BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Air Marshal Landing are a group of best friends with common interests and a shared passion for music, and their own uncomprimising creative license - "We play what we play, because we want to play it."
Cory Adrian, Matt Simmonds and Graham Drummond are not necessarily a band, but rather, friends who happen to make music together.
This trio never ceases to amaze with their heartfelt and relatable lyrics, upbeat and uplifting melodies, and uncanny ability to sound like a stage full of musicians on different instruments.
Air Marshal Landing is absolutely infectious. Halfway through any song, you'll find yourself humming along to the music, and finding your own meaning and lessons from their stories.
When Cory, Graham and Matt were asked to explain just 'who are Air Marshal Landing?' they responded with - "There's three of us - we're either a very debilitated octopus with three hands, or we could make up half of an ant."
This off-the-wall answer set the mood for the rest of the interview, and gave insight to how this band operates.
Air Marshal Landing don't strive to make hit-single pop albums or fit into a genre for radio play, they create and shape music for the sake of it - trying to reflect their own thoughts, memories and feelings. It's always fun and there's never a dull moment.
The product which comes out at the end is pure, unadulterated nostalgia with a feel-good centre - halcyon days and lonely nights packed full of metaphors, which every single listener can relate to. In their songs, day dreams and realities become one - and lessons are learned with a bitterweet twinge that says 'It'll all be okay.'
The band admits that, when asked about their formation, they like to tell interesting and sometimes scary stories to explain their trio - including the tale of Mountain Man Graham snatching his bandmates from a hiking trail, and enslaving them as travelling musicians.
In reality - they met, made some music together, and thought it sounded great.
"Cory and myself [Matt] grew up in Uxbridge, we both played instruments together a few times in church and high school," said Matt. "After I went off to University of Western Ontario, I met Graham. Then, Cory and I needed a drummer, so we drafted this mountain man from Waterdown, Ontario and thought he was awesome. It was just synergy."
Matt described the coming together of Air Marshal Landing as a sort of merging of two worlds - his days growing up carefree in Uxbridge with his close friend Cory, and the brave new world he saw and felt while away at school.
Graham explained that all three musicians grew up playing in a smattering of very different bands and are all well-versed in music. At their outset, each musicians would often play in basements, in churches, at high school dances, and really anywhere that would give them a musical outlet.
Graham's first band was a hardcore group known as 'Cheery Rainbow Sunshine Fish' - he supplied the screaming and death growls. In Air Marshal Landing, he likes to play drums, melodica and synths and is billed as 'Lead Hummer'.
At the core of it all, becoming musicians was never a concious decision for these three - it was simply an obvious outlet for their creativity, a destiny that couldn't be avoided.
Whether jamming in a garage or crammed in a van on tour, Air Marshal Landing enjoys playing a simple game.
The rules of 'The Word Game' dictate one point for a well-spoken or properly utilized large word, and lose a point for the incorrect use of a word, or when one is just made up.
"Words are very interesting and important to us," said Matt. "In our songs and at our shows - it's not uncommon to hear us spout awesome sounding words in songs, just because they sound right."
Cory and Matt are usually tied for the lead, and Graham mostly has a negative score. Graham is not a big fan of The Word Game, but tries his best.
"I think our overarching event as a band was recording our new album 'You Used to Be Me' at The Farm recording studio in the wilderness of British Columbia," said Cory. "We spent a month in the woods, surrounded by nothing but ourselves and our music - we worked hard and grew closer to the music."
Until recently, Matt spent his entire life in Uxbridge. He remarked that while most young people want to leave the town as soon as they come of age - he was always comfortable in his hometown.
"We have an amazing sense of community and great musicians - everyone is very supportive of artistic endeavors," said Matt. "I moved to Toronto when I got married because the music scene is much larger there - it's the place to make it as a full-time musician and keep busy."
Air Marshal Landing unanimously agreed that their favourite local band to play with is Juice, one of the many who took the stage at the Uxbridge Music and Arts Festival this past weekend.
"They're really nice guys, and very high energy," agreed Graham and Cory. "It's more fun to work with musicians who are just humble, regular and nice guys - Juice is on the level."
For a group of friends, all three members of Air Marshal Landing like to keep very different company. When asked who they would bring to a desert island, the answers were anything but similiar.
Graham chose his fiancee Kristin, Cory would like to be regailed with tales by J. R. R. Tolkein, the author of Lord of The Rings, and Matt would be carefree - as long as he had the company of a professional nacho chip and cheese maker.
The conversation quickly degraded to arguing whether or not they could drink the saltwater, and if dopplegangers were allowed.
The band says that their greatest roadblock to the artistic pursuit seems to be a lack of free time to write lyrics, record melodies, and explore their own creativity.
The musical muse isn't something that can be switched on or switched off at will - it strikes suddenly and without warning, often when a guitar and notepad are nowhere in sight.
"We write our songs with personal metaphors - othertimes they aren't based on anything but what comes out of our mouths," explained Matt. "We'll start with something like 'a Spaghetti Western in Space' and then it just gets away from us - the music takes on a life of its own," added Cory.
As a whole, Air Marshal Landing's favourite pastime is admittedly watching Downton Abbey - they have no tattoos, don't sleep in, and are the exact opposite of stereotypical rockstars - they create honest music for honest people.
"We don't classify the people at our shows as just fans," said Matt. "They aren't faceless crowds. Every single person who claps and sings along are our friends - and we appreciate the support given over the years. There are too many to list, but you know who you are."
Air Marshal Landing will be performing in the upcoming Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts, this September.
To hear Air Marshal Landing's new album, EPs or singles, to get in touch with the band, or to check out their entertaining music videos, please visit them on-line at www.AirMarshalLanding.com, or www.youtube.com/user/AirMarshalLanding.
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