Interview – Derek Olive

By: Jenna Melanson

We had the chance to ask folkie/environmentalist, Derek Olive a few questions about his new album entitled “Mystery & Dust”, as well as his CD Release Cycling Tour. Learn more about this unique campaign and much more by reading the interview below.

First off, how long have you been pursuing music?

I started playing guitar about 26 years ago. I studied music, I did a Masters in Music composition. I guess that starts to be a long time now.

You released a new album, “Mystery & Dust” recently, can you explain the writing process on this album?

Most of the time I start with the lyrics, I find some story I want to tell or some little phrase comes to me that starts the whole ball rolling. Once a little bit of the song is written I try and figure out what the music should be doing to help tell that story. I’ve found in the last few years the best thing I can do to help a song is to put down the guitar and go for a walk to let the music come to me instead of asking my fingers to find it on the fret board.

You have just wrapped up on a CD Release Cycling Tour, can you tell us more about this?

I decided that if I was going go on tour I wanted it to be about more than just music. I can complain about the environment better than anybody and for all I was trying to do in my daily life — compost, ride my bike year-round, recycle, buy used, buy local, don’t buy — I was feeling that my choices didn’t matter and all I could do was complain. I decided I needed to connect with my fellow humans and take action beyond my daily life. I started planning a music cycling tour across much of Canada to support the Blue Dot campaign.

How did this idea come about?

I love biking, I’ve ridden across some 20 counties before, so the idea was simple as it mixed of two things that I love.

What exactly is the David Suzuki Blue Dot campaign?

It starts with the idea that we should all have the right to clean air, water, and soil. These things are not protected in our laws so the goal of the campaign is to get people involved at a municipal level and have them put in to declarations that say that these should be a right. The final goal will be to have the right to a clean environment added to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

How were the shows on the cycling tour?

The shows have been great, lots of great people coming out to hear some music and in the end learn about the Blue Dot movement. Sometimes it’s tough when I arrive because I’m so tired from riding about 100km but digging in I find the energy, and the people give it back in kind.

How was the weather for your cycling?

Great, if not a little on the toasty side. Some days I find myself drinking 8 liters of water to stay hydrated.

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to the readers?

Ask you political candidates what their views on the environment are, and go out and vote!

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