Soundtrack – Late Night Pharmacy

Image : Yawei Zhang  [Used with permission]




Post-punk / alternative-rock band Late Night Pharmacy on the soundtrack to their lives




What was the first album/single that you ever bought?


Dave: Dani California. But my uncle burned me Queen I, II and III before that. It still holds up. Freddie was a big hero of mine.


Fionn: When I was about 8, my dad brought me to a secondhand shop and I found a copy of the  “Ice Ice Baby” single on vinyl. I think it’s still in my parents’ house. The first album I bought was the Gorillaz self-titled album. I practically wore the disc out from playing it so much.


Jordan: Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water by Limp Bizkit.




What is your earliest musical memory?


Fionn: My parents had an upright piano in the living room, and when I was a little kid before I could play any instrument, I would “write songs” on it, which consisted of me hammering away at the keys and sustain pedal largely at random. In retrospect, I’m not even sure how I was able to reach the sustain pedal, I must have been standing.


Jordan: Singing along to Alanis Morissette in my mom’s car.


Dave: Snap! Except it was where my mother worked. They always blared it. I’ve the album seared into my brain. Maybe I should have called social services.




Is there a particular song/band/singer that made you want to be a musician?


Dave: Freddie Mercury as I was saying. I mean the fact he was Indian. I was like, fuck! He’s like me!


Fionn: I have a vague idea that when I first heard “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, that was when the idea that I’d like to make music first occurred to me.


Jordan: All I did was watch music videos on the TV channel Much Music growing up before getting my first drum set, so I would say there are A LOT of songs/bands/singers involved, I am unable to pinpoint one.




Is there a song/band that you love that was introduced to you by someone else?


Dave: “Where Is My Mind?”, Pixies. Someone from a band played it for me and said “can you sing that?” And here I thought it was early Killers.


Fionn: When I was in college, my girlfriend at the time was good friends with this guy, and the three of us used to hang out in his flat in Bray. He’d play CDs on his XBox, but the way the XBox worked, the CD would just loop endlessly, so we’d fall asleep with the album playing over and over again all night and still playing when we woke up in the morning. One of the CDs he put on was Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie, which I now love, but maybe the only reason I love it is because it was playing on a loop while I was sleeping.


Jordan: The Bouncing Souls come to mind, but truthfully, I feel like most music I like has been shared or shown to me at some point.




Is there a song whose lyrics resonate with you and why so?


Dave: “Tunnels” by Arcade Fire. One of my favourites to sing. A while back my friend told me her parents were getting divorced out the blue and then her grandmother suddenly died all in the space of one Christmas. Then the lyrics just seemed to be about that. Children cursed and marked by the grown ups.


Fionn: I always liked that song “Black Star” by Radiohead. It’s funny because the music isn’t anything particularly special, but I like the lyrics a lot, they’re very specific and well-observed. “I get home from work and you’re still standing in your dressing gown” – I’ve had days like that, where you feel so down you can’t even work up the energy to get dressed.


Jordan: There’s a song by The Flatliners called “July! August! Reno!” and for some reason, this line always runs through my head, “If this phone call’s the end, can you really say goodbye?”. It resonates with me, I think because I was on what I thought was my last phone call one time, saying what I actually thought could be my last goodbye.




The band/musician that you grew up listening to?


Dave: David Bowie. He always seemed to be playing in the house. And the story goes my mother was pregnant with me when she went to see him in the Point. My first gig!


Fionn: There were a few CDs my parents played a lot when I was a little kid, we had a lot of long car journeys driving across France. Eurhythmics, the first album by Dire Straits, Queen, the Police, almost everything by U2. When I was in my stroppy teen phase I listened to KoRn and Joy Division obsessively.


Jordan: The Tragically Hip I think? Maybe Shania Twain? Not sure exactly.




What song do you wish that you had written and why?


Dave: “God Only Knows” just because. Also “High Anxiety” by Mel Brooks. I encourage everyone reading to go watch that film tonight!


Fionn: “Wormwood over Albion” by Caïna. That album is a bit hit-and-miss (by his own admission) but he knocked it out of the park on the last song. I’d love to have a song I could sing at a campfire with just an acoustic guitar, and that’s my favourite song of that description, it’s such a simple gorgeous little tune. I was trying to learn how to play it, but I couldn’t find a tab for it anywhere, so I emailed the guy from Caïna asking him how to play it. He emailed me back saying he was sloshed while writing and recording it, so he couldn’t remember how to play it.


Jordan: The drums in the song “Cat Like Thief” by Box Car Racer are pretty great.



What song transports you back in time and why?



Dave: “Golden Brown” by the Stranglers. Reminds me of being sixteen. Also “New York I Love You” by LCD.


Fionn: “With Fire in Our Veins We Drown in Light” by Altar of Plagues. I was utterly obsessed with Altar of Plagues when I was in fifth and sixth year in school, I listened to the Sol EP on repeat everywhere I went. I have this specific memory of lying in bed in a hotel room in Prague listening to it on my iPod.


Jordan: The band Streetlight Manifesto and their song “A Better Place, A Better Time”. It reminds me of first getting my license, my first vehicle, and making road trips from Lacombe to Red Deer with friends, singing our hearts out to that album on repeat.




Which song makes you dance when you hear it?


Fionn: “U Got That” by Halogen. It’s the kind of song that makes you think that being a male stripper honestly wouldn’t be a bad way to make a living, if I only had the body for it.


Jordan: Like right now? Last year? 5 years ago? I don’t have an answer.


Dave: I’ll have to go with Jordan on this one. What time? Of all time? Where am I?




Which song makes you sad when you hear it?


Dave: “Bojangles” by Harry Balefonte. I’ll cry, but the Sammy Davis Jr. version doesn’t make me feel the same somehow. Who’s to know why.


Fionn: I mean tbh that describes about 90% of the music I listen to, but in terms of what I’m listening to at the moment, I’ll go with “The Damage Done” by Moderat. I was listening to the album in work the other day and I was just inwardly thinking “Fionn, control yourself, no conspicuous displays of emotion or someone will report you to HR”.


Jordan: Tough one, let’s go with “Tennessee” by Allan Rayman.




What was the first gig you went to?


Dave: Outside of the womb? Buena Vista Social Club in Smithfield.


Fionn: Excluding classical concerts, I think the first show I went to was to see Dido in Marley Park, with Scissor Sisters supporting. Still love Dido, honestly, the first two albums are savage.


Jordan: Billy Talent, Sum 41 or Avenged Sevenfold. I can’t remember, they all feel like the same era.




What was the first song that you ever performed?


Dave: “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix in front of a room of very confused parents in school. Just me on mic. I killed it.


Fionn: The first band I was in was when I was 15 or 16, and we were called White Canvas. It was just two of us and we played our first show (I think) in the Vaults beside Connolly Station. I know most of the songs we played at that show were by the other guy in the band, but at least two of them were mine. One of those songs was called “Kitchen”, which I’m still kind of proud of and want to use for Late Night Pharmacy sometime, but I think we’ll have to write new lyrics.


Jordan: “Hotel California” by The Eagles and “The Dance” by Garth Brooks in a drum recital.





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