Photo Credit: Coralie Doucet-Côté
This back and forth with Reno McCarthy has everything. And we mean everything. From dancing to internal fears to making friends – it’s all there and then some. Of course, we talked about Reno McCarthy’s debut album, Counterglow, his insanely addicting video for “Growing Up” and so much more. Now enough of what to expect, just dive right in and enjoy.
Kendra: The new, debut album Counterglow is out now but it’s been a long road to get it here. You started penning it back in 2013. How did feel when you realized it was finally ready and you were going to share it with the world?
Reno McCarthy: It happened quickly. I didn’t get a chance to proof the album after mastering because I had somehow lost the email, so mastering was completed without my input. I took that as a sign to let it be. I had been so close to this project for a year, ever since deciding to bundle up and record those songs. This is months spent making thousands of micro-decisions every day, so it felt oddly appropriate that I would be forced to let it go in the end.
Kendra: This album really captures the millennial spirit of that internal struggle with fearing just about everything. From getting older to taking responsibility for one’s life. We always hear the Boomers complaining about this generation but why do you feel we’re all sort of scared of the inevitability of growing up?
Reno McCarthy: I feel like it might simply be talked about a lot more these days. Our parents’ generation was not immune to mental health issues, but it was just swept under the rug a lot more. Social media creates a lot of mass anxiety as well.
Kendra: Which speaking of, the video for “Growing Up” is out now and reminded me of those old Gap ads that had all the dancing. Who came up with the idea for the video?
Reno McCarthy: I came up with it with JD Leblanc of Heymakers, who also directed “Deep Dive.” The song is very self-aware and somewhat ironic, so it could not have had a serious music video à la “Deep Dive.” We came up with the idea of faking this bubblegum ad complete with fake smiles and awkward dancing, and then shooting a behind-the-scenes that’s equally ridiculous at the other end of the spectrum. It’s entertaining and weird and fun and dumb, I’m glad it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Kendra: The opening line of “Growing Up” reminded me of finding and maintaining new friendships as an adult – something I find incredibly hard to do. Do you feel like it’s harder to make connections now than it was in say 5th grade?
Reno McCarthy: Honestly I don’t. I feel that it’s easier as a more complete, well-rounded and developed human being than as a fully non-self-aware eight-year-old. I suppose people are a lot more guarded as adults though, and a lot busier obviously, so you have to keep spinning the wheel a little. But I still prefer human interaction as an adult.
Kendra: Which, side note…a fear you mentioned that I think all of us have had but rarely talk about is when you’re sitting in class and your stomach is as loud as a whale’s mating call. What’s another random fear that you can think of that needs more attention? Back in the day mine was when your best friend was absent without notice and spending the day alone.
Reno McCarthy: Hahaha, right on. I compose many of my text messages in notes and then copy-paste them prior to sending. I’m terrified of accidentally sending an uncrafted one. I set much too high conversational standards for myself.
Kendra: Back to the music. You’ve had a few shows recently up in Canada. Will we be seeing you stateside any time this year or more around Canada?
Reno McCarthy: It’s hard to say, but not in the very near future. But it’s definitely on our radar!