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After sitting down with Cardinals and listening to the banter that occurs during an interview, it is clear that Levi Ryann, Myles Rogers, and Nathaniel Rustenburg are more than band mates. It is not surprising that they have been playing music together since they met in their high school jazz combo, nor that Ryann and Rogers have been friends since birth.

Their friendship is apparent throughout their 2012 EP Farther Than Love, and they feed off each other’s energy during live performances.

“It’s a zone. It’s all adrenaline, because I definitely think there’s something spiritual about playing music and playing music for people, especially original music where the songs are what you’ve created together. And so first of all, it means a lot for people to even like that, and on another level, that’s how you have the energy. It’s not even us, you just kind of tap into it,” Rogers explained.

“I think [it’s important] to not be boring to look at because people tune out pretty quick,” Rustenburg added.

Cardinals’ distinct sound is clearly influenced by a variety of genres, from modern pop and folk to early rock and roll. However, the band stated that while their individual interests differ, collective influences include current Canadian artists, including Sam Roberts Band and the Arkells.

The band’s songs tend to be based on real experiences.

“There are some from when we were just starting to write where you just kind of write lyrics because they sound cool, but as time goes by you realize you’re pouring your heart into things,” Rogers said.

The trio recently moved from their native St. Catharines to Toronto, and cite this transition as the major inspiration for their new album, which is scheduled for release early this spring.

“We still always say we’re from St. Catharines because that’s where we learned everything, but Toronto inspired this whole new album,” Rogers explained.

While they were unable to share the details of the new release, Ryann said, “expect something different.”

Despite their recent evolution as a band, their desire to grow and explore their sound has not been satisfied.

“There have been a lot of times when I’ve felt successful, but I’m still, as an artist, always in pursuit of success,” Rogers explained. “Even though a lot of great things have happened to us and a lot of things have just come together naturally, it’s all about the pursuit.”

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