Halifax indie-rock band In-Flight Safety has been working the highways to get its music out since the group's 2004 debut EP. There's been an upswing of late, with the band landing songs in the TV shows Chuck and The Vampire Diaries, but the hard work continues as In-Flight Safety wraps up a short tour in Eastern Canada with Said the Whale and then drives across the country to the West Coast to hook up with Yukon Blonde for another run of dates. Singer John Mullane spoke to Vue Weekly as the band set out westward. Here are some of the highlights of the conversation.
VUE WEEKLY: The band collaborates on the music and you write the lyrics. Are you someone who writes all the time?
JOHN MULLANE: I write down lyrics all the time and then when I'm writing for the band I'm trying to come up with a really good, convincing lyric or two while we're writing in the room that will sort of reveal itself as to what the song is going to be about, and I work off of that. I work backwards from that key lyric that I find inspires me when we're writing music, and then the challenge there and now is that if we have really great music I still have to have a great melody or we have to shelve that piece of music. So that's the frustrating part for me, because I can be the one to not take a song over the edge, I can be the one to not come up with a good enough melody or good enough lyrics and just kind of go, "This is not happening." And that sucks for everyone because there are always some nice pieces of music that no one gets to hear because really in the end they're not songs, they're just riffs.
VW: It's been a year since the last album came out. Are you looking ahead to the next one?
JM: We're always working on new songs, it's just because we're such a small label it takes a long time for us to spread the word about our record. It usually takes about a year before we start to get busy again, and we're at that point where we're busy again, because we don't have any way to really release the dove out of the gate. We just kind of tour a lot and then people start to gradually go, 'Oh, yeah, In-Flight has a new record,' and so by the time that happens here we are a year later and just sort of getting a bit of a stride now. Hopefully we'll change that some day by being more organized or something—I'm not sure what it is, to be honest it eludes me—but it does take a while to get the word out.
VW: Do you write just enough songs for a record, or do you come up with more and pick and choose?
JM: This record that we're thinking about doing, I don't think we even have a record yet. We have songs, but I don't feel inspired enough by the songs we have yet to make a record, and so until we have written the songs whose presence is required on a record, we don't really have any plans to make a record until those songs are there. Because every band knows how much it takes to get a record done, so you've really got to have the material, and given the competition of how good bands are today and how quickly people digest stuff and spit it out, you better damn well have the best nine or 10 songs that people have ever heard or you should maybe just not do it, just do it for fun on the side. So we'll wait until we have nine or 10 zingers until we put another record out. V
Thu, Apr 15 (7:30 pm)
With Yukon Blonde, Axiomatik
Haven Social Club, $10