Meet Toronto Bands: #3 RANDOM FAMILY

Describe your band in 5 words.
Brand New + BSS Bastard Child

What’s your favourite Toronto venue?
Our favourite Toronto venue is hands-down the Horseshoe to go and check out music. We haven't had the opportunity to play there yet, but we're hungry for it. Our favourite venue that we've played so far is likely Lee's Palace. We played a few gigs there last spring and really enjoyed the room and the staff. They have a fairly new sound system there as well, so it all sounded great. Its just a shame about the load-bearing pillars in front of their loudspeakers...

Name 3 other local bands right now that you would recommend listening to.
Timegiant is a great band that plays a lot right now. Awesome, old school rock with the odd prog element here and there and some really bitchin vocals and harmonies.
The Dirty Mags are also worth checking out. I used to play in a cover band with their singer. They'll be dropping an album in the next while, and they're playing Hillside in Guelph this year. Great guys, kind of a Stokes vibe that's a little darker. They played Edgefest and toured with K'Os last year, so they're really establishing themselves in the Toronto scene.
And finally, some friends of mine recently played their first show in a new outfit called Fever City. Their first show was at the Smiling Buddha two weeks ago and they did an awesome job! You'll definitely be hearing more about them soon!

Pitch your NXNE show!
We'll be playing at The Sister (formerly Mitzi's Sister) at 1554 Queen West this Thursday! We're on at 10:00PM and we can't wait! We'll have our new CD pressed by then and we'll be playing most of it at the show. We'll also be playing a couple old favourites like Falling in Line and Wait. I haven't had a chance to listen to all the bands we're sharing the stage with, but here's the lineup:
8PM: Hey Amy 9PM: Couriers 10PM: Random Family 11PM: Patrick Dorie and the Honest Thieves 12AM: Dinner Belles 1AM: Greg Ball

You have a new album, The Getaway, give us the scoop on that!
The Getaway is our new 6-track album that we recorded at my parent's farm about three hours Northwest of the city. Sonically, it covers alot of ground. We've got some cool sounds on the record and some pretty wide differences in feel between the different songs. Anything from high-paced punk/rock to quieter, ambient stories. The six songs cover different feelings and motivations for wanting to escape the current situation you're in. The first track, The Getaway, is an intro to the idea of leaving everything behind to find something new. I Got One carries that idea a step further to identify with people who want to leave it all, but can't do it alone. Like a Stone is about leaving the person who's holding you back and escaping something that isn't what it seems. Forest is a narrative about a man who seeks isolation but is left with nothing when he takes the world around him for granted. Mad as Hell was inspired by the monologue at the end of The Network. Its an exaggerated statement of how media-induced fears will turn us all in agoraphobics. And finally, the last song Seeing Ghosts is simply about escaping grief. Coming to terms with death and understanding what it means to move on.

What can we expect from this album compared to your first release?
Well the new record is definitely sonically superior to the previous one. The first album was recorded live-off-the-floor and this one we did part-by-part. It was definitely more time-consuming in some respects, but worth it for the sounds. Lyrically, the songs are more fleshed out and just make more sense. Overall, I feel like the songwriting is just superior. We've grown alot as artists in the last year, and our understanding of music and how we best work together to achieve a unified sound has come a long way.

Who did the artwork for the first album? I love it. Great idea!
A close friend of ours, named Josh Alexander, did the artwork, a piece called 'Atlas', when he was in Grade 11 or 12. It was a cool 2-piece set and the style and concept of the artwork we really liked and sort of identified with. It really embodies what music does for us. When we play, I don't think about anything else. Coming off the stage is like waking up from a deep sleep. It could have been 30 seconds, it could have been 30 hours. The weight of the world is lifted and we get to rock out without worrying about tomorrow. Its a kind of freedom that's both elating, and exhausting...and I think that picture really sums it up better than I could. Josh also did the layout design for the last album, and is currently helping us out with the layout of the new album. The artwork for the new album embodies the theme of The Getaway perfectly in my mind. What says "I want to leave forever and for you to come with me" better than two skeletons pinky-swearing? Haha, seriously though, I saw the artwork at a new years party hosted by a friend of ours and I immediately asked if we could use it. There's something very simple and captivating in it. We'll definitely continue this trend of using friend's artwork for future records. Its a great way for both parties to help each other out, and its always nicer when there's a more personal touch to it.

How has the response been to downloading your album for $$ vs for free?
We've received alot more downloads from people since making the album free. Nothing crazy, but its hard to compare because we didn't sell alot of electronic copies of our first album. I think the price was definitely an obstacle, and we're planning on reducing the price of an online copy as compared to a physical copy with the new record to try to combat that. We'd definitely like to make it more widely available this time around, as opposed to making more money of it selling it for more. We're hungry for exposure and we're quickly learning that bands really need to sell themselves. Just getting a CD into someone's hands, or onto someone's computer is something that takes alot of time and promotion.

What else do you have in store for this summer?
Aside from NXNE we don't have a ton of plans this summer. We've got a few gigs around our hometown in Waterloo and we're hoping to get into playing Guelph toward the end of the Summer and start of Fall. We also have an annual event coming up that I organize every year called The Barn Show. Its basically a concert held in a cover-all on my parent's farm. We have four bands and a DJ and we party until the sun comes up. This will be our fourth year running and we're expecting around 120 people, which is huge considering we're in the middle of nowhere on Conestoga Lake in Wellington County. We'll also be playing at Brooklyn on Queen street in August, and I'm looking to put on a show at the Piston a couple weeks after. Aside from all that, we're going to keep busy working on new songs, new merch, and pressing more individual buttons, which have become really popular because no two are the same. You can keep up with us on Facebook and you can check out our new CD, The Getaway, at www.randomfamily.ca.
www.randomfamily.ca