WITH a name like Brenda…
I had to ask the Canadian band where it comes from – and whether there is a cool story they want to share. The guys chat about their new single, Children, and why its video was shot in south-east London. I ask them about their track and what meanings/stories lie behind it; what we can expect from the E.P., Creeper, and whether touring will see them come over here.
There is a lot of good stuff in the pipeline for the band so I talk to them about the remainder of the year and what is ahead of them; the new artists we all need to switch onto – and the music that inspired them to get into the industry.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Currently in the process of putting the final touches on some things; creating new things and discarding other things - while juggling our work lives.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. Our band is Brenda.
Andrew plays the drums; Jordan plays bass; Matt plays the guitar and sings backup vocals - and John plays the guitar and sings! We’ve been doing this project together since fall, 2015. Jordan Matt and Andrew were in a Punk band previous to Brenda, based out of Toronto.
Andrew moved away for a while when we started the band with a different drummer - and, after some changes, moved back to Toronto and joined the fun.
Children is the new single. It talks about the inevitability of growing old. Was there a moment or realisation that compelled the song?
The realisation probably came when we first started getting into a studio all together...
John had some songs that he had the bare bones of (one being Children) that everyone, together, kind of fleshed-out and transformed into one if not many different beasts - before it took its final form. When we realised, after a ton of practices, that we may have something; we all collectively decided that this was something that we were really going to seriously try and do.
Everybody gets old: we might as well really do something if we were going to do it at all.
Do you chaps feel like you are awkwardly straddling childhood and adulthood? Is getting it out in song quite cathartic?
We’re sure everyone is getting a cathartic release when they write songs in some way or another - and isn’t everyone straddling adulthood and childhood?!
Children’s video consists of old home movies. Where did that footage come from? Is it original (made to look old) or taken from another source?
Artist Sarah Ann Watson, at a church service in south-east London, shot the footage on an old camcorder.
The service was a gathering to pay tribute to Joseph Grimaldi - an entertainer that was considered to be the father of modern clowning, that lived and performed in London around the late-1700s. Sarah is a family member, and close friend of ours, and she does incredible video work. She shot the footage before we finished recording and proposed it to us after.
It works really well.
PHOTO CREDIT: @brianmcmillanphoto
Toronto seems to be busy with life – so much so I am going to have to turn away artists from there due to the dominance on my blog. What would you say is the reason for this influx and output of quality?
There are amazing artists living all around Canada - so it seems only natural that they flock to big cities like Toronto, Montreal; Vancouver etc. Toronto has an extremely strong music community that tend to not only stick together when putting on shows, releases and whatever else - but they also open their arms to anyone that wants to get involved. Not only are the musicians open, but also the promoters.
Everyone helps everyone.
PHOTO CREDIT: Dominique van Olm
How did Brenda get together and what is the origin of that band-name?
Like we said; Matt Jordan and Andrew were in a band together before.
Jordan met John through friends and knew that he was writing music alone - but always wanted a full-band project. They wanted to begin playing together again, so Jordan called up John…and the rest is history.
The band name kind of started as a joke that stuck. We were bouncing first names around that struck an image in our heads. ONE of us said, 'Brenda'. None of us has owned up to it but it strikes a high-school scene in the early-eighties. Ha ha.
That’s really all we have for the origin of Brenda, but it works!
Do you all share the same music tastes? Give me an insight into your record collections?
We generally ball-park the same kind of stuff at the core.
To name a bunch: The Black Lips, Fat White Family; Wand, Brian Jonestown Massacre; Ty Segall, Joe Walsh; Goblin, Jack Name; POND, Orb; Lightning Bolt; Marc Bolan, Psychic TV; Tiny Tim, Roy Orbison; Ex-Cult, Oh Sees; Night Beats, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; Can, etc, etc, etc, etc.
IN THIS PHOTO: Thrifty Kids/PHOTO CREDIT: Victor Sweet
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
What tour dates do you have approaching? Where can we see you play?
We will be at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto, October 20th - promoting a split we are doing with good friends of ours.
We are at the Piston on November 16th.
The U.K. would be a great place for you guys to perform. Do you get a chance to come over here much?
John is from the U.K. so he goes quite often.
We haven’t yet (for performing) but, hopefully, that will change!
It is coming up to Christmas. You guys have any plans at the moment?
Turkey and family!
Can we expect an album or E.P. in 2018? What plans does the band have?
We may or may not have a full-length planned - we’ll both have to wait and see. We’ve definitely begun the process of writing songs that fit together well.
We definitely want to travel more.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Be nice to everyone and don’t be afraid to send out emails to everyone - even if you think you are annoying them.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Sure…put up Crazy Bones - I Am the Sun