In an era where musicians and record labels seem more focused on releasing the next big “single” instead of hitting the studio to record the almost mythical narrative-infused full album, it’s refreshing to come across an artist still interested in putting out a collection of 10 songs that tell a story in the way that only songs can when listened to from the opening track to the last one on the album. Meet Bruno Bin, aka Shaky Knees, who releases his debut album on September 2nd, entitled 7 Years. With a launch party planned on September 6th at Toronto’s The Handlebar, he’s about to be a busy, busy man. We caught up with the singer-songwriter to find out more…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m a singer-songwriter currently based out of Toronto. I mix American blues-rock with Brazilian roots.
What can we expect from the upcoming Shaky Knees album and when will it launch?
My debut full-length, 7 Years, comes out on September 2nd. You’re all invited to the album release party in Toronto on September 6th at The Handlebar. The album is a healthy mix of acoustic-based, melody-driven songs and high-energy electric guitar tracks. You can stream the album’s opening track, “Make It Last,” on Soundcloud.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about making music in the 21st century?
I’d say the biggest challenge is to break through the clutter. We live in a state of constant information overload and, in a way, we’re all a little spoiled. I remember being a kid and listening to the same album over and over again because if I wanted to listen to something new I’d have to either go to the store and buy a new album or go on Napster and wait half a day for one song to download. Now we can barely get through one song before skipping to the next. Full-length albums are dying and bands are touring on a single release – a pretty fair sign that our attention spans are just not that long anymore. And hey, I’m guilty of that myself. Still, I decided to put out a full-length (10 songs) because I wanted to create a more robust content library for those who are into my music to enjoy. And I felt I needed more than five songs to paint a clear picture of what I’m doing.
Best rewards? To keep doing what you love, to have a positive impact on others. Every now and then you hear from someone that your song made their day, or made them feel something special. Whatever it is, to be able to connect at that level with a complete stranger is pretty amazing.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Family. Friends. Coffee.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…we got it going on!
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
N’awlins. It’s a tiny little restaurant near King and Spadina. A small piece of New Orleans in Toronto. Great food. Great music. Almost every night, they have blues/jazz musicians playing right at your table. If you go, try the blackened fish and check out the Blackburn Brothers. One of the best bands I’ve seen live.
What’s currently on your iPod?
Gary Clark Jr., Muddy Waters, John Mayer, Robert Johnson, Seu Jorge, Chuck Berry, Jake Bugg.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Night Train” by Guns N’ Roses. It’s epic.