The band Terra owes its origins in 2013 to Brandon Saucier and Chris Kessler’s meet-ups, where they would “smoke a bunch of cigarettes in a big park and self-consciously pluck around on [their] guitars.” The band, consisting of Braydon Charlton (keys), Chris Kessler (vox and guitar), Quincy Phaff (drums), and Brandon Saucier (bass guitar), formed in Medicine Hat.
So far, the band has released an EP with Shake! Records, where Kessler notes that Terra no longer classifies its sound under post-punk, preferring instead to be labeled under pop or dark-pop.
Band member Chris Kessler was able to provide some more insight on the band’s future plans and songwriting process.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): What is your writing process like?
Chris Kessler (CK): Yes, I am super self-conscious about playing my own music. Everything has to be set in stone and flaw-y or I am like “fuck, people won’t like this!” That’s a curse and will probably be our eventual downfall. Sometimes try to approach songs like they could be played on an acoustic guitar before I bring them to practice. Lyrics have to be kept simple otherwise I forget them and the phrasing flowing to keep me from completely losing track of where I am. Brandon and the other guys are mostly left to their own devices mostly because they are probably sick of hearing me be bossy. The band is great and everyone knows where they fit in the mix. They are a great bunch of guys. We are all still looking for ways to improve as writers, and musicians. We feel as though we have a long ways to go.
RMM: Could you describe your song “The Fold”?
CK: “The Fold” was written while I was working here in town. I have worked pretty hard at most jobs I have had, I guess it’s just about the boss always wanting or expecting more? I have sort of learned to live with that as a fact of life. I am currently really enjoying my job, it keeps me busy and makes me feel a part of something other than music and of course, it allows me to fund my musical ventures.
RMM: My favourite song from Couldn’t Save This is “Incurable Condition.” What were the influences behind this song?
CK: I have a tough time being completely open about the meaning of some of the songs, but “Incurable Condition” is mostly centred around hypochondria. The whole EP has a pretty big poor mental health vibe despite the really minimal and ambiguous lyrics.
RMM: What are your biggest challenges as a band?
CK: Finding money is a huge issue, I have spent a lot of money on playing music and the record and stuff. Hard to put away money when you are constantly playing shows and making plans for music… Our practice space is even a chunk of money to rent every month, too. I also want to hold everything to this standard that isn’t even viable on our budget, and I don’t know how to write grants and get overwhelmed every time I look into them.
RMM: Do you have any notable experiences as a band?
CK: Just being from Medicine Hat and having anyone care about the band has been pretty notable for us. We are so grateful for the support we have had over Canada and other parts of the world. Other notable experiences – well, the worst thing about being a band is changing blown tires in the middle of the night while cars whip by at 140 km/h a few feet away from you.