Photography by Twila Bakker
S: Steph Blais – Vocals and guitar
P: Paul Cournoyer – Vocals and bass
B: Brayden Treble – Vocal and guitar
What is the significance of playing the Edmonton Folk Music Festival for the first time?
S: We started with the in-betweener set and that’s just pushing you right into the middle of the festival. It was really amazing to see everyone on the hill. The hill looks different from the Mainstage.
P: My parents brought me [to EFMF] when I was not even a year old yet. Thursday I was so nervous about going backstage. I’ve never allowed back there! It’s very nice recognition. It’s a lot of family and friends you know watching you so it’s emotional in that way too.
How was Post Script initially formed?
S: It started off with me and Paul. We have been dating for four years and about three years ago my brother said: “You’re both playing music separately, I want you to open for my show and you guys are going to do it as a duo.” And I said, “I don’t know, Justin, we can try it.” We rehearsed a few times and opened up for my brother at the Yellowhead Brewery. Then we started writing more songs and recorded a small three song EP and started growing from there. About a year ago Brayden, started playing with us. Brayden has known Paul for a while from school and once we started playing together it felt more complete. Our goals and ideas of what we wanted to sound like came together once Brayden joined us. Now we are done our full-length album, If Not For You, and are promoting that for sale here this weekend.
Can you describe the process of how your sound began to solidify once Brayden joined Post Script?
S: It was always just me and Paul, which was fine, but we had an idea of make our sound a bit fuller. Brayden adds a lot guitar wise. I’m very simple on guitar and Brayden is one of the best. We’re really a trio where we bring in our own ideas and songs into the project. Now it’s really a collaboration.
P: It builds up the musical palette with bass, guitar, and voices. It glued everything together and filled in the spots we couldn’t do as a duo.
What do your collaborative songwriting sessions look like?
S: It depends. I could have written a song and I might not be sure about it yet but I bring it to rehearsal or I show the lyrics to Paul and I’ll play it for Brayden. They might say: “I hear this” or “change a few of these words.” We try to workshop it together and adjust to the way we want to sound a trio. We all write and bring it together into the project to voice our opinions.
How do you acknowledge your Franco-Albertan roots in the ensemble’s sound?
P: In terms of songwriting, we go with the flow. It’s important for us to recognize the opportunities we have had to develop through French music and mentorship. We want to recognize that those are our roots. It’s a good way to breakdown language barriers. People seem to enjoy it when we play French songs even if they don’t understand; to let them into our universe and to make it more of a shared experience.
When did you realize you had the potential to move forward as a group?
B: They gave me their three song EP and I immediately played it in my car. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I listened to it. By the first rehearsal, I already knew all the chords. As soon as I started playing with these guys, I thought: “This is it.”
How was the process of recording the album?
P: As we worked on it, it started casually and then the arrangements got fuller. We started in November 2014 and finished it in June 2015. We took a long time to look over the songwriting and arrangements.
S: We’ve matured a lot in the past few years. In terms of songwriting, we have more experience and we’re more comfortable with each other. For the first EP, those were the first songs we had written. We’ve grown a lot through the process too.
B: You can take songs in different directions, even dynamically, that changed a lot.
P: You can rock out a little more.
Are there certain things you consider while songwriting?
P: I personally try to take an approach that there is no wrong answer. I think especially when you’re starting and put it all out. The biggest rule is: try to be honest. Whatever story or concept you’re writing about – you’re committing to it and you’re being truthful.
S: Delivering the message and intention of what you want to say. A lot of our songs on the record are personal. Brayden also brought out our fun side. For me, personally, sad songs are fine, I can write a sad song anytime. Writing a fun song that can make people happy, it’s the hardest things for me to do.
Why do you think that is?
S: I think when I’m happy I want to be out and about. Doing fun things and seeing my friends. I don’t want to be in my room writing a song by myself. But when I’m sad and upset, I want to be in my room writing by myself.
B: Once you have a sad concept, it’s easy to wallow in that. Happiness is harder to hold onto.
Isn’t that an interesting human observation?
S: I’m really hoping I can write a happy song after this weekend!
What do you hope your audiences are taking away from your music?
S: The things we are writing about is personal but you can connect to it. When people walk away from our shows and have that moment: “I know exactly what she’s saying. I’ve felt that way before.”
P: I want them to walk away having fun too. To just enjoy watching and being there in the moment.
Is it challenging to be vulnerable in front of audiences?
S: I love that feeling. When I feel like I’m being exposed and people are getting what I’m saying, I get this feeling, it’s an amazing feeling. I feel like I’ve succeeded in transferring the message to the audience.
Is there a particular song that elicits this feeling?
S: Dear Marie and Impossible. We’ve recorded it on our EP and we re-recorded it for our album. It’s one of those songs when you go listen to a song live, and everything is really quiet, and you can’t stop looking at the performer. It’s kind of one of those songs.
What are your future goals for the group moving forward with the new upcoming album release on October 15, 2015?
B: More Folk Fests!
P: Getting out and expanding our reach. We’re very Edmonton based at the moment and haven’t done much touring. We’ve done Grand Prairie and Iceland. We’re hoping to hop across the country at some point.
Are there any dream venues you’d love to play at?
B: Massey Hall.
S: I love the Interstellar Rodeo.
B: Regina Folk Fest. That’s my hometown festival. I grew up going to the Regina Folk Fest. That would be huge to play there and all my family is from Regina.
P: The Dakota Tavern
All: We like Toronto.