Home Alone: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Quiet rooms and unexpected intimacy
File next to: Foxes in Fiction, The Reindeer Section, The Real Tuesday Weld
Playing: Wavelength’s May Long Weekend Blowout, Saturday May 16 at Handlebar

The May Long Weekend is upon us, and with that comes sun, relaxation, perhaps a cottage with a lake, campfires, and lots of intoxicants. No matter how you celebrate the government-mandated Long Weekend, Home Alone is the perfect accompaniment. Dreamy and intimate Tom Mazurkiewicz is on a quest for closeness. With quiet vocals and light guitars, he makes even new experiences seem nostalgic.

Home Alone explores aspects of what it means for people to connect, and many song titles on their full length album There’s A Light Coming Through read as a list of the places and actions where we find those intimate moments: “Beds,” “Blunts,” “Drive All Night,” “Basements.” This is music for sharing a joint in the dark, for company when you find yourself alone, and music that will give rise to the butterflies you get when you’re with someone special. Come to Handlebar and experience the warm fuzzies for yourself. Home Alone take the stage Saturday May 16th as part of Wavelength’s May Long Weekend Blowout.

What was the catalyst for creating the album There’s A Light Coming Through?

There’s A Light Coming Through was supposed to be my first LP. I felt inspired and motivated to release something that was full of my emotions and feelings at that point in my life. It ended up being a pretty shitty experience due to the fact that one of the labels releasing it made it all about business. I love the songs on the album, but it will always leave a sour taste in my mouth. I was in a huge musical rut after the whole thing and didn’t release any new music for over a year, but that’s way behind me now.

Listening to your album, I imagine a man sitting alone in a darkened space writing and singing. What’s your writing process actually like?

[chuckles] You’re not far off! I like to smoke out, dim the lights, turn on the TV, and just chill around my instruments. I usually pick up my guitar first and try to create a chord progression and vocal melody. If the guitar isn’t working out, I grab my synth and try to do the same thing. If I’m not feeling inspired or in a rut, I don’t bother playing music. Forcing music usually results in a terrible outcome.

I love that the songs on the album feel very delicate. There’s this constant desire for closeness and intimacy that comes through. Have you ever found intimacy in an unexpected place?

Whenever I play live. I always go into shows nervous and terrified that no one’s gonna understand my music or feel where I’m coming from. Luckily people have open minds and kind hearts that allow them to relate to me and my music.

There’s a lot of references to weed and stoner culture throughout your music. What do you think about the evolution of weed culture?

I love smoking weed, but I feel the direction weed culture is going now a days is complete shit. The government should just decriminalize it and keep it legal for people with serious medical conditions that require taking it. The fact that it’s turning into a billion dollar industry and governments want to regulate it like cigarettes and booze is insane. I’ll grow my own before I buy regulated weed from the government.

What do you think about things like the 4/20 marijuana march? Do you participate?

I went a few times when I was in high school, but I find it always get rained out so I don’t bother going. I never participated in the actual march, I’m not big on protests. I went to smoke a lot of weed and people-watch.

You recently completed a recording session, does that mean there’s a new album in the works?

I have an EP I recently finished up. It’s gonna be released with Orchid Tapes in the very near future. I’m super stoked to share it with everyone! Any new music I’m working on now is still a mystery to me. I like taking things day by day with my music. The less I plan and stress about working on an album the happier I am when I actually start recording.

I can’t imagine a better place to be laying down some tracks than a cottage up north. Is that where you usually record? How do you think the atmosphere where you’re recording influences the sound?

I’m not too fond of Toronto and the GTA, it gets really lame. That being said, I love recording at the cottage. I don’t always get to, but when I do I feel I’m most productive. I usually try to write new songs at the cottage because I’m surrounded by the complete opposite of the concrete jungle. I can really focus on my ideas when I’m looking out onto a lakes and forests. Whatever recordings I don’t finish at the cottage I take home to my little studio in Mississauga.

— Interview by Raina Hersh