Five Questions With The Lifers

Photo Credit: Nicolette Hoang

Guelph, ON-based art-folk/rock collective, The Lifers is led by sisters Liv and Anita Cazzola. Today, they released the first single from their sophomore album entitled “Front Door”, which you can check out below. Their sophomore album, Honey Suite will be released on May 16, 2018, and this is just a taste of what’s to come. Liv and Anita took some time to chat with us for our newest segment of Five Questions With.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Liv: Hi! I’m Liv Cazzola. I sing, play accordion and ukulele, and co-write music with my sister Anita for our band The Lifers. We were born and raised in Guelph, ON – I now live in a little house on a hill near downtown, just a few blocks from our childhood home. Anita and I love singing harmonies with our band of our friends and partners. We are proud feminists and environmental activists! Along with my “Lifer Life”, I also teach piano and ukulele and am one-half of another band, Tragedy Ann (feat. our electric guitar player Braden and I!)

Anita: I am the infamous sister Anita that Liv speaks of! Along with playing guitar, singing, and writing for The Lifers, I am a textile and installation artist, in my fourth year of my BFA at OCAD University in Toronto.  I take care of all of The Lifers’ artwork-related tasks like creating posters, album artwork, merch, website, etc.  I love being able to visually communicate what our music feels like.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style

Liv: We broadly describe our genre as “art-folk/rock”.

Anita: We play gentle, tender songs about family and longing that make way for thrashing, powerful pieces about the relationship between humans and the crumbling natural world.  The constant is our two voices, steadily ‘holding hands’ through the songs and tiptoeing (or soaring) with each other in harmony.

Liv: Our writing style is always developing – it helps to have two primary writers for this group. With each song we write, we inspire the other to try something new, which makes our songs gel well together, as well as progress into something new and exciting!

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

Liv: We have some big plans for the spring: Our first international tour! Anita and I are heading to Eastern Canada + the US, as well as Europe, with our dear friend Annie Sumi. Part of the excitement for Anita and I is being able to visit our family in Italy when we have concerts in their towns. And, of course, the FOOD over there!

Our live performance as a duo is extremely intimate – we get to spend a lot more time talking to our audiences about the meaning behind our songs. The connection between Anita and I is a big part of what makes The Lifers special; many people have told us our music feels “like home” to them. When we perform as a 6-piece band, the intensity of the music sort of explodes. The quiet parts have even more gravity, and then when it erupts into 4-part harmonies and all of us digging hard into our instruments, we can feel everyone in the room jump in to ride that wave with us. Someone once told us we looked like one organism, flowing and swaying as one being.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Anita:  We are definitely most excited about our newly released single titled “Front Door”.  This song marks the beginning of a new chapter of our musical expression.  Since the release of our last album (Out and In, 2016), we have been arranging and touring with our six-piece band, and this song really helped shaped our sound.  I feel completely unified with all of these great players, and so lucky to be able to make music with them.  The tune starts with some roaring group vocals which were amazingly fun to record!

“Front Door” is about the struggle to identify with various spaces we call “home” – in the past seven years, Liv and I have lived in 10 different houses, whether together or apart.  With this rapid change, we’ve been reflecting on how comforting it is to hold onto certain objects that have been a constant through all our moving around.  The song speaks to larger issues about disposability of objects, planned obsolescence, and capitalistic pressures to buy “newer and better” things.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Feist – How can we not love this incredibly powerful woman? What an inspiration!

Sarah Harmer –  We grew up with Sarah’s music on in the car and in the living room. As a female environmentalist, she really inspires us to not only write outstanding songs but also use our art to empower others to think about our impact on this earth.

Dan Mangan – We saw Dan play at Hillside Festival in Guelph back in 2011.  His music and that summer marked a changing point in our artistic explorations and how we approached songwriting and storytelling.

Connect with The Lifers:
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