PREMIERE: Ontario’s Graham Caldwell starts a new chapter as Tearing Up, shares EP highlight ‘Highway Bandits’


Billy is Dead. RIP. ‘Wait, who’s Billy?’ we hear you ask. Well, Billy Moon was the stage name and alter ego of sorts for Ontario-based Graham Caldwell. What happened? In Caldwell’s words: “I don’t have the energy to dress up as anyone besides myself anymore.” Hence the beginning of a new chapter as Tearing Up. Note the ambiguous pronunciation; it’s intentional. “Growing up, I loved punk bands that sneered in the face of authority, demanding their voice be heard. They made me feel like I was stronger than I was. I was the kind of person who avoided conflict since I’d lose every fight I’d end up in, but there’s still a part of me that itches to get its hands dirty, hence the name: Tearing Up.”

There’s nothing ambiguous about his new EP, though – take this premiere of a forceful new song as proof. ‘Highway Bandits’ is a loud and energetic offering from someone who still feels like he has plenty to say. Speaking about the song, Caldwell had this to say, and yes we’re posting the full quote:

“This song is for my brother. The year he graduated university I flew out to Kelowna, BC to help him drive his truck and all his other belongings back to Ontario. It was a 5-day drive where we talked about his experience in Uni and waxed poetic about what the future held. At that time, we knew that our Dad was dying, and that the home we were returning to was a far more complicated place than it was when he had left.

We don’t really look like brothers. People will meet us and they’ll be genuinely shocked that we’re related. In some ways our personalities are polar opposites. I usually describe it by saying I was in my high school musical, while he was co-captain of the rugby team.

I think about that drive as a moment when I realized that we were bound together by something, maybe it was the weight of what we knew was to come: that we would spend the next two years carrying our father’s life on our backs, trying to discover what our own lives would look like once we found a place to set it down. Now that the years have passed I think he’s done a pretty good job, and I don’t know why but for some reason, I think he’d probably say the same thing about me.”

Check out the video below; the Billy is Dead EP lands next Friday October 14th.

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