Skatepunkers interviews Family Meeting


Canada is known for its endless supply of amazing skatepunk bands both old and new. In that last category Toronto’s Family Meeting has been getting praise left and right for their catchy tunes. With members of IVS and Overtime Heroes, there's really no surprise there.

Since releasing "No One Cares ‘Til You’re Dead" in 2017 they have been through some changes, both in lineup and sound. Joelle sat down with Davey to chat about what's been going on and what their plans for the future are.

Q: Let's start with the classic question! Can you introduce yourself and your band, who is Family Meeting, who's who and how did it all start?
A: My name is Davey Knight and I am the former bassist/new vocalist of Family Meeting.
We're a 5 piece melodic punk band, based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It all started in a basement, where Steve Ferreira (guitar), Nick Navrotski (guitar), and Brian Brodie (drums) started jamming and writing tunes.
They eventually picked me up on bass and then we spent a year looking for our best friend in the whole damn world, and vocalist - Josh Riley. He had just moved to Toronto from Australia and was looking for the same thing as us; to drink beers, worship A Wilhelm Scream, eat junk food, and occasionally play music.

We had 2 fucking amazing years with Josh, until this past spring when he got the offer of a lifetime, which meant moving home to Sydney.
For some crazy reason, he wanted me to take over on vocals, so I dropped my bass duties to yell stuff into a mic.

A vocalist shoes aren't easy to fill in most bands! You've just had your first gig as a vocalist. How did it go?
Oh my goodness, it was a complete shit show. Loudest damn club in the whole city, with no sound coming through the monitors. I got through 1 song, and my voice just gave out. The other guys played great though!

 Ah man! Sucks to hear that.
The Good news is, it probably can't get worse than that.

I watched you sing at the last gig with Josh, and your vocal abilities amazed me. I'm sure you'll be back to kicking ass in no time.

You've recently been in the studio to record an EP with Josh there, Correct?

That's right! Before Josh left, we made sure that we recorded at least 1 more EP and played at least 1 more show with him.

The show was with Such Gold, at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto, and it was unreal! Josh even got to sing Sycamore for them and I cried because it was so beautiful.

The EP, Walk Left/Stand Right, is coming soon and in my opinion, it's rad as fuck.
Josh and I share vocal and bass duties on this one. Knowing he was leaving a couple weeks after recording, we all poured everything we had into this.

We've got one song, "Four Months Of Rain", streaming online right now. It's straight up the most emo and sappy lyrics I've ever wrote - of course about Josh leaving - but I meant every damn word.

That gig was emotional even for me, and I’ve only met the guy twice! I can't imagine having to say bye to not only your singer but also your best friend!

Last show with Josh.
So the EP will have a mix of both vocals?
Yeah there's 3 songs - Josh sings one, I sing one, and we sing one together. It's such an honour to have shared that kind of musical experience with such a good pal. Neither of us had ever done split vocals on a song before.

Speaking of Four Months Of Rain. The heaviness of that song surprised me, it feels like quite the style-change.
The reason you hear a style change is because that's the only song that Steve didn't write, haha.

But in all honesty, I feel like we haven't even found our "style" yet. We just keep writing and playing whatever feels good and try to make the best of it.
Four Months Of Rain and the other two new tunes are completely different from one another, because we're pushing ourselves to see what we can do.

This makes me very curious to hear the other songs!
We're just wrapping everything up, so I'm hoping we'll be able to share them with you very soon!

Your new track has been featured here on Skatepunkers.net and is also part of the new Lockjaw Records compilation "Catchy Tunes For Fetching People".
Straight up - I can't even believe that's even a thing. I have been following Skatepunkers since 2007 and it's been my go-to site for discovering new music since.

And friggin Lockjaw Records?! It honestly seems like a dream. Not only did they throw us on a wicked compilation with Belvedere, Bash Brothers, The Human Project, Sombulance, Straightline… every fucking epic band ever... And the compilation comes on a frisbee!!!
I don't know him personally, but Rob Piper is some kind of goddamn genius.

He’s alright I suppose.
I'm also super stoked to hear about the new Lockjaw crew!

So are we!

About Catchy Tunes… If you had to pick one song: what’s your favourite of that compilation?

I've narrowed it down to 2 tracks:
  • Fair Do's - Closing In
  • The Human Project - Pride Before A Fall
Both bands released ripping albums this year and I just can't get enough of them. It has sparked something in me that's hard to explain, but it's similar to the first time I heard Belvedere. Just so fucking stoked. That’s high praise!
With that said, the whole tracklist is so rad. These are bands that I listen to constantly, so to be included on this compilation is such an honour.

The new EP will be out on Thousand Islands Records. A favourite of mine. How did you end up working with them?
Well we love Thousand Island Records, so that's why it happened! We've wanted to work with them for quite some time, and we just started talking as we entered the studio. None of us have really been on a label before so it's a really cool milestone for all of us.

When can we expect a release?
We're hoping to release it digitally and on cassette format in September!

What made you choose tapes?
Honestly, why not? We pressed our first EP on CD, which was cool but we just wanted to go with a bit of a DIY feel to this one.

Where did the title ‘Walk Left/Stand Right’ come from?
This is one that Steve has been wanting to use for some time now. Up until a few years ago, the subway system in Toronto had these signs telling people to Walk Left/Stand Right.

The title track of the EP tells the story of a homeless person, so it seemed like a fitting song title. Then it also felt natural to use the same title for the EP - we wanted something that highlighted Josh being so far away across the world but so close to our hearts still. So. Friggin. Emo.

Very emo. But also heart-warming.
In the short time as a band you've already shared stages with the likes of Such Gold, Trigger Happy, Grade, Brutal Youth, Curbside and more. What has been your favourite gig so far?

This is a really tough question, since they've all been really fun. But we got to play in Quebec City at this wicked festival, Punk Rock Meeting, with Our Darkest Days, Curbside, Set It Back, The Fullblast, Hitch & Go, and like every rad band from Quebec. Probably one of the most fun weekends of my life and definitely the best weekend we've had as a band. We also managed to squeeze in a hangout with our bud/uncle, Marc Ryan!!!

How did you end up being endorsed/mentored by the legendary Marc Ryan and how does that feel?
Steve, Nick, and Brodie have all known Uncle Marc from their days in IVS. He caught wind of Family Meeting, when we cut a demo, loved it, and wanted to be a part of it in whatever way he could. We were obviously on board with that and he's been our band Uncle ever since!

I have since found out how much he is loved, worldwide, by the skatepunk community. What a legend.

He does seem to be doing an awesome job at promoting you guys! #blessed.

Time for some band trivia!
Imagine you're on a roadtrip to play a gig faraway. You’re all squeezed into a car. #carsardines



Who's on your playlist?
We've actually got a running playlist on our Spotify page 😉 But it all depends on who's driving. If it's me, you know it's going to be the freshest punk jams. Right now it would be Winning Streak, Fair Do's, The Human Project, Colorsfade, Pennywise, The Affect Heuristic, Dead Neck, Comeback Kid, Nerdlinger, The Shorts... To name a few.


Most likely to pass out snoring in the car?
That would be Brodie, but thankfully he doesn't snore!

Most likely to forget something crucial?
Guilty as charged. I'm the guy who leaves packing until the last second, every single time.

Who cracks the best jokes?
That's a tough one. We all really seem to feed off of eachother, so it really just takes one person to say something funny, and then it escalates into hilarious stuff we can't seem to remember the next day.

Who wear the best shirts?
That all depends who you ask. Nick would tell you he does, and he loves to wear his most obscure shirts to shows, in hopes that someone approaches him to talk about his shirt. True story!

Do you have a mutual all time favourite band?
It's actually really tough for us all to agree on one band. This makes choosing cover songs next to impossible. I'd say the #1 agreed upon band would be A Wilhelm Scream but really, who doesn't love that band?

What's on your band-bucket list?
We would love to play outside of Canada. Especially all of the rad festivals like Manchester Punk Festival, KNRD Fest, Punk Rock Holiday, Brakrock and Punkle Fester.
We would also really like to play with Belvedere!

I've got my fingers crossed for a Family Meeting eurotour
That would be the greatest ever.

When that happens, can I be your driver/Tour Momager?
Hell yeah you can! This would also require driving in the UK, which I feel would be terrifying.

Hahah, I'm up for that challenge.

Any last things you'd like to share? Special shout-outs?
Yeah! Special shout out to Rob Laine. He's been helping us out by filling in on bass, while I figure out this vocals thing. Don't tell him, but we're officially inducting him into the band.

Super special shout out to you, Joelle, for making this interview happen! We really appreciate it.

Aww. Thanks for taking the time!

Catch Family Meeting on September 22nd in Windsor, Ontario, w/ The Rowley Estate, Adelleda, Father Bodies, Sixteen Scandals, and Frank Dux


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