If you’re one of those people with wanderlust, I’m sure you’ve either been to Newfoundland or at least have looked into how much you’d need to head over there. Being someone with less in their bank than a newborn (given they aren’t like Prince Williams’ kids), traveling isn’t high on my list based on realistic circumstances, but when LeRiche came into my inbox – I had to wonder what and where the hell this land Newfoundland even was. After some Googling and Wikipedia, I then figured it’d just be easier and more legit to talk to the singer about it, along with his attention to natural detail and his latest EP.
Kendra: Never having heard of Port aux Basques, what’s the music scene like out there?
LeRiche: The music in Port aux Basques is mostly sing-a-longs, opposed to the instrumental fiddle or accordion music typically found in other outport Newfoundland communities. These traditional Newfoundland pieces are called jigs (triplet feel) and reels (4 on the floor) and have heavy Celtic, Irish, and French roots. Even though it’s a small place, almost everyone you know plays SOMETHING. When I grew up there, there was only one real venue to pull off shows. Just one bar with a stage and a dance floor; The Port Club, but we would make the most of it. They still do. The town is big on tourism too so they have live music events often. Five nights a week in the summer which, if you’re lucky, is about two months long in Newfoundland. There are many musicians bred in that fog.
Kendra: Do you head elsewhere to play shows?
LeRiche: We would sometimes drive an hour or two to play a set in Stephenville, or Corner Brook, or “just around the bay,” as we say. We would usually land in the red but we didn’t care; we weren’t doing it for the money. After college, I eventually moved to the City of St. Johns.
Kendra: How much are you influenced by the culture that surrounds you in Port aux Basques?
LeRiche: Entirely. I wouldn’t choose any other place, intact I’m proud to have been born and raised there. I was born into a loving and luckily, musical family. I caught inspiration from every direction. Not to mention the front door of the house I grew up in, faces the ocean.
Kendra: With “Rain” you have this very folk meets nature approach. Do you spend a lot of time writing outdoors?
LeRiche: I wrote that song in front of the window I left open. I tend to take a lot in from nature, then hermit away someplace to write about it. I think I work well when next to a window with a view. But every so often I do tend to go on adventures with my notebook and a guitar.
Kendra: You actually have real rain sounds in the song. Was that the plan from the start?
LeRiche: Not at all. In fact, from its inception I told myself I would not put that sound on it. And then, the night we recorded it, the moment we were about to start tracking the song it began to pour buckets. I said “guys let’s stick a mic out that window there, whadya think?” And we captured it as we recorded the guitar and vocals you hear in the song. Sometimes, things just… happen.
Kendra: Being a solo artist, but having backing musicians – what’s the process like to find the best to play with? Does it take you long to decide who you want to work with?
LeRiche: It’s always difficult to find the right musicians to collaborate with. There is a lot of trust and hope involved. It always comes down to the vibe when you’re in a room, jamming with them. On the album, we had musicians that I had never met before, but knew of, and trusted, musically. It was all very organic. I hope it comes across on the album. I can be fussy sometimes, but the producers nailed it on this one. We had a killer rhythm section and some special guests to boot. I cannot wait to unleash it.
Kendra: You guys must’ve clicked because you’re working together on your upcoming EP Quiet Steady. What do you think listeners are going to appreciate most about the record?
LeRiche: I hope to help people get through their day. I want them to feel the sincerity in the songs, and get inspired. I try to write with every possible listener in mind, with the hope that it can get across to anyone, in anyway, any age, anywhere.
Kendra: The record won’t be out until the summer of 2016 – are you planning some shows around then or before?
LeRiche: There will almost definitely be a release show in St. Johns, NL, as well as in Toronto, ON, whereabouts is still unknown. Before that happens, I’ll likely do a few smaller gigs leading up to it around St. Johns to prepare. Until then I will probably hide away to rehearse and continue writing songs.
Kendra: What is your number one goal come 2016 when it comes to your career?
LeRiche: I would love to get on a cross Canada tour as a supporting act with a killer band. To tour, or even work in any extent with Newfoundland’s own, Hey Rosetta someday would be a dream.
Kendra: Being that we’ve already touched on the rain, if you had to make a mixtape for a rainy day at home, what five songs would have to be on it?
LeRiche: Ok, this is subject to change tomorrow but…
“The Less I Know The Better” – Tame Impala
“I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” – John Mayer
“Yer Fall” – Hey Rosetta!
“Cynical Bastards” – Arkells
“Medicine Man” – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem