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Road to Go North: Fast Romantics bring 'an uninterrupted desire to party'

In this edition of Road to Go North, we hear from Matthew Angus of Fast Romantics, who are set to perform during the second annual music festival on St. Joseph Island this weekend
Fast Romantics - Jen Squires
Fast Romantics. Photo credit: Jen Squires

In preparation for the second annual Go North Music Festival, SooToday reached out to the participating artists to get to know these hard working musicians a little better. And to have a little fun.

Next on our Road to Go North series, we catch up with Matthew Angus from Fast Romantics, a six-piece indie rock outfit based in Toronto, Ont.

What are your three favourite things about touring northern Ontario?

Big memories. My family used to take these road trips every single year to St. Jo's to spend the summer on the island where my mother grew up, with my grandparents and extended family. The nostalgia is strong every time we pass that storied St. Joseph Island turnoff, and I can’t help but picture that swooping bridge that my uncles helped build. When I was a kid that bridge seemed huge.

What are the three most important things to pack for festival season?

Sunscreen. Extra picks. And an UNINTERRUPTED DESIRE TO PARTY.

What are three ways you battle bugs in northern Ontario?

Not a fan of Deet. So… there’s definitely not going to be three ways to battle them, there’s not even really one way. I think a calm, zen-like embracing of the inevitability of being eaten alive is one’s only option.

What are your top three road trip listening essentials?

Nick our drummer, Kevin our guitarist, and Lisa our keys player. Between those three magicians, the rest of us don’t have to work too hard, we’ve got some badass DJs in the van.

What are your three favourite Ontario skinny dipping spots?

You skinny dip? That’s crazy. When I was a kid I was dangling my legs off a dock and a giant silver pike swooped up and bit my toe. There’s no way I’ll be dangling any of my more vital body parts in any lake. But if Kirty was answering these questions I’m sure she’d be able to answer this beautifully.

What are your three favourite Ontario craft brews?

It’s really really hard to just pick three. Woodhouse make amazing beer, they’re in Toronto and I’m sure they’re going to blow up. Collective Arts out of Hamilton make great beer and were kind enough to put our band on their can once. You know what else is good? Outspoken Brewery’s Rabbits Foot IPA. High five, you tasty Soo brew.

What are your three favourite topics to read about?

Music. History. And really any topic on

What are your three favourite ways to pass time on a long tour?

We rotate out of the DJ position in the van and introduce each other to amazing new bands, that’s gotta be number one. Sleeping off the night before isn’t necessarily a favourite, but it’s crucial. Oh, and we also have a very hallowed tradition of seeking out Olive Gardens in strange towns and having romantic band dinners in them.

What are three things you know about St. Joseph Island and/or Sault Ste. Marie?

I know that my mother's entire side of the family grew up in the sailor’s encampment. I know that the best place to fish for smallmouth bass in the 90s was off a dock belonging to an older guy named Mr. Rush who owned the place next to my Grandma’s house. I know my family’s sugar bush yields the finest maple syrup ever made on Earth. And I know it’s one of the most beautiful places to grow up. Oops. That’s four.

Besides being a musician, what are three skills you'd like to learn?

I want to learn to speak 27 languages. I want to get better at making songs, cause that’s honestly all I want to do. And I want to get better at answering questions in groups of three, because I feel like half of these answers fell short.


The Go North Music Festival is a one-day event in Richards Landing on St. Joseph Island held this year on July 14.

Headlining the 2018 lineup is the Juno award-winning trio, Elliott Brood. Also featured are the Fast Romantics, Shred Kelly, the Andrew Parkhouse Band, Jackpine, Ambre Mclean, Harrow Fair, and Andy Chillman.

Other festival highlights include food vendors, locally-crafted beer, and local artisans and producers. In addition to the main stage, there will be activities for kids and a kids stage with performances by the main stage acts (kids 12 and under are admitted to the festival free).

Overnight camping will again be available for tents and trailers and will feature the ‘camp stage’ after hours led by Andy Chillman.

For ticket information, please click here.

Full festival details can be found here.