Canadian musician Tom Holliston has been associated with several punk rock bands over the years, including Nomeansno, The Hanson Brothers and Show Business Giants. Now based in Lund, Holliston has released four solo records since 2002. Holliston and Toronto-based musician Selena Martin play at Red Lion Pub on Sunday, December 17.
Are you originally from Powell River?
I’m from Victoria and I’ve lived up in Lund for about four years. Prior to that I was in Vancouver for many years. I wanted to get out of Vancouver, which I don’t miss at all. I came to a point in my life where I just wanted to not live in a big city anymore. It wasn’t my town anymore.
When did you first get into music?
I started playing live in 1985, gradually kept working at it and began to have some success, and then did quite a bit of touring for 20-odd years. Some projects ended in about 2013, so I decided I wanted to take a break from touring because it was just too much. I decided to put the guitar down for a while in October or November 2016; I just wanted to try other things and that benefited me greatly. I lived off music for more than 20 years and it’s a full-time job. Not everybody thinks of it that way because they just think about the show or the record, but there’s a lot more that goes into it, and when you learn how to do something particularly well, sometimes it can be at the expense of other things. So even though it was kind of stressful, I’m glad I gave myself the challenge to learn how to do some other things as best I can with varying degrees of success.
Who or what inspires you now?
I don’t really look to music to find inspiration. I don’t listen to a lot of pop music; I mostly listen to classical, which I guess I’ve been doing for the last 15 or 20 years. What inspires me is seeing someone passionate about doing something. Seeing somebody, anybody, able to do anything well is exciting.
What’s going on for 2018?
I’ve recently started playing again and feeling inspired. The thing that really got me going again is my friend Selina Martin, with whom I’m playing. We’ll be playing in Powell River and Lund in December and doing a European tour together in March.
For more information, go to facebook.com/tomholliston.