This is Harmony on Mars – a Toronto-born psychedelic punk duo made up of two brothers – Max White and Jack White. Max plays guitar and sings, while Jack plays the drums. You may have heard their latest single, Don’t Stand Still in the Starz/Amazon Prime series, ‘American Gods’. They have also done session work for film and TV. Their performances have been featured in Netflix’s “Frontier” and “V-Wars” as well as “Trigger Point” and Norwegian thriller “Hevn.”
The band itself has only been around since July 2018, but have already been compared to Joy Division, Dead Meadow, The Stooges and The Velvet Underground. Their debut at the Horseshoe Tavern with Mute Choir and Madame Psychosis led to a great relationship with Craig Laskey and also made the brothers realize they were on to something. They continued with several other shows around the Toronto circuit, including the Horseshoe, Cameron House, Duffy’s Tavern, plus 2 Canadian Music Week Shows at Sneaky Dees and Cherry Colas. But, it was opening for Mattiel at the Drake Hotel, opening for Annunaki (Arlen Thompson from Wolf Parade and Dave Read from Moths & Locusts) and sharing the stage with Cola Wars (keyboardist Gregory MacDonald from Sloan) at the Monarch Tavern that started to make it real for them.
But in reality, music has always been core to their existence. Max and Jack come from a long legacy of musicians in Toronto. Their grandfather was the first flute in the symphony and ran New Music Concerts, contemporary music series that brought some of the most famous composers to Toronto like John Cage, Toru Takemitsu, among others, back in the day. Their father was the trumpet player with Bruce Cockburn in the 80s, their mother is head of the flute department at the Royal Conservatory of Music and their uncle is a saxophone player who has recorded or played with several local artists, including Dave Young, Holly Cole, the Shuffle Demons and July Talk.
Drawing influences from Wire, Kurt Vile, Lou Reed, Dan Auerbach, Neil Young, the Doors, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the brothers have been making atmospheric and soundscapes for their filmmaker friends or just jamming in their basement since grade school. Both Max and Jack deepened their connection with music in their post-secondary education as well. Max studied marketing, entrepreneurship and composition/sound engineering at Queen’s, while Jack studied composition at Queens and is currently in the Electrioacoustics program at Concordia.
They released their first EP, Ghosts & Skulls in 2018, The Basement Demos EP followed in 2019, which featured demos of three of the staples of their live set, and their experimental EP, Permanence, which was inspired by Sparklehorse and Fennesz’s In The Fishtank 15 EP and Scandinavian film scores, released in 2020.
Some day, they hope to open for Death Valley Girls, Night Beats or Courtney Barnett next time any of them are in town. Until then, you can find their music on bandcamp – and all other streaming services here: https://linktr.ee/harmonyonmars