By Hallie Switzer
Google may think you are trying to rent in Russia's capital, but Moscow Apartment is something much closer to home. Comprised of Brighid Fry (guitar, vocals, violin) and Pascale Padilla (guitar, vocals), Moscow Apartment is an indie folk/rock band based in Toronto. Despite both members being still in high school, they are frankly blowing up, playing major festivals and venues all over the city that they could not legally attend otherwise. On stage the band is calm and confidant, not showy but completely compelling. That naturalism shines through in their songs and reflects the ease of performing on stage with a best friend.
Summer is here and already the band has returned from a tour opening for the Canadian female country folk trio Good Lovlies, spanning from Ontatio to B.C. hitting up the major cities along the way.
I had a chance to do a two-part interview with Moscow Apartment, with the first half of questions answered before the tour, and the second half, after. We talked, expectations and realties, tour essentials and finding the time to study for exams when you're on a major tour with your band!
WIMA– The two of you both attended Girls Rock Camp, is that where you met? What was your first meeting like?
Brighid – We did both attend Girls Rock Camp but not at the same time. I attended the very first camp in 2011 when I was 8 years old. Four years later I released a solo EP at Girls Rock Camp home, The Tranzac and Pascale came with her Mom. We knew each other from when we were really little (5 and 6 years old) because we were in a children's choir together called Viva Youth Singers. We were pretty close when we were young but when I left the choir after a few years to focus on violin, we eventually lost touch. So it was cool to see Pascale at my launch party. She started coming to this youth open mic I used to host called Sugar Mountain Sundays. She was so good and I thought it would be cool to do stuff together. Pascale went to Girls Rock Camp that summer and also started taking lessons with my music coach at the time Kritty. Our parents had a dinner party in late 2016 and we did a singalong afterwards and then started hanging out again and took a songwriting course through the Hillside Festival which really kind of solidified our friendship once again.
WIMA – Do you have a special time or place where song writing inspiration strikes? How do you find your inspiration?
Pascale – My special place when writing songs is with Brighid. Whenever I feel stuck writing a song I can just ask Brighid and she is always there with new and fresh ideas. I feel inspired when I see other musicians my age writing and performing their songs. We recently played a show at the Burdock with Ben Heffernan and Georgia Harmer after I saw them I went home and started to write. They’re so good!
Brighid – Seeing other awesome people perform is always a great way to get inspired. I also really like writing on the road because there is time to think and you are away from the regular routines.
WIMA – Setting off on this cross-country tour from Ontario to BC, what are your mindsets heading into the tour?
Pascale – My mindset right now in regards to the tour is just to have fun. I know that the people I am going with are very kind and understanding. Tour has always been a formative experience for me and I’m really looking forward to it. Every time we go on tour me and B get even closer 🙂 Also Canada is so beautiful and touring is a wonderful way to see it.
Brighid – I am excited to learn from The Good Lovelies. They are such experienced performers and just seeing them and being with them in this way will help us becoming stronger too. I also know I want to find a balance between having fun with my best friend and soaking in the whole experience while also studying for exams.
WIMA – What 3 essentials you are packing with you?
Pascale – Three essentials I am bringing with me on tour are lots of capos because I always lose them haha, My homework because we are studying for exams on the road, and my journal to put down what’s happening and hopefully right a few songs in 🙂
Brighid – I love photogrpahy so my camera, a neck pillow and a notebook.
WIMA – What are three experiences you want to have on this tour?
Pascale – Three experiences I am hoping to have this tour are: swimming in the ocean with Brighid (even Though she’s scared of swimming in large bodies of water), shopping in Vancouver, and of course seeing the Good Lovelies play!
Brighid – Seeing the Good Lovelies play every night, driving through the Rockies and spending some extra time in Vancouver (including going to a Stars show, they are one of my all time favourite bands).
Moscow Apartment then set off on their tour playing 8 shows in 12 days with their final show in Victoria B.C.
WIMA – In 3 words, how was tour?!
Moscow Apartment – exciting, hilarious and tiring
WIMA – did anything unexpected happen?
Moscow Apartment – I didn't expect that we would get along so incredibly well with a group of adults. We loved getting to know the band and their crew and the tour definitely bonded us! Everyone was so fun and funny and sweet and supportive. We kind of knew that but had no idea how much so.
WIMA – does one particular memory from a show stick out to you?
Moscow Apartment – The last show we played wasn't an all ages venue but we had to stay just off stage and so watched the Good Lovelies set really closely and really took in how amazing they are.
WIMA – how is it looking back at your answers before tour? How many capos did you loose? Did you see Stars play? And, be honest, how much exam studying truly got done?
Moscow Apartment – We surprisingly didn't lose any capos but we came very close. The Good Lovelies helped us by asking "is this your capo?" Sadly we didn't get to the Stars show because by the time it came around, we were too exhausted and we didn't get nearly as much studying done as we imagined on the road so we had to cram those last couple of days.
WIMA – what's next for Moscow Apartment after you acclimatize back to post-tour normal life?
Moscow Apartment – We are going to unwind and have a lot of fun this summer. We are working on a bunch of new songs. We also have a surprisingly busy schedule of shows. A lot of them are in Toronto (Distillery, David Pecaut Square, Kew Gardens, Union Station, Pride, Open Roof Festival, Camp Wavelength) but we are also playing some out of town festivals and our first U.S shows (Buffalo, Vermont and New York City)
Thanks Pascale and Brighid!
Be sure to check out Moscow Apartment at one of the many upcoming shows
Check out their new single Be You here :https://moscowapartment.ca/music-shop