Right said Freud, says CC Brez let loose
Cormac Breslin, aka CC Brez, aka the founding member of Republic Of Loose, aka now a solo artist of some note, has that personal quality that Thomas Jefferson referred when he said: "Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
Cool, certainly, is his soulfully space cadet rendition of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy for The Windmill Lane Sessions on Independent.ie. The out-of-kilter brilliance of the performance whets my appetite (and yours, hopefully) for the release of CC Brez's debut solo album The Nightfall which he is unveiling on February 27 with a launch party in Whelan's on Dublin's Wexford Street.
He describes the lowest point in his life as "probably leaving the Loose" in 2010. "Walking away from something I had put so much work into. It was a big part of my life for a long time. I experienced big feelings after that, similar to a break up or breakdown. I was mostly upset that it didn't achieve its potential. It could have been and should have been bigger then it was, commercially and artistically. I still stand by most of the music but there's still a bitter aftertaste.
"One of those life experiences, I guess," he smiles.
He says that he was listening back to the final mastered album of The Nightfall the other evening and the lyrical concerns suddenly loomed large in his brain again. . .
"It's essentially about love and relationships. Whether they are intimate, professional or otherwise. Sometimes I'm angry, sometimes I'm happy, it's a wide range of emotions."
"That's where the real music comes from, the real lyrics, real thoughts," he adds. "Hanging around in the background. Waiting to be plucked."
He can remember having "a 'music industry' meeting with someone I didn't know a few years back. It was a formal meeting over lunch and I was trying to present myself in the best possible professional light.
"Having discussed the agenda at length we decided to head our separate ways. Walking outside the restaurant we turned to deliver our formal goodbyes and I blurted out 'thanks a million, see ya soon.' She just looked at me with a 'that was a bit strange' face. To sum up I try and present a kinda serious exterior but essentially I'm a goon. Like most artists, I guess. Freud might have another explanation though."
If you were lying on the couch opposite the aforementioned Sigmund Freud, what would you want to find out about the inner workings of your mind? "I try to be pretty honest with myself most of the time. If I'm angry about something or introspective or happy I try and embrace the feeling, sometimes to my detriment. I don't think bottling things up works. What I do try and do is deal with the way I present those feelings to others. I'd ask him his advice on that," CC Brez says referring to the bonkers-tastic godfather of psychoanalysis from Freiberg, Mr Freud.
"I'd also question him about the subconscious. How to access those parts of my mind easier."
I ask him to describe the music of CC Brez. "I'm a huge blues and soul fan, but I don't think the genre matters when it comes to good music. I'm constantly trying to capture that raw emotion that makes a great song," he says.
"On the whole, I don't think I succeed," he continues with touching honesty. "But maybe someday my strike rate will increase. I present my music in the pop format, but genres were created by companies to sell music. If I was to write the perfect track it would have the emotional depth of What's Goin' On [by Marvin Gaye] the pop sensibility of Wanna be Your Lover [by Prince] and the wild abandon of Purple Haze [by Jim Hendrix]."
To watch the full interview with CC Brez, plus two exclusive performances, see The Windmill Lane Sessions elsewhere on Independent.ie. You can also watch the sessions on TG4.