Although some music acts come together by way of a with a deliberate, well-thought-out plan to conquer the world, Toronto pop group, the Pick Brothers Band took a slightly different route.
The group – comprised of siblings Jeremiah, Gabriel and Casey Pick –was formed in a rather unconventional manner. While on an extensive bed rest stint at Southlake General Hospital in Newmarket, Ont., the youngest of the Pick siblings, Gabriel, began writing songs inspired by his life within his hospital room and about what lay beyond those four walls.
Before long, his siblings helped flesh out Gabriel’s original material. The trio quickly amassed a significant collection of songs that ran the gamut from folk music to party anthems to pop.
It doesn’t surprise Jeremiah that he and his brothers each moved into making music; it was the fact they are doing it together that took them by surprise.
“Our father is a musician and while it is not by profession, he is a great guitarist and singer,” Jeremiah says. “We grew up with him playing music each night in the living room. And because of that, we have always be surrounded by a fairly large community of family friends who also play music.
“My brothers and I began learning to play an instrument because we all wanted to join in with our father and make music with him.”
Jeremiah says band practices with friends became fairly commonplace in their family basement. He always knew that he wanted to make music, but with almost six years separating the eldest Pick sibling (Jeremiah) from the youngest (Gabriel), his brothers weren’t obvious choices as band mates.
“I hadn’t deliberately avoided making music with my brothers at all,” Jeremiah says. “It was only after my friends would come over to practise that my brothers began hanging out and learning how to make music with others.”
As the group’s profile began to grow, a team of producers reached out to the Pick Brothers to gauge their interest in making a record. But because their recording sessions were going to be booked in the hours between other recording sessions, the limited time and ability to really gather momentum began weighing heavily on the trio.
“The team that had approached us to do some recording saw some potential for commercial success in our songs. At that point, we hadn’t really done any significant amount of recording, and so we were completely open to the way that they wanted to work. But because we were more (or) less using the studio for free, things were moving slowly. We would get five hours into a session but then would have to stop so they could fit in their paying clients. And then it would be another week or so before we would have another chance to work on the record again.”
Sensing that the pace of recording would likely not allow them to complete more than three or four songs, the Picks approached a friend of a friend with the goal of getting their “other” songs put to tape.
“We set up our living room as a recording studio and after just three days, had a total of nine songs recorded. Everything just came together so easily that once recording had wrapped up, we instinctively knew that we had just completed the record.”
Pink Lemonade, which was released last September, is a bright-sounding record that you’d actually have a hard time believing was cut in their family’s living room. Considering the key role the family home played in turning Jeremiah, Casey and Gabriel into musicians, it was an early career full-circle moment.
“With this album, we weren’t striving for a Nashville slick kind of record, “ Jeremiah says. “There are some imperfections on there but we are truly proud of the record we made.
“A lot of times, it is those little imperfections that end up giving the final product some character and making the record feel a lot more human.”
What: The Pick Brothers Band
When: Monday June 30, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton