Interview with Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea

Thursday night was a very special night for me.  Not only did I get to attend a great event at Bang Bang Bar on College Street hosted by Yellow Tail and iYellow Wine Club, but it was also a breakthrough night for towineman.  I got the absolute pleasure of meeting and interviewing Alan Doyle, the frontman for the famous Canadian band Great Big Sea.  It was quite flattering to be given the opportunity and to be chosen as a feature interviewer…  though it was also a bit intimidating to be following the folks from ET Canada and CBC.

My thanks go out to Alan himself (@alanthomasdoyle) for his time.  Not only was Alan performing a few tunes at this Yellow Tail event, but he had a big show at the Mod Club that evening as well.  Nonetheless he is a class act and made the time to speak to me.

Though we obviously focused the interview on wine and other drinks of choice, Alan is entering an exciting new phase of his professional life.  After 20 years fronting Great Big Sea, Alan is stepping out on a solo career with his new album “Boy on Bridge.”  I certainly encourage you to check it out and to visit or  As with any music I know there are those out there that may not like Great Big Sea, but one thing is for sure it is fun, drinking music.  They don’t take themselves too seriously and there are few other bands out there where every song makes you want to have a beer and a great time.  I can tell you after meeting Alan I can see where that fun loving attitude comes from and it makes me appreciate what they do that much more.

You can watch the entire interview below, but for those that don’t have 4:59, let me summarize a few things for you.
– Alan is exactly how you would picture him to be.  A kind hearted Newfoundlander who embodies the work hard play hard attitude, loves to have a good time, and loves his booze (essentially the perfect interview for towineman)
– Alan is a proud Canadian and an extremely proud Newfoundlander
– He pronounces mother “mudder” and  brother “brudder”
– He would be a wonderful guy to have a few casual drinks with.  So Alan if you actually read this the offer is on the table anytime you are in Toronto
– I want to go to Newfoundland

*All video credit to Tran Bronstein

Stay tuned for my full recap of the Yellow Tail Wine event.

– Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman 


One thought on “Interview with Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea

  1. I agree whole heatedly. I met Alan Doyle at O’Leary’s Pub in Saint John, N.B. a few years ago and spent a couple of hours talking with him. He and Graet Big Sea are very down to earth and loyal, making a point of supporting the clubs and the fans that helped them on their road to success. But what impressed me most was that another band was playing that night and when i suggested that we move into the other room to check out the band, he asked that we stay in the front portion of the bar away from the stage. He went onto further explain that in the past when Great Big sea was less known, occasionally more popular bands would come into bars in which they were performing and basically take over the place. He explained that this was distracting and can be intimidating as people in the audience would start chanting the other bands name. He did not think it was fair for the performing act. So we stayed up front until last-call at which point, Alan suggested that we go watch the band. Shortly after entering the section where the band was playing the lead singer announced that Alan Doyle and Sean McCann were in the house and invited them up on stage to sing a song. Alan and Sean went up on stage and agreed to play under one condition the band that was performing stay up on stage and play with them. They all played a couple of songs. It was great.

    I must admit that I always enjoyed the music of Great Big Sea. Go to one of their concerts and you will see that their music appeals to many generations, Kids, parents and grand parents all dancing and singing. That being said, I was most impressed by the class displayed by Alan Doyle that night at O’leary’s. Class Act, all the way.

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