Interview by Mark Anthony Brennan
At Mission Dolores are based in Kamloops, BC. Their latest album ‘Last Night Outside Her Apartment’ was released just weeks ago.
Why “At Mission Dolores”?
Mission Dolores is a park in San Francisco. This is going back a number of years. I was visiting San Francisco, and had a really cool couple of days, but in that neighbourhood in particular you’d see such huge swings between wealth and poverty. You’d be in this beautiful, surreal park full of palm trees and just to see that stark contrast. I think that’s influenced the band — observing how weird and strange things are in the world but we’ve sort of normalized them.
How it the band get started?
It started as my solo project. I attempted to record my songs alone but ended up recruiting drummer, Jared Wilman, and Jared Doherty who is co-vocalist and song-writer and additional guitar player. My wife, Maggie, was also included in the recordings. Afterwards, we decided we wanted to play those songs live and that’s when we came across our bassist Stu. Then we were able to form the band, learn those songs and start on the path that way.
Was it difficult, developing a band in Kamloops?
One advantage is that with a smaller scene it’s easier to go out and cut your teeth. Go through your growing pains without being on the big stage of a major city. However, it’s like the snow-globe effect — everybody knows you and everybody’s going to support you, regardless. When we started getting out to Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, the bigger cities, that was our big litmus test. So far, it’s been very well received. One of the cool things is that — using Vancouver for instance where there’s a pretty strong post-punk movement right now — we are considered a breath of fresh air because it’s not totally in line with what’s going on in their scenes.
Your songs are very well crafted.
I really like the story-telling aspect of songwriting. Once we have a nice story or narrative in place then it’s fun, treating your instruments like your paintbrush as to how you’ll alter the canvas behind that story.
At Mission Dolores on tour:
July 4th / Victoria / Vinyl Envy
July 5th / Cumberland / Masonic Hall