Interview with TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING
Questions answered by Stefan Sattran-McCuaig bass player/ co-songwriter of Too Much of Anything
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
STEFAN: I enjoyed creative writing and learning to play instruments when I was young and playing in a band is a perfect combination of both. If I wasn’t doing this I would probably have gone back to working in the film industry.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
STEFAN: I really love stories so whether it is movies, TV shows, or books if I enjoy it. I like writing songs that tell a story because of that, so I will often try and add some sort of cohesive narrative structure to my songs.
How long has your band been around?
STEFAN: The Too Much of Anything of today has been around for around 2-3 years, we started playing together and writing original music around 4.5-5 years ago though.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
STEFAN: We all grew up around the White Rock/Crescent Beach area, it has developed exponentially in the past 5-8 years but when we were growing up it had more of a small, bordertown-ish kind of vibe. It was a very grounded area at the time, materialism didn’t have a large influence on the people (generally speaking) so some of our songs cover what growing up in that space was like and focus more on a down to earth human experience, while criticizing and satirizing the things the mainstream holds in high regard.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
STEFAN: Funny enough none of us came up with it, it was a friend of ours that said it would be a cool band name and we just went with it. As for what it means to us, they say “too much of anything is bad for you” and in the world we live in today with culture in North America reveling in materialism and excess, the name kind of describes the state of the world we live in perfectly.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
STEFAN: I would say our very first show was our most unforgettable one. We organized our own show in an empty warehouse that our friend’s company was no longer using and we were allowed to build a small stage and set up some show lights. It still feels like something out of a movie thinking back on it, you never forget your first I guess.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
STEFAN: We recently played a gig at The Portside, although the stage was on the smaller side the way the venue was structured made it easy to engage and interact with the crowd which made the whole experience more fun for everyone there. As for a dream venue in the future, locally we’d love to play at the vogue theater, hopefully in the near future, outside of our local space though The Paramount theater in Seattle would be a dream since it hosted an iconic performance from Nirvana, one of our bigger inspirations.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
STEFAN: Dang, that is a really tough question, if we had our pick of any artist through the years in their prime I think some names that we’d love to we beside on a ticket would be Nirvana, Queens of the Stone age and Green Day.
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?
STEFAN: To someone who has just started playing with a band I would say to give your all at every performance even if there are only 5 people in the crowd and never half ass anything and always put out the best quality content with what’s within your means, never half ass anything or catch yourself saying “that’s good enough”.
To my younger self I would say keep your head up and imagine where you want to be rather than focusing more on the present, having a clear vision of the future helps you get to where you want to be.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
STEFAN: Well if I could talk to a young teenage me who was just starting to get into writing songs as a form of therapy and dreams of playing music were beginning to bud in my head. I would reassure him not to hesitate in writing honestly and being yourself. In rock, people can sense when you're trying to imitate someone rather than just draw inspiration from them, so don’t try to copy your inspirations you can pay homage to them in more subtle respectful ways.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
STEFAN: For me it would be our song “Nostalgia”. The song is basically a conversation between my present self and who I was at the age of 19-20 disguised as a rebellious coming of age story. It is an introspective look at how I was trying to escape the changes going on in my life at that age, not knowing who I really was and just wishing I could go back to a time when I was young, naive, innocent and the weight of the world didn’t hang over my shoulders like it does for everyone that age. One of the main subjects the song hangs on is mental health which is something that is affecting more and more young people these days and is an issue close to me personally.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
STEFAN: My personal favorite to play is “Falling Apart” although it isn’t particularly challenging to play, it has a lot of subtle little flares and rhythm changes that I really enjoy doing. Our most requested song to play is probably “F*** Yourself” which is scheduled for release, later this year, I think people like it cause when they sing along they get to scream F*** YOURSELF at the top of their lungs which is funny to watch from the stage.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
STEFAN: How it usually goes is Keenan or I write a song on our own and then present it to everyone, we run through it a few times, figure out everyone's parts and fine tuning sections as we go, bouncing ideas back and forth amongst ourselves in our homemade jam room until we are all in agreement with what we’ve created. Since me and Keenan write our songs completely separate from each other I can’t speak for what inspires him only myself. My goal is to make music that everyone can relate to and find some comfort in no matter what their background or orientation is. Song ideas often come to me when I am messing around on my guitar or bass and I play a riff that triggers some emotion, feeling or memory and I write based off of that.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
STEFAN: I always try to have a factor of relatability or camaraderie in the songs I write. I generally like to write about the struggles of monotony, dealing with change, trying to understand love and the agenda that the powers at be try to force on the general population. I hope this lets people that are dealing with the same issues the songs talk about know that they are not alone.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
STEFAN: We are all really close friends, but friends still fight of course. Since we treat each other as equals in the band whenever there is a disagreement we usually talk it out and discuss it amongst everyone and work through the issues as a group. We get most of our frustrations out by playing Super Smash Bros though.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
STEFAN: We are going to be releasing 7 songs in a row month by month which we have already started with “Just for the Night” and “Falling Apart” the next song we’re releasing is “Too Much of Everything” coming out in early September. We’re going to keep playing shows and keep making music. All I can say is we’re not one of the biggest bands in the world…yet.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
STEFAN: We probably update Instagram the most frequently but we are on pretty much every social media platform. You can also find our music on all music streaming platforms and youtube!
Facebook, Youtube, Music Streaming Platforms: Too Much of Anything