The Inoculated Canaries is a rock band based out of New York. The self-proclaimed “four guys who can’t dance” are Mike Rubin (vocals/guitar), James Terranova (drums), Dylan Gross (bass), and Brian Sweeney (keyboard). Given the diverse backgrounds and various influences of the members, their creativity allows them to combine the familiar with the unexpected when it comes to their sound. They are intensely passionate about the music they create and the experience they share on stage at shows.
The band’s previous releases are ‘The Blue Laws’ in 2013, “Don’t Be Late” in 2015, “Jericho” in 2017, and ‘Trying Times’ in 2018. They have played a lot of shows over the years, opened for The Mowglis and COIN, and played “Cult of Personality” live with Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour.
They recently released their single “Who Are You?” in February. They will also be releasing more singles throughout the rest of the year. For these new tracks the band worked with Matt Squire (Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Panic! at the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, The Used) and David Caggiano (Art Garfunkel, Brand New, Fountains Of Wayne, Straylight Run, Sugarcult). Give a listen to the latest single from The Inoculated Canaries, and make sure to be on the lookout for new singles coming soon.
Listen to “Who Are You?” here: https://open.spotify.com/album/7kRimPmPXsOWHWYANHxUju
The questions in this interview were answered by Mike Rubin (vocals/guitar).
Q: The Inoculated Canaries seems like a really creative band name. How did you guys come up with it?
A: It was in my Science class when I was about 12 years old, we were discussing Canary Pox. I wasn’t really paying attention but I remember hearing the teacher say that it was important to inoculate the canaries….hence The Inoculated Canaries were hatched.
Q: You recently released your new single “Who Are You?”. What is the story behind the song?
A: The song means something different to everyone I guess. When I was writing it I was thinking about how long it takes to you know someone. Do you ever really know a person? People can spend a lifetime together and realize that the person they are with is still a stranger.
Q: How would you describe your writing process for the new single? Was it any different than writing you have done in the past?
A: This song really helped me to figure out my approach on the rest of the album. When you just strip everything away and focus only on chords and melody you get a different result in the end. I played a lot more acoustic guitar while I was writing these tunes than I usually do. The acoustic guitar helps me focus on songwriting.
Q: What lyrics from “Who Are You?” speak to you the most, and why?
A: Oh man this is kind of a tough question. Probably the entire first verse. I drew a lot of inspiration from Pink Floyd lyrics. They have a lot of bits that go like “I am you and you are me” and all that. Joking aside, I just think that the first verse comes from a pretty vulnerable place for me.
Q: I saw the artwork for the new single. What was the inspiration for it?
A: We definitely drew some inspiration from Pink Floyd albums. Particularly ‘Wish You Were Here’. We wanted something that had a very clear message.
Q: Is there anything you hope listeners gain from the single?
A: All of my favorite songs put me in a certain kind of mood. I hope that people find the mood that this song puts them in and use it as a tool for whenever they want to feel that particular way.
Q: Do you have any shows coming up? How would you describe your live set?
A: We have a show at Berlin in NYC on Tuesday night! We like to joke around a lot as guys, but we take our live show very seriously. The most important thing is the music. If every single note isn’t perfect, we lose an entire night’s sleep about it. We’re extremely loud, and sometimes Brian takes his shirt off halfway through the set. It’s a good time.
Q: Speaking of shows, will you tell me a story that has stuck with you from a show you have played or attended?
A: We were playing a show in Athens Park in Astoria, NY and immediately after our show a rally had been scheduled for Greek Solidarity. Hundreds of people stood watching our show applauding and dancing all while holding picket signs. The moment our last song ended a mob of people rushed the stage. We had security run on stage surrounding us and they escorted us off the stage. Police officers were packing and carrying our gear. Definitely unforgettable.
Q: What was it like working with Matt Squire and David Caggiano?
A: They’re both great, but they’re very different dudes.
Dave is relentlessly old school. The guy knows absolutely everything about rock and roll. He can tell you what brand of water John Lennon was drinking on January 7th of 1968 when the Beatles were in the studio recording “the white album”.
Matt is an absolute musical genius. He’s very laid back. Matt’s the type of guy to describe a person’s aura as light pink. Don’t be fooled though, Matt is also the type of guy to make James play his drum part 47 times in a row just to get it perfect once.
Q: Is there anything else going on with the band that you can share with me at this time?
A: We have a pretty busy year. Our plan is to release at least 7 songs in 2019. We are scheduled to release our song “The Lawyer’s Wife” on March 22nd and our song “Sneakers” on April 26th.