Providence’s Resin Ed is one of the most peculiar musical acts in Rhode Island. The moniker of Brian Moreau has him playing an assortment of instruments at the same time, while utilizing looping techniques to combine their sounds into one. At times it’s groovy and funky, while at other times it’s spaced out and psychedelic, but it’s awfully infectious. On Saturday, he’ll be doing his thing as part of a stacked night at Pump House Music Works on 1464 Kingstown Road in Wakefield. Tai Chi Funk Squad, Smug Honey and Devin Bender & The Energy Rising Band will round out the bill.
Ahead of the show, Moreau and I chatted about what made him want to start Resin Ed, buying the gear to make it happen, looking forward to bringing music to people and working on a full-length album.
RD: What made you want to start doing this multi-instrumental looping project?
BM: It’s a mix of things. I really wanted to have a music project that I could do myself. Before Resin Ed, I played in a bunch of bands that didn’t work out because it can be difficult to hold a band together. It’s tough, you have a marriage to make a band happen and it’s as difficult as a marriage if not more. I wanted to do something by myself and not having to deal with band drama was a major force behind it.
I saw Keller Williams play one time and he does looping. I saw that and I thought it was cool, then I saw Zach Deputy play and he was able to make a party happen by himself. He was the main inspiration behind the idea of what I do.
RD: Keller Williams and Zach Deputy are both great, that’s awesome how they both inspired you to start this one-man band approach. How did you go about buying all of the equipment? Did you go to music stores all over Rhode Island and New England to find some of the stuff or did you go on Craigslist? Do you have a subscription to magazines where you can order gear off of?
BM: It all started with one of the best birthday presents I ever got, which is a BOSS loop station. It’s the essential piece to it all and once I had that I started trying to figure out how to do it while living at my buddy’s house. He had an electronic drum set and he let me use it until I used it so much that I ended up buying it from him. I think I actually still owe him some money (laughs).
Then I added my keyboard to it, which was able to give it that “wah” effect and really heavy bass sounds with an electronic influence. I’ve always been a guitar player and my buddy had a bass, so I kind of just tried to piece it all together. I’ve pretty much been playing with the same set up for nine years now.
RD: One thing that makes this set up so interesting is how it enables you to put a different spin on covers, like the traditional folk song “Shady Grove” and Primitive Radio Gods’ ‘90s hit “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand,” among others. Do you have a certain approach when it comes to doing renditions of these songs or do you make different adaptations depending on which song it is?
BM: If I’m inspired by a song and I think I can play it, I’ll fit it into the construct of what my loop machine is capable of. Basically what I do is that I try to figure out how the song is played, but as you said, I put my own spin on it. With “Shady Grove” I kind of took what the Grateful Dead did with the song and created a simplified version. In doing so, I’m able to do my own interpretation.
RD: Again, your set up makes it really interesting, while enabling you to do different things with these songs. I think it’s great. This upcoming show at Pump House Music Works isn’t your first socially distanced one this year, you’ve also played shows like these at Dusk in Providence and Tavern On Main in East Greenwich. What do you think of the set up and atmosphere during these gigs?
BM: It’s certainly been weird, but it’s one of those things where you gotta take what you can get. People are hungry just to hear music and it’s obviously preferable to have a bunch of dancing people in front of the stage. It’s also great just to go out and play music for people while having people still being excited for it.
RD: While in quarantine this year, were you able to write and record any new music? Can we expect a new album or EP in the future?
BM: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been sitting down and cranking out songs for the past couple of years. I’m approaching the point of having a whole album’s worth of material to record, which is really exciting and I’m really pumped on the new songs. I still have a couple more months of creation before I can get there and I also need to save up money because recording isn’t a cheap thing to do. I can’t put an exact date on when it’ll be out but I’m definitely planning on putting out a full-length album.