First inspired to pick up their guitars by listening to Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session, Vancouver brothers Ryan and Jamie Mackay have set about honing an engaging rock sound ever since.
After teaming up with drummer Ryan Grohn and bassist Ashish Shenoy the band soon hit upon a winning formula comprising rock, grunge and pop influences, which are revealed for the first time in exciting debut single Collide.
The track opens up with engaging vocals “A code of violence in the silence, Take this heartbeat and start it again, Feel the silence in the violence, Take this lifetime and wipe it all clean” over light guitar. The lyrics suddenly increase in intensity in the super-catchy “Live it up, Your lyrics suck, Discover the rockstar in you, We’re all searching for something to coincide, Explode out of nothing, Well it’s gonna collide.”
Big guitar chords kick in alongside shoutalong vocals “Don’t you know it hurts so bad, I don’t wanna be so sad, I just wanna understand what’s going on here,” followed by a fun descending riff that drops into a more upbeat verse. A couple of repeats of the big catchy chorus follow, then a more laid back middle section ends on a brief pause before more shoutalong chorus repeats with a drawn-out guitar lick in the background. It’s a really impressive debut track from a band that we think should be going places. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with frontman Rory Mackay to find out more about their debut single and the band generally. Read on below…
GR: Who are Sonic Break?
RM: “Sonic Break is an original, alt-rock act based in Vancouver, BC, Canada and formed in 2015. After years of songwriting, brothers Rory and Jamie Mackay joined forces with drummer Ryan Grohn and bassist Ashish Shenoy to create their diverse sound: a melting pot of rock, grunge, and pop influences. The band is complemented by the rich harmony vocals of singer-songwriter and collaborator Anika MacKay.
“Hearing Nirvana Unplugged for the first time prompted my brother and I (Jamie and Rory) to buy a guitar from a garage sale the next day and we have been writing music ever since. Luckily, we found our amazing drummer, Ryan Grohn way back when we were both still playing only acoustics and we started to transform and grow our sound together.
“We were lucky to have Ash join the band last year and his bass playing prowess and kind demeanour instantly meshed with us. It’s exciting to play and create together and the happiness we all feel when playing drives us to continue to devote time and energy to our music.”
GR: You just released Collide. What should people be expecting from the song?
RM: “Collide is a hard-driven and energetic song that builds in feeling throughout. There are some cool sing-or-chant-along kind of parts; which reflects our collaborative songwriting approach and enthusiasm we all have writing and performing together. We are hopeful to connect with people through our songs and Collide is that first step. Collide is essentially about going through tough times and coming out the other side.
“We were lucky enough to work with an amazing producer in Darren Grahn and recording at Fader Mountain Studio in Vancouver was an incredible experience.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
RM: “Good question… We have a diverse sound. Collaborative and complementary songwriting and shared singing duties allows us to create a range of songs that in a melting pot would include: rock, grunge, singer-songwriter, metal and pop influences.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
RM: “We’ve always loved lyrics and writing. Making up songs is considered to be our strength. We have an ever-increasing library of songs and writing new ones always invigorates us and brings the passion out. We often have one person come in with an idea or a riff and then take off from there!”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
RM: “I guess it’s different for all the members but Nirvana, Tool, The White Stripes….so many and too many to name actually!”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
RM: “We are excited to release more songs and continue to gig! We have a few more songs coming out in the next months and we continue to promote our first release, Collide. We are so grateful for the positive reaction we have had to the song and our sound!”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
RM: “We want to connect with people through our music both live and recorded. Spaceman is our next release and we can’t wait to share it with you!”