Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.
For my twenty fifth brunch in this series, I was joined by CBC Radio Host & Author, Grant Lawrence at Le Parisien Restaurant in Vancouver talking about Music, Writing and more!
Grant Lawrence began his career as the lead singer of the internationally acclaimed Vancouver garage band The Smugglers. For years, he has hosted the CBC Radio 3 Podcast, a weekly showcase of Canadian independent music. Grant also hosts a live and interactive daily program on CBC Radio 3’s popular web radio station, also airing on Sirius 86. Grant can be heard throughout the week on various CBC Radio One programs such as Q, DNTO, and Sounds Like Canada, and hosts many major music events, such as the Polaris Music Prize Gala, and various festivals around North America.
What got you into Radio, specifically hosting indie music radio shows?
I was in a touring rock band called “The Smugglers”, there was a CBC radio program that aired my stories from the road as we traveled around the world. I got a job as a researcher at CBC in the late 90’s. Then a couple of years later became a host.
How would you define Canadian indie music?
Healthy, very, very, vibrant. In 2004/2005 there was a massive renaissance in Winnipeg, then Toronto and Vancouver. The New Pornographers in Vancouver, Broken Social Scene in Toronto and The Arcade Fire in Montreal being #1 –each of these bands were extremely important on the scene. Making it the first for red hot exports.
How long does it take you to program an hour of the best in new Canadian music every week?
It would take all week cause I am looking for the best songs.
How important is it for new musicians to be part of CBCMusic.ca?
If you are an independent artist in Canada, it is imperative you have your own page on CBC Music, as Radio 1, 2, 3 all take it from CBC Music.
Have there been any notable musicians you have interviewed over the years, if so who?
- Dave Bidini (member of the Rheostatics)
- Johnny Rotten (lead singer of Sex Pistols) – he physically at acted during the interview.
- All 4 members of Radiohead
- Steve Earle
- William Shatner
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
1950’s & 60’s Rock & Roll
If you could estimate the number of concerts you have seen how many would that number be?
Over 10,000 conservatively
If you could tell me about 3 of your favourite concerts of all time which ones would those be?
1) The Flaming Lips at Plaza of Nations
2) The Arcade Fire at the PNE Forum
3) The Grusomes at Club Soda in Vancouver
Which 3 Canadian Indie bands have progressed our music scene over the years?
1) The Arcade Fire
2) Broken Social Scene
3) The New Pornographers
How important are Podcasts vs live on the radio for the Canadian music scene?
Podcasts used to be more important as they are of the moment. Our culture now is we want it now.
What foods do you like?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?
- Nook – for dinner
- Provence Marina-side — for Brunch
- Meat & Bread – for lunch
Grant had the Escargot and then the Breakfast Casoulet; Richard had the Onion Soup Gratinee and the Breakfast Casoulet (without eggs).
What do you want your listeners to learn from listening to your radio show?
What’s happening in Canadian music in that moment that day, and hopefully discover their new favourite song.
What do you do in your off time?
- Spend time at the cabin in Desolation Sound
Where is your favourite vacation spot?
Do you come from a musical family?
Where was your most recent musical trip?
Western Canadian Music Awards which I hosted in Whitehorse, Yukon
Who are your mentors?
- Dave Bidini
- David Wisdom
- Russel La Towsey
Who inspires you now?
- My wife Jill
- Lots of people at CBC including Jian Ghomeshi and George Stroumboulopoulos
- Richau Coin
What inspires you?
Ambition into reality.
What’s next for you or what’s on the horizon?
- New CBC Radio 1 show coming out this summer called “The Wild Side”
- Hosting the Vancouver Folk Music Festival
- Writing a book based on The Smugglers and my life in music
Style: A La Carte
Time: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 3pm
Le Parisien Restaurant
751 Denman Street, Vancouver
For Reservations call 604-687-1418
Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak