IN many ways…
Mushy Callahan remind me of Kings of Leon. The band has that family connection – they are all brothers in Mushy Callahan – and there is always the risk of tension and disagreement. What comes through, though, is incredible music and a deep connection. I have been speaking with the Toronto band about their E.P., Revelations, and the single, Deep Meadow.
I find out what life is like in the band and what gigs are coming up; the sort of music they vibe to and draw influence from; if we might see them in the U.K. at some point this year; if they get time to chill away from music; what the band want to accomplish before the year is through – a great window into a talented group on the grow.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are well! We are just coming off from the release of our new E.P., Revelations, and we are happy to finally share the music we’ve been working on.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are four blood brothers: Noah, Joel; Jacob and Lucas. We’re based in Toronto, Canada and play Alternative Rock with a heavy influence from '60s'/'70s' Classic Rock.
Deep Meadow is the lead-off single from your E.P., Revelations. What is the tale behind the song?
Deep Meadow is a song about running from your past. There are some people and experiences that have weighed me down in the past and given a sense of regret. The concept of the song is about shaking off the past and not looking back.
Can you define your E.P. in terms of its subjects and what compelled the songs?
The songs came from personal experiences. One of the songs came from a feeling of love lost; another was inspired by some moments of a dream I recollected. While writing the songs, the process kind of opened my eyes and the honest style of writing unravelled its meanings to me - so we named the E.P. Revelations.
Mushy Callahan is a band of brothers. Are there advantages and disadvantages of playing as siblings?
I think there are definitely both. Some of the advantages are that we have a long history of playing music together, since childhood. It’s easier to communicate ideas without hurting someone’s feelings in the process.
One of the major disadvantages is that the fights can be tense and the personal stuff can carry into the band…but, this is now our third release so we’re pretty good at working things out.
When did you all start to make music together? Did you all grow up liking the same sort of artists, too?
We all played music together as a family when we were kids. Our parents gifted us instruments as presents (when we were kids) so we all eventually took a liking to it. We had a piano and guitars in the house so we eventually gravitated towards music and all ended starting our own bands before forming this band.
I think the music our parents listened to definitely rubbed off on us: bands like The Beatles, The Doors and Supertramp were introduced to us as kids, so I think that era of music reminds us of being kids. We eventually all found our own favourite band but, at the root of it all, I think it’s the classics that we can most relate to.
What is Toronto like when it comes to making music and gigging?
It’s a good music city. We’ve had a lot of support from the industry here and met a lot of loyal fans. You can find virtually any style of music here and it’s been a good place to establish ourselves and get involved in the many festivals that are hosted here each year.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
We are likely to do some local dates (in Ontario) to promote the release of our E.P.
Do you reckon you’ll come to the U.K. and gig here at all?
We toured all over the U.K. a few years ago with a handful of shows which even included a trip up to Wales for a festival. We’d love another excuse to go back and tour as we met a lot of great people and really enjoyed the bands we played with.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
We hope to gain some more traction with our newest release and tour as much as possible. We love to be on the road and playing in new places and meeting new people. We hope our E.P. garners some more attention and gives us a reason to get back in the studio.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
There have been a lot of highlights. We’ve had some festival shows and big stages that stand out for us. But, I think the (most) standout memory is the first time we had our music played on commercial radio. It was years ago, but I remember feeling proud that we’d gotten that exposure from a song we wrote and recorded. It’s always great to have radio support, but that first time was special.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
The Rolling Stones. I think they’re one of the last great touring bands from an era that we appreciate. Our rider wouldn’t be too extensive; we’re not too picky. As long as there were beer and Canadian Club whisky, I think we’d be pretty happy.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I think the only advice we’d be worthy of giving is to keep plugging at it. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs being in a band and it’s quite a commitment. We have found it’s best not to get discouraged or take things too personally. Music is a hard business to break, though.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes. Always support the bands in your area in shows and social media. Commercial music will be the death of creative expression, since its less about what we feel and more about what we could get people to stream without that same connection. Bands don’t sell C.D.s so, if you hear something you like, ‘like’ it and subscribe to it on your social media - that’s a good metric for a band’s success and costs the fans nothing.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Work-life balance is key but, in our non-music time, we like to hang out together. Sometimes, we get together for a work out and others we keep each other entertained with good stories and company. The company seems to be key on long trips from home.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
King of the Rodeo - Kings of Leon
Lucas: Band of Skulls – Himalayan
Follow Mushy Callahan