Meet the babes of Courage My Love, twin sisters Mercedes & Phoenix Arn-Horn and babelicious bandmate Brandon Lockwood. The trio recently debuted their new single Stereo off their full-length debut album Synestthesia. The album is available for pre-order beginning today HERE. And you can check out their rad music video by clicking the play button above.
Courage My Love were first discovered at a 2010 Battle of the Bands in Stratford, Ontario. The bands independently produced video for the song Bridges amassed over 2.8 million views. Director Kevin Smith (Silent Bob) was among the many fans that had discovered their music. The band signed with Warner Music Canada in 2011 and in 2012 Alternative Press Magazine pegged them as one of the bands to watch that year. In 2014, the bands first two EPs, For Now and Becoming, earned them a 2014 JUNO Awards nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year and later that summer Courage My Love joined the Vans Warped Tour across North America.
Check out our exclusive interview with the lovely Mercedes, whose interpretation of a Raw Femme is probably our favorite thus far. Support!
What initially inspired you to become an artist, and more importantly a group?
M: Phoenix and I have always loved music, since we were really little. I always found myself getting lost in what I was doing musically, whether it was practicing piano and jamming at band practice. I’ve always been happiest when I am creating, so music has always been there for me in that sense. Phoenix and I started the band when we were 16 years old, and it just kind of grew from there.
How does music affect you and the world around you?
M: Especially now, at 23, I basically see art and hear music wherever I go.
Ever since I was young music has been an amazing stress reliever for me. Songwriting became a sort of therapy for me whenever I was going through a rough time. Now it’s just a part of me. There’s no better feeling than getting lost in a new song and getting the vibe just right. Leaning back, listening to what you’ve just made and in that moment everything is perfect.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
M: Phoenix and I are the main writers of the band, and we gather inspiration from every day life. Emotions. Usually personal experiences. The past few years we all went through rough patches emotionally, which in the end I’m actually very thankful for because it made the album way better than if we would have all been 100% content and happy. I definitely believe you create your best art when you are going through something profound. It’s almost like survival at that point.
True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put her personal emotions into the music she plays.
M: I think that’s true. I mean, you can always tell when a song isn’t really genuine or authentic. It has to come from the heart. And I think an artist always has better insight into something they have actually gone through or are going through themselves. It definitely makes for a better song.
Name one person dead or alive who you’d love to cut a record with and why?
M: I wish we would’ve had the opportunity to cut a record with David Bowie, because he was such an icon in terms of pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable. I always respected the risks he took, from his androgynous appearance to the sonics of his recordings.
What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
M: I think if you’re having fun on stage, the audience has fun watching you.
I’ve learned that your mood sets the tone of the performance. What I try to do is leave any emotional stress or baggage off stage, even if it’s only for 30 min, and when I’m on stage I just let go and get lost. On of my guitar teachers described it as “getting beamed up by aliens” while you’re on stage. I think that’s a good approach. You want people to forget they’re watching a show, and in doing so take them away from reality for as long as you’re performing.
What embarrassing songs would we have found on your MP3 player in high school?
M: I never know if it’s embarrassing or not, because I don’t think there is such a thing as “guilty pleasure”. BUT you would have found “Weird Fishes” by Radiohead, “Sick Transit Gloria” by Brand New, and “Monster Hospital” by Metric.
What are your future plans? A tour hopefully!
M: We’re going back to the USA at the end of March, then heading to Europe and the UK in April and May. We’ve got some other exciting tour plans for the summer as well, so stay tuned!
What’s your interpretation of a Raw Femme?
M: I think any woman who fully embraces her femininity and uses it to channel her passions into something great from a unique perspective. Whether it’s Joan Jett, Frida Kahlo, or Virginia Woolf.
Strong women who pioneer their way through whatever obstacles they might have to face, and are still able to create beauty for the world.