Catchy, quirky, and melody driven, Canada’s Air Marshal Landing pump out “thoughtful indie/rock/pop” tunes guaranteed to please. AMBY caught up with Matt Simmonds to find out how AML came to be, what inspires, and what’s on the horizon.
AMBY: What’s the story behind the formation of AML?
AML: There’s a legend that’s gone around about a long-bearded mountain man named Graham who emerged from the woods one day, captured a guitar/bass duo, and forced them into music-playing slavery. All of none of that is true.
But in all honesty, Cory and I (Matt) grew up together playing music all through high school. After I met Graham at university, for some reason I thought he might fit in with our musical stylings. The rest was quick and painless. Graham came to Uxbridge one day to jam, and all of a sudden we had a band.
AMBY: For all those prospective listeners out there, how would you describe your sound?
AML: This is hard to do. We describe our genre as Thoughtful Indie/Pop/Rock. We certainly like to rock, but it’s not necessarily guitar-riff oriented (although there is some of that). Melody comes first, so if you listen to our songs you should have something to hum along to. We write some pretty straight-forward pop/rock tunes, but we will also write songs in sections, or with different endings, or with different beginnings, or with different instruments. Really there is a little bit of everything. Lyrics are important too, there’s almost always another level, a second meaning in the words we write. Our upcoming album should be a case study for all of this.
AMBY: Has being in Toronto influenced your music?
AML: I don’t think so actually. It’s certainly influenced the way we do a lot of the other stuff, like social media, touring, festivals – more the business side of things. Up to this point, most of our songs have been written while living in small towns around Toronto, or at university, or while recording in Vancouver, So many of our musical influences come from outside the Toronto music bubble. But at the same time, we really dig some of the amazing musicians that Toronto houses right now. I’m sure as we get more and more immersed in this great city it will find a way into our songs. Cities always find a way to pull certain things from a musician’s soul.
AMBY: If you could invite three people to dinner who would you choose?
AML: Our moms, because they’re awesome, and they also make really good dinners.
AMBY: What’s your personal favourite track you’re produced thus far?
AML: Hmmmm. I’d have to say a song from our upcoming album called “Nocturne”. To be honest, it’s probably the least “AML-y” track we’ve written. It doesn’t have our typical bass-guitar-drums sound – there’s very little guitar, no bass, some snare drumming, and a string trio! We recorded a lot of the percussion tracks outside in the BC wilderness. So there are some very unique sounds that we’re excited for people to hear!
AMBY: Who were the last three artists/bands you listened to?
AML: Born Ruffians – “Needle”, The National – “Demons”, The Box Tiger – “Knives”
AMBY: I’m a fan of the video for Me and My Friends; what was the inspiration behind it?
AML: We’re glad you like it! The song itself was really the inspiration for the video. In particular, there is one line in the song that could have several different meanings, and that’s what really inspired the overarching themes of the video. The line is “you used to be me” and it just so happens to also be the name of our upcoming album. Really the video was Cory’s brainchild, he took it and ran with it. Graham and I just tried to help him out the best we could!
AMBY: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
AML: Oh dang, that’s tough. Definitely a band that likes to have fun and experience new things. Also a band that doesn’t take everything too seriously – otherwise at some point it just gets miserable. We really love Toronto-area band The Elwins, they’d be an obvious choice for us.
AMBY: What can we expect in the near future from AML?
AML: A full-length album finally! We recorded our first full-length over a year ago and it’s finally ready to go. Circle June 4th on your calendar, that’s the date!
AMBY: Tell AMBY something you’ve never told anyone before.
AML: The first song Cory and I wrote together was poetically titled – “The Poo Song”. The key phrase was “running down my leg, running down my leg.” Needless to say, that song hasn’t found its way onto any recordings thus far.
Thank you Air Marshal Landing, for giving us your answers!