• Charlotte Hardman

Louder with Courage My Love

Despite garnering millions of collective views across their videos on YouTube and touring across the world, Canadian alt-pop trio Courage My Love seem to inexplicably have flown under many people’s radar- until now, that is. Accompanying As It Is, Trash Boat and Holding Absence on the former’s UK and European tour, and with a new single ‘Remission’ in tow, the three-piece are making their presence known in a big way. We caught up with them before their show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz to chat about the single, life on tour and their musical inspirations:

Last month you released your new single ‘Remission’- how have you found the response to that single so far?

It’s been so sick because we knew it was going in a different direction, and we weren’t sure what the response was going to be, but I think the reason the response has been so good for this particular single is because you can really tell that we all really put our personality into it, not even just in the song but in the way the video turned out as well. I think fans of our band that have been fans for a while can really see that and that’s why they’re into it, and then the people that are just hearing us for the first time are drawn to it for the same reason.

The accompanying video for ‘Remission’ is haunting and then comical- is that mixture of light and dark something that you feel spans your musical output?

We originally weren’t going to have that comical twist, but I really wanted the ghost to become something that you weren’t afraid of by the end of the video, because for me the ghost was meant to be a metaphor for painful memories, maybe of an ex or something, so we wanted that turnaround to happen, and we were trying to find a really effective way of doing that but it just came across the best if it was something funny and comical and light. That shot where he’s playing guitar wasn’t actually supposed to make it into the video, we just sort of did it for fun, and then it ended up making the cut! It was all something of a happy accident, but when I’ve shown it to people that’s the part where they start smiling and laughing!

We’ve touched upon how this song takes elements of your own personalities into it, but do you ever struggle with putting such intimate parts of your life out there for people to digest and interpret in their own ways?

That’s a really good question! In the moment when you’re writing it, at least for me, I don’t think about who is going to hear it necessarily, it just comes out the way it is. Right before we release it I always feel a little bit nervous, because we’re all so close to everything we put out that we hope that people feel all the same things we felt when we were writing it. At the end of the day though, as much as we appreciate people hearing it and when people really connect with it that’s amazing, we’re ultimately doing it for ourselves so I try not to think too much about if people are going to like it- it’s about what you’re comfortable writing and what you want to express.

Your sound has a lot of grungy alt-pop influences, a sub-genre that is rapidly growing in popularity- does having that quickly expanding community around you help push you to develop creatively, or does it make it harder to make yourselves heard?

There are so many good bands out there now, I feel like it can feel like it’s harder for your band to stand out, but when bands are in competition with each other I feel like it’s just going to be negative for everyone so I try to see it more as listening to other bands and getting inspired by them, and I think that’s a better way to view it. Nobody owns a style, and if you look at Courage My Love, our style has changed so much from when we started to now, and other people were doing it before we did it too, so to be salty that other artists are doing stuff like that would be a little weird!

You’ve already completed the European leg of this tour with As It Is, Trash Boat and Holding Absence- how has tour been for you so far? Do you have a favourite moment from this tour?

It’s been great- it’s not been long enough; we wish it could be a bit longer! Favourite moment? We loved playing in Paris, for me that was a really cool moment, getting to play there and hearing people sing along! We also got to play Amsterdam, and we’ve never been to Amsterdam before, so for obvious reasons that was one of our favourite stops on the tour! We saw Bring Me the Horizon in Amsterdam too, it was (Bring Me frontman) Oli’s birthday show and everyone was talking about it because they played such old-school jams, so that was a really special show!

This tour line-up is a really mixed blend of bands, genres and sounds- do you feel that touring with such a mixed bag of bands has an impact on your own creative processes?

I think with music, if you’re into something and it just clicks with you, then you’re going to be inspired by it. When we saw Bring Me the Horizon, for example, they’re not the same genre as we are, it really inspired me, the way they put on their show and their light show and stage presence and everything was such an inspiration to us. Seeing all these guys perform every night is great: even though it’s such a diverse tour, every band has something to offer and they all do their ‘thing’ really well, so as long as a band or artist connects with you on some level, you’re going to be inspired. I think it definitely made us choose our setlist a little more carefully though- we wanted to play our new stuff, but we also chose some older, slightly heavier songs that suit this tour a bit more!

Now that ‘Remission’ is out, can we be looking forward to an album release on the horizon?

Because it took us so long to write an album last time, we’re trying to focus more on just writing songs and then perhaps collecting them onto an EP. Pale Waves had this thing where they’d just be releasing songs and videos, and then eventually they complied them into an EP and then an album, and I think that really works for a band like us too, because we’re always writing, and then when we have something written that we like, we have to sit on it for so long until the album is released! So I think the approach of just putting stuff out and then compiling it and adding new stuff to make it an album is more what we want to go for this time around. We’ve never actually done that before though, so we’re a little nervous, but hopefully it works out!

And with the backing of the new waves of fans that Courage My Love undoubtedly scored themselves with the set that followed, they should have no trouble following through on their ambitious future plans! Their set was a bright, energetic bubble of echoing synths and animated guitars that proved that Courage My Love are one band who will lodge themselves fondly in your memory!

‘Remission’ is out now- check out the video below:

Connect with Courage My Love on Twitter: @couragemylove

Connect with Courage My Love via their website: www.ilovecouragemylove.com

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