Hollowphonic, the ambient Shoegaze-infused space rock creation of Brad Ketchen, has been an understated but steadily growing force in Toronto’s music scene. Since its inception in 1999, Hollowphonic has performed Canadian Music Week, North By Northwest (Toronto’s little brother to South By Southwest) and has opened for some of Step On Magazine’s favourite bands including The Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals, Low and Los Campesinos!
We caught up with Brad to find out what he’s been doing lately and when we can expect to hear more music from Hollowphonic.
Step On: What are your current fixations?
Brad: Writing and recording new Hollowphonic music.
What are you listening to (on iPod, record, cd, bandcamp)?
Northern Soul….and Hollowphonic.
Why do you live where you do?
I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto in the oldest town in Mississauga called Clarkson. As soon as I was old enough, I climbed the train to come to Toronto. Right now it’s for work purposes with my Missus. It’s a stop gap for now. I plan to live in a Century home in the North. I’ve always had a love/hate for the City. I love to go to it, but I like to leave it.
What is your “must” read online (besides us, ha ha)?
Besides reading up on music via sites like yours, I’m a rail enthusiast. Another of my fixations. So I like reading up on rail events and so forth. And music trade sites and sites like Sound On Sound and looking at other guitar players set ups on Guitar Geek… showcasing yet more geekdom.
Name something you consider a mind altering work of art.
Vincent Van Gogh comes to mind.
What record/tape/cd/digital format music album inspired you to take up music?
Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing Shocking when I was a wee lad got me thinking. I picked up the guitar to Nirvana Nevermind. The simple yet effectiveness of Kurt Cobain’s playing made me say to myself “I can do this”. Of course there have been a tremendous amount of influences from then on moving me more into production and film composition helping with my work in Hollowphonic. Shoegaze had a lot of influence; bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, The Verve… but so did a lot of other artists.
What advice should you have taken but did not?
Work in a Production studio…not in a record store. I don’t regret those years working in retail but I could be so much further in my ‘career’ by now having been trained in Music and Film production.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Sitting by a warm fireplace. But we don’t have one…yet.
I think it was Judas Priest Screaming For Vengeance… or maybe it was a Raffi record. Lets go with Judas Priest.
What was your most memorable day job?
One of my first jobs was in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto. I was probably 16. I worked for a lawn maintenance firm and we worked on a lot of dodgy properties. We made sure to have a shovel or weed trimmer in hand at all times, looking over our shoulders while we tended to our earthly duties.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Iggy Pop. I’d ask him to set the menu.
What is your favourite 90’s band(s)?
My Bloody Valentine.
What is your favourite current band(s)?
I like Drenge, Wand, Foals and I hope to catch The Stone Roses when they tour next Summer.
What is your favourite journey?
North of Scotland. Inverness. And Holland.. I love old architecture and I have great friends over there who are very accommodating!
Who is your favourite hero(es) of fiction?
Not a fan of fiction.
What is your current mood?
What is your favourite occupation?
What should people know about you?
I write, perform, produce and record Hollowphonic’s music. But that’s not without the talent of friends and people who have performed with me. Cameron Jingles is on bass now and Brian Stewart is on drums.
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
We’re writing and recording new music. I’d like to put out my last record Viaduct on CD and vinyl as currently it’s download only via Minor Sphere Records on iTunes and Amazon.
What are your 3 favourite films?
Funny question. I am a musician and a film composer, but two of the three don’t have any music! Blair Witch Project and No Country For Old Men. 28 Days Later would be the third. Honourable mention: One Hour Photo. If only Mark Romanek would direct more films. Darren Aronofsky is brilliant as well. The Wrestler was fantastic among his other work. We’re going over the 3 aren’t we?
Favourite TV shows/streaming shows?
I’m a die hard M*A*S*H fan. Barely a day goes buy where I don’t watch an episode.
What has been the most significant achievement you’ve had with your music so far?
I had a good run, but that seems like it was eons ago. Had some really good shows opening for some good bands…as I type this BBC6 Music is playing Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals. There was lots of good press…but I don’t like to dwell in the past and push forward. And the new songs are going to be mind blowing!