Hi, drummers! My name is Daniel Bédard, and I’m a drummer from Montreal. I’ve been drumming now for around sixteen years, and I’ve played with a lot of different artists here in Québec. I’m writing to talk to you about my band Sharcüt, a trio composed of guitar, bass, and drums, with which I just released a digital EP. I’ve been playing with this band since 2002, and we released a record in 2009.
The band started out as a jam band back when we were still in college. We used to sit down at our instruments and just play whatever came through our minds for really long periods of time. After a couple of years of doing so, we started to write some songs that actually had structure and melody so that we would know what we would improvise over. After we had written a bunch of songs, we went in the studio to record our first real CD (we had done a couple of demos), and we played a bunch of shows during the years after its release.
We are now releasing a brand-new EP of four songs, which features our latest work. It’s all been recorded at our rehearsal place with our bass player as an engineer, but even though we didn’t have access to a luxurious studio, we managed to get a very nice and rich sound. You’ll probably hear some hi-hat foot strokes sometimes because I was the only one with the click in my ears. It was pretty much done in one day, a few takes of each song.
We describe Sharcüt as an ambient-abrasive-instrumental-rock band with some influences coming from Tortoise, King Crimson, Primus, Miles Davis, and a lot more. The tracks that you hear have been played on a Yamaha Oak Custom set with some different cymbals made by Zildjian and Dream. On all four tracks I used a weird 12″ Rajah hi-hat that I found in the closet of the music store where I work. It had been lying there for a while, so I tried it and really loved it. This hi-hat has a pretty cool vintage sound.
I have been heavily influenced by drummers like Matt Chamberlain, Keith Carlock, Tony Williams, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Bill Stewart, and many others. You might hear some of those influences in the recording. I was thinking a bit of Chamberlain when I recorded the first part of “Iceberg,” with the slow rock beat and some hi-hat foot played here and there. I really like it when he plays those slow tempos. He’s a killer.
When I tracked “(Retarded) Samurai Deluxe,” I was thinking of the way Jason McGerr plays sometimes, whether it’s with Death Cab for Cutie or Tegan and Sara. He’s got some nice hi-hat work on those records. For the “El Camino” track, I had some Krautrock beat in mind and some Glenn Kotche–influenced rhythms. I’ve seen him play with Wilco a couple of times, and they played some beats like this live and on their record.
The last one, “Niacinamide,” was inspired by the work of some of the Afrobeat drummers, like Tony Allen. I was looking for a groovy beat to play over the dark/weird melody my colleagues were doing, while the last part of the song might be a wink to Tortoise and some of those post-rock-ish bands.
I hope you like the recording and that you’ll check out what we do in the near future.
You can download our EP for free at www.sharcut.com/albums.