Augusta, Anwyn, and Charlotte of the local, emerging, all-girl band, The Lonely Parade, had agreed to meet up with Arthur for an interview. Following a series of unanticipated complications, we found ourselves sitting on the front porch of Kerr House.
Despite the rainy autumn weather, the girls happily chatted about music, being a self-managed group, and the uncanny connection between hipster culture and icebergs. The excitement and obvious creative flair of this young band made them stand out this week as local tunes who are definitely worth keeping on your musical radar!
Hello, girls. Thanks for coming out on this cold, windy day! Can you describe your music?
Anwyn: We’ve been calling ourselves alternative rock, just because it’s a big umbrella term. There’s definitely some punk in there, but if we were to categorize it as one thing, I’d go with alternative pop-punk.
Do you have any strong musical influences?
Augusta: Oh gosh, so many. I’m influenced by a lot of female singers, like St. Vincent, PJ Harvey, and, of course, Radiohead, and older musicians like the Beatles.
Anwyn: I really like the Flaming Lips for their song writing, as well as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and the Black Keys.
Charlotte: Lately I’ve been listening to Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, which is like a very obscure ‘70s Toronto band. My all-time favourites, though, are probably The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys.
How long have you girls known each other?
Augusta: A long time. Forever. Our parents were sort of friends, and then they forced us to be friends.
So you have all been pals since childhood. What made you decide to start a band?
Anwyn: I think we just did it for fun. We originally had a band when we were like ten called The Toxic Markers. It was pretty hardcore.
Charlotte: Then Dave from The Spill asked us if we wanted to play a gig, and we said, “Well, we need to be a band to play a gig,” so we just sort of put together a bunch of cover songs and found a name for ourselves. The rest is history.
Where did the name “The Lonely Parade” come from?
Anwyn: There’s this woman who goes around town on a scooter thing in Peterborough, and she decorates it with all these flowers. My brother was with my mom one day, and said the woman looked like a lonely parade. So we thought to ourselves, “Hey, that’s kind of cool.”
What are rehearsals like?
Charlotte: It really depends. If we have a gig that week, then we actually have to practice. But then other times, we just watch ‘Derek’ on Netflix.
Augusta: Sometimes we just jam or try to write a song together. Rehearsals are in my basement, Charlotte’s basement, or Anwyn’s attic.
What are the band dynamics like?
Augusta: We’re really comfortable around each other. We have been friends for so long that I think it was easier to begin playing music together. But sometimes people are like, “Since Augusta’s older, does that change things?” It doesn’t. Charlotte and Anwyn act older in comparison to people the rest of their age, and when I’m around them, I can feel more childish in a fun way.
That’s good. It’s great to talk to young musicians like yourselves. Peterborough is such creative, artsy place where you can actually develop as an artist or a musician or a writer, and be successful at it. Do you think being a younger, all-girl band influences your songs?
Anwyn: We accept the fact that we’re a girl band, but it’s not what defines us.
Charlotte: Our songs tend not to be really love-related at all. It’s usually just a spur-of-the-moment idea about what someone’s been thinking lately. We have written songs about people who irritate us, or about different issues we’re having a hard time dealing with.
Augusta: Yeah, so, for example, “Tip of an Iceberg” is about hipster culture in comparison to an iceberg. That refers to [how people] don’t get much deeper than your image, like the tip of an iceberg being the only part you can see.
Do you have a favourite venue to play at?
Charlotte: I find playing at The Spill much more enjoyable than playing shows at other places, just because we’ve played there the most. It’s a small stage and cozy environment.
Augusta: We also play at picnics and puppet shows.
Where can people find your music?
Augusta: We have a website, and also a YouTube channel. We’re working on a recording project right now called Local Youth and Music at Trent Radio, which is a series of workshops that are broadcasted live, and at the end, we’ll record an EP that gets sent out to a bunch of college radio stations around Ontario.
That sounds like a great project! Where do you envision the band going in the future?
Charlotte: I think our aim is just to be really loud! [laughs]
Anwyn: Personally, I would love for the band to take off a little bit. It would be awesome to open for some good local bands, and have people buy our albums. It’s really cool that we’re doing this interview and it would be nice if people besides our friends came to gigs.
Check out The Lonely Parade at http://thelonelyparade.tumblr.com, or find them on Facebook.