Dallas Green confesses to a bit of musical schizophrenia. The Toronto musician’s “day” job is playing hard rock with Alexisonfire. But when he’s not doing that, Green has had success with City and Colour, a more laid-back, acoustic-flavored project whose second album, “Bring Me Your Love,” debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart 11 months ago and launched a single, “Waiting ...,” that spent nine weeks in the Canadian Hot 100 chart.
Operating the two projects, Green says, “manifests itself in insomnia. I just kind of lay there wondering what the hell I’m doing.” But he kind of knows that answer.
“The fact I get to do two completely different types of music and people like them, that’s pretty rewarding in itself,” says Green, 28, who was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. “I mean, I’m happy I get to do one, let alone two, and people are into it.
“And I’m able to sort of express the two sides of the songwriter I can be, and not have to worry about melding them together. With Alexisonfire, we’d never put an acoustic song on a record to show how diverse we can be, so I can do that on my own. And then with Alexis I can express wanting to turn up my guitar really loud.”
Green was moved to start City and Colour after, he says, “kids found all these demos I had done when I was a teenager, playing shows by myself.” That led to questions about a solo album, but he resisted until he attended a Neil Young solo acoustic concert, which showed Green it was possible “to have it both ways.”
“I think ‘surprised’ is a very large understatement as to how I feel about the whole solo thing,” says Green, who’s working on Alexisonfire’s next album and has already written songs for a third City and Colour set.
“Our main goal in the first place was just to put the record out for people who we thought would like it, the part of the Alexisonfire fan base that were into my singing. That was the main goal. Then time went on and it just kind of grew into this larger thing than I or anybody around me ever expected it would be. But it’s gratifying.”
The River’s Second Annual Winters Icebreaker, with City and Colour, William Elliott Whitemore and Serena Rider, takes place at 7 p.m. Friday (Jan. 9) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are sold out. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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