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INTERVIEW: The Medicine Hat

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

-Hey VENTS, we’ve been doing great!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “New Survival”?

-New Survival is the first single off our upcoming album, which we’re releasing in the Fall.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

-Living in a new city. New surroundings, including people, were challenging for me to get comfortable in. When the initial excitement of this new place wore off, I started to feel all the fears of it not being home yet. New Survival is addressing those fears. It’s a sort of mantra I can sing to myself when I need comfort.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

-Eventually. We will be releasing a music video for our next single, in July.

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the album after the band?

-We’re seeing this album as a fresh start, a sort of rebirth. We’ve been playing together for 6 years, and our music has changed shape and grown up alongside us. Naming this new music after the band feels like a redefinition. A good way of saying “this is us now.”

How was the recording and writing process?

-Incredible, and really challenging. Writing lyrics for this record was the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my career so far. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to write anything. I was scared to write from too real of a place. I’ve written from a vulnerable place my whole life, but this was different. I lacked confidence in a way I never had before, and for the first time in my life I was afraid I wouldn’t write well. We were writing the music, and it actually came to a point where many of the songs had vocal melodies, and needed lyrics still. That pressure broke something in me. I just started to spit out what I was experiencing and feeling, and felt a little embarrassed at first. But these guys (in the band) are like my family, and they encouraged me, empowered me to embrace that raw, shakey place. I want to share that scary, sometimes messy stuff with everyone. Because I’m human. And being human is good.

Recording with Michael Keire at his studio, Threshold, was handsdown the best recording experience any of us have ever had. Mike was constantly pushing us to do better, to be bolder, to experiment. Working with him made us better musicians. Throughout our time in the studio, one of us would sort of timidly ask, ‘is this too far?’, and that’s how we would know we were on to something good.

Does Canada play a role in your music?

-Yes. Much of the lyrical content of these songs is inspired by Canadian landscapes and wilderness. I grew up in rural Ontario, and trees and fields and creeks and animals are part of my identity. The boys in the band drink a lot of beer, too. I prefer rye.

What emotions get to inspire the songs and lyrics on this record?

-All of them.

Any plans to hit the road?

-We’re doing a small festival circuit later in the Summer, and we’ll be heading up the St. Lawrence in the Fall.

What else is happening next in The Medicine Hat’s world?

-We’re writing for the next album! We love writing together. We’re collaborating with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance at Hamilton’s own Supercrawl in September. Aside from that, we’ll be playing pool every Sunday night at the shitty bar down the road from our apartment.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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