Reporting Sara Pelissero
When Snow Patrol hits the Roy Wilkins stage on Halloween next week, there’s a chance they might just be in costume.
“We did YMCA once on stage,” said guitarist Paul “Pablo” Wilson. “I want to go get something this year for Minneapolis.”
After all, the roots of Halloween are very near and dear to this Irish alt rock band.
“It’s very Celtic,” Wilson said. “You know, it’s the Celts that started it so it’s a big thing.”
While the band contemplates their costumes, they’re also getting ready to kick off their North American tour. Having just wrapped up a tour through South America, with stops in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Wilson said they’re excited to visit the states.
“It’s going to be great. It’s a chance to see us and Noel Gallagher, from Oasis,” he said. “We’ve never played together in the UK – so it’s kind of crazy we’re doing it here. It’s a really good vibe. We also have this guy named Jake Bugg, I don’t know if he’s big in the states but he’s very good. It’s going to be really cool.”
Wilson, who joined the band in 2005, said for him, touring is like a double-edged sword — on one hand, you’ve got great shows, swanky hotels with upscale gyms and tasty meals.
“It can be like going to the spa,” he said.
But on the other, it’s a non-stop ride through several places, plenty of airports and new time zones.
“You can get really run down sometimes, but if you get run down you might as well get drunk,” he said, with a laugh.
Still, it’s all worth it to have a chance to meet the fans.
“It’s amazing, especially places like Brazil,” Wilson said. “Because you don’t really know what to expect. When you come here, you come all the way across the world and people make signs and people are singing every word of your songs, it’s incredible to think that we’re so far away from home.”
Wilson said he’s looking forward to stopping in Minnesota — a place with weather that he can relate to.
“It’s great. I love touring in that part of America because I think it’s quite like Scotland and Britain, where you have weather,” he said. “So people stay in more, people listen to music. People come out and they really come out, especially when it’s cold – they have to make a big effort to come out and come to our shows. So I think they enjoy themselves a lot more.”
The show will largely feature the music of their latest CD, Fallen Empires — an album that was recorded a couple years ago during a tour of California.
“We wanted to record somewhere sunny,” Wilson said. “It was pretty cool doing that. We recorded once in Germany and I think the sunshine can certainly help and create more of that kind of upbeat vibe but also, beaches makes it difficult to get any work done.”
Wilson said it took about seven months to write and record the album. Being in a central location, they were able to bring in some outside talent to the record — Troy Van Leeuwen, of Queens of the Stone Age, Michael Stipe from R.E.M. and the LA Inner City Mass Gospel Choir in Compton all pitched in on album tracks.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “We used what we had around us.”
Wilson, who plays bass on the album, also plays piano, guitar, banjo, drums and anything else he decides to pick up.
“I’ve been in a band since I was like 14,” he said. “I’ve kind of always played music. I don’t really think about playing a lot. I think if you can play one instrument, like pretty well, you can play a lot of them OK. (Laughs) I think I’m more of a Jack of All Trades, a master of none.”
Still, we’ll see if his latest instrument makes any future Snow Patrol albums.
“I bought a dulcimer, which is kind of a strange guitar thing but I can’t play it yet,” he said. “I can make noise with it.”
Wilson said after this tour is over, they’re all due for a bit of a break. Though, he hinted they may start recording another album next June.
“So yeah, this is going to be the last time you’ll get to see us live in a year or two,” he said. “Come on out.”
Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with special guest Jake Bugg, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. Tickets are $48.75 for reserved balcony or general admission floor. For more information, click here.