by Laura Yorke
When Fraser McCallum asked Pat Deighan if his new band could open for the Orb Weavers, he wasn’t expecting a gig so soon. But Deighan’s response was, “How about next Friday?” and asked McCallum to send him a band name as soon as he could. And just like that, Racoon Bandit began their journey.
The band formed in the early winter of 2008. They have been busy recording and playing shows, recently playing an off-Island gig in Halifax. “It’s cool playing in a bar with faces we’ve never seen before,” said McCallum.
Their music has a very strong folk sound and draws influences from Bob Dylan and Fleet Foxes, while staying original as possible, said McCallum. “We’re all very aware of music that’s out there and music that’s been out there and we try not to sound like that.”
The band benefits from its talented members who have been playing on their own and in other bands for years. Lead guitarist Adam Gallant is a sound engineer and Roger Carter is a well-known figure in the music scene around Charlottetown.
McCallum said there’s a lot of support from other local bands and, right now especially, there seems to be a lot of talent coming out of Charlottetown. “There’s never been so many good bands.” Every band has room to grow, especially one as new as Racoon Bandit. “There’s a lot you can do with a band to make it the best it can be,” said McCallum.
They recently played an all-ages show, which turned out to be a lot different than playing in a bar. “It was a bit daunting,” said McCallum. “It was like going into a town with a bunch of people you didn’t know.”
Each time the band plays, it’s a learning experience, said Gallant. “We’ve played as though it’s our first show every time.” But playing lots of different venues has payed off. The band no longer has to hunt down gigs, they tend to just come to them.
Racoon Bandit are in the midst of recording an EP and plan to release it some time in July.