Hey Rosetta! is a Canadian indie rock band from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. When we interviewed Tim Baker about his nightmare gig it became clear that he has never really had a nightmare gig. He’s been touring and playing with the band for a decade and nothing that bad has happened. Really. The worst thing that has happened to this band involves the NHL (they are Canadian and I apologize for stereotyping Canadian bands), Las Vegas and a large paycheck. Good for him. See Hey Rosetta! tonight at DC9. -ed.
What’s your nightmare gig? What is the worst show Hey Rosetta! has ever taken part?
Okay. Oh wow alright. It’s funny that you use that term because I know that, certainly I do, that basically everybody following musicians I know have like this nightmare of the up shows. Like actual nightmares. Where you wake up in the middle of the night, and you were on stage and for some reason you were doing all of a sudden your band is like covering something you don’t know on stage. Like when did I agree to do an all Smiths covers night? I don’t know any of these songs you know, and then you’re there and everyone is looking at you, and then you wake up. And it happens all over again. But there have been a few times I suppose in real life that that has actually occurred. Very few things, but like as a band we’re fairly, we try to be prepared. We really care about what we do. But let me think, I mean yeah there was a show in Toronto a few years ago which was one of the worst shows we’ve played. You know I can’t really put my finger on why. We hadn’t rehearsed in awhile I know that. And you know that was a long time ago, we didn’t really play Toronto very often. Toronto is a very important market for us. At that point it was a daunting city. In much the way that I feel New York kind of is now. Like we play New York and it’s never very good. Just because it’s, I don’t know. It’s asking so much that it’s a little intimidating. But anyways, let’s think, there was a show that we did that was very weird. One of the weirder shows we ever did. And it was a nightmare in so much as nobody listened. Although there’s a point, it’s like some sort of graph where there’s a point where people not listening really affects you in a bad way up until a point. And when you’re playing to absolutely no one in front of you, then you don’t really give a shit anymore and it actually becomes fun again. I don’t know what the number is exactly, maybe like 50 or something, if it’s like 50 or less then it’s just fun.
We did this show in Las Vegas a few years ago now. We were brought down by somebody, it was a NHL, I think the NHL awards, or the kick-off to the NHL season. It was some NHL thing.
In Vegas yeah. Which was very strange right.
Where there is no hockey team?
I have no idea why it was in Vegas. I have no idea. I can’t remember what it was, but I remember we played at, basically played the pre-party. It was like 5 in the afternoon on a rooftop in Las Vegas and there were swimming pools and it was a fancy hotel. And it was just media and some hockey players and their wives and Las Vegas waitresses. There was a lot of silicone. And it was very strange because we never played that sort of setting before. Nobody listened to us and it was just this hot desert wind on the roof just blowing into our faces. It was very apocalyptic man. It was a weird show. I mean, grateful for the gig, but it was definitely weird. And nobody listened, nobody even turned our way. I don’t know who there would care. But anyway, it was a weird one. That was a nightmare because it was such a strong experience.
Do you remember what year it was?
I don’t know what year, maybe 2008 maybe? 2009? 2010 maybe? It was a long time ago.
I’m sure you got paid handsomely though.
Yeah. It was good and we got to meet like Ron MacLean (former host of Hockey Night in Canada) and a few others. I’m not a big hockey fan either, so it was kind of wasted on me. I know some would be dying for that opportunity, but I didn’t actually recognize anybody. But I had a good show in front of Ron MacLean so that was cool.
Did they think you are a hockey fan just because you’re from Canada?
That does happen. People definitely expect that. Americans do. When someone finds out you’re from Canada, they’ll just start talking about hockey as if that’s the perfect sequitur.
It’s not a bad one.
It’s not a bad one.
That’s not a nightmare.