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New album a musical expedition

Loss of innocence. Pain of love. Passion for life. Flin Flon singer-songwriter CC Trubiak’s new album, Tiny Army: The D. Holmes Sessions, is a musical expedition through the human experience. So it’s only fitting that he employ a gamut of sounds.

Loss of innocence. Pain of love. Passion for life.
Flin Flon singer-songwriter CC Trubiak’s new album, Tiny Army: The D. Holmes Sessions, is a musical expedition through the human experience.
So it’s only fitting that he employ a gamut of sounds. Officially Tiny Army is alternative folk / rock, but it also carries shades of country, a capella and some occasionally haunting instrumentals.
What’s clear is that the album is emotionally charged, highly confessional and ripe with meaning that only Trubiak himself may fully appreciate.
On one of his more intimate pieces, “Illusions,” Trubiak takes us into a world whose facades fall one by one like a row of dominoes.
“Illusions,” he croons. “Don’t be fooled, they’re just dreams and they won’t come true.”
The album’s title track, “Open Up My Heart (You’ll See A Tiny Army),” is a firsthand account of Trubiak’s finding unexpected love.
“That’s when my walls came down, my pieces laid out on the ground,” he sings.
This marks the second self-produced album for Trubiak, 34, one of those Flin Flon natives who left for the big city only to return to the greener pastures of his hometown in later adulthood.
His first effort, They Say I’m Different, was released in 2011, back when he was living in Ottawa. To say he has grown musically since his studio debut would be a vast understatement.
Tiny Army is a collaborative album with Ottawa artist Darren Holmes, not to mention friends and fellow musicians who lent their talents.
The Reminder caught up with Trubiak ahead of tomorrow’s launch of Tiny Army: The D. Holmes Sessions.
REMINDER: What was the inspiration for the album and how long did it take to complete, start to finish?
TRUBIAK: Tiny Army was inspired by a lot of jamming with my pal Darren Holmes, combined with hours of conversation about the kinds of records we both love – which included a lot of singer / songwriter albums from the 1970s, be it country, folk, blues or rock. Our goal was to loosely fashion this album along those lines.
Recording started in winter of 2011 and wrapped up fall of 2013.
REMINDER: As a mental health clinician, you spend your days hearing of other people’s personal struggles. How much of this album reflects your own struggles?
TRUBIAK: Tiny Army reflects who I am at the core, far better than any previous project I have ever been involved with. Each song was selected quite organically and in one instance, “Open Up My Heart,” a song was written by a gifted songwriter especially with me in mind.
In general I’m particularly drawn to songs that speak to feeling broken and the beauty of imperfection, yet after the project is said and done it incorporates themes of triumph over adversity, love and loss – empowerment. Themes like these run in and out of my life like rivers, some deeper than others.
REMINDER: What are your favourite songs on the album?
TRUBIAK: That’s a tough question. Drawing from the wisdom of Dolly Parton, I’d say, like her, each song I write or sing is like child of mine, or the closest thing I’ll ever know to having one.
With that, each song on Tiny Army is a part of me. While one might be prettier, or smarter – another might be under-developed or doomed to fail – nevertheless, holding a special place in my heart like a mother would love each of her children, winner or loser.
REMINDER: How would you describe your musical style?
TRUBIAK: Alternative folk / rock:  the ultimate road-trip material, or alternately for just sitting out on your front stoop at the cabin with an icy bottle of beer in hand.
See ‘Wanted’ on pg.
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REMINDER: When did you realize you love to sing and what did it take for you to finally unleash this talent on the world?
TRUBIAK: The first time I knew I wanted to sing I was five years old and listening to every track off my dad’s album, Physical, by the one and only Olivia Newton-John. That’s the moment. I can close my eyes and still recall clutching that LP, staring at the cover.
What did it take for me to finally ‘unleash’ this ‘talent’? It took me letting go of a lot of fear and learning to embrace that part of myself.
REMINDER: What do you want your fans to get out of your music?
TRUBIAK: All I could ever hope is that someone can put on my album or hear me live and be taken away for just a moment, somewhere peaceful and warm. If a person can attain any kind of enjoyment or relate, I’m happy.
REMINDER: How much of the on-stage / in-studio CC reflects the off-stage / out-of-studio CC?
TRUBIAK: What you see is what you get. in the studio, on / off stage. At the core I’m a very simple guy. I’m goofy and imperfect, my arms reaching towards the stars.
REMINDER: Is there a Flin Flon connection to the song “Coming Home?
TRUBIAK: I wrote “Coming Home” my first winter back at Schist Lake, on the mandolin my brother bought for me as a Christmas gift; so it’s very much rooted in Flin Flon. It became a co-written song with Darren once he came in with his woeful guitar.
REMINDER: How many people did it take to produce this album?
TRUBIAK: In terms of sheer numbers, it took 14 of us to produce the actual music that is Tiny Army. However, it was families and friends who inspired and keep us both committed. I’m incredibly thankful for each and every person who has shared in my musical path in any capacity.
REMINDER: What’s next in your musical career? Do you want it to become more than a side career?
TRUBIAK: What’s next? I haven’t gotten there yet! In terms of locally, I’ll continue to enjoy opportunities to play with the array of local talents as long as those possibilities continue. I’m also planning a show for February 2014 in which I can play material from Tiny Army with my own Tiny Army Band. I’d like to include various community talents and make it a platform for everyone to come out and shine.
The dreamer in me would love to find a manager and a band of folks who love what it is I have to offer musically, so much so that recording more records and playing outside of here becomes a possibility.
The realist in me understands the commitment I have to other responsibilities, namely my relationship, family, community – my security. These are my dualities – the perpetual dreamer living in reality.
(Tiny Army: The D. Holmes Sessions launches tomorrow, Dec. 17, on iTunes, and on CD at local businesses).

Top: The cover of CC Trubiak’s new album, being released tomorrow. Bottom: Trubiak in a promotional shot.