Playing over 100 live shows a year takes its toll on any artist, however they say if you do what you love, then you never work a day in your life. Rory Gardiner takes his music career one day at a time, from growing up guitar picking on traditional bluegrass, to drumming in the alternative rock scene.
This Gonger with a guitar will be the opening act for Gongshow Gear’s 10 year anniversary celly, GONGERFEST. Gardiner, an Ottawa native will be hitting the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 at the Great Canadian Cabin.
Did you get your tickets yet, Gongers? They are selling out fast! I’ll be making the road trip from Buffalo for this party, so see you guys in Ottawa.
Tell me a little bit about how hockey has made an impact on your life.
Rory Gardiner: Hockey really is the bloodline of our country, not to mention our national sport. Every kid grew up playing hockey. Everyday after school we’d strap on the skates and get at it for 15 years. Not to mention, kept us out of trouble.
Do you think the lifestyles of a country rockstar and professional hockey player are similar?
RG: Both are always away from home a lot. It’s unfortunate when you have a family, but I prefer the musician type. That way I could eat and sleep when I wanted and not have to worry about waking up for a game in the morning.
Who are some of your biggest music inspirations?
RG: Garth Brooks and Keith Urban. With Garth Brooks, I grew up on his stuff in the ’90s and Keith Urban has really influenced my guitar playing.
You’ll be sharing the stage with Aaron Pritchett at Gongerfest later this month. Looking forward to the show?
RG: We played together in September of 2011 and it was fantastic. It was the first time we met and a great show. We had gone out golfing and were both hitting a pretty average game. Once I suggested we put some money on the holes, he started hitting like Tiger Woods.
What are you most looking forward to at Gongerfest this year?
RG: I think a new group of fans. I’m so used to playing in front of the typical country music lover, but this will be a great bunch of athletes and music lovers alike. I’m really looking forward to it.
If you had a tagline like “Wheel. Snipe. Party.” what would it be?
RG: My motto for all my shows, and conveniently also the title of my new album, is “Break Free.” It’s for anyone who wants to follow their dreams. It stands for people taking a chance and to get out there and do something — get out of that “9 to 5.”
What’s one of your favorite things to eat before or after a show?
RG: When I play anywhere and they ask for my rider, I always get chocolate. Usually I’ll grab a bottle of water and your typical pre-show sandwich. One show I was at, they filled the entire dressing room with chocolate cake and all sorts of stuff. It’s a good thing we work out, otherwise we’d be 300 pounds.
And finally, what are your three favorite songs to sing in the shower?
RG: Right now, I’d say it’s probably “Walkin’ the Country” by Keith Urban, “Old McDonald” every morning because of my newborn, and whatever song I wake up to on the radio that day.
Work hard, play hard & follow me on twitter — @katprz