Meet: Your New Favourite Band – Excuses Excuses

Sandra-Lee Photography

Excuses Excuses are a rock band from Ontario, Canada, who are bringing back the punkier side of rock in a big way with a set of brilliant singles, setting them out as a band to watch. Their debut album is due out later this year, so Backseat Mafia caught up with them to find out about the band.

Give us a potted history of the band

Before the days of Excuses Excuses, I (Kyle) met Trevor (bass) in school when we were about 3 and 4 years old, and we have been super close ever since. The first rendition of our band was in highschool when we performed as Stained Glass Army alongside a few other close friends of ours. Though neither of us really even knew how to play instruments, we had basically decided to learn for the sole purpose of playing in a band together. To this day I still can’t really explain it, but it was always something that we were drawn to and just knew we had to follow. As per usual, that fizzled as we got to the end of high school; but luckily we met Jason (drums) after a bit of a hiatus and were able to get back on our feet pretty fast since we already had a few recordings ready. We officially started Excuses Excuses in 2016 and started playing as many shows as we possibly could. Eventually we started working up some steam in the Canadian club circuit, taking on longer tours, and continuing to record and self-release songs when we could afford to do so. Through that time we were lucky to make lots of friends and share the stage with some awesome acts including cleopatrick, Danko Jones, Fucked Up, Bleeker, Monowhales, and so many more.  After a few EPs and our first big cross-country tour, we ended up getting funding from a Canadian government foundation, called FACTOR, to help us afford to be able to record our debut record. Though times were extremely tough during the global pandemic, we kept working hard towards making the best record we possibly could, and ended up creating the collection that we now know as LISTEN UP! The hard work totally paid off during COVID, because we signed our first record deal with the album and are super ready to start getting back on the road and bringing our live show to as many new places as possible with this release.

Who inspired you to start making music

Though we all found our unique inspirations, a huge influence on us was definitely our families and each other. I was initially drawn to rock music because of the music that I was subjected to growing up from my parents’ music collections (and I know this holds true for Jason too). In the two little towns we collectively grew up in there was also just oddly strong budding music scenes where we felt we could really flourish and be ourselves, so it helped to provide the opportunities to learn and grow as musicians pretty quickly. Additionally, we use each other a lot for inspiration and motivation. We often say that we are not just band mates, we are family, and we always do the best we can to help uplift each other and keep eachother growing in a positive way, especially when things get tough.

And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically

For me, Nirvana’s Nevermind, and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid were the initial two records that inspired me artistically. For some reason I have always been enamored with the sound of heavy, dark guitars, blasting drums, strong melodies, and catchy songwriting; and both these records were game-changers in a lot of those ways. Ozzy’s ability to make these powerful vocal lines that I can’t help but sing back, Kurt’s overly simplified song structures that helped show people that “pop music” is actually cool, and the energy of both these bands literally changed the way that I listen to and enjoy music.

If you’re trying to explain whom you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say

This may depend on where the person is from who I am talking to, but in general I would say if you dropped Foo Fighters, Billy Talent, Green Day, and Catfish and the Bottlemen into a flaming blender and mix it, you’d have the right blend we like to call Excuses Excuses.

Tell us about your new release

Our new record is called LISTEN UP! and it is our debut record which will be released through the Canadian rock record label Known Accomplice Records. In general, I wrote this collection of songs about battling with and overcoming real, honest struggles that we all go through as humans. I really wanted to create a piece of art that could help to empower people to strive to live their best, most fulfilling life, and never let anything get in the way of achieving their goals and dreams. We recorded this record outside of Toronto at a brand new studio called Hapy Hipi (designed by world renown studio designer Martin Pilchner) with our awesome producer Brian Moncarz (Our Lady Peace, Circa Survive, Alice Cooper, etc) who studied under Bob Ezrinand Dave Bottrill, and our relentless engineer Justin Meli. To emulate the classic 90’s/2000’s rock sound we wanted for the album, we used a lot of really cool vintage and boutique guitar/bass amps (mainly HIWATT, Ampeg SVT, Soldano, Marshall, a Supro, and a Roccaforte) and a vintage Ludwig drum kit. We also did the majority of the tracking all together as a unit (live off the floor) to do our best to capture the raw, live essence of our sound. We are super proud of what we were able to create with this record, and are excited to see how people react to it.

Where can we get hold of it

LISTEN UP! Is available globally online anywhere listeners like to stream music (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Pandora, etc). Physical copies of the record will be available through our online store that you can reach through our website:

Tell us how you write

For us, each song can be a drastically different writing experience. More often than not I (Kyle) will get an idea in my head and start building on it on my own so I can really decipher my intentions with and direction for the song. This is generally just hours of me messing around with melodies, lyrics, and potential guitar ideas until I feel comfortable enough to share it with the band to see what they think. Once there is a core idea, the band writes their parts and we jam the song until we find the groove that we are satisfied with. We then often work together to decide where we want the final parts of the song to go, and work together on tightening up any transitions between parts while we experiment with the ideas we have. It has always felt like the most natural and organic way for us to create and have everyone find their being within the songs. 

Tell us about your live show and how much have you been missing it recently

If there is one thing we are good at and like to do as a band, it is perform live for people and put on the most exciting show we possibly can. Our goal with shows has always been to find a way to emulate and evoke the unique emotions of each song in a way that simply cannot be captured in a studio setting. Especially with rock music, there is so much to be said for the showmanship and energy of a live show that becomes an extremely important aspect for viewers, and it is important to be able to hone in on that energy so you can give people the most true and honest experience at a show. If I had to describe it in a few words, I would say our show is highly energetic, emotional, and passionate. Honestly, the hardest part of COVID for all of us was the inability to play live music for people. One thing I have learned about all musicians who choose this life is that we all share this instinctual need to perform, and when we can’t do it, we feel like a massive part of our being is missing. It is an absolute blessing to finally see that light at the end of the tunnel and be able to do what we love most once again.

What can we expect from you in the near future

With the release of our record, expect to see us on tour as much as possible. Our main goal is to start working our way to different pockets of the world so we can share our passion with as many people as possible and spread our messages of positivity around the globe. Keep your eyes peeled, you may just catch us in a city near you…

Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones/tour bus/stereo

Collectively one of our favourite records that we can’t stop spinning recently  is “Skinty Fia”, the new record by Fontaines D.C. The whole thing is extremely well put together and just captures this awesome melancholy vibe. I can only imagine it would be that much better live as well. We are also super into Kid Kapichi’s “This Time Next Year”, The Mysterines debut “Reeling”, and PUP’s “The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND.” They are all full of the raw rocking energy we love.

Find out more about the band via their Website or Facebook

Check out the band’s track ‘Far From Perfect’ below:

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