Buckle up for flight

John Mullane from In-Flight Safety takes some time from his day off to chat with the Journal


John Mullane, the lead singer and guitarist for In-Flight Safety, is trying to enjoy the last seven hours of his day off in his home in Halifax, but an attempt to ignore the persistent beeping and buzzing of his Black Berry is unsuccessful.

“I tried to ignore this thing, but I can’t,” Mullane said with a laugh.

Ask a musician what they do when they have some downtime and ignoring the sounds of a BlackBerry is only the beginning.

“I try to recoup on my days off. I drink a lot of coffee and tea. Sleep and eat. I stare at a wall for a long time and maybe attempt something productive, like reading,“ Mullane said.”

Starting in Victoria on Sept. 18 and touring cross-country has been In-Flight Safety’s life for the past month. Experiencing different landscapes and taverns across Canada hasn’t caused the band to abandon the charms of their current hometown.

“Halifax definitely has the best audiences,” Mullane said. “We were actually really impressed with Thunder Bay this time. It may have helped because the show was on a weekend. That always helps. It’s hard to do a show mid-week.”

Video play on MuchMusic, three East Coast Music Awards and a Juno nomination later, the band is still touring relentlessly to get their name out there. For the past month the band has been touring with two other hard-working Canadian acts, Library Voices and Julie Fader.

“We met on the Internet,” Mullane said of his growing relationship with Regina’s Library Voices. “Regina has a special place in our hearts and we wanted to bring a band from the West Coast so that we could swap shows. The prairies were a really really weird experience for us. We weren’t used to a landscapes without trees.”

In-Flight Safety have been together since 2003. Although the band has lost and gained some members along the way, it’s still going strong six years later.

“I’ve always been writing and looking for friends to write with and I met a bunch of good people at Mount Allison [University],” he said. “It’s very much a committee. It’s very much a democracy.” In-Flight considers themselves an East Coast band through and through, allowing the landscape, people and atmosphere of the space inform their music.

“It’s a little like New York is to LA—the light and the dark,” Mullane said. “Halifax is definitely dark. It’s a beautiful place, with working-class people. It’s a bit harsh weather wise. It’s not like sunny LA. It’s dark for sure. If there was an East Coast sound it was folk-influenced. But East Coast music keeps changing and in the last ten years especially, it’s hard to say what it is.”

Despite their notoriety in the East, In-Flight Safety may sound familiar to most audiences because one of their songs was featured in a Dell commercial. Mullane said he has no regrets about lending the band’s talent to a corporation.

“I think it’s overwhelmingly necessary these days,” he said. “It’s nice that advertisers are looking elsewhere for music. It’s gets your music out there and it also helps to pay down your debt that you have as a DIY band.”

Their upcoming Kingston show is something Mullane and company are looking forward to.

“It’s going to be a relaxed and exciting show. Because we’re touring with Julie Fader and Library Voices it’s going to be a collaborative show, for sure,” he said. “It’s an unwritten rule that we just jump on stage whenever we feel like it.”

In-Flight Safety play The Mansion tonight with Library Voices and Julie Fader this Wednesday, Oct. 21. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10 at The Mansion.

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