In-Flight Safety, whose album Conversationalist came out in 2014, will play at the Moustache Club in Oshawa Sep. 10 2015. The Halifax-based indie rock band are on a short tour promoting the video for the single “Stockholm” and bringing out a new EP of B-sides plus a collaborative track with fan Rachel Corcoran of Kingston. That song grew out of a conversation guitarist and songwriter John Mullane had with Corcoran who uploaded video of her In-Flight Safety covers.
“We loved her voice so we asked to collaborate with her. She’s just really great. She does covers of Metric, and Jenn Grant and In-Flight Safety and Hollerado and Arkells. She is so talented and her voice reminded me of The Sundays and that lent itself to some stuff we were working on at the time,” says Mullane who along with drummer Glen Nicholson started talking about starting a band while students at Sackville’s Mt. Allison U.
A conversation can start so much. Early on in their career Canadian singer/songwriter Emm Gryner had a conversation with In-Flight Safety and then had a chat with David Bowie about the band and Bowie sent In-Flight Safety a very nice thumbs up email having heard their music through Gryner who was his keyboard player at the time. That started a conversation about possibly really having a future with this whole music thing.
Ten years later the band have several East Coast Music Awards and a couple of Juno nominations. Conversationalist is their third full length, “We do things slowly,” says Mullane, “we are an indie band.”
Mullane says the title fitted thematically with the direction the album took.
“The album to us was about conversations and the lack of conversation and how that can affect friendship. The idea with our music is that we like to make it put it out in the world and then maybe get something back. And if we are not getting something back then it doesn’t feel complete. So it was a cycle of putting energy out and receiving it back.” he says.
A conversation can be cyclical but it is rarely linear. What comes back can be totally divorced from the original introductory line. It is something, Mullane says, which took him some time to understand, in particular when happening upon cover versions of his band’s tracks.
“When someone covers your songs, which has only happened to us in the last five years, since the last record, We Are an Empire My Dear, when people cover our songs, that was the first time I really understood that this is not really mine. Once I put it out there it becomes something different and interpretative.” he says.
Of course the best conversations are when the other does fully understand and get the initial intent and a bond is made.
“There’s something very emotional about it because you are so connected to what this person is doing. I guess it’s because the kind of music we make is supposed to be experienced. It’s not just blasting and you listening. Its meant to be participatory so that was the ultimate compliment,” says Mullane.
It’s akin to having your kids play well with others he says.
“Your songs are like children when you don’t have any kids and so when they get out there and do things you are really proud that they are interacting with the world so that’s cool,” he says.