Eric Owen can’t wait to return to Vancouver Island and perform at Laketown Ranch.
Owen, along with Kevin McKeown, form the Texas-based high-octane rock band Black Pistol Fire, and the duo will be one of the main acts performing at the Laketown Shakedown on June 29.
The three-day Laketown Shakedown 2019 runs from June 28-30.
Supported by Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia, Laketown Shakedown 2019 was designed to appeal to music lovers of all ages and features a lineup of musical acts from a variety of genres including hip hop, classic rock, dance, and alternative.
Owen, who plays drums and bass while McKeown plays guitar and sings, said they visited the Island for the first time in December to play a live show in Victoria.
“It was a tremendous show and it was certainly a really lively audience,” he said from his home in Austin.
“We don’t often have mosh pits at our concerts, but the audience went crazy even for our slow songs. It was great and we’re looking forward to visiting the Island again.”
Drawing inspiration from blues, R&B and rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Buddy Holly and Muddy Waters, BPF’s gritty and dynamic performances are fueled by undeniable musicianship.
Dubbed the “next big thing” by the Huffington Post in 2013, BPF has developed a reputation for their untamed live performances.
The band has become festival veterans since they first formed in Toronto about 20 years go, having played at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch Music Festival, Shaky Knees and Governor’s Ball, among others, including international festivals such as Mad Cool and Colours of Ostrava.
After Lollapalooza 2015, Yahoo Music described Black Pistol Fire as “a power duo that can almost match the power and intensity of the massive rock sounds of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac… in a breakout set.”
Owen said the move from Toronto to Austin was a gradual transition that happened over many years.
“At first we just visited Austin to play there, but we built up a large fan base in the city, moved there seven years ago, bought houses, and now it’s our home,” he said.
Owen said he and McKeown had known each other since kindergarten, and have been playing music together since they were 15.
“We didn’t see much of a career in music at the time, but after I finished university when I was 23, we decided to give it a try and now we do it for a living,” he said. “We’re very grateful for our success.”
Owen said while two-people rock bands are not very common, it works for BPF.
He said there had sometimes been more than two in the band over the years, but the majority of the songs were written by himself and McKeown.
“We started booking shows for just the two of us and, all these years later, we just find it simpler this way,” Owen said.
“Two-people bands are actually becoming more common these days.”
As for the name of the band, Owen said it wasn’t always called Black Pistol Fire.
“We first called ourselves The Shenanigans, but that was just awful,” he said.
“Then I saw a documentary on forest fires and discovered that a black fire was a term used to describe an uncontrollable fire that could not be extinguished. The only way it ends is by burning itself out. I thought it would be a great name for the band. It was powerful and we thought what else is powerful? A pistol, and that became our name.”