“Usually when heartbreak comes, I respond by getting inward and holding my emotions. Something about Lovin’ On You made me genuinely want to do something positive and happy and make people smile. It was something to make me smile.”
Cary Brothers (first name Cary, last name Brothers) is currently touring worldwide alongside Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata in support of his exceptional EP release Lovin’ On You. As part of the tour, he will play Toronto’s The Mod Club tonight and we had the opportunity of giving him a call to catch up on all things Cary Brothers! Dive into our conversation below as we discuss puppy paradise, starting a synth-pop band, hand sanitizer, and his dream to work with Peter Gabriel. Lovin’ On You is available for purchased on iTunes here.
AMBY: Hey Cary, thanks for taking the time to have a chat today. We spoke back in 2013 and discussed your Let Me Be EP, so it’s nice to finally catch up.
Cary Brothers: Oh I remember you!
AMBY and Cary Brothers: [laughs]
AMBY: You just released your latest EP Lovin’ On You, congratulations.
Cary Brothers: Thanks so much.
AMBY: Tell me a bit about the release and your experience recording it.
Cary Brothers: This is a little different because each song came by itself. I like the idea of putting out something where every song has a completely different flavour to it.
AMBY: You also released a new video for Lovin’ On You, which has you playing the song in, what’s been coined as, “a puppy paradise”.
Cary Brothers: [laughs]
AMBY: What was it like shooting that?
Cary Brothers: That was insane. It was shot in my apartment and it was kind of living in a zoo for two days; we had cages of puppies and it smelt like a zoo. It was totally worth it, though! I fell madly in love with that main dog, but unfortunately he’s a purebreed and costs a whole lot of money so I wasn’t able to purchase him as I would have liked to.
AMBY: Were these dogs trained, or did you mainly let them run wild throughout your apartment?
Cary Brothers: It was pretty much them going crazy. We let the dogs run wherever they wanted because they were just puppies. They were spazzing around all over the place, and we were trying to contain them as much as we possibly could. Most of the day was puppy wrangling.
AMBY: It turned out to be an amazing video.
Cary Brothers: They were running all over the place and we were just like, “Get the puppies! Get the puppies!”
AMBY: I love the fact that with this song, you decided to write something against what you were feeling during a darker time in your life. What influenced you to take the release in a happier direction?
Cary Brothers: You know, I had already written a song called Words of Mine and I wrote that song the night my father passed away. The last year had been really dark because of that and I had a break-up and a lot of bad things happening in life, all at once. Usually when heartbreak comes, I respond by getting inward and holding my emotions. Something about Lovin’ On You made me genuinely want to do something positive and happy and make people smile. It was something to make me smile. So much of the music I made was the sad stuff, so it’s nice to do this.
AMBY: The last time we spoke, we discussed our mutual love of eighties music and your cover of Thompson Twins’ If You Were Here. Funny enough, I actually had the opportunity of interviewing Tom Bailey and couldn’t help but think of your wonderful cover.
Cary Brothers: Alannah Currie, from Thompson Twins, I actually got in touch with her. Every time I do a cover of a song, I always reach out to the artist and try to get it to them and see if I can get some kind of response. Alannah Currie sent me the most amazing email when I did that cover, so that was really surreal for me – talking to someone like that and getting compliments.
AMBY: What a neat experience! Did any eighties artist have an influence on the Lovin’ On You EP?
Cary Brothers: It’s interesting that you ask that about eighties artists. I’ve actually started a synth-pop band in Los Angeles in the past nine months. It is straight-on eighties dance, like Thompson Twins, Depeche Mode, New Order.
AMBY: That’s amazing.
Cary Brothers: It’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing music in my entire life. I’m going to try and mix that EP in between the US tour and the European tour.
AMBY: What’s that like, the new band?
Cary Brothers: I’m not even playing any instruments – I’m just jumping up and down while dancing [laughs]. It’s kind of crazy.
AMBY: How exciting, though.
Cary Brothers: Everything I loved when I was twelve years old, I’m finally getting to do while on stage.
AMBY: Since we are on the topic of other artists, if there was one person that you could have had featured on this EP, who would that be?
Cary Brothers: It’s a big dream of mine, and I know it’s a big dream, but it’s always been Peter Gabriel. I’m such a massive fan. When I did a cover of his song Don’t Give Up and found out through a mutual friend that he had watched it, that was probably one of the coolest musical moments of my entire life. If I could somehow get Peter Gabriel’s voice on a song, I think I could quit.
AMBY: [laughs] In support of this EP’s release, you just embarked on a new tour with Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata. When it comes to packing for an extensive tour like this one, what are some quintessential items you must bring with you?
Cary Brothers: Hand sanitizer. The only thing I care about while touring is not getting sick. I mean, it was so damn cold in Boston last night and we’re going to be touring across Canada…
AMBY: It’s not much better here.
Cary Brothers: [laughs] Canada in the winter. I’m definitely doing everything I can to not blow myself out.
AMBY: You recently asked fans which songs they’d like to hear on this upcoming tour. To spin that around, which songs do you look forward to playing the most?
Cary Brothers: I think my favourite song to play is always Ride. That song, I don’t know why, but I always try to find new ways to play my songs and I like how that one sounds live.
AMBY: Yesterday you posted a photograph of your “home for the next seven weeks”, a tour bus. What are some things you plan on doing for fun or to pass the time while on the road?
Cary Brothers: Mainly staying warm. I’m really looking forward to trying to embrace every city. A lot of times on tour, you do radio station stops which keep you busy with work… When you’re on tour, if you actually spend time in your day to go out and see the town and what’s great about that town, it informs the show. Other than that, the end of this tour is when all of the summer movies are coming out and I have to make sure I can go out and see some good stuff.
AMBY: Are there any specific films you look forward to catching?
Cary Brothers: Kingsman. I can’t wait for Kingsman. I’ve already looked at our calendar to figure out the first day off so I can go see it.
AMBY: [laughs] To wrap things up, if you could curate your own festival, who would you want to be in the line-up?
Cary Brothers: Oh, wow. Who am I into right now? I’m way into alt-J and Banks. I’ll let them headline [laughs].
Thank you Cary Brothers, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout