“It was kind of a fiasco because I don’t really have the musical chops to play five instruments at once,” admits multi-instrumentalist Ryan McCullagh, recalling his sole show under the name of The Paper Cranes. Having written and performed music solo before it was this particular show that drastically changed the fate of The Paper Cranes. Recounting the gig Ryan continues, “I had a drum machine, a digital recorder with some loops in it, an electric guitar and a synthesizer and I was just kind of switching between them.” Not an easy feat. Around that time current keyboardist and wife, Miranda Roach, saw a signature eclectic performance and “when we were dating, suggested that I try to find some musicians to play with and I did,” explains the frontman.
They met guitarist Braeden Paterson, bassist Alex Bodman and drummer Jeff Mitchelmore through the music scene in their hometown of Victoria, B.C. as well as through mutual friends. When their initial drummer, who’s featured on the band’s first album, Halcyon Days, left “he gave us some names to some people he recommended and we got in touch with them and it worked out pretty well. We’ve been really lucky we’ve gotten to work with a lot of really great people,” says Ryan.
Enquiring about the effects of a husband-wife dynamic at the core of a band, Ryan immediately replies, “I definitely think it has a positive effect. When I’m writing, I’m usually writing for Miranda […] in terms of songwriting, she’s almost like an editor. I write stuff and if she likes it then I know I’ve got something.”