So in my browsing of the internets I ran across a Tumblr blog a couple of months ago and found that the artist running it was releasing his original work for free via blog updates. After following the updates for a while I became very interested in who the artist was and figured the best way to get to know him would be to ask a whole lot of questions.
Below you will find a Q&A I did with Arcand (Bryan Osuszek) of Toronto, Canada. I think you’ll enjoy his answers along with his music.
Q: Friends and family know you as Bryan Osuszek, but in the music world people associate you with Arcand. Can you give me a little history behind the Arcand name?
A: The name Arcand is taken from Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand.
Q: I noticed that you are the President of Electrik Press (music branding and licensing). How are you using the company to help other musical acts to perpetuate their presence sonically?
A: I launched Electrik Press in March of this year. It’s a music publishing company that works with independent bands and labels to get their music in TV and film. It started out that I was working with my material and a friend’s and then I branched out, picked up new acts, and I am always looking. Sales are tough in the music biz, and placing music in different visual media is a great opportunity for artists to make some cheddar. Lol.
Q: You are currently writing a lot of music, how has the process been going? Have you started to go through withdrawals from not performing?
A: The writing, recording and producing is always amazing. I love working in the studio. Every day is something new. I was performing a lot last year, doing a weekly gig at Toronto’s Mecca of folk music, the Cameron House, and it was an amazing time. When the band dispersed I was going through severe withdrawal because they were awesome guys and the chemistry of the live performance was amazing, but I really needed to step back and start recording. It’s been a quieter time but it’s given me time to think, reflect and make up my rasoodocks about the direction of my music.
Q: When we first started communicating you stated that your label was beginning to release some of your latest work. What has been the response to the new material? Also, will the work be out on CD or vinyl?
A: The response has been great so far. I’ve had some very positive reviews and interest from different people. Nothing is set for release on CD or vinyl, but there will be one soon!
Q: Are there any plans in the works for some shows promoting the new material?
A: Once a CD is put together I’ll be doing an intimate release with close friends, and press…and a larger show at the tail end of a North American Tour. Probably not until the fall.
Q: You seem to have a wide range of influences, but you’re new work is touching on folk/rock. Have you always considered yourself a folk/rocker? As a follow-up, folk/rock has really picked up in popularity here in the states. Do you have any thoughts on why people are coming back to signer songwriters and folk/rock?
A: People are coming back to roots music (folk/rock, soul, singer/songwriter etc) because it offers them an escape from the digital world. Everything is so fast and crazy and meaning is often lost in daily life. I think people gravitate towards roots music because it’s emotive, and visceral, and deals with human topics that offer people meaning in a void.
I’ve written and performed a lot of folk music in the last two years, but initially I started playing music in punk bands, and have been producing hip/hop. I love folk music but I don’t consider myself a folkie, it’s a schizo relationship I have with the genre I guess…maybe labels scare me, because they have a limiting power over creativity.
The two songs I have out now, “Ragpickers Wine” and “This Time Around” each have a beautiful, atmospheric, folk aesthetic but those songs really just represent a starting point for me. I just wanted to show people that I have the talent to write really great traditional folk songs in the vein of Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen, before having the nerve to do something daring. I don’t want to be living in the shadow of these giants, who have mastered the genre in a traditional way. I know in order to satisfy myself I will have to push the aesthetic way further.
A: Hahaha…can’t say I’m even familiar with their music. Lol…I’m a bad Canadian I guess (its only cuz I’m half shhhhh I’m actually an American living in Canada)…There are a lot of amazing current Canadian artist that I’m into tho : )
This Time Around