WITCHPOLICE RADIO: One thing I like to do every year, I like to try to go to the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I always intend to go to a million shows that are happening, especially the ones at the Cube at Old Market Square. And every year I end up going to like, one or two just because of life gets in the way and timing doesn't work out.
And so I only went to one this year, and there was actually a performance by the guest on this episode who has been on the show a few times over the past few years. And I'm really happy I did because it was a really cool show and we'll get into this for sure. But, I mean, I already liked your music leading up to this, which is why I wanted to see you live. And this was just like, to me, anyway, like a next level of interesting, what you were doing with the music you were playing at that show.
So I think that before we even talk about any of that, if you want to just introduce yourself and just give a bit of background about who you are and what you do.
TETYANA HARASCHUK: Sure. My name is Tetyana. I'm a musician. I play drums. I went to school, I did the thing, I learned some stuff, and now I'm trying to figure out what I actually want to be doing music wise and where I see myself.
TH: That's where I'm at.
WR: Well, I guess maybe for a starting point, I mean, the last couple of times I've talked to you, you were sort of all over the place. I mean, you were in Europe, you were here in Winnipeg, you were kind of bouncing all over the place. But it seems like over the past few months you've been playing a lot of shows locally here in Winnipeg. Are you back for like a stretch or permanently or what's sort of the plan there?
TH: Yeah, I'm back for a stretch. I've been back since October, and it was a little bit hard coming back, especially coming back right into the winter.
So I kept it on the down low and just saw a few friends and tried to keep my distance a little bit away from the music.
But then, yeah, I felt that I did miss the music in Winnipeg and the musicians in Winnipeg. So I slowly started to go out to Jams and meet my friends and everybody in the community and kind of got back to what I was doing before I left. Yeah, and we'll see how long I stick around. I don't have any specific plans.
WR: Well, that makes sense. Like, I think the first time we talked, you were in Spain. I think you were still in school or you were just finishing up school or something then, too.
WR: So now, like you said, you've done the school thing and now you have to figure out what happens next. But like I was saying, I saw you play live at the Cube and I've had you on the show before I have your record. I really like it, the previous one, and I generally enjoy what you do musically. But this one was it was different. It was so much heavier and more kind of aggressive, and I really enjoyed it. So is that sort of a direction that you're going or is that just sort of how that show turned out? Because it was not what I expected, but it was in a very good way.
TH: Yeah, absolutely. It's an interesting question. I really appreciate thank you so much for listening and for coming to the show. That's super important.
Especially when you show up to the show expecting something and you're like, Whoa, this is not what I was expecting.
TH: Essentially, with this new EP that's coming out soon, that took a different direction. And I think we talked briefly about that direction before, the electronic direction, the kind of, like, in the box production mindset direction. So that's what the EP is. But the problem with the EP is that it's so soundscape heavy, so synth heavy, that to do that music live was going to be impossible, essentially, because it's like a soundtrack.
TH: And so what I thought could be cool for this show was basically to ask Devin and Kyle to bring a bunch of effects and let's just pare these tunes down to the basics and let's just make something happen.
And yeah, maybe there's some internal anger happening also that I feel like I need to play a little bit louder or lean into stuff more.
But that was also thinking back now, that was definitely my childhood. I listened to a lot of heavier music as a child because of my dad, specifically. Even my mom. My mom loves AC/DC. Not that that's heavy, but it's heavier than maybe what you might expect.
One of my favorite bands is Primus. I love Primus. And when they were here I think they were here last year yeah.
WR: At the Burt, right?
TH: Yeah. I went with my dad and there was an amazing concert. It was great. I love Les Claypool and his ideas and the textures and everything. So I think some of that stuff, if we think about life as a circle, I think I'm coming back around on the circle to my roots, my musical things that I enjoyed as a child and the sounds that I enjoyed, which is a little bit weird since it's getting heavier. And I'm telling you that these are things I enjoyed as a child. I understand that's a little bit weird, but yeah, we put distortion on the bass for that show. Kyle had a whole pedal board of stuff.
Devin also put a bunch of other effects on his bass, and it was just a lot of fun. I love texture. I think I'm headed in a direction of texture rather than genre.
And for the drums as well, there's one cymbal that broke and then my dad cut it a little bit more and fixed it. And now it sounds super trashy, but super cool.
WR: Yeah, that's awesome.
TH: So just trying things out and for that type of situation, maybe tuning the drums differently or adding things to the drums that will change the tone and the sounds and thinking about things like, okay, maybe it's time for me to get a drum pad so I can put some samples on it to have some serious effects. So I can just trigger whatever I want for these shows. Because there's something special about a trio. I love the trio format, but then it's very limiting as to the amount of things you can do.
So it's a little bit of you have to choose.
WR: Well, I think that what I liked about that show. I mean, the overdriven bass, for sure, was like a huge when that started and that was happening, I was telling my kids, I'm like, hey, check this out. That bass is awesome, but it really kind of gave me a vibe. I always feel like jazz and punk rock, although sonically, they don't have a lot in common.
There's a lot of feeling behind it that's in common because it can be extremely raw and extremely kind of fast and on the fly and the improvisational nature of it. And I think that a lot of people take jazz the complete opposite direction, sonically, and make it very mellow and very chill. And there's this potential to just have that kind of in your face rawness to it that I don't think I hear enough. And that was what I got out of that set. It was like that kind of present. You're really there really just pounding the shit out of everything in a very musical way rather than just making.
TH: Actually yeah, it's a very good point, Sam. Like, the rawness of jazz and the... melodification of it.
WR: It's probably a word.
TH: I don't know.
WR: We'll assume it is.
TH: Yeah. But for example, John Coltrane, that band was amazing all the time. And that was like top level.
Lots of stuff. Very raw, really loud. Actually, people who had the chance to see John Coltrane live, said it was a crazy experience because it was just like one song was 18 minutes long, and there was so much development and energy and dynamic change.
It's also totally a jazz thing. And it's like, I think I think if you dig deep, I think that's what happens. You have to have the fluctuations. It's just like life.
If you dig deep, life is not like this. And mellow and nice and, like, a little bit no, it's like all over the place. Yeah.
WR: If you're creating something emotionally, too, that's going to naturally happen. Right. You're not going to hopefully not going to stay at an even keel the whole time because life isn't like that.
TH: Yeah. So I don't know I don't know how to answer your question, but I'm definitely at a crossroads where I do much prefer to, for example, listen to some heavier music or more raw and experimental music, rather than something very academic and very precise.
WR: That's interesting. Yeah. Is that something that's sort of developed since you've left kind of the academic world? Have you been more sort of drawn towards that kind of stuff once you finished your university education and all that? Or was that always present?
TH: I think this is something new, in a way, but it's something that's existed always.
Sometimes in school, it's like a very focused situation. Right. So you're told what you should learn, you're told what you should be listening to.
And it's kind of weird because music is an art and art is it depends who you're talking to. Someone will think, this is amazing. Someone will think this sucks.
But in music school, it's like, no, you have to listen to this. It doesn't matter if you want to listen to something else. It's part of the curriculum. This is what we do here. And so there is a little bit of that sheltering from everything else and a little bit of shame also.
So if you walk into the music school with a t-shirt that's not a jazz t-shirt, you might get some looks, which is weird, because there's.
WR: So many genres of music that draw from jazz and that have jazz elements that obviously those musicians have been influenced by and probably even been jazz students at one point in their lives anyway.
TH: Yeah, absolutely. And that was a joke, for sure. But there's definitely about the listening. If you're not listening to jazz all the time, then you're not a jazz musician. That's kind of the school mentality.
But then you think about people like Brad Muldaur, for example, who does a bunch of covers of Radiohead and know and he's a jazz musician, but he recorded with Chris Thile. I don't remember how to pronounce his last name. The mandolin player who's like a folk musician.
So Brad Muldau is one of those people who's all over the place. And yeah, some jazz people don't like him because of that, but other jazz people love Brad Muldau because he's flexible.
WR: I guess it's like anything else. People are focused on keeping something pure, and they don't want anyone to deviate from what's been established as the sound. And I get it, too. I mean, there's definitely bands that I listened to when I was younger, and then I hear new people being influenced by the same stuff, but they're doing it different. It's like, I don't like it as much, but that's what needs to happen. You need to have someone taking those old sounds and adding new things to them and developing. And that's how you get new styles of music and how you don't just get stuck in nostalgia land forever.
TH: Yeah, absolutely. And there is something freeing about trying to shed labels. Just because you went to school for jazz doesn't mean you're a jazz musician, necessarily. So that's kind of interesting.
WR: So do you think of yourself as a jazz musician at this point then? Or are you just a drummer or a composer, drummer? Whatever else you want to add to that?
TH: I've actually never thought of myself as a jazz musician. And this is a very loaded topic because I have a lot of respect for jazz music. And this is one of the reasons that, for example, I would probably never record an album with standards or record an album with very famous jazz compositions because I've heard very good versions of those songs.
WR: Probably lots of versions of those songs, too. Like hundreds and hundreds. Yeah.
TH: And there's something beautiful about the way that those people perform those songs. And that's partly why I love that music.
It's the music, but it's also the performers. And I kind of feel like I just need to leave that alone. I just need to appreciate that. But I shouldn't try to do that specifically.
WR: Right. You're doing your own thing, and you have that background and that history of listening and that education. But yeah, you can make it into whatever you want, I guess, without having those labels hung on you.
WR: When this EP that you have coming out, was it recorded here or is it something you recorded before you came back to Winnipeg?
TH: It was recorded in Spain, actually, two years ago.
WR: Oh, wow.
TH: And it started as a super weird project that I never meant to release. It was just me.
School had just finished. I was excited to do things that I just had on my mind. And what I had on my mind was, hey, I have logic on my computer. I would like to check the whole library that logic has of sounds. And I just want to play with the Midi and figure some stuff out. Yeah, that's how it started. And I ended up recording a few sketches.
Then one of my friends was interning at a studio and she said, hey, we can get the studio for free.
TH: Do you want to do something like yes, of course, always. And I took these rough drafts into the studio. We put it into Pro Tools, so we had it in our headphones and we recorded on top of that.
WR: Oh, cool.
TH: The instrumentation was very weird. There was no bass.
All the bass on the record is synth bass or it's like samples of me playing bass when I was practicing for Bass Lab and would get distracted and was like, oh, this is cool.
And we had tabla and oud there's vocals on the record, drums and lots of sounds. A few different samples.
WR: Yeah, cool.
TH: Guitar, electric guitar.
WR: Just to go back to the show, I saw you play. I mean, that was with the trio. That was with a very considerably more limited group of instruments. Even though all the effects were there for the bass and everything, all the pedals and stuff.
I guess maybe the question is what is your sound then? Because that record is going to be different, obviously very different than what was heard at the show, which is different from your previous record and so on. So mean. I'm excited to hear this new record, but what should people expect from this one if they've heard your last release or maybe they've seen you live in one of the various versions of a band that you play with?
TH: Well, I have to say I'm sorry, that's what I have to say because I've been trying to classify this EP for release purposes. Just trying to figure out what I can call this genre that this EP is. And so far I've come up with psychedelic jazz rock.
TH: Electronic also in brackets, that would be the EP and yeah, the live show. I don't know. I'm trying to find the happy medium now between because like, in the first record, there were effects on the bass.
TH: There were effects on the guitars. There were some of that heavy stuff in the first record that is playable live. Then there's a few things on this EP that's playable live. So now I think I'm trying to kind of taper the sound.
WH: Meeting in the middle.
TH: Yeah. Focusing in on something, whatever that something, whatever that is.
WR: Yeah. So while you're in town, once this gets released, are you planning on playing any kind of release show or anything for it? Are you going to be performing the material on this EP live with whatever instrumentation you happen to have at the time?
TH: I'm not sure yet because it would have to be thought through and really to figure it out because I don't know any tabla players in town.
WR: Yeah, you have an oud on there and stuff.
TH: So there's just some things that we can't really do. So it would have to be like another adaptation. But let's see. It would be fun to play a show, but I think I just don't have patience. I think as soon as something is out, I'm like, okay, next thing. Yeah, let's write the next thing.
WR: That's a good way to be, though, I think.
I know that there's the whole music industry expectations of spending all this time promoting and touring and all on one release for months and months and months and years afterwards, but I think there is definitely something to be said for just, this is done. Put it aside. What's next? And keep moving. I think a lot of bands that I like do that. It doesn't always work. Sometimes the next thing will be maybe not what people expect, but I think there's definitely a benefit to just continually moving forward.
TH: Well, there's something there's definitely like a creative routine that's very healthy, like cleaning the pipes, the creative pipes, like you said, sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. Sometimes like this EP, I got some people to listen to it. Some people are like, Maybe you shouldn't release it.
And I'm like, well, too late, it's happening. I'm going to release it. I was thinking for a long time, like, I shouldn't release this, I shouldn't release this. But I don't know.
It's such a controversy now with people who've listened to it evenly divided between you should release it and you should not release it, that I'm interested to see what happens.
WR: How does that feel when you hear that? When someone says, you shouldn't release it, does that make you more motivated to release it just to see what other people feel about it? Or are you confident enough, I guess, in the material that, you know, it needs to go about regardless of what other people say?
TH: I don't know. I think I realized somebody told me, they said it depends on who says that to you, and it depends how much you trust this person, how much you value their opinion.
And so if I have people close to me whose opinion I value, both saying yes and no, it's a little bit confusing.
WR: Yeah, I believe it.
TH: No, I absolutely do not have confidence. I don't have confidence. It's very hard with anything.
It takes work. I have to push myself to pretend to have confidence.
WR: But it's happening anyway. The record's coming out.
TH: It's happening.
WR: Have a release date for it yet?
TH: Yes, the record is coming out September 14 and the single is coming out August 10.
WR: Oh, cool. So that's very soon. How did you pick a single for it? Was there always kind of a strongest song you wanted to put out to represent the record, or did you have to agonize over which one seemed like the best option to release first.
TH: I kind of decided a long time ago by accident because there was one song on the EP that I really wanted a visual representation for, so I ended up filming a little bit of a music video oh, cool. For that one song. And then it just makes sense to release that song as the single.
WR: For sure. Yeah.
TH: And from the people who've listened to it so far, they say that that is the strongest song. So that's also good, I guess.
WR: Right on. At this point, obviously, when we're recording, this is not out yet, but someone could hear this a month from now, they hear it six months from now. By then the record is out. Who knows what else you have going on? What's the best way to find your music online or elsewhere and to hear it if someone's new to your stuff.
TH: It'll be on all the streaming platforms. So if you just search my name Tetyana, and then H-A-R-A-S-C-H-U-K, a picture of a person playing drums will show up. And that will be me.
WR: That'll be you. Right on.
TH: You click on my face and then you find the new EP.
WR: Cool. And the old EP you can find the same way?
WR: Just click on your face. It'll be there.
TH: Click on my face.
WR: And do you have any upcoming shows while you're here that you know of already? That are already planned?
TH: Yeah. August 20. There's a great string of concerts that happens that's been happening for a few years. I know you're a fan.
WR: Yeah. I'm going to yours. I'm looking forward to it.
TH: Yeah. Red Haus Live. I love Red Haus. Zohreh is amazing. She puts on these great concerts all summer long and it's great for the city. It really gives you a place to be as a musician in the summer.
WR: Yeah. And it's a nice setting too, to have this intimate little porch show with maybe 100 people, max. Probably less. Usually like 50 or 30 people even.
WR: So before I let you go, though, how are you going to play that? What kind of lineup are you going to have for that show? Because it's going to be different in the cube, obviously, because the stage is different, the setting is different, the event is different. What kind of sound are you going to be bringing to that show?
TH: That show will hopefully be the trio -- Devin, Kyle, with two vocalists, actually.
WR: Oh, cool. Okay.
TH: So it'll be a quintet, not for the whole show, but for some of the music it'll be a quintet. And I'm hoping to play one song that I wrote a few years ago and it's a little bit of like a choir thing.
TH: So I'm hoping to get all these people because Kyle sings also. So I'm hoping to have three or four vocalists singing this tune.
WR: Oh, very cool.
TH: It's a very relaxed, very easy, simple, but I think it's a nice tune. I think maybe people would like it, but again, it's a completely different thing.
WR: From people have to go and see and decide if they can figure out what you are, what you play, what type of music you make.
TH: Yes. If you can help me, I would be very grateful.