I, the Mountain
Gig Seeker Pro

I, the Mountain

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Folk Pop




"Local Tunes: I, the Mountain"

Mario Kart 64 probably doesn’t occur during many bands’ practice sessions, but in the case of this particular group, it’s practically integral.
Upon arriving to speak with the band, I was greeted with chocolate, a classic episode of The Simpsons and the promise that even the interview would eventually degenerate into the video game battle mentioned above.

This promise was indeed made good. Before passing the point of no return, however, I was treated to a short basement performance and got the members to open up about the past, present, and future of their music. This week, Arthur plays with I, the Mountain.

Interestingly (and confusingly) enough, this trio consists of three men named Matt: Mr. Lamers sings lead vocals and plays the guitar, Mr. Rappolt plays drums and sings backup, and Mr. Morgan plays the bass guitar.


Lamers, hailing from Oshawa, became involved in music during high school, but shyness kept him from being open about it until his 11th grade talent show. The floodgates opened thereafter and he had brief stints in bands such as Demonic and Fragment of Destruction.

Little occurred between then and his first year at Trent, where he met and occasionally jammed with Rappolt. That summer he recorded his first album, Moments of Helplessness, “which was super, super depressing” according to Lamers. Continuing his solo project, he was eventually backed by Rappolt and after picking up Mat (another one?) Cruthers, it evolved into Matthew Peter Lamers and The Feel Goods, or occasionally MPL and the Sock Monkeys.

Rappolt, from Fergus ON, was forcibly into piano lessons as a young boy and refused to practice, a decision he regrets these days. He switched to drums and also took up trombone in 7th grade, which he would use to torment the girl who sat in front of him in music class. After the amateur Smash 75, his high school band The Unbreakable Clocks made an album for $1200, only to make three copies and disband shortly thereafter.

Residence not being the ideal place for a drum kit, Rappolt brought along only a djembe, a West African drum, and this was what he used during the dorm room jams with Lamers. Despite Cruthers’ departure from The Feel Goods, the remaining two stuck together and worked on newer material this past summer, choosing their current name based on a dream and their girlfriends’ preferences of another name.

Morgan is originally from Toronto, but has lived in Peterborough for nearly ten years. As a child he “was also enrolled in piano without consent,” but stuck with it for a few years before abandoning it for the guitar. He found the number of strings and frets baffling, however, and quickly gave it up in favour of the bass guitar.

Attending St. Pete’s, Morgan wound up as the de facto talent show bassist and played in a series of incomplete bands before being asked to cover Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer by two long-time acquaintances; they eventually became Non-Cents, a multi-genre group he still plays with from time to time.

Both Morgan and Lamers happened to sign up for an Audio Production course this year. The first class saw students sharing their musical backgrounds and, needing a bassist, Lamers went in for the kill.

“He hands me this little card, and it’s their business card with little cartoony mountains and cartoony people with their heads as big as the bodies on them. So I’m reading the back of it and it says hire us for all these different things; Chanukah, jam tastings, any legitimate or semi-legitimate events. We also brew beer!… This is weird, man.”

Some cosmic force compelled Morgan to contact this bizarre duo, and after their first time playing together, he was invited to the Sound Distillery in Kitchener a few weeks later to join the recording sessions for their debut album. PRESENT

The Land & Sea EP, the fruit of the trinity’s labour, is a sonically and stylistically diverse concept record that grew out of another planned album of Lamers’. Both the progenitor and the end result deal with themes of nature, wilderness, colonization and interaction with the land.

In terms of sound, the group strives to create something unique, and Morgan believes that while one can hear references to certain things on the album, there’s nothing too blatant in most of the songs. He concocts his bass lines from the amalgam of songs in his mind, like a melting pot.

Rappolt, on the other hand, identified both Northern Chorus and iLiKETRAiNS as significant influences on his work. Usually drumming on a cajón, he both creates and is drawn to drum work that is essential to the feel of a song without being overly prominent.

Lamers cites Andy Hall of Manchester Orchestra and The Decemberists as influential, the latter more so on the shaping of Land & Sea. As a mainly acoustic outfit, their pieces were fairly simple in their instrumentation before heading into the studio, but the creative process and interaction with producer Dave Houde saw the songs grow in complexity.

“I like playing drums, but I kind of also hate playing drums… I enjoy melodic instruments and harmonies, so I was big on pushing for keyboard,” said Rappolt. A couple of other instruments not usually used by the group can be heard on the EP, as well as a gradually growing wall of voices on the first track, “Land”. Matt³ agrees that the one song which truly exemplifies their live sound is “Meet me by the Towers,” to which the basement performance I heard attests.


With a fresh new record under their belts, what lies ahead for the young triumvirate? As Morgan puts it, “Right now, we are boldly going nowhere.”

Uncertain about long-term locations and occupations, Lamers maintains that “we have to at least get one more album out, a full-length, before anyone leaves or goes their own way.”

As he is applying to college outside of Peterborough, Rappolt is the wildcard here. He confessed that “this is the first band I’ve been in that I actually love the music that we make and the process of being a band… I can just see it lasting.”

M: “Oh, Matt…”

R: “I’m speaking from the heart! Whether or not that means we’re putting out albums, for me the fun of it is getting together and playing music. If I go to college in Kitchener, the studio’s there, you guys are more than welcome to… just live in my house!”

L: “I think we’re all pretty committed to making music even if it doesn’t get recorded. Although I would love to do something substantial.”

During this emotional exchange, it came up that most of the songs for this forthcoming project already exist in some capacity, and if things go according to plan, it will be recorded in about a year’s time. Then we all played Mario Kart 64 for about as long as it took to do the interview.

I, the Mountain will be playing at the Spill on February 1 for an informal event, and again on February 6 for the official release of their first album. You can keep up with them online via their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
- The Arthur Newspaper

"I Swam - I, the Mountain"

I always find it important that a song hooks you from the beginning in some way. Whether it be a kick-ass beginning or has you waiting for something amazing, without a strong beginning I lose interest. This song had me hooked right from the start. That guitar that starts at 6 seconds… *chef’s kiss*. This is just your perfect sad and hopeful love song. Perfect for angsty moments and staring out the window longingly. Any band that gives me a Lord Huron/outdoorsy kind of vibe I immediately love. I am excited to see what’s in store for I, the Mountain.

Hannah Duda - MugaTunes

"I, The Mountain Releases New Single “I, Swam”"

I, the Mountain paints an unvarnished portrait of what it’s like for an individual to go through love: the happiness, the vulnerability, the grief, and the hope in their new single “I Swam”. The track is a mix of indie, folk, and pop traditions. It has clever hooks and beautiful harmonies.

“Finding balance in the uncharted waters of a relationship is never easy. Some days you feel like you’ve found it. Other days the balance is gone.” – I Swam Within the song he reminds the listener that although there is danger in sharing your heart, we will never stop diving into love just to see if we will sink or swim."

I, the Mountain has established themselves as openers for acts such as The Strumbellas, Busty, and the Bass, The Wooden Sky, and Elliot Brood. Fresh off their recent studio collaborations with Canadian music icons Simon Ward (The Strumbellas) and Jonas Bonetta (Evening Hymns) I, the Mountain is set to bring their trademark indie-folk sound to mainstages across Canada. Look for their debut album in early 2020.

Ella Audrey Rae - Reignland Magazine

"Interview with I, The Mountain: Touring, New Album, & Advice for Smaller Bands"

There’s nothing better than a small band making big moves, and that’s exactly what I, the Mountain is conquering in the Canadian music scene. Not only did they just get back from a successful 25-show tour, but they are also releasing a new album in April 2020. The cherry on top is that they scored an opening spot for The Strumbellas at The Phoenix Concert Theatre on January 25 alongside The Darcys. With all of these impressive stepping stones, the band is clearly on the road to success.

With great curiosity, we wanted to dive in and learn more about how they operate as a band and what touring was like for them. We also asked if they had any advice for smaller bands, and boy, did Matt Lamers, lead vocalist, deliver.


The band started out as a trio in Peterborough in 2012, but they then added two new faces and grew into an abundant quintet now based in Kitchener. The original three were all named Matthew, so you can imagine that it got confusing at times. Lamers told us about all of the “clever” names that people would jokingly assign them including “Matt Squared,” “The Three Matts,” “The DoorMatts,” and “The Mattadours.” Even with all of these oh-so-tempting options, Lamers said that the best one they ever came up with was “Matt-très.” Clearly, things changed once they invited other names into the group.

I, the Mountain now consists of Matt Lamers (lead vocalist, acoustic guitar), Matt Rappolt (percussion, vocals), Matt Morgan (bass, vocals), Allison Dyjach (keyboard, vocals), and Rory McLachlin (lead guitar, vocals). It’s a strength that everyone is on vocals in this band, and you can hear them use it to their advantage in their dreamy-folk harmonies, especially in their most popular release, “The Boat.”

Like most bands just starting out, Lamers told us that the group started out with a more laid-back attitude and tended to goof off a lot more, but over the years, they’ve flipped a switch and become more professional, “especially now that we are treating this as a career and not a hobby.”

Some bands that they have been strongly influenced by include The Decemberists, City and Colour and Manchester Orchestra, even though they’ve often been compared to The Barenaked Ladies and The Beach Boys (probably because of their harmonies and catchy hooks).

The group’s music is “heavily rooted in nature/natural imagery,” Lamers told us, which parallels to their Facebook page that uniquely describes their genre as “nature-inspired folk-pop.” This is reflected in some of their song titles including, “Treetops,” “Owls,” and “Playing in the Forest.”


I, the Mountain hit a handful of cities from Oshawa to Quebec to Halifax. According to Lamers, one of their favourite shows collectively was in the small town of Parkindale, New Brunswick at a venue that was transformed from a small community hall.

“The energy was fantastic, and the venue was beautiful,” Lamers said. “It wasn’t the biggest crowd, but everyone was so enthusiastic and opened their hearts to us.”

For all of their live shows, their goal is to “create a feeling of community and inclusivity where people can let loose, dance and sing along,” Lamers said. Their shows include “tons of audience participation… it’s as much performance for the crowd as it is for us.”

On the road, the band snacked on McDoubles from McDonald’s “almost daily,” but they would also do their research to find the best local spots in each town for the full experience, Lamers told us. He also favoured Old Dutch baked dill pickle chips in more on-the-go scenarios.

Lamers said that he planned the tour by first mapping out their route, followed by researching venues in each city including the surrounding towns. He said that many venues responded instantly, but others required “countless follow up emails and many didn’t respond at all.”

He said this process of booking his tour was useful, but he is excited to see how RedPine can assist him next time.

At one stage in the band’s growth, their main goal was to start touring. Now that they’ve accomplished that, their ultimate goal has evolved into taking “I, the Mountain as far as it can go,” Lamers said. Their main motive is to “reach as many people as possible, and hopefully make a meaningful impact in their lives.”

The tour resulted in “lots of new fans and invitations to play bigger venues.”


Are you in a new band? Are you looking for some guidance on how to get to the next step? We’ve got you covered. Here are some hot tips from Lamers himself.
“Tour. Obviously, you can’t do that right away, but once you feel ready, just go for it. If you think practice once a week gets you tight as a band, wait until you play a show every night for a month!”
“Plan, plan, plan. Plan as far in advance as possible. Where do you want to go? Where will you stay? How much money will you make?”
“Search out unique venues and small towns. These are often our favourite shows.”
“Take time to enjoy non-band related activities and explore.”
Connect with other bands to engage a variety of fanbases.” - RedPine is a great tool for this!
“Don’t be afraid! It’ll be great.”
“Persevere. So many people will say no or ignore you. The music industry is extremely saturated. Keep pressing on! We’ve gotten to this point by pushing forward and not taking, ‘no’ for an answer.”


As we previously mentioned, I, the Mountain has a shiny new album coming out in April of next year! They wouldn’t cough up the title yet, understandably so, but they will be revealing it “fairly soon.”

The album will not only feature two remixed versions of their singles, “The Boat,” and “Rosa,” but it will also have more cohesive folk songs with “pop-sensibilities.” Lamers hinted that all of the songs are a little different from each other and it will be a “variety show…something for everyone.”

The album was engineered by Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymns), mixed by Dan Ledwell, mastered by Gavin Gardiner (The Wooden Sky) and the cherry on top is that “The Boat,” was co-written by Simon Ward of The Strumbellas. “Dreams come true,” Lamers said.

Over 400 people are RSVP’d to the Facebook event for the band’s big show with The Strumbellas on January 25, so grab your tickets while you still can! The doors are at 7 p.m., and the venue is 19+. - Red Pine Blog

"Three Harmony Bands to Help Soothe Your Weary Soul"

I, the Mountain – “I Swam”
From the opening line of this track, I began to swoon. It’s got this delicate lead vocal that helps to usher in a comfortable composition. The vocal harmonies put it on another level. It feels like something you might have spun on vinyl with your grandparents. A dash of Peter, Paul, and Mary if they were willing to (gasp!) drop some naughty words and use an electric guitar. - Ear to the Ground Music


Land & Sea [EP] (2013)

Two Birds [EP] (2014)

Little Wild (2020)



I, the Mountain dances the finest lines between indie, folk, and pop traditions. Easily recognized by their crisp harmonies, clever hooks, and high energy performances, I, the Mountain has built a loyal and growing following across Ontario, opening for acts such as The Strumbellas, Busty and the Bass, The Wooden Sky, and Elliot Brood. Fresh off their recent studio collaborations with Canadian music icons Simon Ward (The Strumbellas) and Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymns), I, the Mountain is ready to bring their indie-folk sound to mainstages across Canada. Look for their debut album in early 2020.

Band Members