Local punk rock musician and folk singer Greg Rekus recently released his new full-length album entitled The Dude Abides. Having toured across Canada in 2011, Rekus has set off to promote his new album in Europe in early 2012. Former front man of local punk/ska band High Five Drive, Rekus is now carving out a name for himself as an independent artist. The Dude Abides can be purchased at various local indie music stores as well as online at interpunk.com.
Manitoban: What substance / activity do you find most helpful in the creative process?
Greg Rekus: Drinking is a big one. In fact I’m drinking a beer right now. A lot of the time it’s just a matter of finding a place where no one can hear me and just start belting out a song. I think the best songs I came up with were spontaneous.
M: Whose work inspired you the most in your youth?
GR: The first tape I ever got as a kid was Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi. I remember being at Kmart with my old man and grabbing the tape. I couldn’t read at the time but I knew it was the one I wanted based on how cool it looked. I went through a big rap phase in my pre-teens going from Vanilla Ice to MC Hammer to House of Pain and finally ending at Cypress Hill. I liked Nirvana for a brief time in the 90s but it wasn’t until the 90s punk scene exploded that I really identified with any type of music. I thought the style of writing was simplistic but effective. The guitar was cool. The songs were fun. It was exactly what I wanted, plus it was accessible.
M: Whose work inspires you currently?
GR: I’m kinda all over the board. I like a few songs on the new Frank Turner record. I really like the new Tom Waits record. Larry and His Flask is a rad band I played with in Edmonton. Speaking of Edmonton, Fire Next Time and Audio Rocketry are both from there, and both bands I look up to. Corb Lund, too.
M: What’s the most embarrassing album you’ve ever owned?
GR: Jagged Little Pill, by far my guiltiest pleasure.
M: What bands / artists have you been listening to lately?
GR: I’ve been trying really hard to seek out some new stuff lately. Just kinda craving something fresh. Gotye has struck a chord with me this past week. A friend downloaded it to my computer and eventually I gave a few listens and it grew on me. None More Black had a bit of a revisit to my playlist lately too.
M: Do you have any hobbies or obsessions outside of music?
GR: Physics, astronomy and cosmology are some of my biggest interests outside of music. I love this show called The Universe. I’m also an accomplished sound guy.
M: In memory, what’s the best advice you’ve received?
GR: Probably the same advice Homer Simpson got on his wedding night: if I ever travel back in time don’t touch anything. Even the smallest change can have a huge impact on the future.
M: What is your most cherished musical instrument?
GR: My stomp box.
M: What’s your favourite song to cover?
GR: At the moment it’s “The Hockey Song” by Stompin’ Tom but I also like “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” by Tom Waits.
M: What’s been the most surreal experience of your music career thus far?
GR: There have been so many great memories. The first time I toured Europe. Playing Groezrock with High Five Drive. Lately the greatest moment was a sold out show I did in January this year in Edmonton at Wunderbar. At the end of the set I crowd surfed on top of my guitar case.