When Matt Cheverie first auditioned for Halifax band Customer Service, he didn’t know what he was in for.
“I actually just reached out as a guitarist, but when I went into the audition they showed me lyrics and asked me to sing,” said Cheverie. “The lyrics were just scrawled all over the page, and Max told me he didn’t know what the chords were, or the melody I was supposed to sing.”
The band was formed in 2020 before the pandemic by Owen Harris and Max Hayden, who enjoyed playing music together when they were in high school. The two started out playing small house shows, before deciding to expand. A cousin of Harris’s, Nick Adams, was brought on as a bassist, while Cheverie was discovered by putting out an ad on social media.
Vocalist Matt Cheverie and drummer Owen Harris wrote most of song’s lyrics. According to Cheverie, “the song’s about somebody who had a bad home life, they’re just stoked to get out of the house and graduate. And we’re gonna miss them.”
The band has come a long way. Since starting university, the group has gained popularity among Dalhousie and King’s students by hosting well-attended house parties with live music. The band has also performed at venues across the city, including Gus’s Pub, the Marquee Ballroom and Radstorm, as well as locations in New Brunswick and P.E.I. They’ve amassed 2,284 followers on their Instagram account.
Dalhousie student Maddie MacGregor has attended several Customer Service shows.
“The energy was great and everyone was pumped up the whole time,” said MacGregor. “They mainly did covers, but they had a really good mix of covers and played them well. I’m looking forward to hearing the new song live now that it’s out.”
The music video for Grad Day was shot and directed by Brendan Lyle, known professionally as Moosecanfly. Lyle’s vision for the video was to show members of the band picking each other up from work and going to the beach, ending with footage of one of their house shows.
“When I met the guys, I thought they were so goofy in the best way possible, and I really wanted to capture that in the video,” said Lyle. “I wanted to make them seem as likeable as possible.”
Lyle reached out to the band himself about shooting the video last summer, when a mutual friend showed him their music. “It was honestly an honour,” said Lyle. “I think they really have something special. They’ve had crazy shows, with 200 or so people coming out when they had no music out on streaming.”
The band has a second single set to release on Feb. 9, followed by five new songs on Feb. 23. While an album has not been announced, fans of the band are hopeful to see one this year.
“An album can be a lot of work,” said longtime fan Ethan Luty. “But I feel like a debut album can really act as a thesis statement for an artist and set the tone for their career. I’d be excited to hear what they have to say, if there’s a story they have to tell.”
Until then, Grad Day is available for streaming across all music platforms.
About the author
Kaitlyn MacNeill is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of King's College living in Halifax, Nova Scotia.