All chemistry

Canadian band Mounties are gelling

Each member is involved in other successful projects.
Each member is involved in other successful projects.

After years leaving things up to chance, all-Canadian band Mounties have taken control.

Each band member has had success in their individual acts and projects over the last two decades, but after a series of random meetings over the years and promises of working together in the future, they finally set a week to get into the studio and work.

“Within a couple days we had written so many songs that by the end of it we walked away with 10 rough mixes of what is almost what the record ended up being,” band member Ryan Dahle said.

They met again a few months later. By the end of this second meeting they were close to the 50-song mark.

“Sooner or later we had this record and we started passing it around and that was it, we were like ‘well shit, I guess we’re a band,’” Dahle said.

All three members are experienced musicians involved in other projects: Hawksley Workman has performed as a singer-songwriter, Dahle founded the group Limblifter and Steve Bays is the frontman for Hot Hot Heat. Each member shares duties between singing and playing instruments.

The trio broach songwriting in a unique way, subverting a typical calculated writing and recording process for a more organic, spontaneous one.

“The only rule that we imposed on ourselves when we got together was to not bring any outside ideas, arrive empty-handed,” Dahle said.

“I’ve rediscovered how quickly you can write songs.”

It’s a combination of mutual admiration and pure talent that makes Mounties work.

“[We] started creating off the top of our heads, which I don’t think happens very often.”

Their first single “Headphones” came from one of these sessions.

“As soon as Hawksley sat down, one of the first things he played was ‘Headphones,’” Dahle said. “Him and I just started playing what is on the record.”

These sessions often began outside the studio in Dahle’s Airstream RV.

After drinking wine and writing down ideas in the trailer, the group would move straight to the studio.

“[Steve] would step up to the mic and rattle off a bunch of little quips that he had glued together in his head with a melody that just came out of his mouth spontaneously,” he said.

“That’s unprecedented. It just doesn’t happen in modern music”

As a group known for this spontaneity in their songwriting and performances, they’ve also attempted to bring something special to their music videos.

The videos, made by Bays, feature old footage of supercars, early video games and even home videos Workman’s grandfather recorded in the 1960s.

“We’re referencing a time when people were excited about technology, whatever that technology was,” Dahle said.

“That theme keeps on coming back … We’re still as creatures looking for things to be excited about.”

The Mounties play the Grad Club April 1 with the Zolas.

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