Artist blog | Emily Barker on Jay Malinowski

Jay Malinowski

I write from Manchester. We’re back in the UK now for our final week of shows. We’ve done 26 now and we’re all feeling it.  However, due to the spontaneous aspect to the show and the intense feeling of camaraderie that seems to grow everyday, we manage to stay energized for each performance. There’s a twist in the atmosphere now, a nostalgic and emotional edge to the show as we head towards the end of this incredible tour.

A highlight from the past week of gigs was playing a beautiful church in Wiesbaden called Ringkirche. This was personally my favorite show as the acoustics were incredible. We all made the most of the space with some of us getting off stage and down amidst the pews, allowing the natural acoustics to do their thing. We also sang an a cappella encore, ‘On the Bow’, down from the eaves. It was a magical evening. Here are some pics I took…

Today I talked to Jay Malinowski about his musical background, his Revival Tour experience and a bike named Edith.

Musical background

“I bought my first guitar when I was 13 years old. I had skipped school for the day and saw a guitar for sale in a junk store for $40. I didn’t realize at the time that it was missing two tuning pegs! For some reason, I thought my parents wouldn’t allow me to have a guitar, so I ran home with it in a garbage bag and hid it in the garage for 3 months. Then the Canadian winter kicked in and it got too cold so I bought it inside. My mum heard me playing it and simply said “are you playing the guitar now?” She wasn’t mad. I used to play it at night and started writing songs then.

I was in a bunch of cover bands at school and got asked to play a talent night but we didn’t have a drummer and my friends’ dad was a producer, Bruce Fairbairn, (ACDC/Aerosmith). He was doing the INXS album at the time, but said he would come down and play drums for us because he liked our band. So that was pretty crazy!

I formed Bedouin Sound Clash when I was 18 with my friend Eon because we both loved reggae music. I then did my first solo record in 2009 because I wanted to do something different.”

About The Revival Tour experience

“It’s awesome and it gets better each night. The music is so organic and you get to know the people who’ve written the songs so well. The collaborative spirit is incredible to be around. This is my first tour with The End Tree. Aiden Brant-Briscall plays violin, Elliot Vaughn plays viola and Martin Riesle plays cello. They all sing too. It’s been the best ever for them. I’m really impressed with how they’ve been on this tour, it’s our first one together and it’s been great to get to know each other better. I first met Elliot when I went back to Vancouver and started playing piano more. I wanted to work with a viola player and found Elliot online. He’s from New Zealand but lives in Vancouver. He’s an incredible arranger and such a sweet person. The End Tree challenged me so much in every way, both musically and spiritually and…gastronomically! The first time I showed up for a rehearsal with them, Aiden came up to me and said “would you like some pear sauce?” Which I found a little strange, but I said “yeah sure” and he handed me a mug of pureed pear with sugar. So I ate it and it tasted fine, really good actually, and then Aiden said it’s from our favorite dumpster! And I was like, “what the fuck?!”, and they’re like, “don’t worry it’s organic!” (laughs) Then I found out that they were Freegans which is an underground movement for people serious about reducing our imprint, which I respect. So if anyone’s reading this, apparently Vancouver has some great dumpsters.”

Something personal 

“I like to let the day unfold as it will. I used to live my life with complete control and now I realize if you let go a bit more in life, actually you can really live it. That’s how I met Edith….Edith is a Danish bicycle that a guy in Copenhagen gave to me as long as I helped him repair his wife’s bike. She apparently was from Argentina so I named the bike Edith because when I lived in Mexico I met a girl from Argentina, she was really nice. That’s the way I like to live my life on tour.”