For Tim Livingstone and Dave Rollie (better known by their stage name SkiiTour) the past four years have been as exciting as the ski hills they’re used to hitting in their hometown of Whistler, BC. After undergoing name changes and gaining a loyal fan base, the duo have been making quite the splash in Canada’s electronic music scene and, by looking at them, it’s easy to see why. While other DJs and producers usually appear on their flyers with a more serious tone, SkiiTour either strike poses with their hands in the air or being surrounded by bodacious bikini babes. These guys exude a good time and, on Jan. 23, Edmonton got to see that it’s not just hype. SkiiTour played a sold-out show at the Starlite Room that was filled with fake snow, fine women and funky beats. Before the show, we got a chance to sit down and chat with one of Canada’s funnest acts.
Nugget: So how did SkiiTour come to be?
Dave Rollie: We met each other in 2010 and we were under two different names together. We did music together under Livingston and Canosis for a couple years. Then our friend Timothy Wisdom was saying our name was too long. We were playing a set at Bass Coast and he just came on stage, called us SkiiTour and everyone cheered.
Tim Livingstone: We thought the name sucked but we couldn’t think of anything better and it’s worked out pretty well.
Nugget: Dave, you’re from New Zealand. How long have you been in Canada?
Dave: Since 2007.
Nugget: And were you big into winter sports there as well?
Dave: I was big into skateboarding. I’d snowboarded a few times and then when I came here, I lived in San Francisco and a friend lived in Whistler so I went to live there for a year and, just like everybody else who goes there, I wound up living there and never leaving.
Nugget: Tim, have you ski’d all your life?
Tim: No, I moved to Whistler and had only snowboarded 10 times. I used to live in Victoria and I hated winter. I just figured the only way to make winter decent is living on a ski hill.
Nugget: What made you guys decide to become DJs? Do you come from musical backgrounds?
Tim: I was into music my whole life. I had a radio show in my living room with my parents when I was seven. I took piano lessons and I had a radio show when I was in college. It was an obsession.
Dave: I’ve always loved hip-hop. I remember my mom buying me Naughty by Nature 1991. I’ve listened to hip-hop ever since and then I got a set of turntables when I was 21. Before that, I’d been writing music for a hip-hop group and I needed to learn how to use turntables.
Nugget: If you had to pinpoint the single most musically influential experience you’ve ever had, what would it be?
Tim: I think going to Shambhala MusicFestival was probably it. I went for the first time in 2001 and was just like “woah, this is amazing.” Back then, electronic music was more underground and just being in a community where everyone was there for the music and appreciating the music was awesome. I thought “man, that would be so awesome if I could play at Shambhala.”
Nugget: And now you are.
Dave: I’m just trying to think of mine. I’ve always loved hip-hop, forever. I’m just trying to think of a really outstanding moment.
Tim: What about the time you got that Will Smith album?
Dave: No, I’m still waiting for that moment to come. Seeing Jurassic 5 play was amazing. That’s when I knew I wanted to do this and I pursued it pretty hard. Figuring out how to sample music, chopping them up and do drums, that was in, like, 2002.
Nugget: Since you mentioned Shambhala, the first time I saw you play was at Sham and I remember thinking,‘How the hell are these guys out here in Ski gear?’ So, how do you handle the heat in ski gear?
Tim: Well, that was a real defining moment for us. All the momentum that we’ve gotten in the last while was because of that gig. It was a gift to get an afternoon slot on Thursday. We played Saturday the year before and there were maybe 20 people. We knew this was our chance to make a big impression so we bought a snow machine, found these crazy one-piece suits. We just knew that we had to create a massive impression if we wanted to take things to the next level and it was hot. Our suits were completely soaked and at the end, the sun was beating down on both of our computers and Dave’s stopped. He couldn’t play any more songs and mine died a minute later. It was crazy.
Nugget: So when it comes to mixes, do you keep the size of your venue in mind? Do you keep more epic sounding music for festivals but more intimate tunes for clubs?
Dave: No. We just have a type of sound that we both really like. We try and find, in each genre, a similar type of sound.
Tim: We’re very picky about music we like. We already have very similar tastes and it just seems to come together that we always have a whole bunch of songs that fit together.
Nugget: So what gets you guys amped before a show?
Dave: Seeing everybody. It’s cool, you come to a place and everyone’s there to hear your music.
Tim: We played in the UK. We’d never been there before and everyone’s wearing snow gear and goggles. How can you not get amped?
Nugget: One thing I really want to know – what’s your guys’ yearly budget for fake snow?
Tim: Well, we can’t take it on a plane, so every time we travel, we have to buy new snow … I don’t know. I think that’s a trade secret, actually. We can’t say. But we spend a lot of money on fake snow.
Nugget: If there was one artist, dead or alive that you would like to collaborate with, who would it be?
Tim: I think having a tune with Justin Martin would be pretty sweet.
Dave: Working with an emcee … but who?
Dave: Nah, that would be pretty cool but that’d be too intense. I’d say Big Daddy Kane or Rakim.
Nugget: Oh, shit! So what’s next for SkiiTour?
Tim: We’ve got another tour coming up. We’ve got some Alberta dates as well, a whole bunch of songs that we want to give a day. We’ve got a ton of free music that we’ll be giving away, a whole bunch of songs we’ve been working on and we’re about to go to the States.
Nugget: So I went out on Facebook and asked the fans what they’d like to hear from SkiiTour and here are some things they came back with: Would you rather fight 10 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
Tim: Ten duck-sized horses, I think.
Dave: Definitely, cause you can just kick a duck pretty easily. And a massive bill, on a duck-sized horse, that’d be big!
Tim: And it would just poop everywhere.
Dave: Well, horses poop everywhere.
Tim: Yeah, but it’d be all runny. With duck poop, it would get crazy. You’d be slipping and sliding everywhere.
Dave: Yeah, but you’re not fighting poop.
Tim: Ducks just poop randomly. You’d be in the middle of the fight and ducks poop to pee, you know.
Dave: Alright, fair enough.
Nugget: Would you rather change genders every time you sneezed or not be able to tell the difference between a baby and a muffin?
Tim: Those would both be very awkward.
Dave: I’d go with change genders.
Dave: Well, I don’t want to eat babies!
Tim: What If you sneeze like 10 times in a row, man? You’d be exhausted.
Dave: Sure, but eating a baby, you’ll get into a lot of trouble.
Tim: Yeah, that’s true. Gender for sure. I don’t wanna be eating babies.
Dave: Gender Benders could be our name!
SkiiTour have gained a lot of momentum over the past few years and show no sign of slowing down. These boys are on a mission to in still the spirit of Whistler in every town they visit and show us how much fun it is being one of the long haired freaky people.
By QUINTON BERGER