I wasn’t sure if I should take Renny Wilson seriously when he suggested meeting at McDonald’s to discuss the release of his debut solo album, Sugarglider, which came out last week via Mint Records. It’s a similar symptom of your first experience seeing Wilson live. As the charismatic dude draped in denim approaches the mic, it’s hard to tell what’s about to happen. At a certain point in the show, his reverb-soaked falsetto is suddenly sailing around the room, while the kick drum solidly anchors the beat. His Canadian Tuxedo is lying in a heap on the stage and the mic stand is clenched firmly between his ass cheeks.
It’s that kind of wild live show and dreamy disco sound that’s garnering him a lot of attention and has landed the Edmontonian on Mint Records. Deciding McDonald’s might conflict with his current cleanse, we opt a different locale to chat about his live show and Sugarglider.
“I made 50 [cassette] tapes and played my first out of town show at Sled Island… Shena Yoshida at Mint bought a tape at the Sled Island show after my drummer invited her to come… I signed with Mint about a month after,” Wilson explains about connecting with the venerable Vancouver indie label. Ironically, it was abandoning the “perfect record” that allowed him to finish Sugarglider. “It was a record for me to do to get over me being sad about not making the perfect record.”
He adds, “There’s a certain degree where you can manufacture magic, but the other half of it is just chance and a good attitude.”
Throughout our hilarious odyssey of a conversation, it’s clear that Wilson throws his turbo-fun attitude into his serious chops as a musician and performer.
“Sugarglider is a real thing. This is going to be my thing.”
When I ask about tour plans following the release of Sugarglider, Wilson tells me he’s starting to book some Western Canadian/US dates for mid/late-spring and about the frenetic energy he gets playing outside his hometown.
“Every time I leave Edmonton, I take my fucking clothes off.”
“It’s nice to not know your audience; it’s totally liberating. You can just go way crazy! Here I am. Here’s my ass.”
Renny Wilson released Sugarglider on January 22 via Mint Records.
By Levi Manchak
Photos: Mathew Leterski (top), Jessica Kyca (middle)