By BD Marie Hughes
June 15, 2009
Toronto Independent Music Awards
It is, at once, apparent that The MacHams have a legion of fans. They were screaming, “Encore!” at the end of the guys’ set. Midway through, loyalty was rewarded with a generous toss of tshirts. Three multi-instrumental brothers – Jean-Pierre Dabbagh (“JP diddy”), Noel Dabbagh (“N Dash”), and George Dabbagh (“G Dash”) and joined by bassist Chris Campbell for live performances – deliver pop-rock music loaded with lyrics about the joys, uncertainties, and pitfalls of relationships (“Vulnerable”, “Ways to Go”, “If You Only Knew”).
In two months, The MacHams will be releasing their first full length album. “All the writing in the band is done by me and JP,” explains George. “You can tell which songs I write and what songs he writes,” he continues. “Sometimes we get inspiration from the weirdest places. If we’re watching a tv show like, ‘Boy Meets World’, we’re like, ‘You know what? This would be a good idea for a song’. One time, one of JP’s friends said, ‘Write a song based on one word.’ I said, ‘Give me a word.’ He goes, ‘Vaudeville’. So based on that one word, I wrote a whole song.” (laughing) George sums up the band’s writing process, “Really, we come up with something we’re both happy with”.
JP tells me, “The deepest thing is that we’re all brothers. Music is our entire life.” George adds, “It’s the relationship that we have with each other.” Both agree that the idea of forming a band ignited in 2002 with YouTube. The brothers were involved in the Catholic church and they first played for their church choir.
BD: What can you tell me about all your fans that were here tonight and making their presence known? (laughing)
George: They’re good people (also laughing)
BD: Are they friends of yours?
George: It started like 5 years ago when we started playing shows. We brought our friends. And, the next show, our friends brought their friends. It just kept getting bigger and bigger! Now, there’s a big group following us wherever we play. We really appreciate that. We take time to go out and say, “Hi” to them!