If bands invested in slogans the way that companies do, Halifax indie-rock band In-Flight Safety would arguably have dibs on, “No time to smell the roses.”
And frankly, chances are good that the band is OK with that.
Since the September release of Conversationalist, the group’s third full-length effort, the band has been from one corner of North America to the other and then some.
Following the release of the record, In-Flight Safety headed off to Europe for 11 shows before returning to North America to perform at the influential CMJ Music Festival in New York City.
This past February, as the rest of the Maritimes were counting down the days until Spring’s arrival, In-Flight Safety were invited to the warmer climes of Los Angeles, where they performed as a part of the Canadian Celebrations leading up to the Grammy Awards.
The band will enjoy just a few days off leading up to their performance at Moncton’s Tide & Boar on Friday night, returning from a successful tour of the United States which saw them play as a part of the SXSW Music Festival in Austin. The group also performed in Nashville, Brooklyn, New York City, and Saratoga Springs while south of the border.
This was not the first time that In-Flight Safety has played at the SXSW Festival in Austin, one of the biggest music festivals in North America, playing host to hundreds of acts over the course of five days.
In-Flight Safety made the most of their time in Austin, playing six shows over the course of five days. Although this year was not the band’s first performance at SXSW, it did mark the first time they had a record with an American release to promote, having released Conversationalist via New York indie label Ooh La La Records.
Asked if he feels it is tough to stand out amongst the hundreds of other acts performing at SXSW or in the U.S. in general, In-Flight Safety’s John Mullane says, wisely, the group doesn’t tend to concern themselves with other acts.
“We performed six shows in five days. It ends up being a bit of a whirlwind trip, but it’s the best way to do it: hit the ground running and play as much as you can,” the Moncton native says. “The great thing about SXSW is, because it is one of the largest music festivals in North America, you don’t tend to play to empty rooms. The festival has become renowned for a high calibre of acts. Being included amongst them is exciting for us.
“As a group, you can’t just put a song online and hope it becomes a viral hit, therefore getting to SXSW and meeting other bands to potentially tour with or meet with people in the industry who might have ideas or opportunities for the band is critically important.”
Having a team of people behind you that are as passionate about the music as the band is themselves also doesn’t hurt. Mullane says thus far, Ooh La La has proven to be a good home for their music.
“We have a great label team and publishing team working for the band in the United States. Compared to the first time that we performed at SXSW, we really saw the difference that having such a team in place could make with respect to the opportunities that we were presented with as well as some of the people we got to meet along the way,” he says.
Given the love that they have been shown here at home, In-Flight Safety fans need not worry that the band is solely focused on the United States.
In addition to the two East Coast Music Awards for which Conversationalist has been nominated for – Rock Recording of the Year and Album of the Year – album single “Animals” has been making impressive waves throughout the country. The track landed in the Top 50 of Commercial Active Rock Radio in Canada, while the video for the song ended up in rotation on Canadian video channel Much Music.
Mullane is proud of what they have achieved with Conversationalist thus far, but admits that the group hasn’t really stopped to take notice of the different milestones along the way.
One day in the future, however, the band will pause to smell the roses. Even if only for a moment before they put their collective nose back to the grindstone.
“We’ve done a lot of great things so far, but when you’re in the centre of it – driving the van, or going to rehearsal, or sending an email – you don’t tend to notice every little thing that is happening around you.
“People are telling us things are going well, which, I guess is reassuring,” Mullane laughs. “It has caught us off guard, but in the very best of ways.”
What: In-Flight Safety with special guests No Joy
When: Friday Apr. 3, 9:00 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar, 700 Main St., Moncton