Canadian musician Braden Barrie (SayWeCanFly) recently took the time to answer some of my questions. We spoke about his new single “anxxiety”, his ideal coffee, getting to play Warped Tour, staying optimistic during dark times, and more.
Stream/Purchase “anxxiety”: https://fanlink.to/swcf
His new track, which was released April 3rd along with its music video, is the first of 12 new songs to be released in the weeks and months ahead via his new partnership with We Are Triumphant/The Orchard.
After dropping out of high school to pursue a life on the road, he has played shows for hundreds of thousands of people across North America, the UK, and Europe. He has released a total of nine studio albums including his first full length ‘Between The Roses’, which sold over 10,000 copies and hit the Billboard charts. In both 2015 and 2016, he was given a spot on the entire Vans Warped Tour where he played alongside bands like Pierce The Veil, Bebe Rexha, Sleeping With Sirens, Riff Raff, Sum 41, Metro Station, New Found Glory, and Good Charlotte. His music videos began receiving airtime on MTV along with being featured in print magazines such as Alternative Press, Rocksound, Kerrang, and Guitar World. Formerly signed to Epitaph Records, his previous fan-funded albums ‘Limitless’ and ‘Beautiful Mess’ debuted on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart at #13 and #16 respectively.
SayWeCanFly continually pushes the limits on what it means to write from the heart by sharing pieces of his journey through music.
All questions were answered by Braden Barrie.
Q: How has music shaped who you are as a person? Has it been a type of therapy for you?
A: I think more than anything it has been the one constant in my life. Not only the creation of the actual music itself which helps me understand and connect with deeper parts of myself… but also the journey of it. Touring, studio sessions, even social media have given me so much perspective on the world and everyone in it.
Q: You mention drinking coffee on your Facebook page a few times. What’s your ideal cup of coffee? Do you prefer national chains or local coffee shops?
A: I genuinely love coffee so much, I guess it kind of became part of my brand. For me, it’s just black coffee all day everyday. I’ll drink anything with caffeine in it (on tour you have to take what you can get sometimes) but ideally, I love a good iced Americano from Starbucks.
Q: How did your new partnership with We Are Triumphant come about?
A: I’ve known Greg (the owner) since the beginning of my career really. I think now was just the time when it made perfect sense to work together. I think the reason I’m so excited about having We Are Triumphant behind me is because it really just feels like working with friends. Our communication is so casual and I’d say we have a solid friendship, and that brings about trust. Greg is a super creative and hard working guy and he always sends me ideas. Ideally I just want the people I work with to care as much about the art as I do, and that’s how it is with them.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about your new single “anxxiety”? What is the meaning behind the song?
A: Anxxiety was written as a last attempt to patch up something broken. An apology to myself & someone I loved for letting darkness consume me in my vulnerable moments. The acceptance that chaos must be embraced at times in order to find peace in the end. Anxiety can create itself in many forms, and it’s important to understand what that means for each of us. Sometimes you must become your demons in order to destroy them. But also… I know that so many people struggle with anxiety and I thought it would be good to use that as the metaphor in this case.
Q: The new track is one of twelve you’ll be releasing in the coming weeks and months. What made you decide to release these songs one by one instead of as a full-length?
A: I think that was just something that Greg and I discussed and we figured that it would be cool to try. I’ve personally never done it like that before, but I think it will be good because it gives me so much time to work on writing new music or other creative projects with no stress or pressure. It also gives people more time to digest each song, and I’d really like for each of them to get enough attention because they all tell a piece of a story.
Q: How will this single and the ones to follow compare to your previous releases?
A: The music itself I would say is completely different as far as sound, but I like to think that my lyrics and the feelings I try and convey are consistent to everything else I have released. I really enjoyed making these new tracks and it was something I did to heal myself more than anything.
Q: Having played the entire Warped Tour in the past, do you have any stories that will stick with you forever that you’d like to share? What impact do you feel the tour had on music over the years?
A: That tour absolutely changed my life for many reasons. It really helped me believe in myself and be willing to step out of my comfort zone, but it was also just the greatest adventure of all time. I could not even begin to write down all of the amazing memories and moments that came with Warped Tour… but what stands out to me is the very first day. Showing up to the venue in Pomona, knowing maybe 5 people and setting up my tent, feeling like the “new kid”. But as soon as my first set time came around and the acoustic tent filled up, it literally just made me feel like all of the uncertainty and fear was worth it to connect with these people everyday. It was amazing and I will never forget how that moment changed my life.
Q: Are there any artists or bands you would love to collaborate with at some point that may surprise people? What about any new or up-and-coming ones?
A: Right now I have a few collaborations in the works, they are both with Japanese artists. One is a DJ named Bunny, we have a song called “Embrace” coming out that I sang on. The other is “Today Is The Day”, and our song is called Horizon. Would love to do something with Illenium someday, or Nothing, Nowhere.
Q: What are some examples of positivity you have seen come from the music industry recently, despite all the current negativity?
A: I think the best thing is that so many people are doing live streams and using this time to make content. I think most musicians and entertainers right now are using their voices to spread courage and hope, and people need that to rely on. It’s just been nice to see that overall there seems to be a tone of support during this time.
Q: Do you have any advice for staying optimistic during a dark time? Do you hope your music offers some relief?
A: I really believe the most important thing anyone can do right now is keep our internal space clean. Things will always happen in the world, but at the end of the day we all get to decide what we focus on and fill our minds with. I believe that what we constantly think about will shape the lens through which we view reality; so I think it’s best to stay aware of what is going on, but leave it at that. Don’t worry about the bad things that COULD happen. Think about how you could be someone people can rely on. I also made a podcast talking about this all in depth, it’s on my YouTube channel!