Courage My Love's Mercedes talks new single 'Girls'
This band doesn't really need much introduction. The Canadian band have been on the music scene since 2009 and have certainly made a mark on the pop-punk and alternative rock genres. Courage My Love have been featured on magazines and have been an award nominee. They've just debuted their newest single 'Girls' so I had a chat with the wonderful lead singer, Mercedes Arn-Horn about 'Girls' amongst other things!
What was the inspiration behind the music video for Girls? It looked so fun to film!
Mercedes: "I’ve always been intrigued by witches. To me they symbolise strong female figures, as well as the deep mistrust western society has always had for independent women.
Back in day, the people driving the witch hunts of the 1500's and 1600's bolstered the burgeoning patriarchy by murdering thousands of women. They perpetuated myths about women being associated with the devil and black magic. It’s easy to draw a comparison today. Many who do not fully understand feminism are threatened by it and aim to drive their own witch hunts, spreading misinformation about “the feminist agenda.”I wanted to turn this metaphor on its head by having witches lure a voyeuristic man through the forest to be burned at the stake; tied there with the very rope he would have used to capture them."
I saw the band’s post detailing a bit about why Girls was written, can you tell me a bit more about why you decided to base your song on this?
Mercedes: "We feel that in today’s social climate it is important to be strong role models and talk about serious issues that up until now have traditionally been overlooked in the music world. Long story short, we wrote the song about toxic masculinity and the harmful effects conforming to certain destructive masculine stereotypes has on men, women, and society as a whole. In doing so, we definitely offended a chunk of our male fan-base, but I think that just goes to show how ignorant many of us are when it comes to knowing the facts about terms like “toxic masculinity”, and that’s exactly why it’s important for us to shine a light on it and educate people. Toxic masculinity refers to cultural norms that can be harmful to society as a whole. The concept is not intended to demonise men or male attributes."
Obviously, you and Phoenix are twins, was this something you both always wanted to do?
Mercedes: "As long as I can remember Phoenix and I have been interested in music. We’ve been jamming and creating songs together since we were little kids. It was only natural that I would want her as my partner in any creative project I undertake. We make a great team. I honestly can’t imagine doing this with someone else."
How has the band influenced your life outside of music?
Mercedes: "If it weren’t for Courage My Love I don’t think I’d have nearly as many friends as I do now. Phoenix and I were homeschooled through high school, and so being in a band and playing show and being adopted by this thriving local alternative scene was a way for us to make friends and meet people our age. We’ve also been lucky enough to travel the world and meet interesting people all over in countries we might have never otherwise visited. It’s also been a blessing to me, because I truly feel music has served as therapy for me in my darkest moments. It’s been a way for me to let go, express myself, and turn painful emotions and memories into something positive. I feel very blessed to have this creative outlet in my life."
Courage My Love has a unique sound which mixes up genres, who would you say were your main inspirations lyrically and musically?
Mercedes: "For myself, Radiohead is definitely one of my biggest influences. I love the guitar work, ambience, and their ability to transcend genre with every album they release. I’m going through a huge 80's phase right now, so listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins, The Cure, and Joy Division as well!"
What do you feel has been the best part about your musical career, so far?
Mercedes: "We’ve had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Getting to do a few Warped Tours was obviously an amazing experience. Travelling across the world to Japan, Europe and the UK were crazy adventures! Being nominated for a JUNO award felt very good. But honestly, I would say my favourite thing about being in this band is getting to make real connections with our fans and everyone we meet on the road. It’s truly enriched my life and I’ll always be so thankful for that."
What have you got coming up this year?
Mercedes: "We are very excited to release our 4th studio EP: SPECTRA this spring. I’m also very excited to get back on the road and tour North America, as well as the EU and UK again. We’re releasing new music and I’m getting to direct more videos. I’m hoping to start a short film this year as well, and also begin a new musical project that lives outside the realm of CML. So it’s going to be a banner year, for sure."
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Mercedes: "If you listen to our music or have been out to a show, thank you so much for supporting us! It honestly means the world and we couldn’t do it without you. If you’re reading this, thank you for taking the time to learn more about my little band and what we do. If you’re going through a rough time, please make sure you keep going."
Header photography by Charlie Martel
Courage My Love social media:
Listen to Girls here: