The REC Room is a video series of live music sessions that will premiere on Jan. 10 and will feature up-and-coming Winnipeg indie bands.
Red River College Creative Communications student Sean Guezen has paired up with Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts audio engineering graduate Ashton Baranyk to round up bands of all genres, from folk to punk rock, to record raw and unedited live shows in a seemingly basement-like studio at Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts.
“The REC Room features music that’s a little bit louder, a little bit weirder, or has a bit of attitude,” said Guezen.
The idea originally came together in 2016 when Guezen decided to create a show from his basement that featured local artists. He scraped together enough money to get the proper audio and video equipment, adorned the walls with posters, and began recruiting performers for the show. He recorded five shows last year, but the official premiere of his collaboration with Baranyk comes out this week.
When the opportunity arose for Guezen to choose a major project for his degree at RRC, he decided to up the production to make his show bigger and better.
“The REC Room is a labour of love for me that sprouted from my obsession with watching live music sessions like Audiotree and KEXP on YouTube,” he said.
“It’s the perfect way to discover new music, and it’s so raw – you’re not pitch-correcting the vocals, overdubbing drum tracks, or polishing it off with heavy editing – what you see is what you get.”
Silence Kit will be featured in the premiere episode. Future performers will include local artists such as Urban Vacation, Rust Owl, and Taylor Janzen.
Though recording is complete for this season, Guezen expects they will be recording more shows in the summer and will either reach out to bands or put out a call for applications. What he knows for sure is that he wants to keep this project going. “Ultimately, I want to be able to turn some heads and get more people listening to Winnipeg indie rock. As soon as Ashton and I had finished the last session a couple weeks ago I think we both looked at each other and realized that we needed to make more,” he said.
“We’re already discussing shooting more videos likely in early summer, and we’re really just excited by the possibilities of where we can take this.”
Guezen said that Winnipeg musicians need outlets to get the recognition they deserve and The REC Room is another way to get more of this city’s music out there. “Winnipeg needs as many shows like this as it can get,” said Guezen.
“The REC Room just highlights a niche of independent musicians that perhaps aren’t represented enough, so that’s where we fit into this.”
The first episode of The REC Room premieres on Jan. 10 on www.therecroomwpg.com