You Sing, I Write: Q&A with The Canon Logic

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q&A with The Canon Logic

With the craziness of CMJ week back in October, I just realized I never posted my full Q&A with the guys of the Canon Logic. Originally, I intertwined my show review and interview for my CMJ festival write-up, (which you can read here) but thought fans might want to read the interview in its entirety. Be sure to check TCL out on MySpace and if you like what you hear, catch their show this Friday at Southpaw in Brooklyn!

The Canon Logic are:
Mark Alu
Sean Enright
Josh Greenfield
Tim Kiely
Michael Mignano

To hear more about their upcoming album, live show and how they define their music (at one point, jokingly as "a mint-scented breath of fresh air") read below.

Is this your first time at CMJ?
Tim: It’s our first time playing at CMJ, yeah.

I loved your set, how was it for your first CMJ performance?
Tim: It was unbelievable. The fans were great. We had a blast; we always have a blast onstage. We felt pretty tight.

Josh: I could only really see the first two rows of people. It wasn’t until the very end that I went up front and realized there was a pretty packed house, so that was cool. Our fans are great.

Mike: It’s pretty cool to know that we can get a good group of people out at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night and they’re acting like its 11 p.m. on a Saturday; dancing, screaming, singing along. So, it was cool, it was a good feeling.

Is this what you expected CMJ to be?
Tim: I think it was everything we expected and more.

Josh: It was really a great show; a lot of people were there. It was really nice to have our fans come out and support us. It felt like an awesome Saturday night show at a bar.

Tim: It’s fun to be a part of the madness, it’s exciting

You just released another EP and you’re working on an album also, right?
Mark: We just released our EP. It’s a collection of unreleased material just to give people a little something until we’re finished.

Josh: It’s sort of showcasing some of our other stuff. We have a live sound going, but we have some other music that we write that probably won’t make the album, but we still want people to hear it.

What should fans expect from your full-length album out in 2009?
Tim: We’ve dwindled the list from a couple hundred songs down to hopefully 10 to 12 songs.

Mark: It’s the best of the best that we’ve got.

Josh: We’ve finished instrumentals on four tracks and the production is ridiculous.

Tim: It’s the best sound we’ve had.

Mike: Expect a refreshing kick in the face.

How do you feel you stand out at CMJ vs. all the other bands around?
Tim: I think something that we do, which is the toughest aspect of our music, is having five people singing while also being able to handle the rock attitude. I don’t see many bands do it. I don’t know if I’ve seen a band do it and pull it off well. We’re really confident in what we’ve got going and I think that’s what separates us. And we’ve got great songs.

Josh: You can also expect a little bit of everything; some dancing, some singing along. We have a lot of songs that our fans come to shows to see and they’ve been learning the lyrics; they’re really easy to sing along to so they really enjoy getting into the songs and dancing and also head banging and rocking out too.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Mike: Our corny catch phrase is a mint-scented breath of fresh air. Realistically, I’d say it’s a gritty blend of harmony driven pop.

Josh: I think that it hits on anyone from your grandparents to your parents, to my sister who’s in high school, she really likes it. I think we have a wide range of fans. We like to try and bring everybody together. We’re trying to pull from so many different influences. We really like the classic rock stuff and we also like what’s going on now. I think we have a good balance of the two, which allows everyone to really get into the music. We enjoy that aspect of it.

What else do you want fans to know about you?
Tim: Our blog, thecanonlogic.com. If you want to be up-to-date about what’s going on with the album. We post pretty much everyday. We’re writing songs every day. There is so much music to show people, we want them to hear it. That’s why we released this EP.

Mike: Can we tell a funny story? We definitely want everyone to visit our blog, we post very regularly to our blog multiple times a day. A quick funny story about that blog is, this morning I was picking up my badge for CMJ. I took a picture of the CMJ thing and I immediately uploaded it to our blog and I titled the post, “CMJ Badge Pick-up.” Well, somehow throughout the day anybody that ended up Googling CMJ Badge Pick-up was directed immediately to our site over CMJ.com. So, our site trumped theirs.

How did you pick your set-list?
Tim: We wanted to start off quick and really give everybody a kick to the face while also trying to show our versatility. But really, we were just trying to rock people out for 45 minutes to an hour. We like everyone dancing.

Mike: We like to keep people moving.

How do you react on nights when the crowd isn’t moving or interested in your performance?
Tim: We’ve been together long enough where there’s no one standing there. We try not to let whatever the audience is doing affect us. We’re always trying to be the best we can be. The audience definitely motivates us, but if they’re not kicking it, we still will.

Mike: The bottom line is, whether or not there is one person in the room or 100, we’re still going to give everybody that came the best performance we can give. We don’t get bummed by low numbers if we ever have them. We just rock out.

Did you prepare for your CMJ showcase differently than other shows?
Tim:
Not too much differently than our normal shows, other than the fact that we’re giving out a lot of free stuff. We’re giving out our EP and hopefully you’ll see people around Manhattan wearing The Canon Logic sunglasses. Otherwise, no. Same kind of thing, coming out and playing our best.

Josh: We have enough loyal fans that every show, even though not everyone can make it to every show, the amount of people we’re pulling from ends up giving us a pretty packed house. A lot of our shows are similar in the sense that people are there, really getting into the music and enjoying themselves. We try not to change it too much.

What is the writing process like between all of you?
Josh: We all like to write. Generally Tim will bring a song in or someone will bring a piece to him and we’ll just throw out ideas. It’s rare that we ever have a finished song that one person brings and does. Maybe we’ll have a bridge and a chorus or a verse and a bridge and then we’ll expand and we’ll try different things. Our songs are rarely ever complete. We’ve been playing this one song, “The Run” for three or four years. It’s probably one of our first songs and we’re still changing it and trying to make it better. Nothing is ever really finished. We’re always trying to change and stay ahead of the curve and keep things fresh.

You were on Warped Tour and MTV2 recently. So your music is definitely getting out there.
Sean:
Both of those were great because we rarely get to touch upon the teenage demographic. Usually we’re playing at bars so we’re lucky if we can sneak some 18+ in on a good night. That’s a huge crowd playing 13 through 18. We really take advantage of those; we either have give-a-ways or practice extra hard. I think the MTV2 thing was the perfect example. We made a point to be on point and grab as many fans as we could when we had a chance because those opportunities are, at the current time, few and far between.

Do you feel like a band can survive being independent or are you looking for that record deal?
Sean: We don’t feel any immediate pressure for our careers to get a record deal. We know plenty of bands who have gotten low-level indie with major distribution who have just gotten screwed over and they’re on the shelf for three years. We know better than to make a stupid move, but we can sustain ourselves if we put out a really good CD just on MySpace and grassroots. We’re smart guys; we have plans all the time, different marketing schemes.

Josh: The Internet has really been a great tool. We all work and during the day, probably about a few hundred emails in a given day might go back and forth so we’re always in contact. Sure, we have our jobs, but this is what we want to do. We try to do as much as we can on the Internet. I think we’ve gotten a lot of younger fans from the Internet because they’re the ones that go on the Web sites, comment and check things out. That’s why we like to try and get a few all-age shows, 18+. Sullivan Hall is a great venue because it’s 18+, so a lot of the kids from NYU come, a lot of college kids. In the end, that’s the loyal, dedicated people that come out. Once you’re out of college it definitely gets harder to come to shows. The Internet’s been wonderful to us.

Be sure to give the Canon Logic's MySpace a listen and check out their Web site as well. Watch a live performance of fan favorite, "Avenue of Criminals" from their performance during MTV2's "Battle of the Bands" below.

2 comments:

brownstein said...

excellent video teaser of their upcoming album i just found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPUHesz1YU

cool guys, great music. keep it up, tcl!

Annie said...

Awesome! Thanks for the video.

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