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From London, Ontario, Cordcalling is a husband and wife rock duo enjoy the creativity that goes into making music together and expressing what has been referred to as “the inner cries of the soul”. But beyond music and its cathartic powers, the two members that make up the band Cordcalling, Brian and Denise Conway also share a common goal of creating awareness about mental illness. Experiencing mental illness in their own lives, they hope to make a difference in their community. According to Cordcalling, they record and perform original music “expressing personal journeys in overcoming the obstacles of psychological issues”.
You are a rock duo and also married to each other - what is it like being in a band with your spouse? Does this ever get stressful? How do you deal?
Well...in some ways, it is really cool being in a band with your spouse since you are more available and committed to one another than two other people might be. We connect on a deeper level than some other bands since we are married. On the other hand, doing music (something about which we are both passionate) together can be stressful. There are difficulties between all band members, and, when your band member is your spouse, this stress can be carried into other spheres of the relationship. Overall, we believe that being a duo and married is far better than us not being united in music.
Another unique aspect of your relationship is that, Brian, you have schizophrenia and Denise, you have OCD. What are the benefits and challenges of each of you having a mental illness? How does this impact your relationship?
Just as people have physical issues, we believe that everyone has psychological issues as well. The fact that both of us have psychological difficulties helps us to empathise with one another and others with similar struggles. We also believe that it helps us to be creative as a duo.
Do you think music provides a balance in your life? How?
Balance is very important to both of us and music is a part of that. We attempt to be as productive as we can while also monitoring our stress levels.
It is mentioned in your Bio that “Cordcalling's purpose is to express to the world, in their unique and sincere way, the inner cries of the soul”. How would you say music helps you to release emotions or to express yourself?
We both find music to be cathartic and therapeutic. We are fulfilled through expressing ourselves creatively. Greater than these two things, we have a higher purpose for our music: to lift people up through a hopeful message that is rooted in our faith in God.
You’ve shared the stage with some pretty big names, including Sloan, The Trews, Default, Hinder, Papa Roach, and Serena Ryder to name just a few. Do you have a favourite memory from the shows you’ve played so far?
Playing at Canadian Music Week, we were on the same bill as these bands. It meant a lot to us to have the opportunity to showcase at such a nationally renowned event. We look forward to more such opportunities to further impact people through our music.
If you could tour or record with any musician/band, dead or alive, who would it be?
Dave Grohl, since he is both a very talented musician and a positive person.
On a particularly stressful day, what might you do to relax and de-stress?
We both find our faith to be our number 1 de-stresser. Secondly, we often talk things over with one another. Being creative is also a very important coping method to both of us. In addition to music, Brian also does visual art and Denise writes poetry. Brian’s camomile tea and naps also help (lol).
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Care to share?
We are now completing our first full-length CD as Cordcalling. This is very exciting. It should be released later this year. We realise now how much money, time and work go into a full-length recording – but it is definitely worth it!
Best piece of advice someone has given you?
Persevering, stepping out, and continuing to do what you believe you are called to do is what produces great results.
Do you have any words that you live by?
Love. That pretty much sums up what we hope to and strive to live for.
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