Interview with A SHORT WALK TO PLUTO
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Max, Danny and Jake each began playing their respective instruments in highschool and, after excelling in the classroom, began taking a deeper interest in jamming together after hours in the school music room. Emma began vocal lessons at a young age and took a strong interest in musical theater, where she began forming her now distinctive and technically driven tone.
Danny and Max are each engineers, and had it not been for the band, would likely want to make amps, guitars and pedals for all the other awesome musicians out there. We like to believe Emma would be a big broadway star if it weren’t for her passion for rock ‘n roll. As for Jake, the premier golfer of the group and the only band member to pursue a degree in music, he would double as a PGA champion by day and gigging session drummer by night.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all love going to concerts, often together if it's an artist we all really like. Sometimes an artist will put on an awesome show and it only strengthens our desire to improve our setlist and live performance, so that we can give our audience an equally awesome experience.
How long has your band been around?
The band has been around since 2018, with Max, Danny and Jake knowing one another from highschool and Emma being recruited later on.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based out of Toronto, Ontario, so, naturally we’re going to be huge fans of Rush. Each member of that group has influenced each one of us in so many ways, and we feel our music reflects that.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Danny came up with the name after stumbling upon an old book on space he used to read as a child. The name of the band commemorates our desire for exploration and fascination with the unknown, while acknowledging the pieces of our past that make us who we are.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Blues Fest 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario was unreal! The opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd like that while seeing them engage with your music is beyond special.
We recently played a club called the Rivoli in Toronto, where some members of our audience managed to bring paper boats glued to popsicle sticks in anticipation of our song “Mary’s Paper Boat”. When Max struck his first chord, a sea of paper boats hovered above the crowd. It was incredible to be on stage watching that - “heartwarming” was the word that rang most true.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We’ve played Maxwell’s in Waterloo, Ontario several times, and each time we go back it's more and more fun! The same can be said about the El Mocambo in Toronto. As the band grows we look forward to playing bigger and brighter venues, with Massey Hall and the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto being bucket list items. The dreams don’t stop there, as we have our sights set on one day playing the Forum in L.A.!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The dream lineup would include Rush, Genesis, Queen and Elvis, but there are so many more artists we would want to include.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be prepared to work hard, but have fun! It ain’t easy keeping up with the writing, the performing, the content creation and all other aspects that fall into play when you’re trying to make an impact on the music scene, but remember to have fun along the way, otherwise what’s the point in working hard?
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t quit those piano lessons in the fourth grade, you’ll need them later!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Each one of us would probably give you a different answer, but we can probably collectively agree that Yorkleigh holds the most sentimental value to us all. The song rings bells of nostalgia while recalling memories we probably all had growing up in suburban Toronto during the 2000’s.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The crowd always loves Mary’s Paper Boat, and we love playing it for everyone! But if we had to pick one tune we love to play the most, it would probably be “Me, My Dog and our Time Machine”. If you haven’t heard that one yet, it’s because it’s yet to be released! Guess you’re going to have to come out to one of our shows to hear it ;)
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The genesis of most of our songs tends to begin with Danny or Max, usually a riff or a couple chords that really resonate with them. After throwing Jake’s drums on the tune and piecing a more complete arrangement together, Danny may collaborate with Emma on vocal melody and lyrics that compliment the song.
Inspiration for parts, melody, and lyrics usually come on a whim. Sometimes we’ll be listening to a specific band a lot around the time we’re writing a song and derive some of our ideas from their work. Sometimes a certain memory will arise and provide inspiration for lyrics. It really depends on life around us at the time of writing.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Whatever message is central to the theme of the song! Sometimes that message is nostalgia, sometimes it's love, and sometimes it’s traveling back in time with your dog in a time machine!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Sure! There’s four of us so naturally we’re not going to agree on everything. Typically speaking we follow a “majority rules” mentality with respect to moving past disagreements.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’d like to expand our audience and make an even bigger impact on not only the Toronto music scene, but the global music scene! We have a song releasing in early November called “Give Me Grace”. The tune is unlike anything we’ve done in the past and we’re super excited for everyone to hear it! Make sure to check out the awesome music video when it's released!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Check us out on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube or wherever you get your music under the name A Short Walk to Pluto! We’re also on instagram @shortwalktopluto, TikTok @shortwalktopluto and you can find lots of cool merch on our website ashortwalktopluto.com.