By BD Marie Hughes
July 29, 2009
Toronto Independent Music Awards
These three brothers, along with Chris Campbell, are a definite stand-out at the TIMA showcases. I met them at TIMA Showcase #2 back on May 27.2009, when they were going for “Best Live”. In two months, the band will be releasing its first full length album, much to the delight of their alternative rock/pop loving fans. Like their faithful followers, I wanted to know more about these talented, up and coming musicians.
BD: What memorable moments do you have as a band?
The MacHams George: Our first listen to our debut album on the drive home from the studio. It was remarkable, really. We had feelings of accomplishment and glory go down our spines along with huge smiles on our faces. Our album is solid proof, something tangible, which shows what great music we, as brothers, are capable of creating.
BD: Who do you look up to?
The MacHams JP: I guess we look up to bands that have made it and haven’t turned into total jerks. I mean, like, bands whose fame hasn’t gotten to their heads and have actually used their success to do good in the world.
The MacHams Noel: Classic example is Bono of U2. He’s huge! But he has raised such awareness and done so much good work. Hopefully, we can do that one day.
BD: What does “selling out” mean to you? Can you have your cake and eat it, too?
The MacHams JP: It’s funny, ‘cause we were just talking about how I stop liking bands when they go mainstream. (laughs) But that’s not really selling out. I’d say it’s when a band drops what they believe in for something materialistic. So far, we haven’t done anything against what we stand for… and we intend to keep it that way!
BD: When people come to see you play, there is always the perception that your performance is great, seamless, effortless. How do you view this perception versus the reality of what you do? I mean, there’s a lot of hard work behind-the-scenes, rehearsals, keeping websites updated, booking shows, and so on.
The MacHams George: Definitely, especially since we see our performances as a show and not just a recital. I mean, the people come to see a show not just listen to some music. They could do that at home! We try to create a lot of energy on stage and have fun with it. Noel always says that the only bad thing about shows is having to lug our equipment on and off the stage. Hmm… We’re thinking of putting an ad in the paper for roadies. (everyone laughs)
BD: How do you mentally prepare for a show?
The MacHams Noel: Well, you’ve heard the expression “never go to bed angry”. We say “never go on stage angry”. If ever we get into a fight or something, we always hug and make up before the show. The point is to have a good time out there. We put on a happy face, say a prayer, and then we’re ready to rock n’ roll!
BD: What has been your most memorable show and why?
The MacHams George: Probably last year at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. Everything seemed to be going wrong. The day of the show, our amp and guitar stopped working, our bassist said he couldn’t make it, and JP had the flu. We re-arranged our songs so that we can do them as a 3-piece band. Noel had to buy a new amp and play the bass and JP toughed it out. Oh man, we put on an awesome show! It just showed us that we’re ready to take on anything and we don’t let obstacles get in our way.
BD: How do you keep positive? And handle setbacks?
The MacHams George: This one’s gonna be a sappy one. (clearing his throat) Here I go… Friends may come and go but family is there through thick and thin. The comfort and support between us brothers, along with wisdom and encouragement from Mom and Dad, and bodyguards Tigran and Raffi – really our cousins (laughing) – keep the dreams and ambitions alive.
BD: What crazy music shit have you heard of? Did you know The Vatican has its own radio station?? (laughing)
The MacHams JP: Hey, they have some good stuff on that station! (laughing) I’m sure the Pope has an awesome singing voice, too! Okay, one of the coolest things around is the YouTube Symphony Orchestra which is a collaboration of musicians from all over the world. Check it out. It’s a surreal experience. Oh, and if you didn’t know, there was a study in the UK that concluded that cows that listen to music produce more milk! Seriously!
BD: What do you do away from music? Do you have summer plans?
The MacHams Noel: George keeps busy with his vegetable and herb garden, and making home-made cleaning products. JP likes biking and watching 2 dvds EVERYDAY! And me – well, I like to kick it back and chill with family and friends on the patio over some mouth-watering barbecue.
BD: What’s next for The MacHams?
The MacHams George: Well, we can’t say when or where yet because we’re ironing out some details. BUT – it’ll definitely be the BIGGEST step for The MacHams… CD Release Party!