Montreal-based Family Man first caught our attention with their single, “CONVICTION.” Their gritty alt-rock-meets-punk sound is an immediate attention grabber with raw and honest lyrics and unbridled passion. They’ve just released their latest single, “Father John,” a song that serves as an exposé from one member’s time in the private Catholic school system. We caught up with Family Man to chat about the new music, the band’s influences, and each member’s superhero alter ego.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Father John”.
Family Man: Born of pure rage and disdain for my experience in the private catholic school system, “FATHER JOHN” recounts my time at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. A cesspool of toxic masculinity, archaic Catholic mindsets, blatant racism, and willfully ignorant rich kids, this institution drove me to the brink of suicide.
After being admitted with financial assistance, I experienced “otherness” due to my ethnically Jewish identity, and my questioning of Catholic dogma, which ultimately led to me suppressing many aspects of my identity, sexuality, and sense of self for years to come. But this goes so much farther than just being an outcast.
One event that always stuck with me was how hundreds of ego-inflated, jacked up 16 year old boys would erupt into howling screams and applause whenever a group of young women would enter the campus. It bothered me then that it happened in the first place and that the administration did nothing about it, but what truly upset me for years after was the fact that I partook in this display of masculine shit-spewing. It took years to unlearn the toxicity that was ingrained so deeply, and it culminates with this – a cathartic cacophony of brutal rage.
From The Strait: How did Family Man become a band?
Family Man: Family Man has seen a series of members come and go, but it started years ago when Conner Root (vocalist/guitarist) and Bryan Thomas (drummer/vocalist) lived in the same dorms. We really did not like each other. Conner at the time was DJing and would be up blasting really bad Top 40 electronic bangers until 4 AM and Bryan would be banging on an electronic drum kit in his dorm room until the same time (I mean who the fuck brings a full electronic drum kit to university?!). They eventually stumbled into each other after a couple glasses of wine, settled their differences, and agreed to go jam sometime. And then…Family Man.
From The Strait: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound?
Family Man: Right now, our biggest influences are IDLES, shame, Viagara Boys, This Heat, Crack Cloud, Preoccupations, and Deeper. We’ve made a very distinct 180 degree turn away from the sound we were going after with What’s New, our debut release in 2022, and these bands truly opened up the doors to this new genre for us. Plus, we just align with what they stand for.
From The Strait: What are your favourite – and least favourite – things about being a musician?
Family Man: Playing live is unanimously our favorite part of being musicians. We have always been and we will always be a live band. We get to amplify parts of ourselves on stage that we normally don’t get to explore much in day to day life, and seeing reactions/controlling crowds through playing live is such a thrill. Least favorite part is playing the industry game. “Its a slog until it isn’t” is a mantra we try to live by, but good lord, this industry is such a shit show. But hey, we’ll keep playing bigger and bigger stages and ripping people’s faces off.
From The Strait: If each band member of Family Man was a superhero, what would their name and superpower be?
Conner: The Flying Tyrant: Conner can be a bit stubborn sometimes and, I’ll admit it, I can be a bit of an ass when it comes to getting down to business, so my superpower would be telepathically coercing people into practicing their instruments, whilst flying.
Bryan: Bobo the benevolent bouncing boy: Bryan’s superpower would definitely be having the ability to bounce on a magical bouncy ball through the space time continuum.
Nick: Three Legged Flash, Nick would be able to grow a third leg that would allow them to run extremely fast.
Check out “Father John”, the latest single from Family Man!