The Honest Heart Collective’s ‘Liars Club’ has a built in contradiction. The album is the debut from the Thunder Bay rockers who combine some good ol’ Yankee heartland rock (Springsteen, Mellencamp) with some northern most tip of the Canadian country sound (The Band); Thunder Bay to Thunder Road.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Ryan MacDonald says the Liars Club is for good people who do bad things, “every person has two sides, it’s about making mistakes and making up for them. Just because you've done some bad things doesn't make you a bad person,” he says.
MacDonald and his brother, bassist, Nic, form the heart of the Collective. They shared music tastes when they were young and a taste for the devil’s water as they got older.
“My brother and I have been playing in bands since we were kids. In 2012, I moved to Ottawa for school and somewhere along the line I developed a love for Irish whiskey and started writing/recording songs. I'd send the Pro Tools sessions to Nic and he'd write all the bass parts for me and send them back. Those songs eventually became The Honest Heart Collective and we've had that brotherly, whiskey loving attitude ever since,” says MacDonald.
Other members of the band are Kevin Heerema on guitar, Jay Savage on drums and keyboardist Conner Harris.
MacDonald says musically they have been compared to the Boss and while he says Thunder Bay has no direct influence on the music they make he adds “lots of people have said we have a Springsteen-esqe sound and I think that comes with growing up in a small blue collar city just like he did.”
The T-Bay is a working class town and as such its glory days may be behind it now. There have been a lot of changes in The Lakehead however as the area transitions. MacDonald says the music scene is thriving and the city is an open and intense place to learn and earn your chops. It is after all where Neil Young met Steven Stills.
“There's so many great musicians in Thunder Bay so everyone feeds off each other, it’s a friendly competition but it's extremely supportive at the same time,” he says.
Aukland (Mississauga) are supporting the Honest Heart Collective on their current south Ontario tour.