EXCLUSIVE: Elliott and Ezra of The Look Back Now on getting bigger, better and busier

(By: Laura Dalton)

Well-established following the release of their EP ‘Dweeb,’ Toronto band The Look Back Now are currently playing a sporadic set of shows around the GTA to promote themselves. After a hectic summer of shows across Ontario, the band is ready to play for larger audiences with similar bands like Run Maggie Run and Family of Things.

RUtv News sat down with lead vocalist Elliott Gallagher-Doucette and guitarist Ezra Sherman to get the inside scoop on the band’s expansion and future plans.

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The Look Back Now huddle after their performance in Toronto Oct. 29. (Photo credit: Laura Dalton/RUtv News)

How much would you say you guys have grown as a band in the past year?

Elliott: Damn, a lot. Immense amounts. I think in the last year we’ve really come together to know ourselves as a band. We’ve been in this project for fifteen months together and only in the last six months of that period did we settle on a band name and come to release our EP. Through that process we really had to discover ourselves through playing shows and traveling to different cities and seeing where we fit in, not only the Toronto scene but in a larger sphere, and seeing where we could insert ourselves.

How much has your fan base grown in the last fifteen months? Do you find you have a lot of new fans?

Ezra: Yeah, I mean our first show that we played together was at the Cavern in Toronto, and there were probably 40 people there. When we just released our EP a few months ago we played to probably 200 people in the room. There has been a lot of fan growth, and a lot of that has to do with playing with the right bands, [where] you can encourage each other and feed off each other. For example, Run Maggie Run, we have a really cool thing with them. We’ve been sort of leeching [off] each other’s fan bases in each other’s cities (Toronto and Hamilton) for a bit.

Elliott: You can sort of have this symbiotic relationship where you can do show swaps and grow on that basis. To speak to what Ezra was saying about the Cavern, that was on July 8, 2016. On July 8, 2017, we were playing at the Elora Brewing Co. at an event and we were opening for New Swears, which is a band that we really look up to. So in that one year on our anniversary, we saw that direct, tangible result of going from a musty Toronto basement with 40 friends to a different town with a bigger band, and really cool promoters to help us out.

Could you tell me a bit about the bands you’re playing with tonight?

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The Vikkies performing “Closing Eyes in Sunrise” Oct 29. (Photo credit: Laura Dalton/RUtv News)

Elliott: The opening band, a group called The Vikkies, [is] a really cool group. Pete, the front man, he’s from Newfoundland. He moved to Toronto probably a year and a half ago. His girlfriend, Chloe, is also a singer in the group and they’re awesome songwriters. They play around Toronto and are currently working on a record.

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Lead vocalist Gavin Rees of Run Maggie Run performing at Handlebar in Kensington Market Oct. 29. (Photo credit: Laura Dalton/RUtv News)

Run Maggie Run are from Hamilton and we’ve been playing a lot with them. They dropped a really cool record last spring. We’re going to play with them again in Hamilton on Nov. 17 with this other band called Family of Things at Mills Hardware.

Is this show part of a tour, or are you just promoting yourself?

Elliott: I mean it’s tough, right, because we’re all in school. So it’s part of a series I guess, because we’re just playing on the weekends so it’d be tough to call it a tour. We go out for two nights and go to a different city, and then we go home and sleep in our own beds. It would be bit of an inflation to call it a tour, but it is part of a run that we’re doing this fall. We were in Montreal doing two shows last weekend, we’re here in Toronto tonight and then later in November we’re going to Hamilton, and we’re working on some stuff for December right now.

Ezra: We like to play in spazzy little bursts.

What’s it like performing with these other bands tonight, or bands in general?

Ezra: It’s definitely important. You want to find bands that are not drastically different from your sound, but at the same time you want to stand out. For example, Run Maggie Run works really well with us because we draw from a lot of the same influences and we have some of the same audience. Our processes towards music are different so we get vastly different products and they really just complement each other in a great way.

Elliott: I think that it’s super important to be able to play with bands that are in the same situation as you because you can sort of help each other out. All of the bands that surround us are in the same situation that we are in, which is just simply trying to get to the next rung of the ladder, and the best way to do that is to look upwards. This is a very important component of being a band – they simply move forwards. It’s like, if we do this for long enough, something will happen.

Best of luck tonight! Tell us a story, though: what’s the worst thing that has happened at a show?

Elliott: We played this one show in Kingston, our second show ever on a Thursday in July. Nobody’s there, we’re playing for more people in bands than we are for audience members. Kingston’s dead in the summer, because there’s no students around. Basically we got really drunk before we played, and Ezra went into the crowd to rock out with 14 people. When he came back on stage, he ate shit pretty hard. His nose was probably an inch from the ground but he didn’t miss a note. That was pretty spectacular. Shortly after, he, in the middle of a song, just started chewing this random guy out in the audience. It was pretty awkward because there’s like 14 people in the room and there’s all these bands we’re playing with that we’re meeting that day. I’ve only known him (Ezra) for like three weeks at this point. Unbeknownst to Ezra, that was actually my friend! We’ve never been booed off stage but we almost got in a fight if it hadn’t been my friend.

Thank you, Elliott and Ezra! Catch The Look Back Now at their next show in Hamilton on Nov. 17 with Run Maggie Run and Family of Things.

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