Canadian singer-songwriter Brendan Scott Friel has once again teamed up with JUNO award-winning producer James Bunton to collaborate on the new pop-centric single, “Piece of You”. We caught up with Brendan to chat about the new music, his songwriting process, and the Canadian bands he’s been listening to lately.
From The Strait: Tell us about your new single, “Piece of You”.
Brendan Scott Friel: Piece of You is a song about being in love with who someone USED to be. It can be so difficult to let go in that situation and I know from experience that you can end up holding on despite your own suffering. Piece of You also features my favourite guitar part to play live right now.
FTS: What first made you want to be a musician? Was it a song, an artist, or just an undeniable pull to make music?
Brendan Scott Friel: It was a combination of many things to be honest. My family is first generation Canadians. We moved here from Ireland so every summer we would go back and visit. My uncle played in a ceilidh band and we’d go see him play each Saturday. I would be captivated by the energy of live music. On top of that, my older brother was an avid music collector. His room was wall to wall tapes, cds and vinyl. I’d spend hours hanging out in there listening to music with him. Lastly, I was very unathletic as a kid. I remember watching my friends make it all look so easy when they played sports. I felt like I had to work twice as hard to be half as good as them. Then one fateful Christmas my family all chipped in and got me a guitar. It was the first thing I tried that felt natural to me and there was no turning back from there.
FTS: Every artist has their own way of creating songs – what is your songwriting process like?
Brendan Scott Friel: My process is that I write constantly. I think of how many wrong notes you have to hit before you become proficient enough to hit the right ones. Songwriting is no different to me. I have to write SO many bad songs to get a good one. Every week I send over any good ideas I have to my producer James Bunton and we meet up Sunday mornings on Zoom for coffee and to chat about what appears to be working and what isn’t.
FTS: What are some Canadian bands you’ve been listening to lately?
Brendan Scott Friel: Tough question, so many good ones to pick from. I love Leif Vollebekk. I’m also super biased about acts that come out of my hometown of course but I really feel like they are hidden gems. The Indians Drones, Billy Raffoul and The Bishop Boys are all acts from my neck of the woods that are just phenomenal.
FTS: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound?
Brendan Scott Friel: I always have to start off with Donovan Woods. Another Canadian act that I think is doing everything right. Great songwriting, authentic and building his own team on the business side of things.
Nick Drake and Gregory Alan Isakov are huge for me too.
All these artists have helped shape my sound through me attempting to sound like them and failing! In that process I think I’ve found what I truly sound like.
Check out “Piece of You”, the latest single from Brenden Scott Friel!