What is your name?
M: “I’m Mercedes and I sing and play guitar in the band Courage My Love.”
What is your genre of music?
M: “I’m always so stumped by this question, but I guess I would have to go with Alt-pop, indie rock?”
Give us a little bio about you.
M: “We’re a three-piece band from Canada. I’m lucky to get to play alongside my twin sister and my best friend. We tour the world and write sad songs that connect with sad people.”
What made you go in to music?
M: “My twin sister (Phoenix) and I have just always been drawn to music ever since we were little. When we were kids we used to write songs about imaginary situations before we had any real life experiences like heartbreak, etc. We got really inspired by movies and books. I think maybe that’s why the visuals and music are so cohesive in our band. Literally as we’re writing lyrics and the track is coming together and there’s a vibe in the room I’m imagining what the video will be like.”
Are you a signed?
M: “We’ve been signed to Warner Music Canada ever since we were 17 years old. Pretty wild! Our parents had to sign our first contract for us because we weren’t even of age to sign for ourselves yet!”
You released your new single ‘Slow Motion’, tell us more about the single.
M: “On a surface level, the song might seem like a typical love song. The lyrics about falling in love at first sight, and if you’re falling together you want to slow that fall down so that this feeling lasts a little longer. Cuz as we all know, when you’re young and in love the odds of that love lasting forever are pretty slim. But we went a darker route with the video. I wanted to juxtapose happy, romantic lyrics with very creepy imagery.”
What is the meaning behind the single?
M: “I was inspired by a term known in addiction circles as “the pink cloud”, which refers to a feel of complete bliss after detoxing for the first time. The recovering addict will experience a surreal, short-lived form of happiness. I ran with that theme and applied it to the many addictions people face today. Literal drugs and anti-depressants being obvious examples, but also more insidious ones like social media came to mind. I think we all suffer from some forms of anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness and disassociation, and that’s why we seem to be so drawn to media platforms that make us feel “connected”, even if it is in an artificial way. The video for SLOW MOTION tells the story of someone who is in this dark place, isolated and depressed, yearning for that fleeting feeling of connection. They come across an online drug trial and try this “miracle pill” that promises to solve all their problems… but at a cost. I wanted to make the video relevant to how I believe a lot of people feel in this day and age, especially young people growing up with all these social media platforms that cater to our insecurities and delusions. I wanted the video to be a Courage My Love social commentary in a way, revealing the true nature of how it feels to be alive in 2019, under the boot of major corporations, targeted ads, and algorithms.”
Describe the track in two words.
M: “Sick shit.”
What was the writing process like?
M: “This song came together really quickly. Phoenix and I had gone through a creative drought for a while, experiencing some pretty tough writer’s block. We weren’t really sure what direction we wanted our sound to go in and we just felt sort of lost at sea creatively. But for whatever reason as soon as we got those first four chords and the groove down in the intro, the song just seemed to write itself. It was the first one that really felt like us in a long time, and for that reason I think we both grew very attached to it.”
What was the recording process like?
M: “We sort of recorded and wrote the song simultaneously. We have a little home studio now, so Phoenix produced the song herself and really pushed herself to a new level that we hadn’t seen before. We experimented a lot with dreamy 80s synths and percussion. I had to change my guitar playing style a little to fit in with the vibe, so that was a fun challenge. I also really tried to push the melody writing part of my brain to make every part as hooky and pretty as possible. It’s first chorus we ever wrote where I’m not belting my brains out, which let me explore a softer, more vulnerable side of my voice.”
Who did you work with on the single?
M: “It started out just Phoenix and myself, but we always collaborate with our manager Chris Perry, who is a producer himself. In fact, he produced pretty much all our old songs right up until this year, so we have a great chemistry and he just really gets our sound and where we want to take things. He adds his own creative touch to our songs as well, which is part of what makes the end result sound like CML at the end of the process. We also finessed lyrics with our co-manager Nicole Hughes, who is a song-writing wiz! Everything we do is always a team effort.”
Will we see a music video for the single?
M: “ The music video is already out! You can check it out on youtube.”
Do you have any shows coming up?
M: “We’re performing in Barrie and London, ON in November. Check out the dates on our website!”
If so where will you be heading?
M: “Barrie, ON on Nov 2 at the Foxx Lounge. London, ON on Nov 7 at The London Music Hall.”
What else can we expect in 2019?
M: “We’ve been releasing singles pretty steadily throughout 2019, about a song every 8 weeks. Our plan is to compile a few more and release a visual EP first thing in 2020. We’ll be putting the final touches on that for the rest of the year.”
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
M: “Absolutely! We’re always down to collaborate with artists that inspire us, big or small. I would also love to collaborate with some other female artists and producers killing it in the scene like right now. Pvris, Stand Atlantic, Against The Current, The Regrettes are all prime examples.”
Do you play any instruments?
M: “We’ve learned to play whatever instrument is necessary for our songs. The full list of instruments we’ve played over the years includes guitar, piano, harp, cello, glockenspiel, bass, omnichord, and even banjo.”
Who are your influences?
M: “Some heavy influences for me are Radio Head, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, The 1975, The Cure, Purity Ring, and Til Tuesday. But our influences are always changing. Even though I’m really inspired by classic emo music, I also love new pop artists who are pioneering the genre like Charli XCX and Billie Eilish.”
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
M: “We’re often inspired by events in our life, our own emotions, and more recently political and social issues. Basically if we feel strongly about something, a song will come out of it.”
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
M: “Oh god I hate this question! Haha I honestly don’t know. Our goal has always been to stay the course and keep doing what we love, regardless of what comes out of it. It’s hard as an artist to separate yourself from the factors of your career that generate perceived “success” and the art form itself. These days I try to focus on the music, the videos, the art, more than who’s playing us on the radio, what playlists we made it onto, and how many numbers we have. It’s impossible to say I don’t care about all of that, because I obviously do A LOT, but I’ve found that focussing too much on those things distracts me from the aspects of my career that fulfill me. That’s just the type of person I am, and it’s taken me a while to learn that about myself. I’m not happy when I’m comparing my art to other people, and that just naturally happens when you measure you focus on success instead of creativity. That’s why we’re lucky to have a team, our managers, our agents, our label, that worry about all that for us. It leaves us free to focus on our art and not be tainted by the outside world, in a sense. So to answer your question, we’ll still be making music and directing videos and always trying to improve and grow as artists.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
M: “Phoenix and I LOVE horror movies. We love games. We love books. We’re really big geeks at heart. Odds are if we’re not in the studio we’ll be playing Yu Gi Oh, smoking weed (which is legal in Canada, so don’t freak out on me please), with Texas Chainsaw Massacre on in the background.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
M: “That’s a really tough question to answer, but given some thought I’d have to say the first memory I have of really connecting to a song would be listening to Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” in the back of our parent’s van and just loving how full her voice sounded and how badass and passionately she sang. She wasn’t worried about sounding pretty or putting anyone off. She bared her soul on her recordings and in her shows. I remember wanting to be like that.”
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
M: “My neighbour once told me ‘Everything is temporary’, and it’s sort of been my mantra throughout my life. If you’re going through a rough time, remember it’s temporary and that what you’re going through will pass eventually. If you are on tour and feeling tired or burned out, remember this time in your life won’t last forever and you should live in moment and be grateful to be where you are because it could all go away. If you’re in the studio and you’re frustrated or stuck, just remember that this time is necessary in order to change on move on to the next chapter. Remember that our time on this earth is temporary, and we have to push ourselves to accomplish all the things we want in life before our time runs out. It’s good advice that has kept me going through a lot of different situations.”
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
M: “It’s corny, but I would say be true to who you are. Take advice from people you respect, and discard advice from people who don’t understand your vision. What you can accomplish is defined by YOU. If you work hard enough at something, you will make it happen. It might not be right away, and it might not be how you planned, but don’t give up just because it’s hard or people try to discourage you. If you put your heart into what you create and you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.”
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
M: “ ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?’ – Ru Paul.”
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
M: “Definitely go check out Pin Up Arcade bar in uptown Waterloo. Especially if you’ve got skills.”
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? M: “I go home and SHOWER immediately
2/ Who do you see first? I see my parents and give them a huge hug
3/What do you eat first? I eat a home-cooked meal in my PJs.”
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
M: “I can’t forget my gear OBVIOUSLY. I can’t forget to tune my guitar. I can’t forget to warm up my voice. I can’t forget the name of the city we’re in (which I have done a few times and it’s always super awkward). And I can’t forget to wear my lucky socks.”
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
M: “Follow us on Instagram and twitter. We’re also on facebook and youtube. Give us a listen on Spotify, AppleMusic, and anywhere else you listen to music. Our website is www.ilovecouragemylove.com. Don’t be afraid to comment and interact with us because we LOVE it and I swear we are really nice, nerdy people.”