Easily recognized by their crisp harmonies, clever hooks, and high-energy performances, I, the Mountain has built a loyal and growing following across Southern Ontario. Formed in 2012, while attending Trent University in Peterborough, ON.
Today we share their latest single ‘The Boat’ and sit down to talk inspiration and more, read it all below..
Can you talk to us about the inspiration for your latest single ‘The Boat’?
The inspiration for ‘The Boat’ came from Canadian author Alistair McLeod’s short story of the same name. The story is embedded with East Coast imagery and details the struggles of a family residing in a small-town fishing community. After meeting with Simon Ward of The Strumbellas, Matt Lamers and Simon took the ‘The Boat’ in a new direction. The song became an anthem of hope, perseverance and pushing through adversity.
How has your community contributed to your success?
Our community has been detrimental to the success of I, the Mountain. They are directly responsible for our success! Our band was formed busking on street-corners and at farmer’s markets. This led to the acquisition of many fans exclusively from the community we belonged to. Our first album release felt like such a community based event, with so many friendly faces, as well as local media attending (and absolutely packing) the show. We’ve created our own community with a strong base of passionate fans willing to share our music with others. Without our community, we would not have any of the success we have today.
What advice would you give other musicians?
Be persistent. Aside from our community, much our success comes from unrelenting persistence (borderline harassment in some cases haha). Without persistence and a willingness to reach out to people constantly, bands often get tossed to the side. Understandably so as we exist in a hugely oversaturated industry with tons of talent that never sees the light of day. Through our persistence, we’ve solidified a number of fantastic contacts that can help take our band to the next level.
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
It all starts with a little line of music or melody that just comes to your head, you know you have something when that line is still stuck there the next day or a week later. For us our songwriting usually happens individually, either Matt Lamers or Matt Rappolt write the melodies, lyrics, and chords by themselves, but our instrumentation is very collaborative. We try to test out different sounds and feels with the melodies and lyrics so that we can make sure that each song has the “right” sound.
How did it feel when you released your debut single?
Surreal and euphoric. We’ve been working on this single for a long time and to finally have it see the light of day feels absolutely incredible. It’s surreal to get such a large exposure to people outside of our immediate community. It’s very reaffirming to receive messages from complete strangers mentioning their love for the song. It feels like this will be the single to help push our band to the next level. We’ve had successes in the past, but nothing quite comparable to ‘The Boat’. Sometimes as a band you can get so caught up in the back-end planning and promotion that you forget that it’s all about sharing your music with other people. We’ve been blown away by the reception and it’s amazing for us to see and hear how much people are enjoying the song!
If you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
Matt Lamers: It’s wild to say that we’ve already collaborated with one of my musical heroes, Simon Ward (The Strumbellas). Simon’s songwriting has influenced mine in so many ways and I would absolutely love to collaborate again in the future. I would also absolutely love to one day collaborate with Canadian legend John K. Samson of The Weakerthans. Pure lyrical genius with such a humble, yet powerful delivery.
Matt Morgan: Bare Naked Ladies or Great Big Sea. Two of my favorite artists (and Canadians!) who are unbelievably talented both instrumentally and vocally. They create with such genuine music that generates a genuine emotional reaction almost every time I listen to them.
Matt Rappolt: Definitely Jared & the Mill. We have similar sound to them as a band and I respect and admire them so much. I think their songwriting is incredible and they just look like they would be a blast to write songs and tour with. Someone more mainstream would be Jenn Grant because she is a phenomenal musician and writer and also my not-so-secret Canadian music crush.
What first got you interested into music?
Matt Lamers: I attribute my first genuine experiences with music (other than Will Smith’s Here Come the Men In Black) to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Black Sabbath, as well as Sum 41 and Billy Talent. I was huge into metal from a young age and feel that it was the strong community aspect of that type of music that really got me hooked. There was also something so liberating about it. A lot of my interest in music also came from my friend’s brother, who was in a metal band when I really got into music.
Matt Rappolt: I was a very musical child. There are more than a few old cassettes of 2-year-old me belting out “Happy Birthday” or “The Wheels on the Bus” and drumming along with anything I could get my hands onto. As I grew older I was drawn to the emotional gravity of songs. I loved that just hearing a chord progression or a simple melody line, or a rhythm cadence could change my mood and the way I experienced the world. I loved (and still love) getting lost in music and using it as a tool for introspection and reflection.
Matt Morgan: My grandparents were very insistent I learn an instrument, and I was exposed to music quite a bit from an early age through all of my family members. They are all musically talented or very appreciative of music in their own ways.