Edgar Breau
of Simply Saucer Fame Releases
Patches of Blue
By: Jeff Liberty



Edgar Breau is the frontman for the legendary Cult band Simply Saucer! There album (both on Vinyl and eventually on CD) "Cyborgs Revisited" its considered one of the great lost classics! High praise has come from all around the Globe including UNCUT, MOJO,Village Voice, Creem and The London times to name but a few. "It was deemed bona fide proto-Punk Classic"! (This is from the bio) - It was voted the 36th best Canadian album in Bob Mersereau's 2007 book The Top 100 Canadian Albums.

Now Edgar has just released his long waited and much anticipated album "Patches of Blue" which has instantly become a new favorite of mine and a welcome reminder that real music and art is still alive and kicking! Here is my recent interview with Edgar - Enjoy!
Punk Globe:
Since Simply Saucer reformed in 2004 tell us what the band has been up to since then? What are the future plans for the band?
Edgar Breau:
The band reformed with original members Edgar Breau (me) and Kevin Christoff with the addition of Joe Csontos on drums (Forgotten Rebels), Steve Foster on guitar (Stoked, Crawling Kingsnakes) and Dan Wintermans on guitar and theremin (Headphone Overtone). We gigged in Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and were then invited by New Jersey super Internet station WFMU to play at Southpaws in Brooklyn NY as part of a concert series with Oneida and Suicide. We also gigged in Detroit, Chicago and Louisville KY at the Terrastock Festival, did the SCION Garage Fest in Portland OR. In 2008 we recorded at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton a new CD called Half Human Half Live. We did a private live concert in the studios which was recorded, some of which made it onto the CD, and also recorded six studio songs. It was released on Sonic Unyon Records. This past summer we returned to the U.S. to play the fabled Beachlands Ballroom in Cleveland, home of our rust belt counterparts, Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu. On the bill was Detroit's Rocket 455, who had been influenced by our sound as well as MC5 and the Stooges. They are a great bandl We drove back up to De$oit where we played an outdoor show in New Centre Park with our friends and then the next day went up to Jim Diamond's Studio just around the corner from Ford Stadium where we recorded 5 songs for our new release. The White Stripes have recorded there it's a cool place in an old funky tenement building, analogue tape, fabulous gear. Joining us on the recording was Motown legend, the composer, arranger, keyboard player and trombonist, McKinley Jackson who played the 83 organ on our tunes as well as the Fender Rhodes piano. Mckinley has performed with Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, John Lee Hooker, Jimmie Reed and was the musical director for Marvin Gaye's last tour. He is a great musician to work with and it was a real honor to have him on our recording. The band will be finishing up the album here in Hamilton at Napier Park Studios. As well a new lo-fi recording of live rarities on vinyl called Saucerland is coming out on a Chicago label this year.
Punk Globe:
Your new solo CD "Patches of Blue" is your 2nd and first fully realized solo studio effort. Tell us about the recording process of this new release and the musicians who came on board to accompany you on this wonderful new album?
Edgar Breau:
The title track, Patches of Blue attempts to evoke moods of romantic love, obsession, mixed with ennui, dark apocalyptic foreboding embodied in imagery from nature Open Road, is a recent soul pop number that is about breaking free from a destructive relationship, the key line is ' now I'm feeling strong enough, acting out tough out on the Open Road..it's a bout a person, who has taken a lot of shit, passively, getting up the courage to leave Rainmakin' Man was inspired by a trip to Cape Cod a few summers ago and a voyage on a schooner. Pennsylvania I'd been down there had emotional ties, got the atlas out explored the geography let the imagination take over One Kind of Love was a sort of reply to Lou Reed's Velvets' Some Kind of Love, it goes back to the early nineties Maria the Sea and the Sun musically was inspired by the great Brazilian guitar player, Bola Sete Cry Bitter Rain I had been performing live with my own band, it's about love and abuse. Girl on a Carousel, my bossa nova song goes back to the eighties, i lost track of it and then re worked it for the recording. Dreams of Kerouac was inspired by my cross Canada hitchikin'experiences and a stay in Winnipeg Simcoe County Country Girl's origins go back to early Simply Saucer where a version of it was learned by the band and performed at our now notorious Jackson Sq. mall show where the live side of Cyborgs Revisited was recorded. She love me like a Train I wanted something with the simplicity of a Cash song or an Elvis ballad Dandelion Kingdom is a song evoking childhood memory in a weird tuning, a bit of Syd Barrett, Ray Davies influence coming out.. The music was recorded at Chatham Gardens and Pine Street Studios under the able direction of producer Michael Birthelmer. Michael is a very accomplished songwriter himself and he cut his teeth at Grant Avenue Studios as an engineer there during the Dan Lanois era. All told it's taken us four years to finish the project. I would come in with a song, record it with an acoustic guitar and a ghost vocal and then depending on the genre we would find musicians familiar with that style, not just 'able' to play the genre but completely at home with it. Michael surrounded me with a stellar cast of veteran local musicians some of whom have an international profile. Bill Dillon who plays electric 12 string, elec 6 and fiddle on it has recorded with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Dan Lanois, Sarah Mclauchlin and many others. He's jammed with George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Bill is a guy who loves sports cars, travelling the world and his many ongoing musical projects. Simply Saucer bassist Kevin Christoff played elec bass on it, he's a musician who has continued throughout the years to stretch his abilities he's been moonlighting in recent years with a local jazz band. Brian Griffith another local guitar player on it has recorded with Willie Nelson and Dan Lanois among many others and is a Hamilton phenom and winner of the guitar player of the year here multiple times. Jazz guitar licks on Maria the Sea and the Sun and Girl on a Carousel were provided by Kyle Pace who is a veteran session player in town with a unique musical history. Mike Trebilcock who sang harmony vocals is a Juno award winning performer formerly with the Killjoys and an outstanding performer, singer/songwriter, guitar player, producer in his own right. Colina Phillips, the songstress on the album has recorded with Alice Cooper, Bruce Cockburn, Anne Murray, Triumph, Jully Black, Long John Baldry and a host of other international performers and is a Juno award winning vocalist with a Canadian gold record with the group Sway. Colina arranged her own vocals and her takes were pure magic. She was in a word, dazzling, in the studio and a total honor to work with. The drummer was my perennial choice. Paul Panchezak, who has worked with Crowbar, King Biscuit Boy and in his own band Trick Bag. Paul or'stickman' as he is called goes way back with me to the early days of Simply Saucer and provided the stunning bossa nova beats or blues, soul you name it whatever was needed on the recording with great flair and technique. Joe Clark, who plays fiddle, banjo and mandolin is from West Virginia and as a child played in the fabled Carter family's fields. He was a prodigy on anything with strings, worked as a much sought after Nashville session player and ended up in Hamilton after meeting his Canadian wife stateside. Wellthank God for that! He provides the Appalachian fiddling on Pennsylvania and Dreams of Kerouac. Ed Roth, the accordion player, keyboardist and orchestral arranger Boes back to the Yorkville Sound Days in sixties Toronto, played with the Ugly Ducklings and Rick James, a member of Merryweather who were a Canadian band who went to LA and were signed by Capitol Records, was a producer at Grant Ave Studios during the Lanois Era, and now works scoring music for TV and film productions. Producer Michael Birthelmer played occasional piano guitar and mandolin, Chris Jamieson played upright bass and rrick Bag member Mike Hickey fretless bass on Rainmakin' Man.
Punk Globe:
Are some of them older songs that were in your memory bank that were just begging to be unleashed?
Edgar Breau:
Yes definitely I have a rather large storehouse of songs that I've written over the last 25 years and that's why David Byers (Shangs, Simply Saucer) and I have launched Flying inn Recordings to untangle my long and convoluted recording history, release live mobile studio recordings I've done and my'lost album' Shadows of Ecstasy which I did at Grant Ave Studio in 1990. As well we will be reissuing Cyborgs Revisited in 2013 and David Byer's upcoming solo album, a new Simply Saucer ambient recording and much else. When Simply Saucer broke up and shattered in 1979 I sold all my electric gear, bought a high end acoustic guitar built by master luthier, Grit Laskin (who's instruments are now in Ottawa's museum of civilization), listened obsessively to John Fahey records and began experimenting with finger style guitar playing in open tunings. I had very broad tastes in music everything from the Stooges to Bach to English folk artists like Dando Shaft, Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Nick Drake to English jazz fusion bands like Nucleus, Soft Machine and Keith Tippet, American icons like Miles Davis, John Coltrane to blues artists like Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt as well as songwriters like Fred Neil and Tim Hardin so it wasn't such a stretch to return to these and other early influences I had such as Donovan, the Kinks and Gordon Lightfoot when I began composing songs. Though I had left the music biz after the traumatic crazed psycho daze of communal life with Simply Saucer I continued to write songs and maintain the artistic side of the equation growing in my abilities as a songwriter awaiting the right time to return. Personal experiences usually kick start a song but for the most part I'm not strictly writing personal history or autobiography as the lyrics are always at the service of the song and are allowed to go wherever a literary aesthetic takes them. As well, like songwriters such as Randy Newman, I often assume a persona when I sing a particular song. My songs can be very theatrical as well as playful, Ray Davies was a big early influence. I enjoy ditties, English music hall, sailor chants, anything well written and cheeky.
Punk Globe:
What are some of the influences, new and old that drive you to create? Music or otherwise?
Edgar Breau:
Well my own musical influences are John Fahey, Ray Davies, Syd Barrett, English folk music, Lightnin Hopkins many others really. Literary influences like William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor are ever present, Hopkins, Yeats I love filmmakers like Robert Bresson, Tarkovsky playwrights screen writers like Horton Foote..My French Acadian blood plays a role, French novelist George Bernanos, G.K. Chesterton, Dostoevsky, East end Hamilton street life, live in a rough area of town currently replete with hookers, crack heads, street toughs, keen interest in politics, daily newspapers, distributors, subsidiarity, avante guard vs. traditional balancing acts, I do like artists who are 'out there' like Captain Beefheart but grounded as well in the blues well that's a bit of who I am, father of wonderful children now grown up, homeschooled them at one time, made a stab at cheesemaking, contemplated 'going back to the land' , more or less a songwriter. Like Byzantine liturgy, the Wire, my folks were early Canadian settlers in NB (Canada), Acadian on my father's side, he was a guard in penitentiary Guelph grew up listening to gruesome tales of prison round the supper table, maybe that triggered an interest in the macabre and later my murder ballads, our kin cleared the land built settlements, were musicians some, grandfather Alef built and played flddles, till he cut a finger off at the sawmill somewhat hampering his abilities, father Edgar a sort of war hero type, dashing adventurer, later after the Dispersal, Breau's in Louisiana, N. America's first cowboys, barefoot, women smoking pipes, men cursing in church, dissing the aristocratic Spanish clery who they resented, back home farms stolen by the English! my father outraged hundreds of years later..colourful French relatives, rowdy fun loving,....mom's side were lrish Catholic devout and more reserved Well that's my story and I'm stickin to it...
Punk Globe:
Thanks Edgar! Album preview/teaser -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCg3i7oHpvQ

To but this amazing album (CD!) you can go to cdbaby.com or Paypal/Money order $15.00 (International postage paid) to Paypal acct - flyinginnmusic@gmail.com Money order/cheques payable to Flying Inn Recordings
38 King Street East - PO Box 66557 - Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, L8G 5E5. Check out these links as well!
www.simplysaucer.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1jli9L1gyI - Awesome!!!




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