Andrew Wedderburn and The Milk Chicken Bomb in the Edmonton newsmedia

Author Andrew Wedderburn (The Milk Chicken Bomb) has been appearing all over the Edmonton papers recently, in advance of his book launch at the 'Spines and Strings' event on Saturday, April 28.

The Edmonton Journal interviewed Andrew to ask a few questions:

A little readin', writin' and rockin'!

Mari Sasano, Freelance

Published: Friday, April 27, 2007

HOT LITTLE ROCKET,

Velvet Underground,

10030 102nd St.,

Saturday night, doors at 7,

tix: $10 at the door

- - -

A lot of musicians pursue other arts, but Andrew Wedderburn of Calgary's Hot Little Rocket has chosen the hardest one: He has written a novel, The Milk Chicken Bomb, to be released this week by Canada's venerable Coach House Press (where bp Nichol, Michael Ondaatje and others began their careers).

In celebration, his band will host a dual book launch/rock show along with two of Edmonton's bands with a literary bent, This Civil Twilight (featuring U of A English professor Mark Simpson) and The Ways (featuring Wayne Arthurson, author of Final Season).

You've published a novel! On Coach House Press!

AW: Yes! I've released my first novel. I'm pretty proud to have it published by Coach House. I sent it to them, and fortunately they liked what I was going after.

What's it about?

AW: The book is The Milk Chicken Bomb. It's about a 10-year-old kid who lives in a small town in Alberta and runs a lemonade stand. It kind of explores things that are wrong in this kid's life and the adults around him.

What came first, the writing or music?

AW: I've always wanted to write, ever since I can remember. I read The Hobbit and thought, I'd like to do this. Then, as a teenager, I had a similar experience with rock music, listening to Bob Mould.

Say I want to write a novel. How do I do it?

AW: You just have to work and find the time.

Do you have a recommended reading list before people come see your show?

AW: I think people should read Wayne's book. And my biggest hero is Robert Kroetsch. He's the guy who made me realize that I could write about where I come from. So just read your favourite. It will put you in the mood.

And Vue Weekly profiled Andrew Wedderburn's dual identity as author and rock musician:

BEWARE: IF YOU LIKE HOT LITTLE ROCKET, THEN MILK CHICKEN BOMB WILL FIND YOU

JOEL KELLY

Don’t even think about getting on the wrong side of Hot Little Rocket frontman and novelist Andrew Wedderburn, or you might find yourself on the business end of a milk chicken bomb.

“It’s repulsive but fascinating,” laughs Wedderburn. “It’s awful and it smells bad. Real estate gets condemned over it.”

A prank so vile and dastardly Wedderburn won’t admit to ever having performed it, it’s even difficult convincing him to tell me what it entails: a Molotov cocktail of poultry and dairy, hidden in some poor victim’s house until bacteria creates its putrid revenge.

However, it does make an excellent title for Wedderburn’s recently released first novel, which he will be reading from before his band takes to the stage at the Velvet Underground.

“I went back and forth between titles for a long time, and there was this phrase, the milk chicken bomb, that kept popping out at me in the book,” he says.

The Milk Chicken Bomb revolves around a 10-year-old protagonist growing up in rural Alberta, a setting that Wedderburn is intimately acquainted with. Although he currently resides in Calgary, he grew up just to the south of our southern neighbour in Okotoks.

“You can be where you’re from,” he says, citing Alberta author Robert Kroetsch as an influence. “That was kind of a big deal for me. He showed me that writing for Alberta was okay.”

Wedderburn is proud to be part of a growing rural voice in Canadian literature.

“It’s really exciting that we’re getting different perspectives and opinions outside urban, central, traditional Canada,” he says. “You think about places like the Maritimes, where they’ve got this huge tradition of writers and voices … I think it’s really important we here on the prairies can relate to that, to have our own voice.”

The new author is just as proud to talk about his other creative outlet, Hot Little Rocket, though he admits balancing the dual roles of writer and musician is a blessing and a curse.

“Every time we go out on the road, I bring a notebook,” he says. “Of course, I never write a word. It just never turns out that way.”

That being said, he appreciates the differences between the creative outlets.

“Music can give you this abstract, out of the blue inspiration—you can get led in certain directions,” he says, admitting that writing is much more an individual pursuit. “The experimentation is up to you, and there’s just one chance to put it across to people. You don’t get a chance to go back and fix it at the next show.” V

Sat, Apr 28 (7 pm)

Hot Little Rocket

With This Civil Twilight, the Ways

Velvet Underground, $10

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