JUNO-award-winning band The Bros. Landreth has released Stay, the first single from their forthcoming album Come Morning, due May 13th. The new track contemplates settling down from the perspective of touring musicians with a light-hearted music video full of board games, blanket forts, and bubble baths highlighting the importance of family and time at home.
“Stay playfully explores a difficult topic for artists — wanting to settle and put some roots down,” shares Joey. “Though written from the perspective of a touring musician, anyone who’s looking to shift gears can relate.”
We caught up with Joey and Dave to talk about finding the joy in everyday life, their favourite moments from shooting the video for Stay, and learning to find work/life balance.
Stay explores a topic that could be difficult to admit as a touring musician: perhaps you don’t want to be out on the road as much and you’d like to start putting some roots down. When did you find yourself coming to that realization?
Joey: I started working on this tune in early 2019. Little did I know I was about to get almost three years off the road in 2020, 2021 and a big chunk of 2022! I’ve been on the road pretty solidly since 2010 and I had started to realize that I was longing for a stretch at home. This song is pretty self-explanatory but it’s less about not wanting to go on the road and more about wanting to be home with my family.
Dave: Joey wrote the bulk of this song without me, but I immediately connected to the story that he was telling. Every artist I know wrestles with this eventually and comes to it on their own terms. It’s always been a push and pull for me between balancing my home life and being able to travel and play with the band. My wife and I started dating in 2010 and we’ve been learning to manage the ups and downs of our demanding careers ever since. Some days we manage better than others, it’s always a work in progress.
How did it feel to put that realization into words through the song?
Joey: It’s definitely one of those things that when you say it, you can’t unsay it. I’m so grateful for all the years I spent travelling around but it’s time to spend more time home than away and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Ultimately, it’s a relief to grow a little. It’s not the end of travelling for me, just the beginning of more deliberate travelling.
Dave: In this case, they weren’t necessarily my words to begin with, but I echo them nonetheless. Hearing them in the song felt great. For us, music has always been about tapping into those real human moments and though this one definitely comes from the perspective of a touring musician, I think anyone can relate to what it feels like to miss somebody and wanna hang onto them.
Stay does a good job of romanticizing what can be typically seen as the mundane parts of life in a very playful way. How do you go about finding that magic in everyday moments?
Joey: It’s all about perspective for me. What is mundane for some is exciting for others! I have spent much of my life living out of a suitcase and in hotel rooms. Getting to unpack my bag and put it into the basement because I know I get some downtime is always a special thing to me. Now with my daughter, Joanie, I can’t imagine anything more exciting than watching her discover her own world. Day by day, she teaches us a little more about who she is and there’s nothing that beats that. Not by a long shot!
Dave: Practicing gratefulness and mindfulness is key – at least for me. Being present makes it a bit easier to find the wonderful moments in everyday life. Now that we’re Dads, our kids help us with this. They spend 95% of their time living grounded in the present. They are so much better at tuning out distractions. I’m constantly inspired by the way they play and interact with the world.
The music video fits the playfulness of the track perfectly. How did you collaborate with director Grant Davidson to create the storyline in the video?
Dave: We are huge Slow Leaves fans, which is Grant’s solo project. We always found his videos to be so quirky and emotive. We loved his DIY aesthetic and the sense of humour that he manages to weave into everything he does. We sent him the song with no notes and asked for a treatment back. A few days later we hopped on a video call and he walked us through a storyline that had us in stitches. At the end of the day, Grant provided almost all of the direction and we just leaned into it.
Joey: Dave nailed it!
Normally, you’re drawn to live performance videos to support your singles. What were the reasons you decided to create a story-driven music video for this track?
Dave: Our manager, Stu, was really adamant that we try some new things with this record. Much of it is a departure for us and we’re excited to bring some new listeners into the fold. He helped us understand that music videos can be an extension of the creative process and help to create a new perspective and dimension to the storytelling. Once we were able to wrap our heads around that, the process started to feel a lot more natural and a lot less like work.
What was your favourite part of filming the video?
Joey: Getting to have my family involved. So often my work is separate from them. Getting to share these little moments with them is very special.
Dave: For me, just hanging out with Grant and watching his process. He is a ridiculously creative and hilarious person and watching him come up with an idea and then give himself the giggles was delightful. We were all able to get light and silly with it and that was a blast.
Do you have any words of advice for other touring musicians looking for more family time or a work/life balance?
Joey: We are still very much trying to figure out how to do this. Your best bet is to lean into your instincts and keep your lines of communication with your partner, your team – whoever, open.
Dave: I struggle with advice because I really don’t feel like I have this part figured out very well at all. I think I used to feel like it was work vs family, but now I really try and think of it and approach it as two mutually inclusive parts of a whole life. Meaningful work makes me a better person and being a better husband and father makes me a better artist. It’s hard to get them perfectly in sync, but it’s what I strive for.