Interview: Cannons


Zeke chats with members of Cannons. (MPR)
Interview: Michelle, Ryan, and Paul of Cannons
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Cannons' three members--Michelle Joy, Ryan Clapham, and Paul Davis connect with Zeke to talk about what they'd play on the radio if they were DJs, their aspirations for the band, and what they've been up to this year.


Edited for clarity and length.
ZEKE: You guys been together seven years so far. You found each other on Craigslist. What's been your favorite find that you guys found besides yourselves on Craigslist?

MICHELLE JOY: Oh, good question. On Craigslist, anything? I feel like maybe you've...

RYAN CLAPHAM: Nothing that special. Michelle's the best Craigslist find ever.

Can't think of anything? No problem.

MICHELLE JOY: Just haven't used it in a while.

PAUL DAVIS: Yeah it's been so long I can't even remember.

Are you still searching online for anything, or just using eBay to find goods or just buying them outright?

RYAN CLAPHAM: All right, I'll tell you the truth. I'm a big gear nerd so I go to that Reverb thing to buy guitars and amps and whatnot. Not putting Reverb down but there's like an insane tax on it now so I went back to Craigslist recently and it's perfect, especially when people are like, trying to sell something last minute to pay rent and whatnot. It's just super super cheap, you can get microphones for 20 bucks. That's the secret, kids. You can also find amazing singers on there, too.

That's very true. "Fire Me" was wrote around a breakup. Michelle, has your ex heard it, do you think? Or did you get a message at all?

MICHELLE JOY: I'm sure he's heard it.

There was no message or anything like that?

MICHELLE JOY: No message.

Oh, that's good. He's gone.

MICHELLE JOY: He's gone. Yeah. [laughs]

You guys covered Harry Styles and The Neighbourhood songs. Who would you want to cover one of your songs? And which song?

PAUL DAVIS: You'd like to hear a band that really doesn't sound anything like us, like a rock band would be cool to cover. Queens of the Stone age?

MICHELLE JOY: Queens of the Stone Age, that would be interesting.

Where were you when you first heard your song on the radio?

RYAN CLAPHAM: I was actually on my way to Paul's where we're at today in the studio. It was one of those things where I was getting a heads up from friends and family that we were on the radio. And I was like, "Wouldn't it be cool if we were on the radio right now?"" Turned on my car and sure as hell we were. It was awesome.

MICHELLE JOY: Yeah, I think it was on the way to the grocery store. But I heard the tail end and I got super excited. Turned it up and I was probably dangerous on the road for a minute. I was so excited.

Your song just went number one in the country. How did you receive that news?

PAUL DAVIS: From our manager and our radio department.

MICHELLE JOY: I was just dancing around in the kitchen. I jumped up and down quite a bit in the house.

PAUL DAVIS: We got an email like, "Congrats guys!"

Your song was featured on the Netflix doc or Netflix show. What do you guys watching on Netflix or streaming services in general?

RYAN CLAPHAM: I finished the third season of Cobra Kai.

MICHELLE JOY: Did you watch that?

RYAN CLAPHAM: Yeah, I watched it. I like it. What else did I watch? Oh my god--I'm watching it with my wife and I can't remember what it is now. She's gonna be like, "See, I told you you always fall asleep." But uh, I don't know. There's just so many.

MICHELLE JOY: Did you guys watch The Undoing? That's really good.

RYAN CLAPHAM: She's told me to like 1000 times.

MICHELLE JOY: The Undoing, and then randomly I started watching the Tiger Woods documentary on HBO show. Yeah, the first episode was..

PAUL DAVIS: I've been playing more video games.

What game are you playing, Call Of Duty?

PAUL DAVIS: Cyberpunk right now. I'm really into Cyberpunk.

That's a great game. I haven't played that one yet. But Run The Jewels is on there, that soundtrack's amazing.

PAUL DAVIS: Yes, it's cool. Keanu Reeves is in it.

Exactly. What system are you playing for?

PAUL DAVIS: It's the old Xbox, the Xbox One.

That's the best system. I mean, one of the greatest systems around besides Super NES. I mean, come on.

RYAN CLAPHAM: I have a feeling I'm gonna come to Paul's and he's gonna have his headset on and he's gonna be talking to you.

[laughs] What songs do you want everyone to know? Besides "Fire For You"? All your songs are heaters, "Up All Night" has been one of my favorite songs. What song do you wish more people would know?

PAUL DAVIS: Actually, "Up All Night" is probably, if not my favorite, one of my favorites at least.

MICHELLE JOY: Yeah same, "Up All Night".

RYAN CLAPHAM: I would say something else off of Shadows. Probably "Talk Talk," or "Down On Love" is probably my favorite track on there.

You guys are in control of the radio. You get to pick four songs, whatever you want to play. What songs are they going to be, and why?

MICHELLE JOY: Our own songs?

Your songs, whatever--you're you're taking control of the radio.

MICHELLE JOY: Okay, so my top five--

PAUL DAVIS: I'd just play our own songs.

RYAN CLAPHAM: "Fire For You," "Fire For You,"--"Talk Talk", I really like "Shadows," because I feel like nobody's gets--I don't know, like it hasn't gotten--

PAUL DAVIS: There's a track called "Kiss Me Up" off of our first record that I love. I wish that got more...

MICHELLE JOY: Oh yeah, that one was sweet. Are we going up past our--"Up All Night" would be cool though.

RYAN CLAPHAM: Anything goes.

MICHELLE JOY: Should we play other songs?

Now here's another four songs. What are you guys playing that's not your own?

PAUL DAVIS: Okay, anything by this band called Leisure that I really like from New Zealand. They're pretty awesome. Some Depeche Mode, some Cure, some Smiths.

RYAN CLAPHAM: Paul got me into this new cowboy guy. It's like outlaw cowboy guy named Paul--what's it called? Cauthen or something like that? And he's got this song called "Cocaine Country Dancing" or something like that. It's pretty awesome. I'd like to hear that on the radio.

MICHELLE JOY: Like Waylon Jennings.

PAUL DAVIS: Disco. It's like a little disco.

RYAN CLAPHAM: It's a fresh sound for country and that guy should be way bigger than he is.

Perfect. Now what I'm gonna do with that is I'm gonna make a segment off of that and actually play it on the radio on The Current, so just stay tuned for that one. If someone doesn't know about Cannons, what should they absolutely know? What do you want Cannons to be known for? After it's all said and done after we sell out tours and stadiums and everything else like that.

PAUL DAVIS: Just having long lasting songs for me, that's my main goal. I love songs from the 50s up until now and I can still listen to a song from the 60s over and over again. So I'm hoping that we can create some music and there's longevity.

MICHELLE JOY: That we have a nostalgic element and that we trie to be authentic and genuine with everything we make.

I mean, you guys are definitely doing it. The music that you're creating is amazing. Thank you guys for your time. I can't wait to have you in Minneapolis to play a show here when this is all over with.

CANNONS: We'd love to!


Host - Zeke
Guests - Michelle Joy, Ryan Clapham, Paul Davis
Producer - Derrick Stevens
Digital Producer - Jesse Wiza

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