Soaring into the Stratosphere with SayWeCanFly
Meet Braden Barrie, the mastermind behind SayWeCanFly, an independent project based out of a small town in Ontario, Canada. Through a strong presence on social media, Braden has spread the word about SayWeCanFly far and wide, and has impressed many with his expressively heartfelt songs. Between The Roses is SayWeCanFly’s self-released debut – featuring 13 tracks that absolutely soar into the stratosphere. Braden recently concluded a cross country tour, making a Valentines Day stop at the world famous Roxy on the Sunset Strip. And it was recently announced that SayWeCouldFly would be performing the entire summer on the Acoustic Basement Stage at the Vans Warped Tour. Here is a recent interview we conducted with Braden to find out more about the wonderfully introspective compositions of SayWeCanFly. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in SayWeCanFly, and how long the project has been in existence.
Well, my name is Braden Barrie. I grew up in a small Canadian town in the middle of nowhere, and was always scared about being stuck there. When I was a kid I used to sit in my room for hours on end just writing songs and listening to acoustic music because it was the only place I found peace in the midst of all that was going on in my life. SayWeCanFly began as the name of a YouTube channel I used to post some of my old demos on the internet and since that day, it has become what I live and breathe.
What is the name of the very first song you ever wrote, how old were you, and what was the song about?
The first full song I ever wrote was called “Feels Like Rain“. I wrote it when I was thirteen and it was about Jesus. I grew up going to church so for quite some time I felt I needed to write about things like that.
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
My hometown is Lindsay, Ontario. Our town is very small and we have one venue. Quite honestly the music scene isn’t what it used to be, but I believe it is coming back. There was always hardcore shows every Friday back when I was in high school, but it seems a lot of the kids now get really stoked on acoustic shows when either myself or my friend hosts them. Everyone is super supportive!
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Between The Roses?
I wrote the album as a whole story. I wanted to use as much imagery as I could to describe what love has done to me over the course of my life. I wrote about different aspects of love and how it feels as if all the heartbreak I have experienced from relationships, family, friends, etc. has killed a part of me. Between The Roses is the place where we find our brightest thoughts along with our darkest ones.
Select two songs from Between The Roses and what inspired the lyrics.
“The Distance That Took You Away” came from the intense feeling of missing someone who is very far away and trying to understand why the universe creates such a feeling with someone who means the world to you. “The Art of Anesthesia” was inspired by a dream I had. I dreamt I was seeing myself from all of these different perspectives, and began to write something about battling depression and being willing to face my demons and accept my flaws as a human being.
How easy or difficult has it been to record and release Between The Roses pretty much on your own?
It has definitely been a long journey from the moment I started writing until now, but I have honestly learned so much about the music business and myself as a musician. I’m blessed to have an amazing team behind me who completely understand my vision with keeping this an independent project but still accomplishing things a label would do. I’ve always had a vision of creating something from the ground up and I truly believe that with the way the business is moving it is very possible to reach goals with the right people around.
How did you recent UK tour go and what were some of the highlights?
The UK tour was one of the best weeks of my life. I absolutely loved the country, people, and culture. I’ve never seen kids so excited at shows before, and they were all so happy I finally made it across the ocean to jam with them. I always try to drink more tea than coffee on tour and everyone there pretty much only drank tea so I really got into it which was a nice change.
What was it like playing at the world famous Roxy on the Sunset Strip and was this your first time in Hollywood?
I had been to Hollywood for one day back in the summer but that was my first time being able to explore the city and spend some time there. That was one of my favourite venues to date, and it was amazing seeing a packed house at my first ever LA show. It was super special because it was Valentine’s Day and I feel lucky I got to spend it with a room full of such lovely people.
What could one expect from a live SayWeCanFly show?
It’s just me and my acoustic guitar. I always try my best to connect with everyone on a personal level, and usually just tell the stories behind my songs between when I play them. My goal is always to break down the walls of everyone in the room and have everyone remember how similar we are and that we feel the same feelings as humans. I always try to hangout with everyone afterwards as well.
Any strange or scary happenings while on the road or at a show?
Although tours are always crazy adventures, me and my crew are always super careful and make sure we stay safe and avoid crazy situations as much as possible. One time when I was playing up in Springfield Missouri I witnessed a near gunfight right outside the venue and myself some others were making sure everyone stayed inside. It was pretty intense but thankfully nothing ended up happening except some yelling and threatening.
If SayWeCanFly could open up for any band or artist either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I’d love to have the chance to jam a show with My Chemical Romance. I was pretty sad when I heard they broke up because I never got to see them live. I always looked up to Gerard Way because he was very clear about his vision and stuck to it. They have influenced my music a little as well because I always loved the imagery they created with lyrics.
If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
I think it would be a flower shaped donut with all kinds of sprinkles on it with some nutella in the middle. I always like to think of SayWeCanFly as a huge flower, and all my followers and myself are the petals that keep it beautiful and make it what it is. It would be nothing without their support and it’s just as important as the music itself.
What’s up next for SayWeCanFly?
I’m shooting some music videos soon, recording some new tracks, and playing Vans Warped Tour 2015 this summer! Always creating and sharing the adventure through my social media as well.
Any final words of wisdom?
We live in a world where it’s pretty tough to believe in ourselves. We feel like we need to be part of this huge system that’s engrained in our minds from a young age. But I truly believe in this generation and think it is so very important for everyone to stay close to their passions even if people tell them not to. Hard work always pays off and I believe the Universe helps those who believe in what they are doing.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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