The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Horse Doctor
Following on from a flurry of fresh and enticing releases over the last few months, Canadian alt-rock outfit Horse Doctor have now returned to deliver their anthemic new single 'Sinking'.
Bringing back more of that raw and euphoric direction they are cultivating for themselves, 'Sinking' makes for a wonderfully vivid listen. Channelling a grunge-inspired aesthetic for this one, they fill it with bold and pulsing hooks, killer riffs, and a stunning atmosphere from start to finish.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
Jake: Pearl Jam – When I was like 5 I got so obsessed with the album Ten that I started telling everyone at school my name was Jeremy.
Binh: Muse or Radiohead, I remember watching the Time is Running Out and There, There videos on MTV2 as a teenager and thinking “wow, guitars”.
Arsenii: When I was 12 I listened to OK Computer and it changed my life and how I think about music forever.
Liam: I was all in on Third Eye Blind at 9. That album holds up.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Binh: Arsenii and I were in a post-rock/skramz band called mayfields before (mayfields.bandcamp.com), and I played in another post-hardcore band called Sleeping Field (sleepingfield.bandcamp.com). I wasn’t really that much younger though, I was in all these bands at the same time…
Arsenii: I made trance music on fruityloops.
Jake: I played drums in a band called Fugitive Species. We thought we were playing hard rock but it was like teen bops.
Liam: I have mostly played drums in cover bands, this is my first band on bass.
Tell us more about this series of new releases you’re doing. Is there any thematic or songwriting content that links the releases together?
Jake: We’re releasing a new single every two months or so. These were songs that we wrote during a time when we were writing “a song per session”. Each of these songs was built from scratch in one session of dedicated attention. Other than that, no real theme. In fact, in terms of sound they are pretty all over the place.
Liam: The foundations for most of the songs were recorded while we were all in Montreal, but we have been updating some of the parts and getting more comfortable recording remotely too.
You just had a new single recently, “Sinking”. Tell us a bit about this tune.
Binh: This is a song about giving in to your own toxicity and accepting that you will always self-sabotage. It’s really about the catharsis that surrendering to your own flaws can bring. I think of the instrumentation as sort of panicked, like the crushing anxiety you feel when you realize that you’re the cause of all your problems and are helpless to do anything about it.
Jake: I’d say that about sums it up.
I understand three quarters of you are actual doctors of Neuroscience. Do you incorporate brain science into your craft?
Jake: We’ve been training a neural network to build album art for us?
Liam: To be honest, I used music as way to forget about Neuroscience.
If fans of the band want to get to know you, how would you describe each of your personalities. I.E. [Band member] – “the [adjective] one”
Arsenii: I’m the “mysterious” one.
Liam: I’m the fatherly one.
Binh: I’m the troublemaker, troubled child.
Jake: I’m basically the red power ranger.
Your two most recent releases “Playa” and “Sinking” sound pretty different from one another. Should we expect more diversity from incoming releases, or do these two songs pretty much cover the range?
Binh: We all pull from pretty diverse influences ranging from 90’s emo and post-hardcore to screamo, noise, grunge, while also reaching for really emotive songwriting from artists like Elliott Smith and Radiohead.
Arsenii: Expect more diversity. In my opinion, every Horse Doctor song sounds different from the last. We are unpredictable people and that makes our music unpredictable. Or.. at least it’s hard for us to predict what will come out.
Liam: It’s definitely all guitar rock, but I think we go to some pretty different places. Our back catalogue (an album and an EP) has punk, emo, some quieter songs… We have some poppier stuff and some heavier stuff coming down the pike.
Could you give us a little sneak peek of your next single? When will it be released and what should we expect?
Arsenii: Our next single will actually be a cover, by someone who is very dear to us. And I think it will be our poppiest song.. ever? So keep your ears open for that.
Jake: I’d like to think about it as us taking a really pretty, innocent and fun song and defiling it. Look out for it in April 2022!
Horse Doctor's new single 'Sinking' is available to stream now. Check it out below.