10 Quick Ones with THE INOCULATED CANARIES – January 2018

According to a recent press release: “New York based rock band The Inoculated Canaries has released the Official Music Video for their single, “Count Me Out,” off of their upcoming Trying TimesTrying Times, their second EP, is set to release January 12th.”  We get Brian, Mike, & Dylan to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Brian: I’m a writer, so I’m always looking for new and interesting things in a recording.  In the keyboard parts alone, there are so many cool things happening. A lot of texture, the texture was very important to us. There were different patches being used, little riffs that got put in, things you don’t notice until you really sit down and listen. For even more texture, there’s resonator guitar, melodica, horns, and even sitar all mixed up in there.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Brian: It’s kind of embarrassing honestly, I really liked Guitar Hero when I was little. My parents jokingly said that if I spent half as much time actually learning guitar as I did playing Guitar Hero I might be pretty good at it. On my 10th birthday I got a guitar. This little Korean Telecaster was the coolest damn thing I’ve ever seen. I had to learn all the Zeppelin licks I had heard from my dad’s records. Then the garage band stage happened and now we’re really trying to do something here.

Dylan: I think that Green Day’s American Idiot record really got me interested in playing music. Something about the energy of the songs. It stuck and made this something I wanted to do.  If we’re being totally honest, I picked the bass because literally, everyone I knew was playing guitar, and I didn’t want to do what they were doing.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Mike: My influences would definitely be David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix and  James are influenced by Green Day, Blink 182 and Streetlight Manifesto.  Dylan is an upright bass player heavily influenced by Jazz and Blink 182.  As for Brian, he’s our Music Theatre guy. Hates “Rent.”

Brian: I would say some of the people who definitely shaped the way I play piano are Billy Joel, Elton John, Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin.  Definitely groups like Journey, Styx for the more synth-based stuff.  And Jason Robert Brown for sure.  I love his writing for theatre and I try to incorporate that into my playing.

Dylan: I come from more of a jazz background (all that means is I think I’m better than you) so some of the names may be obscure – I learned more melodic and solo playing from listening and learning the music of Dave Holland and Ron Carter.  I definitely think that Mike Dirnt from Green Day had something to do with me starting to play bass. As a bass player, I’m obligated to include Flea for fills and Les Claypool for more “obscure playing” on the list.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Band: Alive? Probably Kevin Parker. Dead? Frank Zappa 100%

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Mike: I honestly don’t know how to describe our music because every song fits into a different genre. People have said we sound like U2, Foo Fighters, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam.  I guess they will have to decide for themselves.

Brian: I feel like there’s not one label you can put on it, and I think that’s a good thing, because it means you’re diverse.  You don’t confine yourself to a set of expectations or standards.  There are days we have a real classic rock sound.  Sometimes, it’s more of a jam band feel.  And then other times, it’s something closer to alternative.  Labeling is for the listener – they’re the ones that decide what we are.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Brian: I think the best thing is the chemistry and the rush that you get from getting up on stage with your friends and playing stuff that you created.  The idea of taking something that was in someone’s head and making it totally real.  And on top of that, watching people react to the music.  Anytime I see someone in the crowd that likes what we do, I consider that a success.  Like we connected with this person tonight.  That’s a great feeling.

Dylan: The creative process, whether it be writing an original or re-arranging a cover.  The whole process is very organic – gives everyone a chance to tell a story and bring it to life.  It is great to see ideas from multiple people come together to create this unique experience for us as the writers and performers, and the audience as the listeners.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Mike: We are definitely a bunch of morons.  When the four of us are together all we do is make fun of each other and then make even more fun of James. Not Brian though, Brian is such a sweetheart nobody could ever say a single mean thing about that kid. Dylan loves Jameson, James doesn’t drink, I don’t really know about Brian, and I can’t legally do anything fun for another year or so.

Brian: Collectively, our favorite pastimes are definitely roasting each other, sharing memes, and basically trying to see who can say the most outrageous thing at any point in time.  And I think that makes for great band chemistry.  Hopefully you can tell by watching us that we have this kind of rapport with each other, and I think it brings more energy to our performance.

Dylan: The four of us together are a special type of special. If you were in the room, you’d think we hated each other based on what you heard, but it’s all out of love…except for James. I think that the chemistry we have in our rehearsals and when we are hanging out makes us a tighter band on stage and musically – we’re a lot more comfortable with each other.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Brian: I always said that if I wasn’t into music, I’d be doing something with sports, and I still stand by that.  People are always really surprised to hear that, but I’m a huge sports fan and would definitely be up for working at ESPN.  None of that on-camera stuff though, behind the scenes.  I don’t have the face for Monday Night Football.

Mike: I can’t stand sports. Much to my father’s dismay I never really got into it.I’d wanna be a race car driver for sure. Either Rally or British Touring Car series.

Dylan: I don’t know if it’s a dream job, but up until my senior year of high school I thought I was going to college to teach history. Was always something I found interesting.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Brian: The first song we wrote, recorded and released as “The Canaries” was “From You.” A lot of people really dig that song but I can’t listen to it. Honestly, with of all the music I’ve written, recorded, released, I would go back and just spend more time fine-tuning all of it.  I’m a perfectionist, and listening to my old stuff, I always find myself making a list of things I would do differently.  And I’m sure even if I went back and fine-tuned it, there would still be a list like that.  But I’m always about putting out the best product I can, and there are times when, in my own mind, I didn’t accomplish that.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Brian: Sgt Pepper’s.  100%.  I was never a huge Beatles fan growing up, but I took this class in school where I learned about all the behind-the-scenes recording that happened on that album, and I can only imagine what it would be like to be a fly on the wall.  That album laid so much of the groundwork for today’s music, and almost anybody can trace their influences back to it.

Mike: Dark Side of The Moon. Just to see Claire Torre do those unholy vocals on “Great Gig.”

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10 Quick Ones with THE INOCULATED CANARIES - January 2018

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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