Canadian band lucky to escape unharmed after tour van written off in collision with moose

The Standstill's damaged van
(Image credit: Van: Renee Couture: Inset: Lane Dorsey)

Canadian rockers The Standstills have had a lucky escape after their tour van collided with a moose during a downpour just south of Wawa, a small town in Ontario. The band – frontman Jonny Fox and drummer Renee Couture, alongside bassist Brendan McMillan – were on their way to a show supporting Theory Of A Dead Man on Saturday in Thunder Bay, ON, nearly 500km to the west, when the accident occurred.  

"I was driving down a hill with a curve at the bottom," McMillan tells Classic Rock. "As we started to round the curve we saw a Moose walking into our lane. Both myself and Jonny started yelling "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!" There was no time to react and avoid the large animal. All I could do was slow down as much as I could while maintaining control. My only thought was safety. 

"We hit the moose straight on and I managed to get the vehicle over towards the shoulder of the road before it became immobile. Still uncertain of the extent of the damage and the location and condition of the moose, we came to a stop and made sure the four of us we uninjured. With everyone completely uninjured, and the shock starting to wear off, we wiped the broken glass off of ourselves and started making calls to the police, tow company, insurance etc."

The band continued the story on social media, saying, "After an hour of help from the OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] and CAA [Canadian Automobile Association] we made it to Wawa, where we faced the inevitable: we were stuck and likely going to – for the first time in our bands history – miss a show. 

"Then miraculously as insane as this sounds, at 1:30am an Ontario Northland bus pulls up across the street and the driver (Chris Cavezza) after hearing our story agrees to take us to Thunder Bay and with all of our gear. We still can't believe it... What a rollercoaster of emotions in that hour and a half."

The Standstills finished their post by thanking Cavezza and the others who helped, before reflecting on their lucky escape: "We say it and believe it but never lived it until now," they say. "Rock'n'roll ain't dead until you're dead."

Sadly, the moose did not make it. Unable to stand after the collision, it was put out of its misery by police at the scene.  

In March The Standstills released a new single, Motherlode, taken from last year's second album Shockwave. The song features Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes and Three Days Grace guitarist Barry Stock. The Standstills will also be supporting Eagles Of Death Metal at their upcoming UK and Germany shows in July. Full dates below.  

The Standstills European Tour 2023

Jul 04: London O2 Forum Kentish Town, UK*
Jul 05: Sheffield Leadmill, UK*
Jul 09: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany*
Jul 10: Leipzig Täubchenthal, Germany*
Jul 11: Hannover Capitol, Germany*
Jul 13: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany*
Jul 17: Berlin Huxleys Neue Welt, Germany*
Jul 18: Nurnberg Hirsch, Germany*

* supporting Eagles Of Death Metal

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Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.