Canadian singer/songwriter Pennan BRAE have been a presence in the Canadian music scene since the release of his first solo album “Shaded Joy” in 2008. He is now preparing his fourth album “The Astronot”, and due to that and some particular circumstances around this production an interview was called for.
Written by: Natalie Conway
How did you get started in music?
I started the band in 2008 when I was living in Prince Edward Island, Canada. I began recording as a solo artist & had songs I wanted to put down in the studio & that’s when things began.
Canada has some incredible artists, any names on the record?
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to play with some wonderful musicians in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been playing with drummer Edward Whelan who has a fantastic sense of musicality & is such a fluid drummer. On bass I’ve had the good fortune to play with Kaj Falch-Nielsen who is such a well-rounded musician. Lastly on guitar is Vinay Lobo who is a true musical talent; it’s a pleasure hearing him play; he squeezes so much emotion out of the guitar; it’s a beautiful thing to experience.
Who has inspired you?
In high school, I loved bands & musicians such as John Mellencamp, Boston & Steve Miller. On piano, I enjoyed listening to Bruce Hornsby & the Range, Elton John & Billy Joel. When I moved from Toronto to Vancouver, I learned a lot more about the Rolling Stones. Listening to them allowed me to go back further musically & learn about American blues of the 1920s, 30s & 40s. I started getting into Muddy Waters, Elmore James & Robert Johnson. Getting into the blues like that was the best & most important musical experience & inspiration I’ve had.
Can you tell us a little about your new album?
My upcoming album is called ‘The Astronot’ & it is a soundtrack for a film I wrote of the same name. I plan on releasing the album & film this spring or in the summer of 2018. There will be 11 tracks on the album. The trailer for the film, which has snippets of the songs from the album, is in the link below.
Do you have any additional experiences in music you think others might be interested to know about?
This past year I had the chance to record with 2 famous musicians whom I admired growing up. The first is drummer Steve Ferrone, the drummer the late, great Tom Petty. I also used to watch Steve play with Eric Clapton on the wonderful ‘24 Nights’ release at the Royal Albert Hall. Bassist Garry Gary Beers of INXS also played on ‘The Astronot’; INXS was a huge band in my life growing up. Steve & Garry were kind enough to play on 2 tracks on ‘The Astronot’; ‘Walk With Me’ & ‘Crashland’.
What’s next for you?
I want to do some live gigs for this album & continue recording new music. I’m working on another film idea I’d like to pursue in the next year.
Trailer for “The Astronot”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNyW9l17tiM