It’s been a busy year for Fort Smith musician Thrasher Guyuk (Derrick Thrasher) whose two new singles, The Sickness Endless and Catalysts of Construction, hit the airwaves, Aug. 31.
The tracks are a culmination of fast riff-style creation and rock wave inspiration, and Guyuk says he created them to represent something deeper.
“A lot of the songs that I create are on problems that exist in our world. The [two] biggest ones that I spread as much awareness about is the residential schools that have happened. Both my parents have gone. Like, ‘The Sickness Endless’, not giving anything away is just a continuation of something,” he said.
Guyuk’s second single, Catalysts of Construction focuses on the idea of Indigenous immersion.
“It’s crazy that this isn’t normal yet,” said Guyuk. “It’s been about 10 years since I’ve started writing songs about it and it’s cool seeing it beginning to exist today.”
On top of the singles, Guyuk has two new albums that he’s excited to release. The first being hopefully around Christmas time, and the second being sometime next year.
Guyuk’s been a musician from the age of 14 playing in different bands, along the way.
“Every single band I’ve been a drummer,” said Guyuk. “I’ve been a guitar player, singer. I also did bass. Right now, I’m writing dance-pop chill wave music, and I’ve always loved piano, and I’ve always wanted to make 80’s type music.”
“Now I started on what I would call my passion project,” said Guyuk. “I love all the 80’s stuff, Billy Idol is [the] biggest one. I’ve always wanted to make an album like his.”
Guyuk said he developed his most recent singles one instrument at a time.
“The way it happened is the creative juices are always flowing,” said Guyuk. “There are some days where I’ll just suddenly get up and be like ; “You know what? I’m going to hop on the drums right now.” Some days, I’ll just run into a riff. A lot of the times, the music is just stuck in my head, and it just sits there until one day until one day I’m like; Oh my God.”
“I’ll hop on to the drums, record the drum track,” continued Guyuk. “A simple drum track just to get the guitars in afterwards. I’ll work on the guitars until I think; “This is perfect.” Or even close to perfect, nothing is ever perfect.”
Guyuk continues the process with bass and vocals until, during his editing process, he removes and redoes the undesired aspects of what he believes aren’t perfect for the song.
“It’s one of the craziest circles [of song creation] you can think of and I’m doing this with about 13 songs right now,” said Guyuk. “I love it, it’s seriously my life blood. I love creating music. There’s some days where I could wake up at eight in the morning and start on the drums, and then I could continue on until one or two in the morning. Of course I’m going to stop and make supper, get my children, this and that, but then as soon as that free time comes I’m sitting on the computer recording another guitar track and such.”
Guyuk has nothing but praise for the the NWT music community.
“It’s a cool circle here,” said Guyuk. “Inspiring each other to push further … I’d love to see so [many] artists reach all of Canada, not just Canada but [all over] and become really popular. Inevitably, that is coming and you can see that a lot of artists are getting much, much more noticeable. One of the biggest ones that I watched recently was The Jerry Cans, I thought that was really cool.”
Guyuk lost his job during the pandemic but said it freed up his time to do what he loves.
“The first thought I had was; “Oh my God, what do I do?”,” he said. “Then I was like; “I am sitting on all of my songs that I haven’t been working on for a year. Not to make work sound negative, but out of nowhere I told myself; ‘Work on them. Keep going.’ Then my second wind came back, and now I’ve wrote enough songs for about three albums right now. It all depends on your outlook of what you want to do, and that’s what I’m doing right now.”
As for others who have had trouble creating their own pieces due to the emotional weight of the pandemic, Guyuk gave his take on it.
“There’s always that light,” continued Guyuk. “You just got to search for it, if you want to. You have want it. You have to want to see all this positivity… if you’re going to look at it as a darkness, than that’s what you’re going to find no matter what, but if you search for things that, say you’re going to enjoy or just love doing, and just keep on looking at the positive side. You’re going to find that positive side.”