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Into The Scene: Found Family

The next era of Emo music tackles mental health with raw honesty.

Though the face of Emo has changed with the seasons, starting out as emotional Hardcore in the 80s with Rites of Spring and moving to a softer, alternative instrumental counterpart with Mayday Parade and The Used in the early 2000s. Now it’s pocketed itself into little subgenres, My Chemical Romance paved the way into grittier styles of Emo and by 2020 we now have Emo Rap – the one thing that has always stayed constant despite its sound is the lyrics.

Emo lyrics are the cathartic release for many artists, they detail the real-life struggles many face in such a brutally honest way. These lyrics can be so personal but interchangeable to everyone’s own difficult circumstances, creating a beautifully intimate relationship with the audience and artists. A band on the rise for the next generation of Emo/Alternative Rock music that detail their struggles with mental health in an honest and relatable way is Found Family. The Toronto pair, made of Matt Clark (vocals, guitar) and Troy Buckland (drums), dropped everything to follow their dreams.

We had the chance to speak with Troy Buckland about the band itself and how they write from such a personal place, often tackling a lot of personal issues.

Let’s start off with an easy opening – on your website you said you moved to Toronto to follow your dreams and left everything behind, what did you leave behind exactly and what was it like completely starting over?

“We’ve both had the dream to tour with original music for as long as we can remember. A few years ago, we decided that we wanted to make some sacrifices and give it our best while the opportunities were still there. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the New Zealand music scene, we felt our best chance was to go where the best chances of success would be. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve both made some amazing connections through the New Zealand music scene and have played at some amazing venues but to make it big like we dreamed of felt like it would take an extreme amount of luck. We made the hard decision to leave behind friends and loved ones, and we’ve been fortunate enough to find some amazing connections here as well. Though, when we say ‘left behind’, it’s not about moving on without them. We’re still humbled daily by the support we get from everyone who saw us out on this journey.”

Toronto seems like such a fun and exciting place, what drew you into the Toronto music scene?

“When we knew what we were looking for, there were a few different places that would have all been good options for us! Honestly, we chose Canada over America mainly due to what felt like an incredibly tense political climate, and ultimately chose Toronto due to its location and opportunities. It’s certainly felt like the right move and being here has influenced our sound in a way that we love.”

Generic one, but the people need to know! What are your influences for creating music?

“We’d like to think our music is a mashup of mid-2000's nostalgia, but a bit more modern-sounding and based in the roots of Punk Rock. We both listened to the same kind of music back in high school when we first started making music, and our tastes have evolved in different directions. It’s made for some interesting jam sessions and demo’s being AirDropped back and forth. However, I would say that one of the biggest influences for our songwriting process is the kind of message we want to send with the song. Each song has a different voice and we draw from different influences to help us realize those voices.”

From the tracks, we’ve heard so far, a lot of your music is honesty, raw and open in dealing with your own personal issues. How do you use music to vent your own feeling and are there any downsides to being so open with your audience?

“If there are any downsides to it, we definitely aren't aware of them yet. The healing of music for me comes from the writing process. Once something is written down as a song, it feels like "ah, great, I've dealt with that now." Sometimes it feels strange to have something become public long after that process because we write a lot in the height of those emotions. Several months later when the songs finally reach public ears, we’re often in a very different place. That being said, the songs will always hold their meaning to us and are a snapshot of how we were doing at the time, which I think is still authentic in the way that we want to be.”

You mention on your website that your band collaborate on “mental health” could you elaborate on how exactly you do that and why it’s so important for you to incorporate mental health into your music?

“We collaborate on each other’s all the time! We’re friends first and bandmates second, so we just try to be as open in communication both with each other and in our work. To be honest it's not even intentional, we just gravitate towards it more than anything. We’ve had some tough times in starting fresh here in Toronto, but we’ve got each other. Regarding the music side of it, it’s partly to do with using writing to process thoughts and feelings, and partly to do with our desire to be as true to ourselves as we can be.”

On the topic of mental health, generally speaking music has become more open toward conversations of mental health. On a mainstream front, even big artists in Pop are talking about it, do you ever feel like talking about it so much can be “overdone” or “commercialised” to which it loses its authenticity at all?

“That’s a really interesting point. I feel like authenticity is something which is very difficult to fake. The conversation about mental health is something which has been building for a very long time. I think it’s important to recognize how far that conversation has come but, ultimately, it’s down to whether or not words translate into action. On a musical front, that’s not something easily observable but if artists or bands are using their platforms to do good, then I think that’s great.”

Of course, 2020 has been officially called off with the current pandemic, but what’s coming up next in the next year for you guys? What can music lovers expect?

“We've been writing like crazy here. We have another few tracks up our sleeves ready to go - and the second the restrictions are lifted, we'll be back in the studio to record some new ones. We’re looking forward to adapting with the circumstances as they come and make the best of the situation we have. We have safety first in mind, but as soon as we’re able to get out to play music for people, we’ll be there. Let’s hope that day comes soon!”

You can check out ‘Alive’ by Found Family below:

Article - Yasmine Summan

About Into The Scene The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive swing at the music industry, with most live event shows for 2020 already being cancelled and the rest in a limbo of unknowingness, label and PR companies unable to fully operate in-house and artists across all boards being constrained in their abilities to make and market their art.

It’s also left the little person, that being small and local artists, unable to fend for themselves or rely on the plush album sales and record labels safety net of money in these hard times. Here at 3 Songs & Out we want to show our support and admiration for the foundational core of our scene: the underground. ‘Into The Scene’ is a project launched to support local and small bands. Our local scene is the boiling pot of fresh new talent and we want to support that in any way we can.

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