What are your names?
Ben Carter-Whitney: guitar, keys, production
Landen Moore: drums, percussion
Wyatt Fine-Gagné: vocals, guitar, primary songwriter
What is the band’s name?
How did you come up with the band’s name?
Wyatt: When we were deciding what to call the band, I suggested that we name ourselves after a bad western movie. None of the movie titles felt quite right, but somehow the wording of the suggestion itself stuck with us – Bad Western.
What is your genre of music?
Landen: Our music usually fits somewhere between indie rock, pop and folk. A blog recently referred to us as “indie poppers,” which we liked a lot.
Give us a little bio about you as a band and individuals.
Ben: Wyatt and I grew up playing music together, and we met Landen in Montreal, when we were all attending McGill University. We played under a different name in Montreal, and then took a couple years off.
What made you go in to music?
Landen: For all of us, making music is something we’ve always done. I think it’s something we’ll always keep doing, in one way or another, whether or not anybody is listening to it.
Are you signed?
You have released your new single ‘ Sainte Something,’ tell us more about the song. What was the inspiration behind the single?
Wyatt: Sainte Something was written during my final semester of school in Montreal, so while it started as a song about Montreal and the four years that we all lived in the city, it kind of grew into a reflection on endings and how we cope with them.
What was the writing process like?
Wyatt: One of our friends was producing a short film during our final semester of university, and asked us to contribute a song. I actually came up with the title fairly early in the process, and had a pretty clear sense of what I was aiming for. After plugging away for a couple of weeks, I essentially had the bones of the song done. When I brought it to Ben and Landen it was basically just acoustic guitar and vocals, and then we built it out from there.
What was the recording process like?
Ben: Long. When we originally recorded Sainte Something back in 2015, it sounded more like a folk song, centered around an acoustic guitar riff and solo vocals. When we returned to the song for this EP, we played around with the instrumentation, adding more electric guitar, backing vocals, bells and feedback to give it more depth.
You have also released a new EP soon, can you give us some spoilers of what to expect?
Landen: We’re released three of the five tracks as singles already, so you can get a good sense of it for yourself, if you want! Taken as a whole, the EP tracks the arc of a relationship – excitement, insecurity, comfort, loss and acceptance.
Describe each track in two words.
Otters: New, unknown
White Shoes: Escape together
True (With You): Feeling comfortable
La Fontaine: Moving on
Sainte Something: Looking back
Will we see any music videos coming soon?
Landen: We’ve been working with some friends on a video for White Shoes, the lead single from the EP. We’re just finishing that up, and will be sharing it later in the summer.
Do you have any shows coming up?
If so where will you be heading?
Landen: We’re playing in Toronto on July 14th (event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/265976947314401/), with more dates to come in the fall. We’re staying pretty close to home for the time being, but we’ll hopefully have the chance to go farther afield soon.
What else can we expect from you this year?
Ben: We’ve already started work on writing and recording a bunch of new songs – if all goes well, we’re hoping to be releasing some more new music later this year.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Wyatt: Not at the moment, although we should shout out our friend Hatley, who recorded fantastic backing vocals on the EP for us. She’s currently based in London, and you can check her out on Facebook or Instagram
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Wyatt: Sure! Message us on social media, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you play any instruments?
Ben: We all play a whole bunch of things – between the three of us, in addition to the instruments we play in Bad Western, we play banjo, mandolin, trombone, saxophone and upright bass.
Who are your influences?
Landen: They’re all over the place, but lately we’ve all been pretty heavily into Alvvays, Soccer Mommy, and Hop Along, to name a few.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Wyatt: I don’t think there’s any single answer for this really. I try to write down any song or lyric ideas that pop into my head and I have a notes folder in my phone that continues to grow. It’s also important for me to carve out time to be on my own so that I can dig deeper into those ideas and figure out what drew me to them in the first place.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Landen: Hopefully a lot of the same things we’re doing now!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Ben: Listen to music.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Wyatt: Champagne Socialist, by Arkells. Their lead singer went to high school with my older brother, so listening to them feels like cheering for a hometown team. Watching them build their base over the past few years has been an inspiration.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Landen: Try and listen to the music that you love in a different way.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Ben: Sam Roberts has said that after he wrote his first song, he tried to “make each song that I wrote, if not better, at least a little less bad.” It’s a powerful idea – you have to let yourself be bad at something to get good at it.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Wyatt: Right now we all live in Toronto. There’s a great microbrewery scene here, and visiting those is also a great way to see different parts of the city. We were all recently at Left Field Brewery in the east end and had a great time.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Wyatt’s lucky nickel
Ben’s knowledge of audio tech
Landen’s hair elastics