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Getting To Know: SayWeCanFly

SayWeCanFly

Keen to more about your favourite up-and-coming bands? Sick of the same ol’ studio questions? From the albums they crank before they head out on stage to their must-have items when the tour van pulls into the service station, we quiz musicians about life on the road and how they came to love what they do. Up next: Canadian singer-songwriter SayWeCanFly. One of Epitaph’s more recent signings, SayWeCanFly is the solo acoustic act of Braden Barrie, who’s built an enviable following across social media in just a few short years with his delicate, emotive tracks. Get to know more about the voice behind SayWeCanFly below.


 

I discovered music when…
I got into Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right, But Three Do by a lovely band called Relient K. That was the first time I saved up, walked to the record store, and bought an album. I think because I actually bought it with my own money, I was super attached to it and just listened to it on repeat for hours. I had always been messing around with a guitar, but that was the first time I really felt like it was possible to start writing my own stuff.

I realised making music was the best way to waste time when…
I was done at school and literally all I could think about was how much I wanted to get home and pick up my guitar. Once I bought my first batch of recording gear, that was it. I would be up until the sun came out working on songs and just having a blast discovering more and more about what I could do with 8-tracks and a microphone.

My first band was…
SayWeCanFly. It’s the only project I’ve ever been a part of. The name actually came from the name of my first YouTube channel. I was a little late to the internet and missed the “Myspace era” but I still wanted a name that fit that scene. I laid on my bed for an entire day until I thought of something that sounded cool to me, and it happened to be SayWeCanFly.

The first show I ever played was…
At my grade 8 graduation. I had never performed in front of anyone before, but since it was the last time I was going to see most of my friends, I felt like I needed to. I covered two songs from my favourite Relient K album while wearing a tuxedo that was too big on me, and a yellow tie. I was sweating more than I ever have before, but I’m so thankful I overcame my fear and pushed myself to do that.

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
Working at a grocery store for about three years. I started out pushing trolleys and making sure there were none left in the parking lot at the end of the night. It was great when it got dark and I could ride them around the lot without anyone seeing me, but when it started snowing it got pretty brutal because I still had to go outside to do my job no matter how cold or slippery it was. After a year of doing that, they transferred me to the dairy department… which wasn’t terrible at first, but after stacking bags of milk for hours on end and having some of them explode all over you, it gets old. I also hate milk, so that didn’t help. But for real, I learned a lot from that experience and I’m thankful for it.

My favourite band is…
Underoath. Even though their music is heavy, I’ve always tried to apply Aaron Gillespie’s vocal style to my acoustic music. Their music has always spoken to my heart in a way that no other band has. Their lyrics are so honest and poetic, but go so well with their insane musical parts. There’s something really special about their music to me, and it’s helped me through some of the hardest times in my life.

A band that should never have broken up are…
My Chemical Romance. I completely understand that sometimes bands just have to part ways, I’m just bummed out that I never had the chance to see them in concert. Their music is incredibly inspiring to me, and I think Gerard Way is one of the best lyricists out there. I just would have loved to see where they would have gone with their next album.

One album I play before I hit the stage is…
A track or two from Sempiternal by Bring Me The Horizon. There’s just no way to not feel pumped after hearing that dude scream, “WILL WE EVER SEE THE ENNNNND”.

I love being on stage because…
Every single time I do it, I learn more about myself and what it actually takes to control a crowd. I love knowing that everyone in the room is going to hear what I say simply because my voice is the loudest at the moment. It really pushes me to be completely honest and not afraid to talk about my feelings and views on the world. I love knowing that no matter who they are, everyone is hearing the same song and more than likely thinking thoughts about it at the same time.

My favourite tour memory is…
The first time I toured in the UK. We had a couple days off before the first show and stayed at this little hotel beside a cozy old pub in Birmingham. My manger and I went down to grab a drink, and ended up talking for about an hour with this crazy old man named Steve, who kept telling us he wanted to trade coats and telling us his drunken stories about how he got to where he was, which was drunk outside of a bar. Sometimes crazy things happen on the road, but quite honestly the strange interactions I have with other humans always stand out to me the most.

My favourite servo/gas stop purchase is…
A million dollar bill that I bought at a gas station somewhere in the desert on the way to Arizona. It cost me about two dollars, but I keep it in my wallet so I can pretend it’s real.

The worst thing about touring is…
Having to sit in a van for hours and hours. There’s something about doing nothing that just takes all of my energy away. I love looking out the window and seeing new places all the time, but it’s really tough when you’re the kind of person who can’t even make a phone call without pacing around the entire town.

On the road I can’t live without…
Coffee. I mean, I need that even when I’m home, but it becomes much more valuable when I’m touring. That usually makes or breaks a show for me hehe.

My favourite place in the world is…
That’s a tough one because I love many places for many different reasons. I’ll have to say that the more I’m away, the more I fall in love with Canada. I love how peaceful and green it is here. Aside from that, I think I’d absolutely love New Zealand because I’m obsessed with Lord Of The Rings. I’ve always wanted to visit Middle Earth, and particularly The Shire.

If I could, I would trade lives with…
Eckart Tolle just for a moment. He is one of my favourite authors and motivational speakers. He reminds me of a hobbit, and also seems to completely understand the way our egos and fears work. I’d just love to know how it feels to be so aware of those elements of our being.

Darling is out now through Epitaph.

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