Daniel Romano is a man of few words.
Speaking over the phone from his tour’s first Canadian stop in B.C., his answers to Metro’s interview questions are direct and to the point, just like the collection of classic country songs that make up his latest album, Come Cry With Me.
However, one thing is more than evident. When it comes to country music, this former member of indie rock group Attack in Black has done his homework.
“It’s a tradition and it’s got a formula and a form,” said Romano. “You’ve got to stick to it to certain degrees.”
Many of the tracks on Come Cry With Me are wrought with heartbreak. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Romano was in a dark place when he wrote them; he is a professional storyteller.
“Those are just written to be sad, not because I am sad,” he said. “When you know how to write a song you don’t have to be dramatic in your real life, you just write a song.”
Some of the heavy hitters who informed the writing on Come Cry With Me include Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Little Jimmy Dickens.
A strong Canadian element also runs through Romano’s musical DNA.
“There’s lots of Canadian country music,” he said. “It had its heyday, for sure.”
He cites Victoria-born folkie Ian Tyson and East Coast yodeler Wilf Carter as influences.
Growing up in the Southern Ontario steel town of Welland, he said his grandparents listened to this music when he was growing up.
“Welland is half Irish, half Italian and a little Portuguese,” said Romano. “Hard dudes listening to sad songs, that kind of thing.”
In fact, he even gets his trademark Rhinestone-covered “Nudie suits” from a Western wear tailor in Waterloo, Ont.
Romano plans to release his next album in the summer of 2014, and has some new tunes lined up for this tour. He said the material he’s working on now remains firmly planted in the country tradition.
“With Come Cry with Me, I tried to make it as straight country as possible,” he said. “I’m most comfortable with it, you know.”
Daniel Romano and his backing band the Trilliums play in Saskatoon on Oct. 17 at Vangelis Tavern. He is on tour with Spencer Burton, who performs as Grey Kingdom.