PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle Balderston

Run Coyote


AMANDA and Sam of Run Coyote


have been discussing their new track, Night Rider, and what its background is. I was keen to learn how the band found one another and whether they have favourite memories from their career so far; which albums are important to them and whether they have advice for upcoming musicians.

Sam and Amanda discuss the upcoming Run Coyote album and tell me how they spend time away from music; which rising artists we need to get behind – given their band’s latest single; I ask which David Hasselhoff moment stands out to them.


Interview with Run Coyote’s Sam Allen and Amanda Grant.


Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?

Sam: Great! We’ve just started playing some fall shows and I’ve been wearing my new trench coat.

Amanda: Fall is just starting so I’m pretty into making soup at the moment. That makes for a good week.

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?

Sam: My name is Sam and I play guitar and sing; my brother Jake plays lead guitar; Amanda plays the bass and Jeremy holds us together on drums. We’re a Western-Noir band from Toronto, Canada.

Night Rider is your new single. Can you reveal the story behind it?

Sam: Night Rider was inspired by late-night drives on deserted highways. When you play in a band, you spend a lot of time on the road and I wanted to work that experience into a song. It ended up being a story about a guy drifting between work, his family and adventure.

Given the title of your latest single; do you each have a favourite work from the thespian David Hasselhoff?

Sam: The Simpsons episode where “David Hasselhoff” is one of Lisa’s first words.

Amanda: I’m partial to his cameo in the Baywatch remake…

I understand an album is coming next year. What can we expect in terms of themes and stories on the record?

Amanda: Sam’s been really into film noir and hardboiled fiction so that was a big influence on this record. He brought a bunch of songs to the band that play on the idea of a femme fatale character and a detective. But, we also love old westerns and the music from those movies so there is definitely some of that too.

Sam: I’m a very visual songwriter. I imagine scenes in my head and try to express them through the music. For most of these songs, I was picturing a crossroad between film noir and spaghetti westerns - trying to mix moody Rock ‘n’ Roll with twangy guitar; Roy Orbison with Ennio Morricone.  



Can you remember how Run Coyote got together and started making music?

Sam: It grew out of a solo project I had. When I started writing the first Run Coyote record, I knew I wanted the songs to be performed with a full band, and the more we played together, it became obvious this wasn’t just my thing anymore. We all bring a lot to it.

Do you have shared music tastes? What was the sort of music you were raised on?

Amanda: We have grown to have a shared taste in music. If you spend enough time together you inevitably start to like the same things. We all love the Canadian band Timber Timbre. That was a unifying thing off the top. But, I was raised on a lot of singer-songwriter stuff - Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Cat Stevens - while Sam and Jake grew up with Frank Zappa…so we’re nostalgic for different things and that brings different influences to our music.

Sam: Yeah. Bluegrass is also something I was raised on. My aunt, uncles and cousins play in a family Bluegrass band. I grew up with that and Country-Gospel at our family farm in Southwestern Ontario.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?

Sam: A sold-out stadium tour. (Laughs).



Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?

Sam: One time in Quebec City, we were playing a house show in an attic apartment. Before the show could start, the downstairs neighbours complained so we had to find a new spot to play, quick! We couldn’t speak French, so we weren’t sure what the plan was but ended up doing the show at one of the original host’s friend’s place around the block.

So, everyone who had come out for the concert helped us move our gear, with a parade of people marching up the street on a fall night carrying cymbal stands, amps; drums and guitars. It still is one of my favourite shows we’ve ever played.

Amanda: Ooo; mine is in Quebec too, but in Montreal. It was the first time an audience of people we didn’t know started singing along with one of our songs. That’s a good feeling.

Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?

Amanda: Probably Talking Heads - Fear of Music

All because of the song Life During Wartime. I have distinct memories of jumping around singing that song at the top of my lungs with my dad. He loves music but doesn’t think he’s any good at singing; so I love when he just lets loose.

Sam: The Beatles - ‘The White Album’ (The Beatles)

It sounds silly but, when I was thirteen or something, I didn’t know you could make music like that until I heard that album.

If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

Sam: I’d want to play with Nick Cave. I wouldn’t need a rider if I got to do that every night.

Amanda: Paul McCartney, for sure. I’d get to hang out with Paul and get in on his post-show vegetarian feasts. I would share my rider of tea and every kind of candy with him and we’d become the greatest of friends!  



Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?

Sam: We’re touring across Ontario and Quebec in Canada this fall:

Sept 22 – Toronto, ON – Burdock

Oct 5 – London, ON – Rum Runners

Nov 2 – London, ON – London Bicycle Café *

Nov 3 – Kitchener-Waterloo, ON – T.B.A. *

Nov 4 – Hamilton, ON – Collective Arts Brewing *

Nov 7 – Peterborough, ON – House Show *

Nov 8 – Belleville, ON – Capers Concert Stage Room *

Nov 9 – Kingston, ON – Musiikki Café *

Nov 10 – Kincardine, ON – House Show *

Nov 14 – Toronto, ON – The Dakota Tavern

Nov 17 – Ottawa, ON – Pressed

Nov 18 – Montreal, QC – Casa del Popolo

 * solo Run Coyote shows with Dave Allen

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Amanda: Don’t do it for the money.

Sam: I would say it’s important to play a lot of shows in order to discover what type of musician you are and your relationship with an audience. Something I’m still trying to work on is to always find ways to make and keep it fun…

Amanda: …And always thank your sound person. You’d be lost without them.


 IN THIS PHOTO: Alex Mason

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

Sam: Listen to our friends Alex Mason and LUKA - they’re great!

Amanda: Julie Arsenault has the most beautiful voice. The Lifers are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Check them both out!


 IN THIS IMAGE: Julie Arsenault/IMAGE CREDIT: Jack Phelps

Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

Sam: I unwind listening to Chet Baker.

Amanda: …and eating candy.

Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

Sam: Tom Waits - Shore Leave (from Swordfishtrombones)


Amanda: The Weather StationShy Women (from Loyalty)  


Follow Run Coyote