Rock band The Inoculated Canaries are passionate about their music and with music icons such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Nirvana influencing their music, the group’s prowess for similar talent and legacy is evident.
The group is comprised of vocalist and guitarist, Michael Rubin, drummer James Terranova, bassist Dylan Gross and keyboardist, Brian Sweeney. The quartet is already making their name and music known, opening for such bands as The Mowgli’s, COIN, along with Wil Calhoun and and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour, collaborating a live version of “Cult of Personality” with the duo.
Most recently, the group worked with producer, Matt Squire, known for his production work with Panic! At The Disco, Ariana Grande, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Demi Lovato, and more, to develop their sound with their latest single “Sneakers.” Squire also helped with other singles the group will be releasing throughout 2019.
We had a nice discussion with lead singer and guitarist, Michael Rubin, about the bands sound, their formation, their collaboration with Matt Squire, and their latest single and self-directed music video, “Sneakers.”
You guys’ music is founded on each of your love of good ol’ classic and grunge rock music. When did each of you know that you wanted to pursue music, ultimately play it for the masses?
Right around 2009 is when I first started playing guitar. I was kind of a misfit kid who didn’t do sports or anything like that. I was listening to Zeppelin and Floyd when all my friends were listening to… honestly I don’t even know. I think the Black Eyed Peas were pretty popular back then? Maybe Justin Bieber as well?
I remember being 10 years old trying to learn the riff from “Black Dog” and just getting super frustrated with it. I was about to give up on playing guitar forever when my mom told me to quit whining and just learn the damn song. I think I played my first real show when I was 12. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What led to you guys’ formation? Do you guys do solo work on the side, or is it solely a group effort?
The formation as it stands today just sort of happened. I found James maybe seven years ago? Then we started working at School of Rock and met Dylan and Brian. We all just sort of clicked.
The Canaries are my literal blood, sweat, and tears. I don’t know if I could pour my heart into this as much as I do if I had a side project. And besides, in the few times I have done work outside of the Canaries, I’ve always taken either Brian, James or Dylan with me.
How did your connection happen with widely known, Matt Squire?
We met Matt through a mutual friend in the business. I’m glad he made the connection because Matt is unquestionably a master at his craft. Plus, he’s also one of those guys you meet once and feel like you’ve known for years. We’re gonna be working with him again this summer and we’re all really excited to see what comes out of it.
Since you guys self-directed the music video for your new single, “Sneakers,” is that an undertaking you all are going to continue to pursue, or a one-time gig?
We are musicians first, and filmmakers third. Although, we have made quite a few more videos since Sneakers, and have definitely learned a lot with each one. Coming up with the initial concept is the hardest part. How do you tell a meaningful story without any dialogue? We’ve been fortunate to work with some great people like Tom Flynn on making these and we plan to keep making everything ourselves for the foreseeable future. People like videos, and we like making them. It’s all about the art man!
What was the idea behind “Sneakers,” and how did all of the moving pieces and parts come together cohesively for the video?
I’d hate to admit it, but we put together all of the shots for the Sneakers video super last minute. I think we finalized the story for the video the night before we actually shot it. Fortunately, we had two extremely talented actors who just kind of improvised their way through every scene. That video happened purely because everybody involved with making it was good at their job.
You all play mostly in and around NYC, where you guys originated. Is the eventual plan to branch to more venues on the East, and possibly, West Coast?
I’d fly to Thailand to play a show tomorrow if I knew there would be a crowd of people waiting to see us! Of course, West Coast shows would be amazing. We’re still really in the process of growing this thing, so more gigs should be coming up in the near future.
Who was your first concert, and which one has been ingrained in your memory as your favorite, thus far?
My first concert was actually an Avril Lavigne show! I think maybe I was 8 or 9 years old? Best show I ever saw was Reel Big Fish with James at the Playstation theater. We had just finished a 26 hour recording session, and I had the flu. I don’t think I’ve ever moshed harder in my life. Something about having a 101 degree fever really makes you forget about making good decisions.
What was your first album on CD and/or vinyl?
My first vinyl was my dad’s old copy of Led Zeppelin II.
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
- Pink Floyd – Dark Side
- Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III
- Nirvana – Nevermind
- Steely Dan – Aja
- Blink 182 – self titled (I can’t stand Blink 182 but I know Dylan, Brian, and James love them)
Do each of you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?
For me, it has always been and always will be Diana Ross. Tell me that “Now That You’re Gone” doesn’t have one of the best bass lines you’ve ever heard in a recorded piece of music. Go on. You can’t.