[caption id="attachment_655" align="alignleft" width="342" caption="Photo by Ryan Fujiki"][/caption]

Edmonton's Michael Rault is on his way back to Saskatoon for a two-set engagement this Friday, January 14th at Amigos Cantina. Rault has played our fair city before, noteably for CFCR's pub night back in April 2010 and most recently in an opening spot for Bedouin Soundclash at Louis' Pub.

This time around, Rault is bringing a full band that will knock your socks off, then convince you to put them back on so you can get up and dance. He's just released the follow-up to his 2008 album Crash! Boom! Bang!, a rollicking 26:47 called Ma-Me-O.

Rault took a couple minutes out to catch us up on what he's been up to via email:

CFCR: Your new album, Ma-Me-O has been released by Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash’s label Pirates Blend. I’ll admit I was a bit surprised, as it’s maybe not an immediately evident match with your music. How did it all come about?

Michael Rault: Jay just ended up hearing my record, as fate would have it.  I think regardless of whether or not my music fits with Bedouin's music, Jay's a guy who's got his ears open, and he's interested in listening to new music, and new ideas.  So, we get on pretty well.       

CFCR: The move to Pirates Blend has brought other changes to Michael Rault as an artist, particularly in the management department. Has it taken anything away from the fun of making music to have other people taking responsibility, or does it give you more opportunity to enjoy yourself?

MR: It's too soon to say.  My new management isn't directly connected to Pirates Blend, but I did meet my manager through the Bedouin crew.  I really get on well personally with everyone I'm working with right now, and I think even if we all decided to call it quits tomorrow, we'd still all be friends.  I guess I will know more about what it's like to be a "professional" recording musician once I make my next record.  There's some pretty big labels interested in hearing what my new material sounds like, which is sort of a strange situation to be in.  I guess I'm also just waiting and interested to see what my new material sounds like.  

CFCR: You’re known for performing as a solo artist, but have also played with a full band. Do you find it limiting in the writing process when you know you’ll have to play the songs by yourself? Are there any thoughts towards either forming a more permanent band or do you like the variety of sometimes playing solo, sometimes not?

MR: I find it more limiting to write with a band than writing solo.  Writing solo, especially when I'm writing in a studio, or a home studio, is very liberating, because you can decide how each individual part should go, and you can really put work into making a unique arrangement.  When you are writing with a set group of people, you sort of get forced into their patterns, and the patterns that you've formed as a group, and eventually it can start to feel like every new song is just a slight twist on the older material you did with that group.  I almost always write solo, and do initial demos solo, then in the later demoing and final album recordings, I bring in a friend or two to fill the ideas out.       

CFCR: You recently spent some time in France. What sorts of venues did you play there? How did French audiences respond to your music?

MR: French audiences are amazing!  I played the best kind of venues, small clubs! And, I had my friends Medi and Ben from Charlie Winston's band playing with me at almost every show.  Medi actually played drums and percussion every time I played, Ben played some harmonica at every show but one, and Charlie even played bass with me at one show.  

It was really great, I was playing the same kind of shows that I've played in Edmonton over the past two or three years, it was just in Paris.  Ever since I started playing solo, my shows have always been all over the place, and generally every musician I know in the room ends up on or around the stage, paying percussion and singing impromptu harmonies.  I remember one show at the ARTery in Edmonton where I played for two hours, as a solo, headlining a show that was mainly full bands, and all my friends from every other band ended up jamming with me, and we ended up getting some really crazy grooves going that I had never done before, to the same old usual songs, and we had people dancing all night.  So, in Paris, the shows started turning into that kind of vibe.  

One of the funnest ones was this one at a place called Sans Souí§is, Medi was just playing a snare drum, and he played the whole set with me, which we had never rehearsed before, and Daniel and Olivier (the bass player and fill in drummer in Charlie's band) were standing front row, and playing percussion and singing harmonies.  Another show was at a place called Le Baron, which is one of the most private clubs in Paris (I guess Kate Moss and Justice hang out there a lot), and the same sort of jam broke out.  I was paying my one man band thing, but my drums kept slipping (bear in mind that this is supposed to be a showcase to agents and record labels), so Medi and Charlie ended up just picking up percussion and providing the rhythm for me, and it worked out better than it would have if things would have gone to plan.

It was just really surreal to be doing exactly what I've done for so long, just in one of the coolest cities in the world.  Really a highlight of my life so far.  

CFCR: You come from a very musical family. Your parents are musicians, your sister is in your band and even joins you on solo tours. How important is family in your music? Is it just luck that you have musicians around you, or do you consciously involve family in your process?

MR: Nah, I wish they'd all back off and get out of my face most of the time.  I love my family though, and me and my Dad are probably each others closest musical allies, and my sister is really one of my most loyal friends and allies, if not my absolute most.  My Mom and me practice singing harmonies all the time, and she's always been a fan of my song writing.  So, I guess it's just the way it is.  It wasn't how I planned it, but that's the way it goes.  Sometimes I'm a bit worried we might come off like the Partridge Family, or something.     

CFCR: What’s next for you?

MR: F**k if I know.  Man, everyone seems to think I should have some sort of plan, or understanding of what's going on, and what's coming next.  I just try not to think about it.


For more Michael Rault, you can visit him on the interwebs, on Myspace, Facebook or at his home. Michael is no stranger to CFCR and has performed live here a few times. See below for some proof:

Michael Rault:
"You Can Leave If You Want To"
[audio:http://cfcr.ca/pub/blog/uploads/2010/11/2010 11 26 Michael Rault Live 1.mp3|titles=2010 11 26 Michael Rault Live 1]

"The Things You Said"
[audio:http://cfcr.ca/pub/blog/uploads/2010/11/2010 11 26 Michael Rault Live 3.mp3|titles=2010 11 26 Michael Rault Live 3]