Special Feature: Recovery Child Interview

Nearly seven years ago, Ryan McCambridge – the lead singer of Toronto based quartet Recovery Child, put together a band with one great purpose: To make honest music.

The band simply believes in truth. As Ryan states in the interview below:  ‘We are just the sum of our experiences’. And those could be similar experiences to whoever is listening.

Music should come with a message. And Recovery Child keep approaching people with theirs. They reach to the listener lyrically but also musically, with their striking rock melodies, loud guitars and terrific vocal.

After two great albums and countless tours, the hard work continues with an aim to reach even wider audience.

In the interview below, Ryan talks about the band’s journey over the years, their two records, recent European tour and desire to tour UK.

Back in 2006 when Recovery Child formed, what was the starting point of creating this band and how do you think you have grown since?

The band’s lineage started around 2005 with me writing for a new project. I’d recently had a band fall apart on me so I was trying to pick up the pieces and make something new happen. At the time, with everything that had happened, I was really disenchanted with bands though. My thought was to be a solo artist under the pseudonym “Recovery Child”. It was going to be the project that made everything right again. I quickly realized that I didn’t want to be a solo artist because I wanted to share the experience with other people. I met Greg shortly after that and we started putting the pieces together.

I think it’s easier to ask “How haven’t we grown?” Ha Ha! We’ve had a lot of really amazing successes, but we’ve also had a lot of really difficult times. Those shape you. They make you a bit wiser and sharpen your artistry. Being in a band for nearly seven years means that the relationships have had time to cultivate. We’re really good friends, first and foremost, and the depth of that translates into our processes and the music that we make. But that depth only comes with time.

How would you describe your music and it’s philosophy to the UK or any audience that haven’t heard of you before?

We wanted to be a band that was sincere. We wanted to be as honest and passionate as the music we grew up with, and if that meant leaving stages covered in sweat and blood, then so be it. We wanted to write songs that people gravitated to because they told truths that we all experience. We can’t control how we’re perceived, but that’s what we intended.

So far you have released two albums: ‘On Being And The Affect’ and ‘Afterimage’.  How do you recall writing these two different records?

The writing processes were actually quite different between the two albums. Most of “On Being…” was written either before Recovery Child had taken shape, or in the stage when I would only write on my own. I still do mostly write on my own, but “Afterimage” was more of a collective. We would take my ideas and make them ours. I specifically remember that with “Afterimage” we dropped any preconceived notions of what Recovery Child was supposed to be. When “On Being…” was recorded, the band was still finding itself so there needed to be a certain amount of guidelines for what songs made the cut. When it came time to write “Afterimage” we were confident that whatever we wrote would just naturally become Recovery Child. So we just wrote, and experimented. The process of writing “Afterimage” was just a bit more uninhibited.

Back in June, you did an acoustic tour in Europe. What experiences have you gained from it and how do you think European audience differ from the Canadian one?

Europe was incredible. I’m not sure if it’s because we had come from so far away but we were blown away by everyone’s hospitality and enthusiasm. I love Canada, and being Canadian, but I think that our agreeable nature can also make us somewhat subdued as an audience. That’s obviously a real generalization, and it’s not always the case, but on this trip we definitely felt a real sincere passion from the audiences in Europe. It was amazing. We can’t wait to see that from the UK!

What is the creative process like in Recovery Child? Do you draw your influences from other artists, or maybe other people, books, places…?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to pinpoint one’s influences. We are just the sum of our experiences. Creativity is such an amazing, abstract thing. I’ve always thought of creativity and inspiration as being divine intervention for me, because I can’t explain how or why a song takes shape. I also feel like I can’t take responsibility for it because of that. I can’t tell you where the ideas come from, they just come out. It’s like I didn’t even write my own songs! Ha Ha! That said, I try not to force ideas. Some days it works, and some days it doesn’t. Inspiration just comes when it wants to, and your job as a writer is to just be receptive when it does come.

What music did you listen to while growing up? And what do you think of music nowadays?

When I was really young my babysitters exposed me to really great pop music, like Depeche Mode, INXS, U2, etc. I think that gave me some real sensibilities about what accessible music sounded like. I feel like accessible music – pop music – is really dumbed down now, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, when I was old enough to discover my own music I was also the perfect age for 90s alt-rock and grunge. It was such a great era of music because it was really trying to say something. You had this generation of artists that seemed to really have a valuable vision… Real artistry and opinion. I don’t want to say that that’s lost nowadays, but it’s definitely harder to find. Especially in the mainstream.

If we were to see Recovery Child live, what would we experience? And we would love to see you play over here in the UK!

I’ve never seen a show so it’s hard for me to say! Ha Ha! I like to think that the sincerity that I mentioned earlier comes through in our shows. We have always prided ourselves on giving everything that we have when we’re onstage, and I hope that the audience feels that. And we would love to come to the UK! We can’t wait!

What are your plans or hopes for the near future? Can we expect a new record any time soon?

We are currently wrapping up another EP that we’ll be releasing in 2013. It’s actually the sister album to “Afterimage”, in that most of it was recorded at the same time. As for plans, we really want to get back to Europe, and the UK, and kick around Canada more. Ultimately, all we hope for is to reach people. We just want people know who we are, and hopefully get to a point where we mean something to them.

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