Artist: The Town Heroes
Single: "Only One"
What is the inspiration behind your newest single “Only One”?
Lyrically this is a song about finding something you need in your life and not letting go of it. Sometimes it takes a while to recognize the things that make us better people, but when we do see them, we have to make sure to latch on. Musically we wanted the energy of the song to continually grow as the song progresses.
Tell us about your upcoming album, Everything (Will Be Fine When We Get To Where We Think We Are Going).
This will be our first album with additional members, and instrumentation, in the band. Our previous 3 releases were recorded as a duo. On those records we never really wanted to stray too far from what we could do live. That approach essentially crafted what our sound was, but also put sonic limitations on what we would do in the studio. We had ideas for additional parts, but didn’t want the hook in a song to be something we couldn’t duplicate on stage. With this record we didn’t want to have any limitations on what we were creating. We wanted each song to have the room to go in any direction.
Thematically, I wouldn’t say this is a concept album but there are a number of consistent themes throughout. A lot of the songs talk about trying to find your place in the modern world. I think it’s a fairly difficult thing to do nowadays. A lot of people are kind of just floating lately, myself included. We’re all on 50 different social media platforms, hyperconnected and watching the world go by. It’s easy to be disconnected and get overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of everything all the time… to never really be present in the current moment.
A lot of us seem to always be waiting for the next thing in our life… whether it’s a job, a partner, an album or whatever. We think that when we get there everything will be fine, our life will be fulfilled and our worries will disappear. The problem is that a lot of the time we might not be looking in the right spots… or going in the right direction at all. What we think we need isn’t always what we actually do. This album is about stepping back and trying to look at things from 50,000 feet to analyze our own habits, dreams and idiosyncrasies. It’s about perspective, becoming less detached and trying to zero in on who we really are. And for that matter, what we need.
There’s a line in Kerouac’s On the Road, when a man stops and asks, “you boys going to get somewhere, or just going?" I think a lot of the time now it seems like we’re all just going. This is about trying to figure out how to get somewhere.
What is your favorite track off the album?
Probably “Words for Days”. It’s a slow, drum and bass driven groove layered throughout with droves of guitar hooks. It’s funkier than anything else on the record, even has a small hip-hop influence at times. It’s a song I wrote almost 10 years ago and has always kind of stuck around. I’m glad we finally got to bring it to life.
What inspires your songs more—personal experiences or the world around you?
I don’t know if I can really separate them. My songs definitely come from very personal experiences, but they’re never really about just one thing. My favourite songwriters typically write about something close to them, but tie in how their personal story is interconnected with the world and how they’re experiencing them together. I try - not always successfully - to do the same.
What sparked your aural addiction?
I remember being a kid sitting at my grandmother’s piano and just hitting different keys together. I had no idea what I was doing, but knew that some combinations sounded really cool to me and made me feel something. That’s probably my first memory of music and sound affecting me in a positive way. That… plus my first order from Columbia House when I got 50 CDs for a cent… or whatever that deal was back then!
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Man… there’s so many cool musicians, producers, and writers I look up to that I could go on forever. In the non-musical sense, I’d like to get together with Old Dutch Chips to create a delicious Town Heroes inspired flavour. I could win a Grammy or sell a billion records, but having our own flavour of chips would be the pinnacle of success in my parent’s eyes.
Are there any genres of music you would like to try or avoid?
Musically, I’m always trying to listen to different genres to soak up any knowledge I can and learn as much as possible from what they’re doing. As a producer and engineer, I’m always curious as to how certain sounds are obtained. In that sense, I listen to a lot of stuff where I’m not necessarily interested in the song itself but more so the sounds in it.
What was the first album you ever bought?
I was buying a Walkman when I was about 11 and my Dad said “you might as well start off with something good,” and pointed to Queen’s Greatest Hits. I walked around listening to “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” on repeat for about 3 years.
What is currently on your playlist?
I’m a big fan of The National so their newest album “Sleep Well Beast” is getting some love. Explosions in the Sky are my go to when doing any non-musical writing. Just looked at my Spotify most played of 2017…. Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” is number 1… I love that song.
What is your favorite type of performance venue?
Each type of venue has their own unique aspects to it. A sweaty rock show in a dingy bar has an energy you can’t really duplicate anywhere else. A house concert or soft seater can create an intimate connection with the audience that feels really special. But really, as long as people are listening, it doesn’t matter. I’d rather play to 5 people who are into what we’re doing than 5000 who we’re just background noise to.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
When I was 12, a man came to my school in Cape Breton with a Cheetah. He asked animal related questions to the group of students and I answered so many of them consecutively that he called me up in front of the school to pet the cat. Petting that drugged out, drooling Cheetah who was snatched from it’s natural habitat to be taken around the world and put on display for various large groups of people, was probably the greatest moment in my life. I tell my wife that our wedding day was, but it’s hard to beat touching a really fast cat.