Setting up for Vans Warped Tour performance at the Full Sail University Stage

Editor’s Note:  It was so good to reconnect with this band who I would consider to be friends.  Out of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Courage My Love has undergone a change in their music, as they have told me, as they have gotten older, their tastes in what they like to play has changed.  It was really nice to catch up with Mercedes Arn-Horn, as she is a musician extraordinaire for Courage My Love.  She sings, plays guitar, and helps with the programming and keyboarding in their music.  They have released “Synesthesia” via InVogue Records and recently released their music video for “Animal Heart”.  Without further delay, here is my conversation with Mercedes Arn-Horn of Courage My Love.

M.T.C.:  It’s so nice to catch up with you again!  How’s Warped Tour going so far?

Mercedes:  Absolutely it is!  We’re over halfway through and it is crazy, but it’s gone by super fast! It’s been all summer. It’s crazy to think about how we started in Seattle and we’ve been all over the country, and there’s about 15 shows left, which is still a lot considering there’s been 52 shows.

M.T.C.:  What’s’ the craziest memory that you have had on this tour or most embarrassing moment that you’ve had on the Vans Warped Tour?

Mercedes:  Everything!  Honestly, it’s all a new adventure, but you get into your routine, but the craziest thing that I saw with my own eyes was at a stop in Ohio, and there’s barbecues pretty much every day after Warped Tour, and the crew and everyone gets together and socializes, but this one was crazy because there were snakes everywhere, not just like regular little ones that you would see in Canada, but they were big and super long.  Fronz from Attila just grabs a snake from a pile I guess, he was holding it all night, taking pictures of it, kissing it, petting it, I honestly thought it was a pet snake that a friend brought for him, but they said it wasn’t.  It was a wild snake, but he set it free afterwards.  

M.T.C.:  Do you have a fear of snakes or anything?

Mercedes:  I don’t mind snakes.  Spiders on the other hand, I really don’t like them, especially big ones, but snakes I don’t mind them.  

M.T.C.:  Since the last time we talked, Courage My Love released a couple of music videos, and the first one is “Need Someone”. I loved how genuine the video felt and the message behind the video, it about got me emotional because of the emotions that you displayed in the video.  In case if people haven’t checked it out, what was the message that you’re conveying in the video and what is the song talking about?

Mercedes:  Oh, man me too! *laughs* We wanted to do a video that was just different.  A lot of our videos on based upon imagery or a storyline, with this one, we wanted it to be as simple as possible, a lot of the shots were from the shoulders up, and basically it’s focused on the face with little to no makeup, its very raw, and like you said vulnerable, and we wanted it to come across as us singing to the camera and emoting how the story of the song was going to go, trying to convey the message that way.  I liked the way that it turned out, those are real tears too, it’s not just me conjuring up emotions.

M.T.C.:  I’m kind of that way too, that’s probably why I got emotional because I tend to get emotional when emotions are overwhelming.

Mercedes:  Well, you’re a person that shows empathy and I’m the same way too.

“Need Someone” by Courage My Love

M.T.C.:  The other day you all premiered the music video for “Animal Heart”.  Tell us about that video, I like the psychedelic feel to it.  *laughs*

Mercedes:  Yeah, the imagery was kind of cool, it was last minute, and we were on tour throughout Europe, which was pretty fun, and we were in Paris, France when we shot it, and I didn’t really know how it was going to turn out, but one of the most low budget videos we have ever done, and luckily this artist named Paul LeGant, who is a glitch artist out of Paris, approached us and when he saw the “Stereo” music video, and he said that he understood where we were going with the imagery, and the vibes from the new record and stuff, and so he thought he could put something cool together, and we were like, “oh, yeah, let’s check him out”, and it turns out that he is super talented so honestly what you need to do is check out his YouTube and his Instagram page, you can find some interesting art on there, so we were stoked to work with him, and he I think is the one who takes the credit for it.  All we did is played the show in Paris and he filmed our show, and he put a lot of cool video effects and a lot of cool glitch effects on it.  The storyline we did with my good friend, and we did this woman creature thing that preys on men, which is the concept that we came up with together, but he was the one who really executed it and brought it to life, and it turned out exactly the way that I was hoping for.  We never shot a video while we were on tour before, and we might do more, we had a good experience with that.

“Animal Heart” by Courage My Love

M.T.C.:  How’s Phoenix and Brandon doing?

Mercedes:  They’re good, I don’t know where Brandon is right now, sometimes he goes up on stage with our friends in Sworn In, he does guest vocals, he might be doing that right now.  Phoenix got sunstroke in Albuquerque, at the beginning of the tour basically, she pretty much rests most of the days especially being out in the sun most of the days, if we were home, she could just rest for a week and get over it, but she doesn’t want to miss a show or anything like that, we’re outside every day and it has taken her a long time for her to get over it, but power to her, she shows up for every single thing.  They told me to say hi to you! 

M.T.C.:  Well I enjoyed the last time and this time!

Mercedes:  Yeah, we got to hang out, and we got tacos together!  I didn’t realize that Minneapolis area was this close to Des Moines.

M.T.C.:  The year is 2018, what’s in store for the band?

Mercedes:  Well, after Warped Tour, we’re on tour with Simple Plan across Canada.  In Canada, they’re one of the biggest bands that you can get, so we’re really excited, after that, we’re trying to come back to the U.S. again to do another run, we’re trying to go back to Europe and the U.K. again, we just released a bunch of stuff over there, and other than that, we’re just writing and we’re going to be going back into the studio, I know that “Synesthesia” just came out a couple of months ago, but we never want to stop writing and recording.

M.T.C.:  Since we last talked, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington both passed away, what are your thoughts if you care to share?

Mercedes:  I know that you adored Chris’s music.  Especially with Chester since I loved Linkin Park and Soundgarden was a big part of my childhood. So both of them, just listening to their music and looking up to them, it’s really sad when you learn that someone is in that much pain, and give up on everything.  I know that mental health is such a delicate thing.  That’s what is really tragic about it, one moment will seem hopeless and if you could just sleep on it until the next day, I just know that mental health is very fragile and delicate, and if anything good can come out of this, it’s a reminder for us to reach out to the ones that you love.  With guys like that, it’s just proof that depression doesn’t really care who you are, it can come for anyone, even if you have family or a lot of money or whatever, it doesn’t matter, it can affect everyone the same way.

M.T.C.:  Well, I can’t thank you enough for sitting down with me again!

Mercedes:  Thank you! And we are playing at 4:55 so come support!  This was sick!

M.T.C.:  My pleasure!  Til we meet again!

And there you have it!  Check out Courage My Love’s remaining Vans Warped Tour dates:

Tuesday, August 1st- New Mexico State University Athletic Field in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Friday, August 4th- Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California

Saturday, August 5th- Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California

Sunday, August 6th- Fairplex Pomona in Pomona, California

Check out Courage My Love’s Canadian Tour dates, the one-off show on August 16th is not with Simple Plan.

Wednesday, August 16th- ONTour in Huntsville (w/Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, River Town Saints, and Juan Barbosa)

Here are the dates with Simple Plan and Selfish Things:

Tuesday, September 5th- Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver

Thursday, September 7th- Union Hall in Edmonton

Friday, September 8th- The Palace Theater in Calgary

Sunday, September 10th- Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg

Thursday, September 14th- Guelph Concert Theatre in Guelph

Friday, September 15th- FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton

Saturday, September 16th- Danforth Music Hall in Toronto

Monday, September 18th- Metropolis in Montreal

Tuesday, September 19th- Theatre Capitole in Quebec City

Wednesday, September 20th- Algonquin Commons Theatre in Ottawa

Warped Tour Review:

For 25 wonderful minutes, Courage My Love showcases why fans need to get away from the main stages and check them out on the Full Sail University Stage.  The three piece band of Mercedes on vocals/keyboards/programming/guitars, Phoenix on drums/backup vocals, and Brandon on bass showcase that Courage My Love is one of the premiere bands to see on this year’s Warped Tour or if you decide to come out early to see them provide direct support for Simple Plan.  As I was looking over at the audience while I was in the photo pit, the audience was not only attentive, but they held on to every word that Mercedes and Phoenix would sing while Brandon would engage them in crowd participation.  Mercedes would give high-fives to the fans and really connect with them, while Brandon would crowdsurf during the last song of the 25 minute set.  They primarily played cuts off of “Synesthesia” such as “Need Someone”, “Disappear”, “Animal Heart” and a few other cuts off of there.  They did a very classy thing by letting a man speak before their set to introduce his tent to help fight bone marrow cancer.  This is a band that is truly engaging and endearing to audiences and you can tell they genuinely win over every fan with their infectious attitude, amazing musicianship, and catchy songwriting.  They even signed autographs and took selfies with fans at their tent 2 hours before the set and after their set.  Go see them as soon as possible!  Check the tour dates above!

Check out Courage My Love at the following locations:

Check out the slideshow below!

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