We connected with Austin based rock band The Canvas People for an exclusive interview to discuss their recently released single/video “Handle On My History”, which appears on their new album “Garden Party”. We also found out more about the band’s creative process for the development of new songs, which song from their catalog most personifies them, what they enjoy the most about playing live, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with The Canvas People, be sure to stream “Handle On My History” on Spotify, connect with them on their website and social media, and listen to their brand new album, “Garden Party”.
Describe your creative process when it comes to the development of new songs.
Typically, our process starts with me writing a song, sometimes just a piece of a song. I'll typically write a song over the course of a month in bits and pieces, recording parts on my phone.
Lyrically, I draw inspiration from really anything, it's just establishing a theme and diving in. When I feel like I've got something coherent enough structurally, I'll show the band at rehearsal and we begin developing and molding the song in various ways. We give each other feedback as we craft our individual parts for the song. Eventually, and with some luck, it becomes a song.
If you had to pick one song from your catalog that personifies or represents the band the most, which one would it be?
It’s tough to pick one, but we’d probably go with "Starlit". It’s a song that embodies all the themes that have been integral to our sound since the beginning - 3 part harmonies, big choruses, dreamy guitars - while also incorporating new musical ideas reflective of our creative growth as a band.
Congratulations on the release of the visual for your single "Handle On My History". How did you and the director come up with its treatment?
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to produce a short film rather than a typical montage music video. Because of that, we spent several months brainstorming concepts for the storyline. The director of the video, Keaton Davis, originally suggested developing a narrative in tribute to the classic John Hughes 1980’s coming-of-age teen films. With that in mind, we moved forward with a “Breakfast Club” concept, eventually landing on the idea of a teen jailbreak. Playing to the feeling and tone of the song, we carefully crafted a roadmap for our main character to get from point A to B.
"Handle On My History" appears on your new album "Garden Party". Does the album has an overall theme or message that ties into what we're hearing on "Handle On My History"?
“Garden Party” is largely about accepting your own evolution as a person and finding a reason to celebrate relationships in some way or another. Whether those relationships are positive, negative, or even traumatizing.
“Handle On My History” is pretty on the nose relating to this concept. The ability to reckon with your own painful memories and own it in a way that makes you a better person. I think the song probably sounds a little darker on the surface but the message as a whole is affirming.
What do you guys enjoy most about playing live, especially since you're from the live music capital of the world?
An ideal Canvas People show has pretty energetic, dynamic vibes and everyone is locked in. Those shows are always the most fun and the easiest, because everything comes so naturally and we're hitting on all cylinders. We want the audience to feel that way too, like they're experiencing the ride with us.
Austin has a lot of great rooms to offer with quality sound so that helps a bunch greatly. Knowing that your music is being portrayed to its fullest potential sonically and that concert goers care about that aspect is pretty great.