Cannons blast: Los Angeles alt-indie-electro-pop band Cannons has just performed at both Coachella weekends, and we spoke to singer Michelle Joy between the two. We can at least confirm that their set at Weekend One was a resounding success, and we doubt that Weekend Two will go down any differently.

This is a band on the rise, local heroes-in-making who straddle the line between alternative and pop in a manner that suggests they can appeal to many markets without ever sacrificing their integrity. It’s been that way from the beginning, when they formed at the end of 2012. Their journey has been organic.

“The mission since the beginning has just been to make music that we like to listen to, that we enjoy,” says Joy. “Always keep it coming from the right place, and to grow together doing this project. Ryan (Clapham, guitar) and Paul (Davis, bass) grew up together, on the same street, and have been making music together for a very long time. So they had this special connection. But they realized that they couldn’t sing, so they looked for a singer; they found me on Craigslist of all places back then, and we wrote our first couple of songs without ever meeting.”

The first fruits of their labor were uploaded to Soundcloud and people liked what they heard. The demand for more was high, so Cannons marched on. And that natural evolution saw it progress all the way to Coachella.

“I could not be happier with how our set went,” Joy says. “I walked off stage and I was just filled with so much joy and appreciation for everyone on our team and all the hard work that we put into making that day happen. It couldn’t have gone more perfect. It was our best ever performance, and that’s what I was dreaming of. Coachella was a dream come true to be there, and also a dream come true to put on our best show to date on our stage.”

None of the members had ever attended Coachella before, so this was a first time experience in every way. They had performed at other festivals though.

“Once everything opened back up after the pandemic, our first show was Lollapalooza, which was a little crazy for us because we’re a band that had success during the pandemic,” Joy says. “So a song we had previously released in 2019, “Fire For You,” was used in the Netflix series Never Have I Ever. That series hit number one during the height of the pandemic. They used “Fire For You” for the most pivotal scene in the whole show, and they used the whole song. So that shot our song up to number one on the song and TV Billboard charts. It ended up being what got every single record label reaching out to us, and then eventually signing with Columbia. Since then, we’ve played so many festivals – Outside Lands, Life is Beautiful, Summerfest, Electric Forest – I can’t even name all of them right now.”

Despite the fact that the bands are always super-busy on the day that they perform at Coachella, Cannons found time to make a connection. And a little Drama.

“It was a little hard the first weekend to be able to catch anyone else’s set,” Joy says. “But we had our trailer next to Drama, who we’ve been fans of for a long time, so we finally got to meet them and they’re really awesome. Sophie (Hawley-Weld) from Sofi Tukker, I got to meet her. I didn’t get to see their set yet. Hopefully next weekend I’ll be able to see both of their sets.”

Meanwhile, Cannons just released the “Loving You” single, as they prepare to drop a new full length album.

“We have some more songs to come, and we’ve been working on an album that we’re just about finished up with,” Joy says. “That has been an incredible experience for us, because we feel like we’ve been just growing as a band with our work ethic and also our sound. So we can’t wait to release these new songs that we’ve been working hard at.”

“Loving You,” she says, is fairly representative on the direction they’ve gone in with the new record.

“’Loving You’ is a song that we decided to dedicate to our fans because, after a year of touring, we did about four tours last year, we did meet-and-greets every single time, and we got to meet all of our fans face to face and hear their stories,” Joy says. “We were moved every single day by how much our music has affected people. So the lyrics to that song are expressing the love for our audience, for touring, for being on the road, for waiting for the night to come so we can dance together, sing together, forget about all our problems, and come together. It’s been a very moving experience to see the diversity in our crowd. Cannons fans are all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, sexes, everything, coming together to one place and all connect on such a deep level. That has moved me more than anything has moved me in my entire life. It’s really special. That’s what ‘Loving You’ represents to us.”

Through it all, and despite the fact that Joy is a Florida transplant, Cannons feels very much like an L.A. band – telling stories of this city.

“This is our environment that we’ve been writing in, and I feel like you can hear it in our sound,” she says. “A lot of people say our music is great to drive to at night, through the city. Long drives. I think a lot of the lyrics also paint a picture of Los Angeles. The energy of the city exists in our music. Since the guys have lived here their entire lives, I do feel like even in the production and everything, it seeps in.”

There’s plenty more on the way, news that the group can’t reveal just yet. But after a successful Coachella and with an album on the way, Cannons can shoot for the stars.

Cannons blast: Cannon’s “Loving You” single is out now.

















































































































































Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.