Published on April 28th, 2017 | by Craig Silliphant0
Local Music Feedback – Raeburn
In this week’s installment of Local Music Feedback, we talk to bedroom producer Raeburn, whose long gestating album, Wessi Pessi, was well worth the wait.
Raeburn is the one word moniker and musical identity of Maxwell Raeburn Warner, who you might also know as the drummer for Saskatoon act Pandas in Japan. But Raeburn is his solo effort, where the bedroom producer has been slowly collecting ideas that reached critical mass in his album ‘Wessi Pessi.’ The tracks sound quite professionally produced considering the DIY way they were recorded, so Warner is possibly as good a producer as he is a songwriter.
‘Wessi Pessi’ feels like a ghostly aural scrapbook of sorts, a blissed out serving of surf and astroturf rock with a thorazine shuffle on the side. Because they’re so haunting, it would be tempting to say these songs are imbued with a certain breezy sadness, but it actually feels quite the opposite. They aren’t cloyingly happy and sentimental, thankfully; they’re like contented ghosts looking back on a life well lived.
As is the gag with this column, I had a chat with Raeburn to ask him about his process as well as about some of the music that he loves (or hates).
THE FEEDBACK SOCIETY: So, who is in the band. It’s just you, right? How do you pull off a live show?
RAEBURN: It is just myself in the recording/song writing process at my home studio here in Saskatoon. When playing live shows, I play sing, play guitar, and occasionally noodle around with a Q-Chord. I highly recommend checking out this hilarious old advertisement for the Q-Chord to give you an idea of what it is [Editor’s Note: see video below]. Then I bring in my two close friends Matthew Folkersen and Billy Tataryn of Castle River. They really bring to life what I’m trying to do musically in a live setting.
TFS: Without forcing you into a genre, how would you describe your sound? What were you wanting to achieve sonically with these songs?
R: I find that my genre can be spread across a few different branches. My songs are usually a reflection of what I like to listen to personally, which includes surf, jazz, punk, electronic, indie rock, pop, all over the place. Maybe I’d describe it as ‘a blend of surf-esque indie grenades with a twist of lemon?’
I think what I’m trying to achieve sonically is a unique, relaxing musical experience. Everyone’s idea of relaxing music is different, but I hope my music can touch some of those sweet spots for people whether they need some raw and fuzzy wailing guitars, or some chill-funk rhythms in their life.
TFS: What is your process?
R: My songwriting process typically starts with guitar, then pyramids into bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, odds and ends, and then start lyrics. Music first, lyrics second always.
TFS: What’s the best live show you’ve seen lately?
R: The best show I’ve seen lately that keeps popping up to mind was Thundercat, Funkadelic, and Flying Lotus in Oakland at the Fox Theatre. The bass was so booming and intense that I was worried at one point I would shit out my organs accidentally or something. Still a great show though!! The next night I saw CFM (Charles Moothart of Ty Segall, Fuzz, GOGGS) in San Francisco which also was very loud and fun.
TFS: Pretty stacked line ups. What’s a bucket list show for you?
R: A bucket list show for me is fortunately happening this summer at Sled Island in Calgary. One of my all time favourite groups is the Silver Apples. They are the godfathers of electronic music based out of New York in the late 60s. Really cool breakbeat drums with military made oscillators/theremins and beautiful poetry. Simeon Cox is the lead singer and only member left of the group and is now in his mid 80s? It’s been a huge dream of mine to see Silver Apples live.
[Silver Apples – 1968 in LA]
TFS: What is the album you can’t stop listening to right now?
TFS: How about a song or band you can’t stand hearing?
R: I sometimes DJ weddings, events, etc, and I absolutely fucking hate hearing Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ and Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’
TFS: An even better question might have been, ‘what song do you hate at weddings?’ I hate ‘I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock n’ Roll’ and Bob Segar’s ‘Old Time Rock n’ Roll.’ So what’s your favourite Saturday night record?
R: Kaytranada – ‘99.9%’
TFS: How about your favourite Saturday morning record?
R: Young Man – ‘Boy’
TFS: Who is your favourite local band or act?
R: My favourite local band is Castle River. As biased as it sounds, those guys are constantly pushing the boundaries of what a two-piece band can do. They are incredibly multi-talented musicians and having them back me up is absolutely surreal sometimes. I highly recommend checking out their stuff!
TFS: Agreed, good call, they’re great. Anything else we should mention? Anything you want to plug?
R: Currently I’m working on album number two, with a new single and video coming out soon. As for upcoming shows you can catch Raeburn May 3rd at Vangelis and May 4th at Broken City, Calgary, AB.