Published Jul 09, 2015This week, Montreal-via-Edmonton songwriter, producer and performer Renny Wilson will deliver a proper release of his Punk Explosion album through Mint Records. Ahead of its arrival, he spoke with Exclaim! about the release's creation.
Though the album was seven years in the making, Wilson explains that its off the cuff method made it an entirely different process from his previous album Sugarglider. "Aside from the years and the time it took to release it, Punk Explosion took almost no time compared to that Sugarglider record," he says. "I spent like no time mixing it, I spent no time mastering it, and that's probably why it sounds so terrible."
That said, Wilson admits that it's possible to obsess over mixing too much. "On the other side of the spectrum, that Sugarglider record I spent so much time mixing it, and I think that might have also ruined how it sounds," he admits. "Of course, hindsight is 20/20. I just felt like I added too much effects and stuff to it."
In fact, he even considered releasing an effect-free version of Sugarglider. "It was going to be called Sugarglider Naked, and I made this faux mock up cover that was going to be like the Beatles' Let It Be Naked, with the negative photo," he recalls. "Pretty funny. But I just got lazy with it, and I only did half of it. Some of the songs sounded so weird without any of the shit on it."
In addition to the lax writing and production, Wilson says his Punk Explosion was born out of boredom with performing the songs from Sugarglider. "I was so sick of it at that point and I didn't really like playing it live that much," he recalls. "It's pop music, and it can be hard to do that to satisfaction with a small ensemble. It's hard to do that to satisfaction if you're doing karaoke. So I put together the Punk Explosion band, and I thought, 'Oh fuck, nobody will expect what this is.'"
In many ways, the raw, stripped-down sound of the Renny Wilson Punk Explosion is a return to form for the musician. Last month, he celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the first show he ever played with his first band, the Subatomics. Through their brief existence, the band's lineup also included notable Edmonton pop luminaries Peter Sagar (Homeshake) and Travis Bretzer.
"I feel like I'm very unaccomplished in light of them," Wilson says of his former band-mates. "But I think maybe our success is pretty much even, in a way. I'm not super jealous, but I think about it sometimes. Ten years later, this is where we all are. We're all playing music in some sort of way that's career-ish, you know what I mean? We didn't just give it up."
Ultimately, making a living as a career musician continues to be Wilson's goal. "I don't know what my music career is going to turn out to be, but I like making money doing music-related things," he admits. "I run a studio normally, that's my job. That's how I make most of my money. Being involved in other people's projects or my own, I don't know if I'll have musical success. It'd be nice. I don't expect it really, but I do strive for that."
Renny Wilson Punk Explosion bursts out the gates tomorrow (July 10) via Mint Records.