Quaker Parents performing at Sappyfest 6 last July. From Left: Mark Grundy (Lead Guitar, Vocals), J. Scott Grundy (Drums) and Brad Loughead (Bass). (Photo: Carolyn Hirtle)

Quaker Parents performing at Sappyfest 6 last July. From Left: Mark Grundy (Lead Guitar, Vocals), J. Scott Grundy (Drums) and Brad Loughead (Bass). (Photo: Carolyn Hirtle)

Artist Profile: Quaker Parents

Three good-natured young men making the best of sheltered upbringings.

Meet Quaker Parents. Two-thirds of this Halifax-based three-piece are fraternal twin brothers Mark and J. Scott Grundy, who live together in the north end of Halifax. They've lived together their whole lives. Mark sings and plays guitar. J. Scott plays drums. They're in their early twenties.

The two other alternating members of the band are Brad Loughead and Noel MacDonald, who, according to Mark, "are either there or not there, depending on their geographical location."

Brad is the official Quaker Parents bassist, but moved to Montreal in September to continue working with Each Other, a band based in that city. He's made trips back to Halifax this fall to play with Mark and J. Scott at the Halifax Pop Explosion, and also to shoot a video for the group's defining track ‘Teeshirt' (see ‘The Visual Quaker Parents' below).

"The band wouldn't have been anything if it weren't for Scott and Brad - they totally changed the way things are arranged and the way I've considered arranging songs ever since we started working together," Mark says. "I'm quite happy to have worked with these dudes, because they're so good at what they do."

Album Artwork by Mark Grundy

Enlarge Image Enlarge image
Album Artwork by Mark Grundy

Track List 

  1. Get In
  2. Your Move 
  3. When You Can't Beat The Dream
  4. Nightcloak

Noel MacDonald is filling in for Brad at the moment. He and Mark are good friends, having played together in a project called A History Of. He's also part of another group called Long Weekends.

"He's excellent... he's doing us a solid by being in Quaker Parents," says Mark.

Quaker Parents are part of a complex network of bands, collaborations and solo projects based in Halifax, many of them under the Hot Money Records imprint founded in part by Mark. The cooperative includes, or has included, Long Long Long, Trash Heap, Landlord Paul, Gamma Gamma Rays, Yorke Redoubt, The Mighty Northumberland, Dream Friends, Bird World, Cold Warps and Tupper Ware Remix Party. The support within this collective runs deep, and it shows.  

The Music

The latest Quaker Parents EP, No Crime When Covered In Grime, was released as a cassette tape and free download on Sep. 9. It follows two previous EPs, Huge Mask and TAP TURNS OFF. In a brief review for WeirdCanada.com, Allison Lang writes, "This band excels at describing the intangible; each song's mathy meat gives the delicate lyrics weight and heft."

Lang's description is apt. Quaker Parents create tuneful math rock laced with traces of punk and delivered with a childlike energy. Their songs are succinct moments, none of them longer than three minutes, all of them patently honest. Simultaneously, one can't help but feel there's some kind of mischief happening here that the listener isn't quite privy to.

This last point is especially true when watching them perform live. These guys just have fun on stage. The chemistry between the brothers is undeniable and overflowing, and Loughead has had no trouble tapping into it. They've reached a comfortable point in front of their audience, as is evident from their comically telling dialogue between songs. For the duration of their sets, you become part of the Quaker Parents family.

Their enjoyment of both creating and performing music is beyond doubt and infectious. Reflecting on their performance at last summer's Sappyfest music festival in Sackville, N.B., which they consider among their best, Mark says "I can't really express how much fun I had doing that."

The Future

Quaker Parents are contributing to an upcoming benefit compilation for the Khyber Club, which involves more than 25 artists including Julie Doiron, Old & Weird, Cold Warps, Monomyth, Each Other and J. Scott's solo project J.J. Purple.

They hope to release another EP in the early spring. They also plan to travel more this summer after securing a tour vehicle, with the Quaker Parents project and potentially others.

"We haven't played a lot of out-of-town things with Quaker Parents... we don't frequently travel," Mark says. "We went on tour in 2010... we did the southern Ontario loop... but since then we've kind of just stuck to Halifax."

Mark and J. Scott have begun writing music for another project as well, but they're taking it slow for the time being. "We don't want to say too much yet," Mark says. "But it's going to be different."

"Musically I'm feeling bright, and the future - the same," he says. "The main thing we want to have is a lot of output - that's the ideology we're trying to align ourselves with."

"You want to get it out before you get hit by a car and all your songs are gone. You are temporary but your creations are not, and you want to make sure that it stays that way for as long as you can."

Quaker Parents balance between innocence and profundity in what they do. Their music inspires much thought, and at the same time, if you have the right heart, it will make you feel like a kid again. Listen well.

The Visual Quaker Parents

‘Get In' (From No Crime When Covered In Grime)

"Even if your heart melts good, you've got mine."

"‘Get In' serves as an embrace of inadequacy - sort of a mantra-for-mark-missing, a notion that one could carve their own niche style of success out of a somewhat mediocre but persistent existence" Mark says. The video was shot for Long Live the Queen, a musician-curated music and arts festival held in Halifax during the Victoria Day long weekend. Watch it below.

‘Teeshirt' (From TAP TURNS OFF)

"Not a reason to lead, but a lead in itself."

"Teeshirt is a song about the acknowledgement of truth in self - and trying to find or see the same truth in a world surrounding that self," Mark says. Mitch Fillion of SouthernSouls.ca created the video for the track, which finds Quaker Parents in their element in the back yard. Watch it below.

J. Scott Grundy was unavailable for comment - he was either writing a final Marketing paper or Christmas shopping. As was mentioned above, Brad Loughead is back in Montreal doing his Each Other thing.

Quaker Parents are slated to perform at Homegrown Skateboards in LaHave, N.S. on Dec. 17 with Year of Glad and Jon Mckiel, followed by a gig at Gus' Pub on Dec. 26 with Special Noise and Nap Eyes. They're also playing the Stereophonic winter music festival in Sackville, N.B. in January.

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