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Interview: Alanna Matty
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I was lucky to have amazing music teachers at every step of my journey who pushed me to pursue music, and I’m very grateful for them! If I wasn’t doing music, I would probably still be working in sound design with in video games as I do now, or pursuing a career in film and television.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I was younger I would read all the time, I absolutely love stories and they would inspire me to write my own, whether in music or actual short stories. These days I play more video games than read novels, but I love the storytelling that you can find in games these days, the stakes feel higher and more important when you play a part in how the ending goes.
How long has your band been around?
I’ve been playing music live since about 2012
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of Toronto, Canada. I’m not sure how much this has influenced me genre wise, but having access to so many amazing venues and being able to see so much live music definitely helped me grow as a musician.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The worst by far was when a tiny local bar called me two days before the did asking me to cover for a slot at 11pm on a Tuesday. I somehow managed to wrangle the band and bring out 10 people, but right as we got off the stage the promoter roller skated up to us (yes, roller skated), pouted and said “you didn’t bring a lot of people” then handed me $20, which was our cut of the $10 door fee. We played such a great set, super last minute and to be brought from such a high to such a low was incredibly disappointing.
The best was probably our set at the Mod Club, the biggest venue we’d ever played. The lights, the sound, the feeling of playing to such a great crowd in such a cool venue is a huge highlight for me.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Sadly my favourite venue (The Local) was torn down to build condos. It was a tiny place, just a hole in the wall bar, but it held a really important place in my heart. Someday I’d love to play Massey Hall; it’s a legendary venue in Toronto and it would feel amazing to fill those seats.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Easy question: Feist, Patrick Watson with me as the opener. Three Canadian musicians who I hope to be as legendary as someday.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
It’s hard. Coordination is difficult. Being the decision-maker is difficult. Learn to listen and appreciate how much other people can bring to your experience as a musician.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Dude, chill. People like you, I promise.” That’s it. That’s the advice.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I’d love to say “Little Dreamer” which is my most recent release, but “Only option” is the song that still carries the most weight for me. Every time I play it, it feels like I’m opening my heart and mind up to whomever is listening.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
This is somehow more complicated than expected. If I’m playing solo, “Loved You First” is the winner, but with a band “A Song for my Love” absolutely. A song for my love is also my favourite to play with the band, but Little Dreamer or The Beginning are my favourite to play on my own. (The Beginning isn’t released yet, but will be in September!)
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
People inspire me so much. Stories, and situations and emotions. I’m not a very emotional person, but music helps me put my feelings into words and get them out of my system. When most people would go and cry, I have to go and write a song. It’s the same kind of catharsis.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Being human is hard. There is no right way to do it, and there is no one person who has it all figured out. We’re all a mess, and we’re all figuring it out as we go, and that’s okay.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Once COVID decides it’s time for a very long nap, I would love to tour both North America and Europe. I just released a single “Little Dreamer” and I will be releasing another single in September. Until that time though, I will continue to live stream my music performances on Twitch where I’ve found an incredibly loving audience.