Brudenell Games Room, Leeds.
The guy who lived here before
We almost didn’t make this record - I was half drowning in boxes of wine and the band was two members short when I got a call from a guy working at this studio asking if Single Mothers would come check it out. I assumed the studio was in a slump and trying to bring in some business but I was also in a slump so I called up Brandon (our drummer) and checked it out. The studio’s name is Jukasa and it’s located on a Reserve called Ohsweken about half an hour outside Hamilton, ON, the city I’ve lived in for the last 2 years. Ohsweken is beautiful, and the studio is like a big brick box thrown on top of a grassy green paradise. We got in, took the tour and immediately booked the time for Single Mothers next record. We didn’t have any songs or enough members, but, going into recording, we never have. It was a familiar mess and we welcomed it.
Wade MacNeil knew the studio engineer from past Alexis projects and heard we were going in there for LP2. He hit me up on Twitter and asked if we needed any help producing. It was all coming together.
I called Justis - our on again/off again guitar player since 2011, and after a bit of back and forth convinced him to come on board. He brought Ross (bass) with him and the band was formed, the studio was booked and we had two months to write a record. I had some riffs and ideas kicking around, one called ‘Undercover’—a mix-mash of religious banter and societal reflection from an outsider perspective and that got the ball rolling. ‘We’re all feeding off each other like parasites, thinking each one is getting the better deal when really we’re all just fucked.’ The song seemed like a good way to start out the record. ‘Rock and Roll’s a sacrifice, so that explains the apartment’ kind of thing.
‘Long Distance’ is a more pensive and hostile track digging back to the bar days of social bridge building and foundational collapses. We all think we know what we want until we get it. The grass is always greener until the dog shits on both lawns. ‘I’m doing fine, thanks for asking, but fuck off.’ Give me some space but not too much space. Also, who’s paying this tab. ‘I’ve gotta get outta here but at least it gives me something to talk about’ etc. ‘To love and lose in London, ON while maintaining a 2.8 GPA’ would have also been a good title.
‘High Speed’ is a nod to knowing not everyone is going to like this record but doing it anyways. This is our record, we’re not doing it for anyone else. We’re not getting tons of money or even free shoes from sponsors. If no one buys it, I’m no worse off. So make fun of it if you want, haters will hate. I also peppered in some TNG references for my mom if she ever hears it.
The band is more than who’s in it at this point. I don’t know any other band that has had a different line up on each release other than Single Mothers. I’ve even been out of the band and it’s moved on, played shows—and I was the one who started it. I look at Single Mothers now more as a vessel that I’m happy to be riding in, or an apartment that people come to visit and leave little things behind in—a couple beers or a shirt, or a poster on the wall, and those things build up and either make a home or just a pile of junk. It’s up to us to decide.