Interview of Casey Beaulieu
By Adam Slight
I had the privilege of having a chat with Ottawa musician Casey Beaulieu who recently made a public vow to record and release one new song every week. At week 3, so far Casey has kept true to his vow. I’ll let Casey explain his reasoning behind this vow, his creative process, and more.
AS: Casey, could you describe the direction you have taken with your music this year?
CB: I’ve decided to record and release (as a free download on BandCamp) one song every Tuesday for ten weeks. Two down so far! I didn’t think of it originally as a New Year’s resolution, but maybe that was in the back of my mind.
AS: What is your musical background?
CB: I’ve been dabbling in music for over 10 years now, but my first serious project wasn’t until I joined Ornaments in 2009 or so. I decided to move on to other ventures last year, but we’re still close friends, and they’re a wonderful band. Check them out at:
I am also currently playing with some old roommates and good friends in a group called Marxist Cowboy & The Hand That Feeds.
AS: What is the reasoning behind your decision to produce one unique song per week?
CB: In a word… frustration. The frustration with my perfectionist side I’ve struggled with for years. I have this insatiable desire to create, but much too often I let my fear of failure get in the way. This idea was about throwing myself head-first into a “sink or swim” scenario.
AS: How would you describe the music that you’ve produced thus far?
CB: Well, the two songs I’ve done so far [as of this interview] are fairly different from one another, but I suppose naturally they share some characteristics. They are both minimalist (due to 70% artistic choice and 30% time constraints, haha), and they’re both “imperfect”. That sounds a bit silly I suppose, but what I mean is that they’re not the best they could be, but that’s OK. They’re the best I could do in the time I allowed myself, and I’m learning to push my ego aside and appreciate the beauty in that.
AS: Do you see yourself sticking to this style or do you envision yourself experimenting as time goes on?
CB: Oh there will be plenty of experimenting! I do have a few more songs in my back pocket which I have fairly clear visions for, but we’ll see how they take shape during the recording process. It’s a fun challenge to make sure the experimenting doesn’t get too out of control, given that the clock is ticking.
AS: Could you describe your creative process? You’re really pushing yourself to create, so you don’t have the freedom to only work when inspiration hits you. What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
CB: Well the songs I’ve released so far were written prior to the experiment, and again, I have a few more kicking around which are more or less complete ideas, so the real challenge hasn’t begun yet! [Laughs] It’s soon getting to be crunch time for coming up with more material. When it comes to that, the method that seems to work for me is sitting down every morning with my guitar in hand and a roll of tin foil on my head (to block out bad frequencies), and just strumming away and speaking in tongues until it eventually morphs into something that sounds like music!
AS: Thanks Casey!