Interview: Michael Rault

Michael Rault @ The Rivoli, 14-09-12

I had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Rault at The Rivoli where he was opening up for Bombino. When we sat down, Rault told me that he was running late because his flight from Calgary had been delayed. While he certainly appeared to be tired and there were some details he had to work out last minute, he just seemed happy to be playing the show with Bombino.

If you’re unfamiliar with Rault, you’re certainly missing out. He’s a talented young fella with an old soul. He cites Bo Diddley as a big influence, as well as Little Walter. However, Rault says he’s influenced by all kinds of music, including rock and roll of all eras, blues, RnB, country and even punk.

His music certainly has that throwback sound. As for their live show, Rault says, “I guess we get to stretch out the songs a little bit, sort of jam on them a little bit. I enjoy just getting involved in the live show. I like the records too, but it’s just a different thing.”

Rault is actually a recent transplant to Toronto from Edmonton. His reasoning for the move was entirely based on business, as his label Pirates Blend is based out of Toronto. “I was working with management here and the label here and agents here and they’ve kind of been asking me to move for the last couple years, but I kind of kept putting it off. But eventually I just realized I just had to do it.”

The move was a bit of gamble at the time, though. He reveals, “I decided to take the leap without any money. I managed to do it until now without living on the streets, although I came close. Sort of. I was sleeping on lots of people’s couches for the first four months. It was just kind of a leap of faith. So far, so good.”

While Rault’s now a Torontonian, he’s still a big fan of the Edmonton music scene. He remarks, “I really love Edmonton’s music scene. Strangely enough, there are more things that I hear that are coming out of Edmonton or by people from Edmonton who are in different cities now, there’s more stuff out of that scene that actually blows me away than here.”

But Rault does have an appreciation for the Toronto music scene as he says, “It’s a lot bigger than Edmonton’s music scene and there are just more bands coming through…Toronto is way more connected. And there are a lot of bands I like too. I’m happy to be here. It’s nice to be somewhere that’s thriving. There are always things going on every night.”

Rault has been touring his Whirlpool EP quite a bit, which was released this summer. It’s his first release since his full-length debut Ma-Me-O in 2010. In August he had a gig playing the Amex Stage after The Black Keys show at the Molson Amphitheatre, but his touring schedule had him flying across Canada for different festivals, events and shows.

Although his touring schedule was a little hectic at times, Rault maintains, “You can’t complain, even if the schedule is kind of gruelling at times. It’s not bad. It’s a little bit crazy sometimes, like today is a bit crazy. Flights being delayed or Canada Post… every time I need Canada Post to ship me anything, they’re always two weeks late. Other than that, it’s cool. Once you get through all the minor nagging details, it’s cool. That’s what makes it worth it.”

Rault played a lot of cool shows this summer, but he says one of his highlights was the Interstellar Rodeo in Edmonton, as well as a house show in Edmonton. But Rault makes a point of saying that it was great hanging out with his sister and friends on tour. Emily Rault sings backup vocals with her brother whenever possible.

After all this summer touring, Rault is now looking forward to taking a bit of a break. He still has some shows lined up, but his attention is now on recording. He says, “It’s sort of nice to take a little break and sort of get my bearings and think about what I wanna do next and put my attention onto the new album.”

For those anxious to hear new music from Rault, he reveals, “I’m looking at trying to put a full-length out this spring. I’m just writing it right now and looking at scheduling some studio time, so hopefully that will all be nailed down soon so I’ll be ready for next spring.”

With soundcheck on the mind as we started to wrap up our chat, Rault couldn’t really think of a drunken story to share as he says, “There’s too many to rifle through to find a really good one. Nothing really comes to mind.”

As for shots of choice, Rault says, “I got really accustomed to doing vodka shots on tour. I haven’t done it in a while, so I don’t know if I have the stomach for it anymore. I got a taste for it. It gets to the point where it starts to taste like water after a while, which is a bad sign.”

It was really nice to chat with Rault before he starts to focus on writing and recording a new album. While you wait for a full-length, his Whirlpool EP can be downloaded for free from his Facebook. Rault also reveals that there may be a few surprises coming soon, so there’s plenty for Michael Rault fans to look forward to.


Categories: Interviews


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