Exceptionally well. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Just Survive”?
Absolutely. Just survive was one of those songs that started out as something totally different. I had the melody in my head for a long time and wrote a version of the song and thought it was done… but then when I recorded it for the first time I realized that what I thought it was about wasn’t conveyed at all. It was very cryptic. So I completely rewrote and the record it and stripped away everything I was hiding behind and made it as up front and honest as I possibly could.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Yes and no. The feelings and sentiment in the song are certainly real, but the song itself was more of a way to express those feelings for myself and for those close to me who confided in me through difficult times. I chose to sing from the mother’s point of view because I could sympathize so much with the pain a situation like this brings with it. It’s also something that just isn’t talked about enough and should be. It wasn’t until releasing this song that I realized how many people go through situations like this and have no one to confide in or to let them know that it’s ok.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The whole experience was amazing. Getting everything done under such tight timelines was very stressful, but altogether exciting. Because of the timeline I basically just rounded up my friend Mark Utley on his one day off to film it. Asked my friend Joe Marques if he knew any cool abandoned houses or forested areas around as he’s constantly exploring for his photography. We rented a car and drove around filming. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like and what I wanted the story to be, but I have also never directed anything so really had no idea what I was doing. It ended up just feeling like a big road trip where we sometimes had to jump out and film when we saw something that we wanted. We filmed a ton of stuff that just didn’t feel right and eventually found the house where most of the footage that made it in was filmed. Thankfully the owners were so nice and allowed us to use the house to film. We kept it as raw as possible. We didn’t use any lighting aside from natural light, we didn’t wear any makeup. It was very organic feeling. I learned a lot that day and even though it was a very long and at times grueling I’m excited to do it again.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording process was strange. It started out as an acoustic song which I recorded in Montreal in my friend Maxwells apartment. I took it to Crispin Day at Taurus Recording in Toronto to finish but it wasn’t the song I wanted. Before I could finish I broke my hand and was unable to do anything. I sat with the song over that time, re wrote it and re recorded it with a full band over a year later. I was in a pretty bad place mentally at that time. I couldn’t play or work and felt very isolated. I think that helped me tap into the feelings I was able to capture on the song as well as a few others I re wrote during that period. I’m not super happy I broke my hand, but in a way it helped change the path of the record… hopefully for the better.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! There is a record that is done. It’s taken such a long time but it’s ready. We’re just waiting to find a home for it that feels right.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Skeletons will be the name of it and we’re shootings for an October release. There will hopefully be another single out before then though.
Any plans to hit the road?
Without a doubt. We plan to hit Canada hard over the next while and then hopefully make our way to Europe and the U.K. in the winter. Ideally a full Canadian tour and some American dates will follow in the spring.
What else is happening next in The Hope State’s world?
Where to start? I think this will take too much time to answer so I’ll simply say we’re getting ready to play as many shows as we possibly can and release a bunch of material. A lot of exciting things to look forward to, just impatiently waiting for it all to unfold.