Interviewer: Keagan Krszwda; October 31, 2013
I’ve been extremely lucky enough recently to have been in contact with Paul Marc Rousseau, the guitarist and lead vocalist of Burst & Bloom , and ex guitarist of I Am Committing a Sin . I asked him a few questions about his previous music projects, and what we see from him in the future. Enjoy!
—Keagan Krszwda: Was “I Am Committing A Sin” your first experience in a band writing music? Or were there previous bands before that / solo projects?
Paul Rousseau: I Am Committing A Sin was actually and accidentally a reunion of my (our, I guess) high school band called Japaned. Everyone except Kelly was in that band, but both Kelly and I played in a band called Cain and Abel just after. It looks a bit confusing as I write it now, but the short answer to the question is “no”. Or “nope!” if you prefer. I’ve been making music for a long while.
KK: Was there anyone in your family who really pushed you or influenced you to play and write music?
PR: This is perfect as a follow up question! When I say I’ve been making music for a long time, it’s because my mom was a piano teacher. Apparently I started playing piano as soon as I understood what it was. My mother taught me how to play piano. In 1998 I got a copy of Green Day’s Dookie on cassette and immediately decided that the guitar was cooler and I wanted to play that instead. My mother obliged, and I haven’t been good at anything since.
KK: I know you are probably asked this quite a lot, but what were the reasons behind the transition from the more hardcore music, to pop rock?
PR: I really loved playing in I Am Committing A Sin, but after that ended I didn’t want to play music like that again. It’s crazy but I was seriously sad about the whole thing and wanted distance from it. I decided that I would keep making music, but I wanted to do something I hadn’t tried. My whole life I’ve been writing music that was a bit “off beat”. Pop songs are really challenging. Plus I wanted to sing, so it just all fell into place.
KK: Were there any major hometown influences growing up? Or influences from anywhere in general?
PR: Influences are a funny thing. I don’t think I’ve tried to recreate anyone’s sound before. I mean, maybe my first band ever tried to sound kind of like Silverstein. We didn’t though. G rowing up in Burlington and going to shows at the YMCA every friday was influence enough. The volume (they were so loud and so many!) of talented, successful bands that got their start playing right in front of me was definitely the catalyst. I could talk for a long while about this but I won’t.
KK: What is the song writing process like for you? Do you find inspiration for lyrics after writing the instrumental, or visa versa?
PR: I generally do it all at once. I like writing narratives though, so often I have no choice. I’ve done music first a few times but I didn’t like it. It’s easier to work in the lyrical clever bits if I don’t have to work around all the weird musical traps I’ve set for myself.
KK: Do you rely on social media websites for promoting Burst & Bloom? If not, what is the promoting process like?
PR: I’m bad at the internet but I’m resigned to the fact that a band like mine can’t really exist without it. I’d say I rely almost entirely on it at this point. I haven’t really played or toured with Burst & Bloom so the only way I can make my presence felt is to slander celebrities on Twitter and hope that people think I’m funny.
KK: I had a chance to hear a few Burst & Bloom songs when they were up on your Facebook. What were the themes/inspirations for the material?
PR: I can’t even remember what songs I had on the internet , but generally everything is “based on a true story” at the very least. As a pop structure is generally quite rigid, some sacrifices must be made. In place of balanced story you end up with some liberties being taken. I don’t really get a chance to tell the whole story most of the time, but I’m getting better at that. All those songs were written in a brief period between IACAS breaking up and my girlfriend who I was living with at the time- being deported, so I basically put those things into simple terms and hoped for the best. I felt it was almost an injustice to tell such one-sided tails. Like, these people will never get a chance to respond. It doesn’t seem fair and I know I’ve stepped on a few toes as a result.
KK: Can we expect to see a Burst & Bloom debut record in 2012? Maybe a tour soon as well?
PR: Hopefully. I’ve been writing constantly and I’m just now feeling like I’ve got the sound closer to something I can live with. I’d do a tour right now if I could afford it. After IACAS, I sold all my gear. Sold the van. Sold the trailer. I kept only my guitar, which isn’t enough to tour. If by some miracle a bunch of money falls on my head and knocks me unconscious, when I come to I’ll be on a tour within the week.
— After getting to know Paul a little more, I felt like the passion behind his music really shows. Being from Burlington myself, it is such an inspiration to have such amazing, talented musicians such as Paul be from the same town as myself. I recommend to go and check out his newest project Burst & Bloom, and support him and the rest of the band members when they hopefully play in your town! Support your local talent! Also, as soon as a Burst & Bloom album gets released, buy it! 10 times! For all your friends! I predict that Burst & Bloom will have a fantastic 2012, because music like theirs is so unique and hard to come by, and they will get the attention they need.
Burst & Bloom – Free Advice