Some artists just need more projects. For Mark and Scott Grundy it just never seems to stop, between their work in projects like Quaker Parents and Monomyth the brothers have kept busy over the years. Joined by percussive members like Nathan Doucet, formerly of Crosss, and electric drums from Cheryl of Old and Weird, as well as comedy troupe Picnicface, the four come together to form Heaven For Real, a crossroads of creative minds brought together by friendship and great music. We caught up with Mark Grundy before their set at CMW to talk about the band’s different creative process, brining on members and how they feel about their Easter egg on the new Archie vehicle Riverdale.
Northern Transmissions: What was your reaction to showing up on Riverdale?
Mark Grundy: The reaction has definitely been surprise but also I’m not well versed in the vibe of the show, I only watched 20 minutes and it wasn’t for me. But it’s cool that out label, Mint, sent them a lot of posters for their set dec. Next time hopefully a song and then we’re hoping to get on the show…(laughs) just kidding.
NT: How did you all come together and decide to start playing?
MG: The idea was to have a different band from Quaker Parents and arrange it differently. Scott and I started practicing with Nathan and started having sessions in 2012 and played that summer. We didn’t release anything til 2013, but it started moving into this thing and Cheryl’s a great musician so we turned it into a four piece. So it’s just good friends that wanted to do stuff together so it was natural.
NT: How did Cheryl become involved after and why did you decide to expand?
MG: We had been a 3-piece since 2012 but we had always been talking about having another person to play drum stuff and it made sense and happened one day. Cheryl and Nathan are a couple so we all hang out all the time so it just made sense to turn a hanging out thing into a band hanging out thing and then a tour hanging out thing.
NT: Does her comedic side show in the music to you?
Cheryl Hann (yelling in the background): Sometimes I pick the dog patches.
NT: What held you guys off from releasing your debut for so long?
MG: We put together some shorter releases but it was a natural process of stitching things together but it never stitched itself into a full length until now. We finished a lot of the mixing right at the end of 2015 and then it took time for the mastering and to press the record. It’s funny because people ask what we’ll do for 2018 but we’re just plugging away and we’ll find out.
NT: Do you find it stressful or more fruitful also balancing duties with your other projects?
MG: Just trying to play as much as possible is the main thing. I haven’t felt the spreading myself too thin thing for a while. Maybe if we were touring in multiple bands we would. But it’s good been good so far.
NT: How does the writing and direction differ from Quaker Parents?
MG: I made the songs and then we’d arrange them in the group with Quaker Parents, but with this Scott and I write together and then collaborate with Nathan and Cheryl, especially with the rhythms. We had bands when we were kids that were more collaborative and we wanted to do that with Heaven For Real.
NT: Where do you see yourselves going in the next few months/year?
MG: Scott and I are living in the same city again which is good, we’ll be recording a lot, demoing for Heaven For Real and a bunch of Quaker Parents recordings, should be fun. We’re doing some stuff in the summer but it’s tenuous so working on stuff is kind of the main vibe right now.
Interview by Owen Maxwell