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The Trews are a Canadianmarker rock band from Antigonish, Nova Scotiamarker, consisting of vocalist Colin MacDonald, guitarist John-Angus MacDonald, bassist Jack Syperek, and drummer Sean Dalton. The band is currently based in Toronto, Ontariomarker.


The band started their career with the name One I'd Trouser when they formed while in high school, before changing their name to Trouser, and eventually The Trews. They released an EP as One I'd Trouser, and a second EP under the name The Trews.

In the early summer of 2002 the band entered a Rock Search, a high profile contest that is held annually by a Southern Ontario rock radio station. Winning the contest would prove to be their big break as they soon landed a recording contract with Sony BMG Canada.

Trews bassist Jack Syperek with guitarist John-Angus MacDonald, 2005

The release of their first full-length CD House of Ill Fame, soon followed in 2003. The album contained the hit singles "Every Inambition", "Not Ready to Go", "Tired of Waiting", "Fleeting Trust" and "Confessions". "Not Ready to Go" hit number one on Canadian rock radio and was the most played song of 2004 in that format. The band was nominated as New Group of the Year at the 2004 Juno Awards and "Not Ready to Go" was nominated as Single of the Year in 2005. House Of Ill Fame has been certified gold in Canada. In the past four years the band have racked up ten Top 10 rock radio singles, including two chart-toppers.

The song "Hollis and Morris" on their first album, refers to an intersection in the nearby city of Halifaxmarker, and not an intersection in Antigonish as previously speculated. John-Angus has mentioned during concerts and in the online Trews diary, that the corner of Hollis and Morris is notorious for prostitution.

The band released a follow-up to House of Ill Fame on August 16, 2005. The album, Den of Thieves, was produced by Jack Douglas. The first single, "So She's Leaving", was released to radio June 28, 2005 and was followed by the singles "Yearning", "Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me", and "I Can't Say". The album was released April 18, 2006 in the United Statesmarker on Red Ink and Sony BMG.

In 2005, the band was featured in several episodes of Radio Free Roscoe.

Their third album, called No Time for Later, was released in February, 2008. The first single, "Hold Me in Your Arms", was available on November 25, 2007. It premiered at the 2007 Grey Cup pre-game show and was immediately released on iTunes; it eventually went to number one on MuchMusicmarker for a week in April 2008. In early 2009, "Hold Me in Your Arms" won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Hard Rock/Metal Song. A bonus song called "Long Way from Freedom" was included with this single but was not released on the album. In early February 2008, the band added keyboardist Jeff Heisholt to their live line up. The second single was "Paranoid Freak", the video for which was released on May 22 and went straight into rotation on MuchMusicmarker. The third single, the ballad "Man Of Two Minds", was released during the week of September 8, 2008, with the video being released September 19. The fourth single, "Can't Stop Laughing", was sent to radio January 23, 2009, and a video was filmed in April. The band was nominated for two Juno Awards in 2009, Album of the Year (for No Time for Later) and Group of the Year.

No Time for Later was released in the United States on April 7, 2009, on Merovingian Music, with the first single, "Paranoid Freak", sent to radio a few weeks prior to that. The second single in the US is "Hold Me In Your Arms".

The new CD, Trews Acoustic - Friends And Total Strangers, (released Oct. 6, 2009) is a live recording done over two nights at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio in January of 2009. Released without any overdubs and produced by John Angus MacDonald, there is also a 23-song DVD of the same name available as well. The first single from the CD is a song written specifically for those performances, called "Sing Your Heart Out". On iTunes there are bonus songs and videos available.


Colin MacDonald performing in Calgary, 2006


Release date Title Label
1997 The Trouser E.P. Bumstead Recording
2002 Trews E.P. Bumstead Recording

Studio albums

Release date Title Label
August 19, 2003 House of Ill Fame Bumstead Recording
August 16, 2005 Den of Thieves Bumstead Recording
February 19, 2008 No Time for Later Bumstead Recording,
Universal Music Canada

Live albums

Release date Title Label
November 30, 2004 House of Ill Fame – The Live Cut Bumstead Recording
October 6, 2009 Acoustic - Friends & Total Strangers Bumstead Recording


  • "Every Inambition" – 2003
  • "Not Ready to Go" – 2003
  • "Tired of Waiting" – 2004
  • "Fleeting Trust" – 2004
  • "So She's Leaving" – 2005
  • "Yearning" – 2005
  • "Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me" – 2006
  • "I Can't Say" – 2006
  • "Hold Me in Your Arms" – 2007
  • "Paranoid Freak" – 2008
  • "Man of Two Minds" – 2008
  • "Can't Stop Laughing" – 2009
  • "Sing Your Heart Out" - 2009


Release date Title
October 6, 2009 Acoustic - Friends & Total Strangers

Nominations and Awards

Juno Awards

  • 2004: New Group of the Year - Nominated
  • 2005: Single of the Year ("Not Ready to Go") - Nominated
  • 2009: Group of the Year - Nominated
  • 2009: Rock Album of the Year (No Time for Later) - Nominated

Independent Music Awards


  2. Hollis and Morris
  3. Independent Music Awards - 8th Annual Winners

External links

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