BY ALEX JONES
It was the beginning of summer 2017 and eager to go out, I tagged along with some friends to a musical networking event that took place at Tract 9- a converted industrial factory in Toronto’s west end. Collaborative shows like these are great because you get a variety of genres and usually meet the people behind the music. Everyone was hip, the venue was sweet, and the music was unforgettable.
That night I heard plenty of fantastic young artists do their thang, but one performance that really stood out to me was one done by Mount Farewell. Pictured in the header photo (left to right) the band consists of Brady Anderson, bass guitarist, Noah Thrall, vocalist, Nathan Day, lead guitarist and Adam Thurston, Mount Farewell’s drummer. Besides being effortlessly cool, they had this indie-pop musical IT factor that sucked the audience right in. If my memory serves me correctly, everyone was almost certainly begging for an encore by the end of their set. That night as I headed home on the streetcar, More Like You (one of my favorite Brave Shores tracks) playing in my headphones I thought ‘damn- I really should have said something to those guys’. So, when brainstorming who I should begin my interview series with, as luck would have it, that Brave Shores song came on again in my shuffle playlist and it hit me. Who better to start with than the guys I wish I’d gotten to know a little better. With that, I jumped on the chance to get the inside scoop on who they were and what they might be up to a year later. Since seeing them they’ve done more live shows including one at Canadian Music Week and continue to impress with mention of a second EP on the way. Check out our interview below and give these boys a listen on iTunes or Spotify- I can promise they’re just as good live.
Alex: To start off I want you guys to tell MUSE a little bit about you. How would you describe yourselves individually and Mount Farewell as a collective?
MF: We’re honestly just a group of really good friends. We spend loads of time together and really love the creative process. We’ve always wanted Mount Farewell to feel like a unique entity made up of a part of each of us. And that extends to all aspects- not just the music. Some of us are stronger at writing and production, while others focus more on visuals or the business side of things. Ultimately for us, it comes down to creating and sharing music that we really believe in and feel has the potential to make an impact.
Alex: So how did you guys get together?
MF: We started Mount Farewell in early 2015. Noah and Nate had been friends for a while before that, and they started writing together after Noah had produced his own two solo EPs. It got to the point where it made sense to try to start a project around these early songs, and so Noah reached out to Adam who in turn knew Brady. After hanging out and jamming a few times we all felt like there was so much potential, and on top of that we all lived close by, we’re passionate about the same music, got each other’s sense of humour—all that good stuff. We’re really grateful we found each other and became such good friends through this.
Alex: I know you guys played Canadian Music Week this year. I would love it if you could share a bit about that experience. What did you take away from being a part of such an iconic Canadian festival?
MF: We loved playing at CMW. It was our first time at the festival, and it was an amazing feeling to be a part of the local music scene being showcased and celebrated all at once in the city. Every venue we passed that night had live music and we felt like we were a part of something so much bigger. It’s also inspiring to see so many hard-working artists, it really motivates us to keep getting better.
Alex: Motivators are key for sure- so who are your biggest musical influencers right now? Any specific band’s onstage presence, personal style, lyrics, sound – whatever that you try and draw from?
MF: We draw from a pretty wide range of influences. When making Love Letter Home (the band’s recent EP), we listened to a lot of pop music from the 80’s or artists influenced by the 80’s, like Phil Collins, LANY, The 1975 and St. Lucia. But in general, the music we listen to is pretty all over the place, we jump from stuff like Drake and Post Malone to more RnB or funk to Bon Iver — we consume a lot. Our new record is going to show a very different side to us than Love Letter Home did, something we’re a little nervous for but really excited about.
Alex: Yes! Your EP Love Letter Home was fantastic. Is there anything else you can tell us about these new tunes on the way?
MF: It’s going to show a different side to us. In some ways, it’s a continuation of the narrative from the first EP, but a bit more somber and driven by more vulnerability about life experiences. We’re really excited to share it. We can’t release a whole lot of other information right now, but you can expect new music very soon.
Alex: So you’ve clearly been playing a lot of gigs in the city and out, but you must have a favorite or most memorable one. What part of your experience there made it stand out? Was it the venue or the people…?
MF: One of our most memorable shows was at a youth camp called Muskoka Woods during their last week of the summer. Each day had a theme during that week, and we were invited to play at their “Muskoka Woodstock Festival” in a part of the camp they called “The Quarry”. It was a stage carved out on a hill especially for that day. Everyone dressed like they were at the Woodstock Festival, and they even shot fireworks at the end of the set. It was a breathtaking scene to play in, and it was sweet to be the soundtrack to such a legendary event.
Alex: So run me through what a backstage routine might look like for you guys?
MF: We each have our own ways of getting prepared, but it also depends on the show day. Some shows we opt for caffeine and try to get hyped up, while other shows we may need some time to be quiet beforehand to get honed in. That being said, we’re always joking around and having a good time. Normally right before going on stage, we get together and one of us will give a small pep talk to calm any nerves and make sure we’re communicating and not rushing anything. Most importantly we use that time to remind ourselves why we do what we do.
Alex: To end us off- do you have any advice for young musicians out there wanting to get their foot in the door?
MF: People say it all the time but practicing and spending time working at your craft is so important. There’s a lot of competing voices out there, so take the time to get to know yourself and what motivates you and then let your work grow out of that. You can’t cut corners to make music that connects with people.
All images courtesy of Mount Farewell & @mountfarewell on Instagram