A Nervous Interview With Straight Reads The Line

Blake Prince of Straight Reads The Line

I  did the interview on my cell. My room was silent, I  felt awkward in my own bedroom. I’m sitting in my poorly-lit room with dumb fluorescent bulbs. The Grammy Awards are playing in the background. My ceiling fan is swirling,  making the most agitating sound ever. But this is the environment I am most comfortable writing in.

Straight Reads The Line, is known best amongst the Hamilton music scene. The band’s line-up includes Blake Prince on vocals, Don Levasseur on guitar/vocals, Andrew Tompa on bass, Andrew McDermid on guitar and Travis Kaszyoki on drums. SRTL has been a band for about five years now, but has gone through many line-up changes.

SRTL made a name for themselves when they released their first collection of tunes, Let’s Get Nuts. The album got more buzz than expected. Even Dallas Green of Alexisonfire was featured on “Tony Danza Is The Boss.”

But after a journey and a half, the band has called it quits, for good. Thus resulting in an interview with the vocalist and front-man, Blake Prince. Let’s go.

I call Prince. He comes off pretty intimidating at first.

Just put yourself into my shoes and imagine yourself getting to interview a member of one of your most favourite bands. Well, I called him and he was on his way to Burlington with fellow member, Andrew Tompa.

Being a nervous wreck that I was, Prince kindly calmed my nerves down by telling me to just ask away. Nice fellow. I start talking to Prince about the band and what the status was with the final tour that they had announced a few weeks prior. Despite the fact that this is the final tour for SRTL, it will not be the last for Blake Prince and Andrew Tompa.

While we were forging onward with the interview, Prince says the band has changed his life. One for the free drinks at each venue, and another for “being able to show my psycho side and to be accepted for it.” It helps that his fans tell him that he inspires them.

As I brought up why the band is actually calling it quits after five years, the answer was straightforward. The group agreed that it was finally time to branch off. Prince adds that although he has been fortunate with the success of the band, it feels right to not worry about the band anymore.

On the band’s MySpace page, they blog on the story of the band and why they are calling it quits. They also mentioned that they have reached a point in their lives to break off and concentrate on future endeavours. Prince is currently training to become a chef so he can “cook up sweet treats for people.” He also has another band in the works just waiting to be announced. Prince’s new band is going to include himself on vocals, fellow SRTL member Andrew Tompa, ex-guitarist of Dead and Divine, David McGuire and drummer of The Holly Springs Disaster, Dan Marranca. Already, I know this band is going to be huge in the scene. With the driving force I know that they will have, they will not stop until they reach the top.

Approaching the end of the interview, I was a little more calm. I asked Prince to share his thoughts looking back on the band and his encounters. He says that being in SRTL was the  craziest part of his life. The interview ended with Prince passionately reminding me that the band wouldn’t have been a band if it wasn’t for Josh MacKenzie and that their second album was for him. So words coming from a fan: thank you, Josh MacKenzie. Thank you for creating such a band. They will live on.

Tour dates and venues for Straight Reads the Line’s final tour with Kingdoms can be found here.

–SONNY NGUYEN

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