Arts & Culture(Archives)

Feb
27
2013
Volume
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Stu Marchand Interview

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Ok, listen -  you do not have to drive to Edmonton to hear awesome live music. It’s happening right here, every weekend of every month, and I want to introduce you to some of the people making it happen.

It’s more than the money and customer service that keeps me living here. I see nothing but opportunity in what this town is becoming, and growing pains aside (motherf@!$ng traffic!) I think this is a great place to raise a family, live life, and take in some amazing original music.

There are musicians from all over the country here making original music and a great deal of it is truly world class. In December, I had a chance to sit down with a local singer-songwriter originally from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia for a chat about writing, performing, and living in Fort Mac. I highly recommend everyone check out Stu Marchand. His album, Industry Town, is full of original songs as good or better than anything you’re hearing on the radio. His roots, blues, and acoustic rock style is fresh and infectious, I really can’t stop listening to this album. It’s actually that good. So throw it on and crank it up, it’s a great alternative to smashing your face against the steering wheel and screaming like a lunatic in rush hour traffic. Check out his website at www.stumarchand.com, and buy the album!

YMM: How would you describe your music?

SM: I’d describe one of my shows as a fun, open, intimate time. I always like to interact with the audience, tell stories, and play some requests if I know them.

YMM: Have people compared you to other artists? If so, who?

SM: I seem to hear from a lot of people that I remind them of Canadian folk songwriter Fred Eaglesmith, which is totally cool with me because I dig the guy’s work.

YMM: Which famous musicians do you consider influential?

SM: This is a hard question as I enjoy so many styles of music. When it comes to the singer -songwriter side of me, I always like listening to that whole old school Texas songwriter circle:  Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett for their writing styles and techniques. Then there is the local artists and friends I grew up listening to: Dave Gunning, Steven Bowers, Ron Hynes, Wintersleep, Matt Mays, Joel Plaskett, The Stanfields, MANTRA, the list goes on and on. I guess my overall main influences come from the Beatles. Big Fan.

YMM: The song Get Back Home deals with a popular theme, especially in a town like Fort Mac with so many people just passing through. Any plans to move back east?

SM: Someday. It’s so difficult to leave such a busy spot, uproot, and set-up shop somewhere where there is not a lot going on. I’m just like anyone else up here from back east, wanting to get back home.

YMM: When did you move to Fort Mac, and how long had you originally intended to stay?

SM: (laughs) I was on the one- year plan. There was so much going on with east coast music and so many close friends and musicians to collaborate with, I just wanted to score a quick buck and make tracks. Here I am, five years later, still on the one- year plan.

YMM: What are the three strongest songs on the record and why?

SM: Brotherly Love and The Bricklayer are two songs written about two good friends that passed in a boating accident, and are likely the truest and most meaningful songs I’ve written. Industry Town is a song surrounding Pictou County, Nova Scotia, where I grew up and touches a lot on the Westray Mine tragedy that devastated us all.

YMM: What do you think your biggest break has been so far in your musical career?

SM:  I’ve been fortunate enough to know a lot of great musicians and people in the industry over the years and got to play with some pretty amazing people. I’ve got to share the stage with a lot of great acts: The Trews, April Wine, Dr. Hook, Trooper, Kim Mitchell, Our Lady Peace, 5440, Tom Cochrane, Corb Lund, etc. But I guess the most exposure I’ve received over the years was after J.D. Fortune won the role as lead singer for INXS and we got to play a few shows with him afterwards as Rabbit Town Blues Band.

YMM: How do you balance your music with other obligations—spouse, children, job?

A: It’s hard. I’m at a stage in my life where I just became a father and am trying to pursue a new career. It definitely takes its toll and cuts into the getting out and being able to gig big time. It’s still pretty fresh to me and I am just able to get back into writing. Fatherhood is the most amazing experience I’ve ever gone through. I still get to pick up the guitar and practice a lot. The song choices, however, have changed.

YMM: What do you love about Fort McMurray and what frustrates you the most?

SM: I love the ability for anyone to get into a profession they want, lots of opportunity in this town, and Mitchell’s sandwiches. What frustrates me most is the same as anyone else. Traffic!

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