Q&A: Canadian singer Wes Mack thrilled to open for Shania Twain on last tour

Yahoo! News - Canada
By Nick Patch, The Canadian Press
June 3, 2015

TORONTO - For Wes Mack, the realization that he was opening for Shania Twain seemed to strike in stages.

One morning, the Calgary-raised country singer awoke to an increasingly urgent series of texts from his agent: he would accompany Twain on a portion of her final arena tour, beginning Friday in Seattle and whisking through nine Canadian cities, wrapping June 28 in Montreal.

The first revelation was seeing the tour poster with his name on it. Next was seeing that same poster in billboard form.

Finally, he was in the crowd at an Eric Church gig in his adopted home of Vancouver, and Mack realized he was less than two months from performing on the same Rogers Arena stage.

"In the back of my head, I don't even really still buy it," said a cheerful Mack in a recent telephone interview.

"It won't really hit home until I walk into the building because it does still seem very far-fetched.

"She's a calibre of artist where she could probably call 99 per cent of the artists in the world and ask if they would want to open for her and she'd get a yes.

"It's fairly inconceivable that they've chosen me."

Mack's entertaining career began in acting, with recurring roles on CBC's "Heartland" and the U.S. hit "Smallville" (in both cases he was billed as Wesley MacInnes).

Since shifting his attention to music he's scored two Top 10s on the Canadian country chart in "Duet" and "Before You Drive Me Crazy," both of which are included on his self-titled EP that came out this week.

CP: You direct your own videos. What's the challenge of that?

Mack: In my ideal world I'm not directing and being the artist at the same time.

The main challenge for me is when I've directed, I've also produced, written, edited and, in some cases, colour-corrected. Me being a bit of a control freak and refusing to delegate things, somewhat to my own detriment I've been happy with the results, but it's dominated my time and energy.

CP: You moved from Calgary to Vancouver at age 18. Is Vancouver hospitable to country music?

Mack: It's an interesting difference. Vancouver has collided with so many of its suburbs ... and I find a lot of those outlying areas are far more into country than central Vancouver.

I've been pleasantly surprised, though. I wouldn't have assumed Vancouver had a huge amount of country music, but I remember opening for Florida Georgia Line here and I've never played to a louder crowd it was a Friday night in downtown Vancouver.

CP: Do you plan to juggle acting and music?

Mack: Ultimately I got into music before I got into acting. It wouldn't seem that way because I probably enjoyed more success as an actor early on, but I've been playing in a band since I was 13 years old, started playing guitar when I was like 11, started playing drums at five. I didn't get into acting until I was 20 or something like that.

I've very much enjoyed the career I've had as an actor, and I certainly hope at some point in the future to return to that, but ultimately right now I'm a musician and I'm doing what I want to be doing.

I simply don't have time (to do both). From a scheduling perspective, it's a bit of a nightmare.