Hi! Can you share the inspiration behind your song “Birds and the Bees”? What led you to explore themes of fantasy, love, and primal instinct in this track

A: Hey there, sure. I think my partner at the time (who is now my wife) and I were arguing about something meaningless and inconsequential, she is the inspiration for most of my songs…not because we are arguing a lot but because anyone who we choose to have an intimate relationship with, acts as a mirror which reflects back at us exactly what we need to see. In that sense there is a lot of inspiration that comes from sharing my life with someone else, even when it’s difficult: LOVE is the highest vibration.

The song “Birds and the Bees” was written back in 2011 and parts of it were recorded in several home studio spaces throughout Vancouver. Can you share more about the process of creating this song over such a long period?

A: The initial idea was conceived in and around a time when I was writing a lot of tunes in a large abandon warehouse on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. There is a lot of contrast there and I was fortunate to occupy this creative space for about a year. I put it away for a few years after that. I have several hard drives full of ideas and when it came to thinking about tracks that I would like to put on the second album then this one came to mind. I actually sent to Chad VanGaalen earlier this year and he offered to give me some feedback on a bunch of work, that was really kind of him, and he is rad so I was stoked. As I kept listening to it, I knew it needed something bigger.  I kept hearing trumpet on it so that happened.

Anthony Shackell added the trumpets to “Birds and the Bees” in your studio in the Comox Valley. How did this collaboration come about and what was it like working with him?

A: Ya Tony is amazing. A real pro. Funny story in that I was selling a mixer that I had acquired and another musician friend who I know bought it. I mentioned to him that I was looking for a trumpet player for a track and he gave me Tony’s number. I didn’t have many instructions for him on what I wanted, he literally came in and did his thing and were done in under 2 hrs. It was the first time I had recorded trumpet (or anyone other than myself on my albums) so it was a real pleasure to work with him.

The song “Birds and the Bees” features a doubled vocal line. Can you explain the creative decision behind this and how it contributes to the overall feel of the song?

A: I double a lot of my vocal lines on the album. The harmonies I think represent a couple of perspectives. Like the angel and the devil that rest on our shoulders, one telling us to be good the other more associated with the shadow, each one needs space to be heard. Desire is a crazy thing, and we need to learn to let the lion feast, but on the appropriate fare, otherwise he can devour everything.

The music video for “Birds and the Bees” was filmed on Vancouver Island. Can you share more about the concept of the video and the experience of filming it?

A: Yes, there is so much talk about whether music videos are relevant to musicians anymore. I just like filming things. I didn’t think about it much.  I just had a couple of hours that I wanted to go dance in the forest with a mask on really. It was actually really hard to see out of that mask, so the dancing was pretty challenging.  It’s fun to explore that side of the creative medium, hopefully people find it amusing.

Your debut album ‘Cherished’ was named Best Album of 2022 by Indie Boulevard. How did this recognition impact you and your music?

A: It was a surprise for sure. I’m not big on competition in a creative endeavour. I think what was most important for me is that the curators at Indie Boulevard really got it. You know, they listened to it, the music, the words, the intent that was meant to be communicated was received, and that was what was cool about the accolade. I mean that album took me 15 years to write, and they got it. It helped me then just keep going and get excited about the next project.

You’ve been active in the Canadian independent music scene since 2006 and have been part of the band Fur-Bearing Animals. How have these experiences influenced your solo work as Pranatricks?

A: Well, I’ll quote Rick Rubin on this one because he seems to say it best, “Consider your craft as an energy alive in you. It’s just as much a part of the cycle of evolution as other things are. It wants to grow. It wants to flower. To hone your craft is to honour creation. It doesn’t matter if you become the best in your field. By practicing to improve, you are fulfilling your ultimate purpose on this planet.”

Your sophomore album ‘Elements of’ is set to release on April 4, 2024. Can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect from this album?

A: Well, it’s clear departure from the acoustic indie folk genre from my first album. It’s darker and wants to expand more into the psych realm. Like the first album however, a lot of the tunes were penned years ago and continue to convey my process of self-exploration. It’s the Empire Strikes Back of the Star Wars trilogy, revealing some deeper darker secrets and hinting further as to what’s to come.

You’re releasing 7 singles off your 10-track sophomore album ‘Elements of’ in 6-week intervals. What’s the strategy behind this release schedule?

A: I suppose it’s my personal pleasure delay (LOL). The first album I released all 12 tracks as singles 30 days a part. It was intense. I thought I would be a little gentler on myself and release 7 out of 10 tracks in 6-week intervals. In each release I learn so much about the process; it’s a wild ride. It’s fun and a lot of work, in the end the goal is to expand and keep connecting with my audience in a natural way.

Aside from your music, you’re also raising a young family in the Comox Valley. How do you balance your personal life with your music career?

A: As well as I can. My wife refers to music as my mistress. It’s a complicated relationship but ultimately, she supports my creativity. There is a time to put it down, however. We certainly set aside time to be together as a family which is the best. A lot of the recordings were done during naps when my little guy was a baby or at night when everyone has gone to bed. It’s a struggle though. I commend anyone who is making a living through the arts.