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Bret Koontz & Truancy Club is performing at CHIRP Night at the Whistler on Tuesday, June 6th. We caught up with singer/songwriter/guitarist Bret Koontz to find out more about him and the band…
So...What’s going on? Tell us about your current releases and/or upcoming shows (such as CHIRP Night at the Whistler!).
Our current release is a full length record called a Sparkle Road Cult. We released it as an art book album-- a large format book that contains sheet music and a page of original full-color art for each song on the album. It also includes a CD of the recordings.
How do you go about turning your thoughts, ideas, and feelings into sounds?
Our songs usually start as a catchy melody and chord progression written on guitar with a few phrases of lyrics that come from the ether. Then we take a closer look at the idea, see what it's trying to communicate, and refine it to focus it towards that statement.
If your music was a kind of beer, ice cream, or coffee (take your pick), what would it taste like?
If BK&TC's music was a beer, it would be a Mezcal on ice. That sums up our sound--unexpected, not really on topic, a little more heady than expected, but refreshing.
Do you have any unexpected influences? Are any other artists or bands catching your attention at the moment?
Prefab Sprout, Syd Barrett, and Big Star are heavy influences on the band. You might not expect to see these bands mentioned in the same breath, but those are the corners of our sound. Right now I've really been enjoying Everything But The Girl and the Vernes.
If you couldn’t make music, what would you be doing right now?
Drawing comics or writing plays. That's what I do when I have a break from music, but lately the work of putting out a record, touring behind it, and writing our next record is taking up all my creative energy.
What is it about Chicago that pleases you?
It's really a major hub for new developments in the arts. I think the relatively affordable cost of living and central location of this city makes it attractive to artists and musicians who need time and space to work out new sounds and ideas.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a basement?
Attempted to eat dozens of hard boiled eggs a la Paul Newman for a Fluxus art performance. The eggs were stolen before I was able to do it (luckily). The people running the space saw the eggs and confiscated them while I wasn't looking because they knew the performance would spell trouble for the venue one way or another. I thank them for it.
Do you take vacations? What’s your perfect trip?
Not really. I tour regularly, and that's enough for me.
If you were someone’s life coach, what are the top 2 life lessons you’d teach them?
Don't save important ideas for a time when you think you'll be more "ready" to execute them. And don't have that last drink.
CHIRP Night at the Whistler takes place on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Enjoy great music, signature cocktails, and knowing you are supporting independent community radio. Beh'Ouai will also perform on June 6th. There is no cover for this 21+ show.
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