Interview with THE NORTHWEST
at got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think we all got into music for the collective drive to express ourselves and be included in a music scene, we had all been in various bands together at one point until the five of us ended up together and it stuck. If we hadn’t gotten into music who knows what we would be up to – maybe a curling team?
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all like to travel, whether it’s going to concerts or visiting cities we have never been, that always helps shape your perspective of the world and how you approach songs. We also spend a lot of time camping and going to cottages and trying to find a positive summer vibe to reflect in our music as well.
How long has your band been around?
We started in 2013 and have recorded 2 EPs prior to this one, I think we really found our songwriting style on our new EP ‘ALL IN’
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and this is an important location to us for two reasons. One is there has always been a great rock/punk/indie/metal scene here so there are plenty of different perspectives on music – the whole scene tends to be tight knit and supportive of each other. The second reason is that it is winter here literally half of the year, so there is nothing better to do than huddle up in a rehearsal space and stay warm with music!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Not gonna lie – we got together around the same time Kim and Kanye had a baby haha
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Just last week we just played a show at our hometown arena (GFL Memorial Gardens) opening for the Trews and Mariana’s Trench and that was by far one of the best experiences this band has ever had. This was the first rock show back at the arena since 2019 and the crowd was really into it – I think we made an impact.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Currently I would say Loplops in Sault Ste. Marie is our favorite place to play, since we have all been around the music scene for a long number of years, I would say our ALL-TIME favorite venue was Foggy Notions, it had the same feel as The Horseshoe in Toronto and always had bands coming and going almost every night. (Our video for Long Hair (Longer Nights) was filmed there!)
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The Clash (you said ANY lineup) / Gaslight Anthem / Matt Mays / The Northwest
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?
Really get to know the local scene you are in as well as the scene of genre you belong to in an online sense. Both of which might help pave the way in finding the fellow artists you belong in a band with.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Practice more and start developing a writing style early on. It doesn’t matter if your songs arent very good, creativity is a muscle that needs to be developed.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Unsober October hits us all hard because of its subject matter – everyone in the band has been affected by substance abuse and its repercussions on the people around you.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Our very first song ‘Young & Wild’ always helps us get into a groove especially if we haven’t rehearsed in a while. We tend to outgrow our old songs on every release but that one always stuck because it is fun to play and downright nostalgic at this point. We also do a cover of ‘Burning It Down’ by Steve Earle & The Dukes that we put our own spin on – it is always a blast to play, and people request it at every show!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
In general, Yak will write a few riffs that go well together (like an intro into a verse then into a chorus), it will be sent to Wayne for some lyrics/narritive and structuring then we will bring it to rehearsal. Marc will find a drum groove for the riff and structure it more, Mike will find a bass part to help strenghten the foundation and Greg will find an ‘icing-on-the-cake’ guitar part to tie it all together. It was a challenge over the pandemic as we couldn’t get together but utilized cloud-based recording software like Bandlab to help demo ideas – it was the only way for us to write over quarantine periods.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We usually just rip the band-aid off and say what we have to say – we all knew each other prior to the band and have been through a lot of massive life experiences together over the past 10 years so we know we will all still be friends at the end of the day.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are really trying for summer festivals next year to keep us busy – our songs sound best outside on a hot day with beverages in hand! We do have a new music video directed by our friend Jeff King, he managed to nail the exact feel of the song – if you hate your day job and fantasize about leaving in a blaze of glory, well here is the video for you:
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
We stick to Instagram more than any of the socials:
For music and merch here is our Bandcamp site: