November 02, 2014 11:17 AM

Canadian Indie Band, IN-FLIGHT SAFETY, took a little trip from Halifax, Canada to New York City. Vocalist and guitarist JOHN MULLANE and drummer GLEN NICHOLSON blew our minds away with their unique performance and energetic sound at CMJ 2014. TWELV’s interview with rock band IN-FLIGHT SAFETY now reveal their fascinating story that TWELV can present to you!




1. What inspired you guys to start making music?

I: Early on we were inspired by bands like Sigur Ros, Doves, Interpol, The Smiths and Wilco. We were also inspired to make music that was the antithesis of the time's jam bands.  That might explain the mid tempo 7 minute songs of the early days.

2. What are the main themes or topics in your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

I: I write a lot about friendship. In another sense, I guess I am writing about relationship - the ups and the downs. But I am also attracted to tongue-in-cheek lyrics, so some of the songs have darker tones, but I love to offset that with humor. Song to song I try to write about different things, but apparently I cannot seem to break that pattern.. although I do write about a murderer on Tie A String. That counts for something!

3. Can you tell me a few of your favorite songs? And what is a memorable moment from being a part of IN-FLIGHT SAFETY?

I: I don't really have favorite songs, but I am super proud of how far some have come. They are like our children: we do everything we can to prepare them for school.

Memorable moments:
Most recently I would have to say our time at the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg: Schnitzel, crazy random Germans, curry wurst, Beck's, and great times.

4. What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous? What makes great a session?

I: We have two separate sessions. One is boring task-oriented show rehearsals, and the other is a more chill, bring a coffee, let's work on random ideas type of thing. Those can go on for ages. But in order to write new stuff we kind of have to get lost in what we are doing. Spontaneity happens when we are just sitting around with our gear, or when I am off on my own. I write bits and pieces of ideas down or sing like a crazy person into to my phone on the street. But at the end of a day a great session requires a great coffee from one of many great spots in Halifax.

5. What has been the band's biggest challenge? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

I: The biggest challenge has been figuring out how to fill down time when we are not on tour. We need to be working, and figuring that out over the years has been a challenge. Recently Glen has completed a degree in Architecture- which is amazing- and I am producing and composing a lot to fill the gaps.

6. What are your fondest musical memories?

I: My fondest musical memory is dancing in the basement to all the 80's and 90's hits my mom had in her record collection.

7. Are any of your family members musical?

I: It’s kind of funny - both Glen and I are half Italian (our moms) and they are both musical. My grandfather on my mother’s side, Domenic Caputo, was a guitar and mandolin maker. My dad cannot sing a note and we are more than sure he is tone deaf.

8. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

I: I admire so so many musicians. So many local musicians like Mardeen, Kestrels, English Words, Mo Kenney and others I have never met. I love Johnny Marr's guitar playing, The Walkmen, Chvrches, huge fan of everything Dan Boeckner (handsome furs, operators, divine fits) does, the guitar playing of  Debora Cohen from The Organ, Tegan & Sara. Julian Casablancas. I love all them for different reasons but all of them create such amazing work. I am in awe.

9. Which famous musicians have you learned from?

I: I have learned so much about songwriting by listening to The Beatles, Wilco, Gillian Welch, Ron Sexsmith, and Radiohead, but I find it hard to list only a few artists. I am constantly listening to new music and taking it all. Every great new song I hear gets lodged in my psyche from top 40 pop to more introspective stuff. 

10. Do you have a high school memory that has influenced your music?

I: I remember playing in a talent show and messing up my guitar solo so badly. After I watched someone's taped performance I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought, and I think I let go of some of those extreme perfectionist tendencies on the spot.

11. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

I: Absolutely. When we were kids we listened to anything we could get our hands on. There just happened to be so many songs from movies and a ton of 45’s with singles from the 60s, and in particular the 80s. Big anthems from Phil Collins, themes to Beverly Hills Cop or even early rap stuff like Salt n Pepa. That stuff affected me the most. The 80s stuff stuck with me. I was attracted to the keyboards, and the huge melodies. And oh man we loved early rap (Maestro Fresh Wes, Fresh Prince, Rob Base) we danced to it all the time in the basement while we graffitied my parents walls.

12. If you weren't a musician, what would you be?

I: love producing and trying to make stuff happen. Maybe a film, TV producer? I love the logistical part of being a band on the road - I find it challenging and fun, barring that I would be a computer programmer because that is what I studied in school.

13. How do you balance your music with other obligations?

I: Delicately and by working late into the night.

14. What message are you trying to send through IN-FLIGHT SAFETY?

I: To be honest I am throwing up flares for kindred spirits. I hope they reach the right people and I hope there is a positive energy that reaches people through the music.

15. What is the craziest thing that you have ever done in your life (inthe band)?

I: Tour has a way of putting you in the most ridiculous, scary, unsafe or just plain bizarre situations. Being in a band is just plain crazy. One night you are in Manchester jamming out early 90s songs on acoustic with strangers, another night you are driving through the night on day one of a 34 hour drive, another day you are in the Swiss Alps looking at a swan in an emerald lake, and another day you are stranded in the middle of northern Alberta with a 1993 Dodge Ram that won’t start.

16. Are there any inside-jokes in the band? If so, can you tell me about them?

I: So many inside jokes. I am not even sure where they start. Sometimes movie quotes just replace regular speech, other times someone has coined a phrase like road ghost, PBs for PDs – none of which should be explained in print.

17. Why do you think the CMJ Music Marathon is unique from other large festivals around the world?

I: For me CMJ is just so special because it’s NY. It’s a magical place to play music – I think of Talking Heads, Ramones or Velvet Underground, The Walkmen, The Strokes, Interpol , The National. There is so much music history in NY. Playing a gig in NYC makes you feel like a tiny part of that continuum.

18. What are your favorite spots in NYC? Do you have any places that you always visit?

I: I have so many favorite spots in NYC. St Marks Place Books, the High Line -- I love SoHo for shopping and fashion needs. I spend a lot of time in LES and lately in Williamsburg. Great food, bars, restos and coffee. That’s all I need.

19. What are your favorite restaurants, bars, and nightlife spots in NYC?

I: We have a ton of favorite spots to hang out at in NY. Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg - amazing coffee made by true coffee geeks, Colombe Coffee in SOHO, The Doughnut Plan in Lower East side for amazing doughnuts. We love Café Habana in LES, Pies-n-Thighs in Brooklyn, Freeman’s Restaurant off Rivington St. There are so many spots to list. For nightlife we typically just end up in the venue we are playing. Pianos is awesome. Run by great people.

20. Do you have any fashion trends in IN-FLIGHT SAFTY, can you describe to me a little bit?

I: We have focused a lot on black, grey and white with this tour. We are referencing styles of the British post-punk movement -  think Manchester or Northern England (Joy Division). Northern England and Halifax are not that different so I think we pull it off. Also the more casual side of Interpol is also a touchstone. We decided to kit ourselves up for each show with the same look so that there would be a consistency for the fans. Black button downs seem to central to that. My personal secret weapon is Allsaints. I just check out everything they have there to get ideas and might buy a couple of pieces there if I can afford them. Which is never.

21. If you guys were to describe IN-FLIGHT SAFTY in a few words, what would you say?!

I: Have band. Will travel. 





related posts


For decades music and fashion has been closely intertwined.

May 23, 2014 10:49 AM  |  Music
Photograph by Shervin Lainez


TATI ANA and NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB performed last week at the BROOKLYN BOWL. The crowd was everything you would expect from the cool electric bands.

May 10, 2014 6:52 PM  |  Music
Photos courtesy of Charitybuzz

Get the Royal Treatment with Lorde at Coachella for Charity

TWELV readers and Lorde lovers listen up, here’s a chance to snag VIP passes for you and a friend.

March 05, 2014 3:45 PM  |  Music

Holding onto a Little Daylight

Little Daylight is Brooklyn’s newest synth-pop project, bound for glory.

February 28, 2014 3:11 PM  |  Music
Photo by Caroline Hafer

The Ludicrous Impossibility of Writing a Think-Piece on a Kanye West Performance.

[My editors told me I could “go crazy on this one”, they're going to regret that.] 

January 10, 2014 4:23 PM  |  Music
Photo by Miliken Gardner

Ariana and The Rose

There was a time when the word 'pop' was deemed a dirty word in the music industry.

October 21, 2013 4:19 PM  |  Music
Photo Courtesy of GoLightly Media


TWELV got the chance to chat with Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult of the band "Sleepy Kitty" to discuss muses, life in their favorite cities, Robert Rauschenberg, and welding.

October 17, 2013 11:34 AM  |  Music
On Alex: Dominic Louis black Tortuga moto jacket, Hanes t-shirt, Rochambeau for Converse sneakers, Otto hat, own denim. On Drew: Passarella Death Squad Leather Bomber Jacket, SIKI IM black "Kimono" tshirt with back strap, own denim, Pierre Hardy sneakers.

The Chainsmokers

NYC-based DJs Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall from "The Chainsmokers" recently let TWELV dress them up and pick apart their brains.

August 27, 2013 12:34 PM  |  Music
Photo courtesy of Cherry Tree/Interscope Records

Ivy Levan: Queen of Swamp-Hop

TWELV recently had the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming singer/songwriter Ivy Levan, who just released her debut EP, “Introducing the Dame,” on Cherry Tree/Interscope records.

August 19, 2013 2:29 PM  |  Music
Photo By: Will Morgan Holland

Kopecky Family Band

Interview with Gabe Simon

Musical roots hold a bond thicker than blood for this "family."

July 30, 2013 7:13 PM  |  Music

Daphne Guinness: Fatal Flaw

Fashion icon, Daphne Guinness, has released her first music video, “Fatal Flaw.” The heiress croons on about love while flashes of color dance in and out of focus in a melodic trance.

June 28, 2013 2:06 PM  |  Music

Exclusive: Neon Trees

TWELV Magazine is pleased to unveil this exclusive track from Neon Trees upcoming Lessons in Love (all day, all night) Remixes with this track by Michel Heyaca.

March 21, 2013 1:32 PM  |  Music

#STOPANDDANCE: Motive's Latest EP

If we may be so bold as to introduce Motive’s new EP, It’s Illicit.

March 04, 2013 12:00 AM  |  Music

Crowd Control: The Vaccines at Terminal 5

In no-nonsense rock 'n' roll style The Vaccines ascended the Terminal 5 stage at 10 pm Thursday storming straight into 'No Hope'.

February 01, 2013 12:00 AM  |  Music

Kitsune x Twelv Present WE ♥ NEW YORK

Join Kitsune Friday night to honor stars of the NYC downtown music scene at Le Bain, The Standard Hotel's penthouse discotheque.

January 22, 2013 1:30 AM  |  Music
by Shervin Lainez

Charlene Kaye: Animal Love

Charlene Kaye is not your typical singer songwriter. Her hit song “Animal Love” crosses more genres than a Girl Talk album.

January 15, 2013 3:05 PM  |  Music

Twelv Presents: Motive, Computer Magic and Starlight Girls at Webster Hall

Twelv considered hundreds of bands before deciding which to include in issue 2. As a New York based magazine, Twelv is always on the hunt for emerging music talent in the New York area.

September 24, 2012 7:28 PM  |  Music
Photos by Katy Shayne Stroud


The young California native, who currently calls Los Angeles home, said she knew she wanted to be a musician all her life and begun self-teaching at the age of nine.

September 05, 2012 3:29 PM  |  Music

TWELV Night - Paloma Faith's British Invasion

Her name means nothing to most Americans, but Paloma Faith has the spirit of fame.

August 10, 2012 2:03 PM  |  Music
The head of a five hundred-count line! Photo by Naoko Takagi

TWELV Night – Lemonade, Chairlift, and Washed Out at House of Vans

Five hundred anxious New Yorkers stretched down blocks of Franklin Street last night – and not just for the complimentary booze.

August 04, 2012 7:52 PM  |  Music

TWELVIDEOS of August - a playlist

Is it really August already? Well we here at TWELV know how fast time flies when you’re having fun. Or when you’re vibing on the coolest new music videos.

August 01, 2012 2:10 PM  |  Music

Fiona Apple's Deep, Dark Woods

Fiona Apple has been known as many things during her decade-spanning career: Jazzy. Sensual. Sociopathic.

July 23, 2012 12:36 PM  |  Music

Dirty Projectors trade knots for new on latest LP

It's strange to see the word "accessible" appear again and again in interviews with the notoriously abstract Dirty Projectors.

July 06, 2012 10:14 PM  |  Music

Midsummer's Daydream: A Video Playlist

Not sure what your summer should look like? Well neither are we, but we've assembled five new music videos filled to the brim with sunny, stylish escapades.

July 06, 2012 9:51 PM  |  Music


The txalaparta, an ancient Basque instrument, is traditionally played through the use of partnership.

June 30, 2012 2:00 PM  |  Music

Small Black wade in the Hip-Hop water on new Moon Killer mixtape

What if you took your favorite rap beat into the sauna with a bottle of red wine?

June 30, 2012 12:30 PM  |  Music


Brooklyn-based band DIIV, brainchild of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith, was only formed about a year ago and played their first show late July of last year.

June 20, 2012 2:38 PM  |  Music

Tu Fawning's "Monumental" New Release

“Tu Fawning return this May with their sophomore release, A Monument.

June 05, 2012 2:25 PM  |  Music

Mystery Jets' New Album is the Culmination of their "Main Street Exile"

1. You guys are playing at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn on 6/11 and at Beacon Theatre in NYC on 6/15. What do you like the most about performing in New York?

May 31, 2012 2:51 PM  |  Music

Folk Music for a New Generation: Canyon's Fresh Take on a Classic Genre

Hailing from Westport, Connecticut; Canyon Sharits is a self-proclaimed "Song Peddler and Storyteller" who takes a confessional approach to all of her melodically distinctive Indie/Fo

May 01, 2012 11:59 AM  |  Music

“So Good You Need To Be In My Collection”: Wildstreet Gives Rock & Roll a New Name

“Armed with big choruses, blazing guitar solos, and powerful melodies, WILDSTREET is a sex-fueled rock n roll explosion beckoning the glory days of 80s arena rock.

May 01, 2012 11:17 AM  |  Music
photo by CHAMA

Blonde Redhead Invades Brooklyn

Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of Japanese vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and Milanese twin brothers Simone and Amadeo Pace, who play drums and vocals/lead...

May 01, 2012 9:42 AM  |  Music


SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲