As part of Sharp and Peroni’s multi-part series on Canadian tastemakers, we sat down at The Yukon—a new Parkdale watering hole—with The Balconies. Formed in Ottawa, the trio is now based in Toronto and consists of brother-sister duo Jacquie and Steve Neville along with Liam Jaeger. We talked to them about their musical influences, summer plans and the pleasures of Canadian crowds.
Who did you guys listen to as kids?
Steve: Lots of stuff. Classic rock, you know, like Cream, The Beatles, The Who, all that stuff. Once I was approaching university, about to study classical music seriously, I started learning all about the great canon of classical composers: Brahms, Mozart, Haydn—all the good stuff.
Jacquie: When I was in high school I was really influenced by punk music. I was really into the punk scene and the ska scene, so I feel like that’s played a huge role in our general energy.
Do you have plans to play any summer festivals?
Jacquie: Yeah, definitely. We’re going to be playing Edgefest in July, and then actually the next day we’re going to be playing in Ottawa at the Ottawa Bluesfest. We’re really looking forward to that. We’re also playing in Milwaukee—it’ll be our first time there. Toronto crowds are notoriously hard to move.
Where do you find that crowds have the most energy in Canada?
Jacquie: We’ve had some really good times in Halifax. People love to dance out there. And Ottawa, too, people love dancing in Ottawa.
Steve: Montreal’s great.
Jacquie: Montreal. But, yeah, I feel like people in Toronto are slowly realizing that it’s better to dance and have fun.
So , you guys have been in the music industry for a few years now, and it can be tough on young bands. What makes you persevere?
Jacquie: Really just the fact that we love music. We just want to continue writing good music and reaching new audiences and making people feel good.
Liam: Also, we get to travel everywhere, and that’s a lot of fun. Going to new cities to play music is kind of the greatest thing. And the more we get to do that, the more we get re-injected with fun and energy. We don’t plan on stopping ever.