When three musicians and one writer sit down to talk over beers and sweet potato fries at Olde Stone, you know it’s going to be an entertaining night. Recently, Arthur met up with Television Road band members Dan Collins, Jay Mackinnon, and Dan McNally to discuss their inventive musical brewing, latest Battle of the Bands audition, and why this group thinks that they deserve the title of truly being “The Hippest Band at Trent.”
Daniel Collins was born in Bermuda, and then moved to another location in the British Virgin Islands, later relocating to Texas and eventually settling down in Canada at the age of three. He has been playing the piano for a long time, and continues to practice every day. Dan is a cultural studies student and creative writer, with plans to possibly minor in sociology.
Jay Mackinnon comes from Guelph, Ontario where he was a core drummer for multiple bands in high school, including a metal band called Seriously Misunderstood Creatures. Jay is an economics major and politics and philosophy minor. He hopes to be powerful, influential, and preferably a billionaire one day.
Daniel McNally hails from Pickering, Ontario where he began playing drums and writing songs in grade nine at Notre Dame High School. After taking weekly lessons from his father’s friend, Dan’s skill set quickly developed. He is currently studying psychology at Trent with the intent of becoming a psychotherapist.
Hey guys! Thanks for meeting with me. So, to start off, I’m super curious about where the name “Television Road” came from. Is this a Peterborough reference?
Collins: Yes, it comes from the street downtown. We were Raccoon Love for a while, but we realized that was bit of a dumb name.
Jay [nods]: The world wasn’t ready. This name is vague. It can mean anything.
Now, I have listened to your tunes before. But for the virgin ears out there, how would you describe the band’s musical vibes?
Collins: It’s a bit of jazz, rock, and folk. I’d call it frazz. We are a lot more rock and roll now than we used to be.
Who plays which instruments?
McNally: I play drums.
Collins: Piano, and also singing.
Jay: Mostly guitar and I sing too.
Who are your musical influences?
Jay: A little bit of Radiohead.
Collins: I’m going to say Neil Young and Herbie Hancock.
McNally: Elton John, as well as Led Zeppelin.
All very good sources of inspiration! Moving on, I’d like the readers to get to know you all a little bit better, personally. If you could use only one word to describe each of yourselves, what would it be?
Collins [Without hesitation]: Okay I got this. I’m bold. Jay is arrogant. Dan is mysterious.
Jay: It’s only arrogant if you’re wrong. I’d say confident. I’m into existentialism and philosophy. I like the pop culture it’s grounded on. Can I say YOLO?
McNally: Resourceful. I really strive to be a creative thinker. I think a lot of my personality comes from my need to think outside the box.
Collins: I’d also refer to myself as being the handsome one in the bunch. Jay is the smart one, which makes Dan the quiet one. But I mean, Dan is cute too.
You are all friends outside of creating music. What’s that like?
Jay: I wouldn’t use the word “friends.” That’s a pretty strong label.
Collins: We are friends out of convenience.
[Laughter erupts around the table]
McNally: I actually introduced these two. We all met through music. I used to play in the Lady Eaton music room and met both of them last year.
Collins: Aw man, good old times.
Jay: Like a romantic comedy or something.
Collins: Originally, we all came to Trent knowing we would be doing music. It was just about finding the right people who were really invested, passionate about listening to and playing a ton of music. Our group right now is pretty solid.
Tell me a little about the band’s group dynamics.
Jay: Well, we are all buds. There is a bit of bickering sometimes about creating.
McNally: I have vision.
Jay: We all have vision. We kind of argue at the beginning y’know, we passively aggressively bicker about what we should sound like and what we should be doing, but we all come together.
Are there any themes your songs tackle specifically?
Collins: Well, Jay and I both write the songs. You say your themes first, Jay.
Jay: Sin and redemption.
Collins: What? Where the fuck is this coming from? [Group Laughter] Not to sound like a total hippie or anything, but love is actually a pretty big deal in the songs. I guess just the idea that people need to understand each other more, accept, tolerate and “be one.”
Jay: Drinking is another key theme. And partying hard.
Collins: Yes. We actually have a song called “Get Wasted.”
How did the Battle of the Bands Audition go?
McNally: We didn’t screw up. It went pretty well. We played fine.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Collins: Winning Battle of the Bands, going into the studio for the first time was really cool. Now we’ve done it a couple times, gotten positive feedback, gained confidence. Battle of the Bands was the first time we got to play live together, ever. We got lucky with that.
Jay: We also played Dionysus last year. It’s like an end of the year Trent party. For me, this is actually a step down. I’ve had bigger successes than that.
McNally [eye roll]: Oh yeah…sure.
What are Television Road’s goals for the future?
Jay: Honestly, we are just trying to make good music.
Collins: Yeah, believe it or not we actually are about being balanced, everyone having their moments. We listen to our own music a lot. We don’t just think we’re the shit. We don’t believe in God, per se, but we continue to live out of sincere curiosity about what will happen next.
Jay: And we want to be famous.
McNally: We want to be respected musicians.
Jay: C’mon guys. Seriously, we just want girls. Like 99.9% of why we do this is for the girls.
Collins: I know that we’ll be doing music no matter what happens. We want to do more recording and instrumental stuff in the future. Just getting better, regardless of what happens, even if we don’t become famous. I want to get to that point where we could have become famous.
Television Road will be playing live at Battle of the Bands. Be sure to check out their music (free to download) on bandcamp!