Having only been in the game a few years, Jéremie Brémault has already lit a few stages on fire and released a pair of EPs as the frontman of soul rock quintet Jéremie and the Delicious Hounds. The band, which equally brings to mind both Marvin Gaye and Led Zeppelin, is playing The Cube stage on August 16 as part of MB Live @ The Cube’s free lunchtime concert series, presented by the Exchange District BIZ and Manitoba Music.
Brémault, who is the cousin of musicians Sarah and Christian Dugas, grew up with music all around him but only picked up his guitar to write actual songs in 2013. His inspiration? Traveling around Canada and seeing the sights while working a job for VIA Rail.
“I always wanted to try my hand at songwriting, and that’s kind of how it started,” Brémault says. “I showed some songs to my sax player, he’s a hip hop producer with the whole studio and everything, and he said come on down.”
Adding pieces as they went, the singer/guitarist quickly realized he wanted a few different points of view in the mix.
“Originally I played most of the stuff, but we needed somebody better to fill in all the spots,” he bluntly offers. “(The band is) still all the same guys from those original recordings.”
It takes a talented and generous musician to hand over a part to another player, but Brémault says he loves the opportunity to collaborate.
“There’s always somebody who can do it better, and if you have access to them, it’s your loss if you’re not using them,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve realized I don’t like just playing little shows by myself. It’s not what gets me going. It’s being in that environment with a bunch of other guys, jamming together, that’s the fun part.”
With his Hounds, he released a pair of self-titled EPs in May, one featuring four songs in English, the other featuring four different songs in French, both produced by Murray Pulver (The Bros. Landreth, Sierra Noble).
“We’re a bilingual country, we might as well speak to everybody,” the St. Boniface boy says. “The French side of things have really taken off, more than the English. When you sing in French, you’re a big fish in a small pond, compared to the English world, where it’s a lot harder to differentiate yourself.”
With plans to lay down more tunes for possible full length albums in both French and English next year, the band is focusing the rest of 2017 on rocking your socks off with high energy live shows that recreate the records on stage.
“You always wanna reflect yourself as much as possible,” he says. “I think our albums are very reflective of what we sound like. Obviously we can’t always have the keys or the horns around, it’s not necessarily doable, but it’s pretty reflective of how we sound on the album.”
Brémault says it’s the shows that have won him plenty of new fans, meaning these Hounds haven’t ever had to beg for a gig in a while.
“We’ve never really made too much of an effort to push ourselves out there actively,” he says. “It’s been more passive, and we’ve been approached to do things. You could be a marketing wiz… and not to be cheesy, but what it comes down to is having a good show and good songs.”