Image: Dan Lim
The Tenors new album, Christmas Together, is on sale now — just in time to be played and replayed over the holiday season. We caught up with the singers — Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters and Clifton Murray — to learn more about their album and their favourite Christmas traditions.
CL: What’s different about this album versus previous albums?
The Tenors: Although this album still focuses on great songs, timeless classics and some original material, it is more playful than previous albums. We really tried to capture the essence of what it’s like to be a child at Christmastime with all the wonder and magic.
Listen for yourself! Sample the album below.
CL: What was the inspiration behind this album?
T: We have so many memories of Christmas from when we were young to draw from. Memories like singing in church or watching classics like The Christmas Carol with family huddled around the fireplace, decorating the Christmas tree, visiting family or longing for home when travelling on the road during Christmas tours. We are going back to the golden era of Christmas music in the late 40s to early 50s. Songs like I’ll be home for Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas seem to live in that era forever. Parts of this album are like a time machine taking us back to those holiday memories that bring us all together. There’s a lot of nostalgia on this album for us and hopefully, it brings out the nostalgia for the listeners, too.
CL: Favourite song on the album?
T: Every song is our baby. They grow and evolve the more we listen to them and our favourites change from week to week. Right now it’s Oh Come All Ye Faithful because it’s so full of energy. It kicks the album off with such a Christmas bang with the full orchestra and choir. It’s hard not to get into the Christmas spirit as soon as the album starts. Also, Santa’s Wish, which is a co-write using the famous chorus from the early 70s I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, asks the question what would Santa want for Christmas? The message helps bring people together.
CL: Why did you choose these songs? Any special memories?
Victor Micallef: Christmas to me is about the spirit of giving and being with family. Unfortunately, not long after my 16th birthday, my dad lost a long fight to heart disease. I was crushed. That year nothing seemed to be going my way, but 4 months later, on Christmas Day, something beautiful happened. After lunch, my eldest sister, Miriam, surprised the whole family with a Christmas pudding that my father had made with love before leaving us. To keep with family tradition, we poured rum over it and lit it. It was an incredible moment. It was like he returned to celebrate with us. We shed tears of joy that day — it's a Christmas that I will always cherish.
Clifton Murray: I've always believed in the magic of Christmas. It was the time of year that brought the best out in people and it wasn't just children who believed in miracles. My fondest memory of the holiday season was the Christmas music. The holiday classics were like a time machine, taking us all back to relive the most wonderful time of the year.
Fraser Walters: Christmas at the Walters' house has always been my favourite time of year! Growing up with two rambunctious older brothers — my mom had three energetic boys under 5 at one point — I'm still amazed that my parents had the wherewithal to cook, shop, decorate, entertain extended family and friends, host a yearly carol singing party, and still have the presents wrapped under the tree. Although hectic, the week surrounding December 25 has always been full of laughter, music, memorable church services, and great feasts with loved ones.
Image: Dan Lim
CL: Where will you be for your holiday tour?
T: We start our tour in Los Angeles on November 18. From there, we travel north then east, finishing in New York City on December 23 (with a number of cities in Canada and US along the way!) Check tenorsmusic.com for your dates.
CL: Where will you be touring next year?
T: We hope to get right back to recording and touring early next year, hopefully around North American, Europe and possibly Asia.
CL: Artist or band you’d love to share the stage with for a holiday number?
T: Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Adele, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Carrie Underwood, Stevie Wonder, Renée Fleming and Coldplay — to name a few.
CL: Favourite Christmas song of all time?
T: O Holy Night or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Both are timeless classics that together combine the essence of what Christmas is all about.
CL: Worst Christmas song?
T: Christmas at Ground Zero by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
CL: Favourite holiday cookie or treat?
T: Decorating a gingerbread house with gummies, candy canes, gumdrops and icing, and devouring it together.
Image: Dan Lim
CL: If you had one Christmas wish, what would it be?
T: We’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. We'd like to see the world for once all standing hand-in-hand.
CL: What’s your favourite thing about celebrating Christmas in Canada?
T: Snow, lots of snow. It’s where a lot of our family lives, so we get to be together at the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s cool that Santa wears our national colours, ha ha.
CL: Best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
T: Family vacations are always the best gifts for us. Always being on the road travelling and performing we don’t get to see our loved ones as much as we would like. So when someone in our family books and organizes a family trip, usually in a sunny destination, making sure everyone is together, it fills our hearts and charges our batteries for the rest of the year.
CL: Worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
T: An expired gift card.
CL: Holiday Christmas sweater: Yay or nay?
CL: Mulled wine or eggnog?
CL: Bublé or Bieber?
T: We are so proud of our Canadian brothers who are reaching the heights of success in the music industry. We had Justin Bieber on our CBC Christmas special a few years back and he was very talented and even taught us some dance moves. We’ve met Bublé a few times through our friend David Foster and our manager Jeffrey Latimer. He’s always incredibly gracious and has a golden voice. Both carry that attitude of gratitude and we root for both of them, but if we had to choose, Bublé is the man!
And don't forget to enter our Holidays With The Tenors contest for your chance to see them LIVE this year! Click here to enter.