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dube Interview with Nina McCarthy,


Interview with Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio


I just love when I go to a concert and discover new amazing bands.  While attending Red Sun Rising at The Webster Theater in Hartford, CT I fell in love with the sounds and energy of Canadian grunge rockers, dubè (pronounced du-bay). I spent some time meeting them and made sure they would be in touch for an interview so I could share them with the rest of the BRR readers and listeners. These young brothers were nothing short of amazing. Read about this hockey stick guitar and how it came into play.


(L to R)

Jig (19)-bass, lead vocals

Quinn (18)-drums

Liam (21)-guitar


BRR: I met you on the Red Sun Rising tour and found out you were brothers and you told me the band name is your last name. Tell me about when you first started playing instruments at home and when you decided to form a band.


Jig: We pretty much started this lip synching kind of thing where we’d watch rock stars and music videos and we’d try to mimic what they were doing and we’d do so with spoons and pots and pans and random stuff in the kitchen. Our dad was a musician and he purchased a bunch of instruments throughout his lifetime, so we grew up around those instruments and it kind of became a natural thing for us, being such music fans as it was, to slowly start playing them. We started doing some lip synching videos that would get posted on YouTube until eventually we started learning music like “Us and Them” by Pink Floyd and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns and Roses. Eventually it became a question of writing our own songs and it just happened.


BRR: Your poor mom having to listen to you beating on those pots and pans. As I’ve told you, I loved your music from the first time I heard it. It has the garage grunge sound that I think is lacking in the scene lately. What made you choose that genre or did it choose you?


Quinn: It definitely chose us. We did a lot of writing growing up with other writers and we figured the sound that we liked the most was the sound we wrote ourselves without anyone else. Whatever we write just naturally has that grungy element.


Jig: Being a three piece, you are kind of limited what you can do and we’ve always sort of thought that element of music that is power, emotion, and energy is unmistakable. In order for us to pump out that much power and energy, we naturally started pushing ourselves and that kind of resulted in that sound kind of easily.


BRR: What is your writing process like?


Jig: We like to do what is called demoing, which is spending a lot of time recording stuff and testing sounds and different ideas through gear, so we’ll use our gear a lot for songwriting. Every once in awhile, you’ll force yourself to sit down and write a song Nashville style with an acoustic guitar. For us, in a perfect world, we have a play park of audio equipment for us to experiment with and ways for us to record and spend time in our studio in our basement. We’ve kind of developed our own studio setup in order to have the capability to write and record without having to be in the studio to do that because it is so expensive.


BRR: What is the story of the infamous hockey stick guitar?


Liam: When playing on the pots and pans as kids, the guitar was the problem, and everyone got a hockey stick, so air guitar on the hockey stick was definitely a thing and then I started playing guitar. I saw on the “It Might Get Loud” documentary with Jack White where in the opening scene he played a 2x4 and I thought, well why can’t I just put some strings on a hockey stick? I made a prototype and I brought the prototype to the local guitar repair man, fixer upper, whatever he is called and he put the acoustics together and ever since it’s been a thing.


BRR: That’s awesome and definitely unique. You’ve toured the US quite extensively, so how does music scene in Ottawa compare to the US?


Jig: The interesting thing about Ottawa, everytime we play there we have the craziest nights and it gets really insane. We’ll have kids pushing each other around with crazy moshing and crowd surfing. Ottawa is very underground. You are not going to Ottawa relying on venues to be really high level pro venues. We played a couple of shows with no subwoofers and just a bar in a basements and warehouses. But everytime we do it, it gets really crazy. Then we’ll go to the States, and what is really refreshing is that people are more than likely to go see concerts just because. It’s even more so true in Europe. The fun thing about America is we are always playing nice venues with a really nice PA and that for us is an interesting thing because we really like working on how we sound. Being able to test that out on proper systems is really valuable for working on our live sound.


BRR: I picture Canada with not a lot to do, so people drink a lot and go to shows. I’m stereotyping here.


Jig: That’s true. No worries. You’d be surprised how accurate it is.


BRR: What’s next after you finish the current tour?


Quinn: We have two shows in Toronto with Cleopatrick right after The Red Sun Rising tour, then head home for the holidays and spend Christmas and New Years songwriting. We do a lot of songwriting and we have a couple new singles coming out in the new year, so we’re pretty excited for that. We will be announcing that fairly soon.


BRR: Do you continuously write while you are on tour?


Jig: We’ve been trying as much as we can but I will admit, it’s really not easy because we are touring with two guys that are helping us, so that means that we are doing a lot of the work, setting up and tearing down. Liam is our tour manager, Quinn is our social media manager, so it gets really hectic as far as time we get to sit down and actually work on an idea. But every once in awhile you will hum something or have a cool lyric idea and you just write that down and put it aside for when you are ready to sit down and hash out some ideas.


BRR: As a completely DIY band, any advice for other bands trying to tour?


Jig: The best advice I can give is don’t underestimate a free shower when somebody offers it to you. The other thing is that if you are a new band going on tour, you are more than likely going to be opening for a band and we think it is important for bands to know that opening is an important part of your career. The most important part of being an opening act is understanding that you’re on the road in order for the headlining show to go as good as possible. To have that mentality is gold when you are on tour because it makes you feel less responsible. (laughing) In short, stay out of the way of the headliner. Do you your thing and don’t be in the way.


Quinn: And don’t be spending excessive money. Every dollar counts, especially if you are a DIY band.


BRR: Absolutely. Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?


Quinn: If they are interested, we have some new music that is going to be coming out soon. On Spotify, we are also going to be working on releasing a second demo EP. Once we get back home we will be recording a bunch of demos so hopefully when we are back on the road, we will have Demos Sess II available.


BRR: Good, because by then I will have worn out Demo Sess I.  I’ve been playing it a lot.


Quinn: Right on.


BRR: What can you tell me about the new singles?


Jig: You know how there is four songs on Spotify. We are in the middle of getting more stuff mixed and mastered for future releases on Spotify.


Quinn: Some of those songs are pretty much are what are on Demo Sess I, so those are those are the ones we want to get on Spotify.


BRR: We want to get your music into rotation, so make sure to submit it to the station once you are home.


Jig: Sweet, that will help us a ton as an independent Canadian rock band. Well, Nina thank you a lot.


BRR:  My pleasure. Safe travels for the rest of the tour.




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