Sarah Smellie