16 December, 2007
As a flood arises in the form of genres that have never existed in the form
before, the lovely folks at Toronto Experimental Artists have included a track
from Sons and Lovers
, a band who knows where their roots come from.
Non-existent is the inherently "popular" sarcasm of punk and the constant brooding
of some "Emo"; Sons and Lovers base themselves, fast guitar riffs and all, as
a real rock band. Forget the video games that make you a "hero", this is the
PHIL: How did you get into music? Was it a way to express yourself?
Everyone in the band has their own reason for getting into this, but
overall it came down to having a good time with your friends by doing
the one thing you all do really well together: playing music.
We don't really know what else to do with ourselves. We all lived in
Thunder Bay, Ontario and there isn't really that much to do up there.
You can play hockey, or you can play music.
The life of a traveling
musician always appealed to us a bit more than the life of a hockey
player. Not only that, but playing a guitar, beating some drums and
singing just came a lot more naturally to all of us.
PHIL: How was your group formed?
We all started off in other bands when we were all in high school. I
think each of us learned important lessons from our other groups,
playing different styles of music and dealing with different
personalities. Each of our bands broke up at the same time.
in Thunder Bay was a small one but it was full of fantastic musicians
and awesome songwriters, so we decided that we would love to get
together and play some cover tunes and just see how it felt.
We had a blast and we remembered why we got into playing music in the first
place... because it was a good time!
So we decided to take it a step
further and make a solid effort at writing the best music we could and
it all continued from that.
PHIL: Has the internet helped you in the promotion of your material?
In this age, if I can't find everything I need on subject on the
internet, I am not very motivated to find it through other mediums.
Luckily for me, I can always fine most of what I need about anything on the
internet. So with that mentality, Sons & Lovers always wants to have as much
as we can online and available for anyone who is interested in finding out more
about the band.
MySpace is obviously huge: we have booked full tours and hooked up countless
opportunities through it. Also using Facebook to create more of a community
between our friends and our fans has helped us a great deal.
We have been included on compilations (most recently on TEA Volume 10) and have
really put our music out there, and www.sonicbids.com
is a fantastic site where you can create an account and really connect with the music
industry all over the world. If anyone out there hasn't been exposed
to that site yet, you should check it out as soon as possible.
PHIL: What is the background behind your song "Sever All Ties"?
I had just gone through a pretty painful breakup with someone
after being with them for five years. Lyrically, the song addresses some
feelings that I had never expressed before in music.
Basically, I was pointing the finger at myself for betraying someone I
loved and destroying something very special that we had together. I hesitate to
use the words "self-loathing" but there is a pretty negative vibe throughout
the song, about feeling like a coward and a failure.
Musically, the rest of the band had just seen the awesome Canadian
rock group 'Ghosts of Modern Man' and we were jamming on some riffs
and beats that sounded like theirs. It came together pretty quickly.
PHIL: Here's a simple question: Do you describe your band as a Rock band,
or a Punk band? That definition has become ambiguous, least in mainstream music.
I feel like we have always been a rock band, straight up. When we
first formed, 'Emo' and 'Screamo' were the brand new trends, and it
would have been easy to implement some of those characteristics and
fit in to that scene.
Luckily, we sidestepped that and we were able to
find our own voice. People tried to lump us in with Metal bands and
Emo bands, but we always just rocked. As far as punk goes, that seems
to be more of a fashion these days which is just sad. Our roots will
always lay in rock music.
PHIL: What are your future plans? Any touring?
The future is looking pretty bright and busy. We are currently
writing the material that will be become our next Ep. We are looking
at some producers and trying to decide on who we want to work with and
who will help us bring our sound to the next level.
At the same time, we are making demos and looking at some indie labels to work
with so that we can get some more support and open up a few new doors.
Around February we might be hitting the road with a fantastic band that we
were in the Toronto Indie Week finals with called Lifestory:Monologue,
and after that we will release our new EP and tour Canada
relentlessly. Also, there is some talk of heading over to Europe for a
bit in the summer.
Phillip Hong is a co-host and reporter on Centre Street, our current affairs
programme featuring alternative stories and interviews.