For decades Steve Smith has been stepping into the workboots as Canada’s favourite handyman Red Green. But can his trusty roll of duct tape help him hold his own with Symphony Nova Scotia? We spoke with Smith about this weekend’s collaboration, Red Green With Strings Attached.

How have you prepared for such an epic performance?
I’m on tour in the U.S. doing a one-man show with Red Green so that part of it, in terms of me just being odd, wasn’t difficult. To add a symphonic component to it we’ve taken a couple campfire songs and added a symphony to them … it was a good way of merging the symphony with the odd sensibility of Red Green.

So, could music turn into a side project for you?
I started in music so it’s kind of completing a circle a little bit. And you know, what’s better than live music with a bunch of great musicians? Everything’s electronic these days and pre-recorded … it’s one of the reasons I’m doing a one-man show. I’m getting away from television cameras and videotape and all that stuff. It’s just me and the audience.

Both Steve Smith and Red Green will be performing with the symphony, do your musical tastes vary from one other?
Radically. I actually like some music with more than three chords in it! But I always say to people, all of Red Green is in Steve Smith, but there are parts of Steve Smith that are not in Red Green.

You’ve also got a new book coming out, How To Do Everything. How do you go about researching such a topic?
You have to start with a tremendous ego — there’s no time set aside for research. My age is my research. And my scars.

Symphony performer, author, duct tape connoisseur … is there anything Red Green doesn’t do?
I’m not allowed to do home repairs because we have a nice home.