Rich Aucoin is a sentimental guy, from what little we know of him personally. But on a professional level, he’s focused, mission driven, and goes for what he loves to do: make music that he loves to share with other. Now, in addition to that, he’s about to embark on his PRESS ON TOUR – a charity focused and driven tour for the benefit of Mental Health America and The Canadian Mental Health Association.
It’s not his first rodeo, and he seems very content on what he’s trying to do, for a large and vast predicament for those afflicted.
This is how the tour will go-down:
He’ll start his tour from Los Angeles and from there go from city-to-city that’s slated on his west coast tour, riding his bicycle (no, not a motorcyle) to the next destination. There he’ll meet his band mates and crew, do their thang on stage for the many adoring fans of his, then have ‘celebratory parties’ (well, that is, getting up early for the next date).
Aucoin fourteen date PRESS ON tour starts on March 26th.
It’s certainly an undertaking. But as we mentioned, he’s as strong and talented on the bicycle, it seems, as much as he is entertaining and energetic on stage for his fans.
Below is an interview with Rich, where CHF took to ask him some off the beaten path question, about his tour, about his bike, and a little about his regimen.
We thank him for the time he coordinated with us, the weekend before the start of this tour.
Kudos, Rich. Kudos.
He’s rep’ed by the folks at Bonsound in Montreal Canada.
(CHF)You’ve done long ago a similar ride for charity supporting The Childhood Cancer Foundation. Could you summarize a bit for those of us who aren’t familiar with it?
(RA)Yeah, it was my first tour. I wasn’t really a cyclist at the time either but I knew I wanted to tour slowly across the country and see Canada at the same time. So I flew out to the opposite coast (Victoria, BC) and proceeded to bike back while playing 40 shows over 96 days. I knew the physical feat of this endeavor could garner donations from individuals so I thought I should make the tour a fundraiser at the same time and chose The CCF because of what great work they were doing with such low-overhead as I didn’t expect to raise that much on my own without any corporate support or marketing.
(CHF)Now you’re doing another Tour for Mental Health America and The Canadian Mental Health Association. Is there a backstory for the choices in the charities you ultimately chose?
(RA)I’m just hoping to cycle through a number of charities over the course of my musical career and so Mental Health and anti-depression has been something I’ve thought about raising money for for a bit now. The show’s concept has been trying to uplift and reset all the people coming out and have them leaving filled with positivity and has been described a few times as a natural antidepressant so it felt like a good time to make an anti-depression themed tour.
(CHF)Was there a funny story attached to the original name of “F#$K You Depression” name being changed to “Press On” instead?
(RA)Not really. I probably could have just called the tour that in 2018 but Press On just sounded better in the end.
(CHF)What motivates you to do these kinds of bike tours? It certainly is not an easier way to being charitable, right? Or is this something that means more to you, because you’re getting your hands dirty?
(RA)Oh I just feel like this is something I can do that can have a positive impact and I enjoy the adventure of the tour so it made sense to pair them together. I’ve always enjoyed attending shows that are fundraisers as well as it gives another level of the positive benefits to the experience.
(CHF)They’re ALL awesome cities, but do you have any of the cities where you’re expecting any crazy amount of celebrating after the ride?
(RA)Oh no celebrating until it’s all over in NYC. Will be rising early until then.
(CHF)Let’s go bang into your bike set up. What bike will you be using to travel from one city to the next?
(RA)Cannondale Touring Bike
(CHF)How long have you had the bike?
(RA)Never rode it. Ha
(CHF)Are you a bicycling geek? LIke as in having more than 2 bicycles? Any fixies?
(RA)Not really. But I love cycling and have rode many bikes over the years. Fixies are fun.
(CHF)Are you into Professional bike races (i.e. sanctioned by UCI)?
(RA)They’re cool but not something I actively follow
(CHF)Were you into biking early in your life?
(RA)Yeah, I think it’s a great way to get around and see places while traveling. I generally rent bikes when I travel to get around cities.
(CHF)Was your brother and/or family members into cycling in general?
(CHF)As a fan of cycling and rider as well, we’re very much jealous of your energy and strength to do this kind of bike tour. Any secret diet regimen you’d like to share with us mere mortals?
(RA)Oh I think just eating a lot of calories is the important thing. You’re body will let you know. My appetite tripled when I cycled across Canada. Would plough through a huge breakfast each morning before starting the ride. Staying hydrated is key too.
(CHF)Do you prefer to eat caffeine gels during the rides or go hardcore and only eat bananas during such rides?
(RA)No caffeine for me.
(Final Thoughts by Rich)
Well I write my music to be a soundtrack to old movies: Personal Publication EP w/ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, We’re All Dying to Live w/ a film I cut together from 40 films in the public domain from It’s A Wonderful Life to Night of The Living Dead, Ephemeral w/ The Little Prince and the new record is with another film too. I play either solo or with large bands and sometime have gotten to play with an orchestra backing me up. I’m really into films and so my shows are highly visual and employ the same sort of sync experience as Dark Side of The Moon with The Wizard of Oz in a hyper collage way.
Recently Rich had announced that he’ll be playing the very popular River Fest, taking place in August (Elora, Ontario).
For tickets go [HERE].