Friday March 31, 2017

The Strumbellas on coming to grips with success and the brutal honesty of kids

The Strumbellas performing at q's live at the Junos special.

The Strumbellas performing at q's live at the Junos special. (CBC/Michel Aspirot)

Listen 15:01

The Strumbellas say that being nominated for single of the year at this year's Junos for their song, "Spirits," is a dream come true. The band's up for three Juno Awards this year — group of the year, Fan Choice, and song of the year — but all this success hasn't been without its struggles.

Lead singer Simon Ward tells host Tom Power that the band's hit song, "Spirits," came from a very dark place of depression and anxiety. Yet it was the surprising reaction from kids that changed his connection to the song.

"I was just a big ball of anxiety and stress for most of our band's career. Trying to make music that does well, and the funny thing was, after it went out and I was talking about all my sad stuff, then we'd get a ton of kid videos, like hundreds of kid videos," he says.

The band's members join Power for a live performance and talk about how a song about depression and anxiety took on new meaning thanks to their audience and the, at times, harsh criticism of kids.