Canadian country star ready to rock CMC
IT'S been four years since Tim Hicks was last on Aussie soil to perform at the CMC Rocks music festival.
But the Ontario native knows he'll feel right at home when he take to the stage at Willowbank later this month.
"It could have been a country festival in the middle of Manitoba. It felt the same as what we're used to," he says of the 2016 event.
"I don't know why we have this impression it's going to be a different thing. Country fans seem to be the same wherever we go - enthusiastic and loyal."
He's even ready for the ultimate Aussie initiation - a shoey.
"I've heard about this, so I drink out of my boot? In Canada we have something called getting screeched in where you have to kiss a dead cod fish and do a shot of this horrible rum," Hicks says.
"The idea of doing a shoey doesn't scare me. Aussies and Canadians have so many similarities. That's why we get along so well."
Hicks arrives in Queensland with his new three-track EP Wreck. He promises festival-goers will get to hear two of the tracks: the set opening party song Wreck This Town and the tongue-in-cheek No Truck Song.
"When I go to Nashville we always do these wildcard nights. It's the same cast of characters - whoever's around in our circle of friends - and the idea is we write with no agenda. Nobody can say no to anything, … so it's not in the typical Nashville style of writing between 10am and 3pm," he says.
"The No Truck Song is one of the songs that came out of it.
"I said I'd like to write a real country song, something traditional, and somebody said as long as we don't write a truck song. My personality is if you say we can't then this is what we're doing. I picked up a guitar and sang 'this is no truck song' and we all fell over laughing. You can hear I'm smiling on the microphone. It's pure ridiculousness. If everyone's trying to write song of the year, then I'm trying to write songs to make everyone laugh. I think it's important to let people know I don't take myself too seriously and to shine a light on that side of my songwriting."
Hicks' Canadian chart-topper What A Song Should Do will also feature in a set tailor-made for his Aussie fans.
"Not all of my music has been released there, so I went on Spotify to see what Australian fans were streaming. It was super interesting," he says.
"The song that has been streamed the most in Australia is not one we would think people would be that interested in - Young, Alive & In Love (from the album 5:01). You could say we're geotargeting our set for CMC Rocks."
CMC Rocks plays Willowbank Raceway from March 20 to 22. Tim Hicks plays the Stampede stage on Friday, March 20 at 1.55pm and the Rebel Stage on Saturday, March 21 at 4.15pm.