Sunday, December 17The Voice of London

“We went through really emotional breakdowns” say Courage My Love

Words & Photos: Sal Fasone | Subbing: Joanne Clark and Lavinia Petrucci

Courage My Love are back in the UK to present their album Synesthesia, after a week on Warped Rewind At Sea. Here, they talk about their relationship with fans, their love for poutine and obviously their UK tour.

An energy and relationship within the band I have never seen before, Courage My Love know how to hold the crowd and go crazy on stage. Make sure you follow this band around, because you’re going to hear from them often.

First of all, I love Canada … Jesus you guys have poutine!
Phoenix: Yeah! Chips and gravy!
Mercedes: You guys should have it in the UK. So good.

Welcome to the UK. How do you feel about playing overseas and not in your home country?

Phoenix: It’s honestly really fun. It’s like our third time coming to the UK. Every time it’s a good experience. It’s just fun seeing how different the crowds are, the vibe, the places.

Mercedes: Fans are so enthusiastic. I think they really appreciate the fact that we’ve travelled from another part of the world to be here. So they give that extra push during the set.

Do you think there’s any difference between your fans in Europe and the ones in North America? 

Phoenix: I think the European fans have been waiting, we have been a band since 2011 and we came to the UK for the first time last year. They have been waiting so long for us to finally make it over. They are so thankful and grateful. You can really feel the good vibes…

You come from a small place in Canada, do you find it difficult to have success?
Mercedes: I don’t know why I feel like sometimes it’s hard for a Canadian band in general just because we’re not part of the US and they have such a big scene. The Internet is helping us a lot though, if you have social media… it doesn’t really matter what country you are from. People can just look you up and find stuff.

Are there any struggles to face as an up-and-coming band?
Mercedes: I mean, if you’re an alternative band yeah, a little bit. Partly because you don’t always have huge radio backing.
Phoenix: Especially when you sing, you write that fine line between pop and rock, you’re like too pop for the rock, and you’re too rock for the pop kids.
Brandon: But as we said, if you use social media and you work hard, it’ll be fine.

Are you a fan of social media though?
Phoenix: Yeah! That’s why we came to the UK. We read and found out people wanted us to play here. So we knew someone was going to come to our shows. The UK has always been our second bet just based on where our fans are based from online. That’s another reason why social media is such another great tool for bands nowadays.

Speaking about Synesthesia, can you tell us more about it?
Phoenix: The three of us, when we were writing and recording the album, we were all going through some really serious emotional breakdown in our lives, we went through super rough break ups with people we thought were “the one”. We were all really depressed and confused. It was kind of the perfect storm for writing a record, because I always find when you’re going through rough times, those emotions are so close to the surface, so songwriting becomes a lot more honest and a lot more raw and real and even the emotion that you exude in the studio, I think you can hear it on the record. And we didn’t even mean for it to be a “concept” record. It kind of came out that way because we wrote the first six songs when were feeling really down. We were crying in the studio, then the last couple of songs that we wrote, we had a little break for writing some more and you can totally hear the sort of change our attitudes and our confidence.

This tour is coming to an end. What were the ups and the downs of it?
Mercedes: Ups, obviously the shows. Also meeting and sharing the stage with Chapter and Verse. We had so much fun together. Downs, our tour manager is really sick. He’s got this crazy cold.

You guys played Warped Rewind At Sea. How was the experience?

All together, I swear they replied: SICK!

Mercedes: This is the first time they did Warped on a cruise and it’s sold out. I hope they do more since the whole Warped Tour is ending. We had an amazing experience and the lineup was fantastic.

Speaking of Warped Tour which you’ve done in the past. How do you feel about the announcement that next year it’s the last one?
Phoenix: Such a great experience, such a great tour. It taught us how to tour. It’s a 3 month process . You play every day, and you do everything yourself, you load in, you meet the fans. It’s a tough tour but at the same time it’s such a great experience. People describe it as a band’s tour. The vibe is intense.

Best band you liked seeing every day?
Mercedes: Boston Manor were really great. But also Sworn In.
Brandon: Creeper!

What’s the best thing happened to you in 2017?
Phoenix: This year was so sick. We toured non-stop. It’s the first year for us that we had constant tour. It seems like when something comes to an end another opportunity rises up. As a band, it was essential to find out that we can do this and we enjoy doing it.

Synesthesia is out now!

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