In Scene Report, CMJ’s latest column, musicians from all over the globe fill us in on what’s going on sonically in their hometowns. This week John-Angus MacDonald of the Trews gives the scoop on Nova Scotia, Canada.


Canada’s East Coast has a very tight-knit and talented music community. Whether it be traditional Irish/Scottish fiddle music or straight-up rock ’n’ roll, you’ll find it in spades out east. It’s a remote part of the country, which I think allows artists and bands to hone their chops without being under the microscope of the industry and without being swept into a scene that puts fashion ahead of form. Playing is paramount out east. It’s also a very supportive music community that embraces and supports its own homegrown talent—it has its own award show called the East Coast Music Awards or ECMAs.


The East Coast, Halifax, Nova Scotia, in particular, produced some pretty (now) legendary rock bands in the early to mid-’90s during its tenure as Seattle junior. Growing up a few hours down the highway from Halifax, in a little town called Antigonish, we couldn’t help but take notice of these groups. Some of them had a direct influence on our early days in the garage. Bands like Sloan, Thrush Hermit, Hardship Post, Superfriends and the Joel Plaskett Emergency were all doing a sort of retro-rock, power-pop kind of thing that we really dug and tried to emulate in a way.


Next page: Bands Worth Watching