One of the founding members of Toronto rock band Madame Psychosis, Bret is a man of many talents. From playing guitar and writing songs to drawing and painting, this week’s profile explores the musical influences behind Bret’s vast creativity.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I learned to write songs listening to Wilco. Their songs are fairly straightforward, especially their early stuff before they got weird. In terms of stuff that influenced me, the Smashing Pumpkins quite a bit and Weezer, definitely the early Pinkerton stuff. Two other bands that really influenced me are Spoon and the Old 97’s. It’s kind of out of left field, but I really dig the songs that Rhett Miller writes as well.
What is your favourite music video?
Well that’s easy, it’s Aerosmith’s “Crazy”. It’s pretty much the best music video of all time. It’s probably the single reason why I do any of this (bursts out laughing).
What is your favourite album or song of all time?
Song might be tough, but my favourite album is Too Far to Care by the Old 97’s. If I only had one album to listen to for the rest of my life that would probably be the one I would pick.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake”. It’s definitely a huge guilty pleasure of mine. I definitely love that song.
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of R&B lately. Just a lot of acts like Leon Bridges, Charles Bradley, St. Paul and The Broken Bones. A lot of Kanye West actually. Spoon just released an album so I’ve been listening to those tracks as well.
If not guitar, which instrument would you choose to play?
Drums for sure. Drums just seem like the most fun. If I had any of the necessary coordination to do that I would definitely want to play drums.
What was the first song you learned to play?
I think Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”. Probably that one.
What was the moment you thought, “I want to do this”?
The very first time I played with other people. When I heard everything come together. It just sounded bigger, better and more awesome. It was cemented every time I’ve gone and recorded, and just had the best time seeing songs come together. So the very first time I ever recorded definitely had an influence.
What is your favourite Madame Psychosis song?
Probably “Top of the Game”. That one I have the most fun playing.
Photo credit: Claudio Paola