A conversation with local musician Chase Van Dusen – Apartment613


I recently had the chance to do some promotional photos for local musician Chase Van Dusen aka CHASE ahead of his upcoming EP Compulsive. Chase has just released the first single from the EP, which consists of six songs recorded with JUNO Award-winning producer Siegfried Meier (Face to Face) and mastered by five-time Grammy-nominated engineer Chris Athens (Coldplay, MGK, Drake) . Van Dusen wrote all songs and performed all instruments and vocals except drums, which were performed by Texas King’s Melvin Murray. The lead single, “Compulsive” is out now on all platforms, and the official lyric video is on YouTube.

Chase was previously the lead vocalist and songwriter for the Ottawa band Benefit of a Doubt, which toured Canada coast to coast and played such notable events as SXSW, NXNE, Canadian Music Week and d other independent showcases.

This interview has been edited and condensed. Disclosure: I provided photography services for the Compulsive PE.

Chase VanDusen. Photo: Marc Lepage.

Apt613: What can you tell us about this project and the Compulsive PE?

During the summer of 2019, I took a big step in my life and decided that I had to start releasing music again. Fortunately, I had set up a demo studio in my basement, just before the pandemic hit.

During the pandemic, I was able to write and demo over 20 songs. During this time, I contacted my friend and producer Siegfried Meier, who helped me choose six songs and agreed to produce my project.

It was a lot of work writing and recording, but I couldn’t be happier with how the project turned out. Compulsive is as honest and unfiltered as possible and I really hope it resonates with people. There are darker elements, but hopefully the overall feeling of this project is one of optimism.

I also feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of artists during the creation and promotion process. Compulsive. Melvin Murray, Siegfried Meier, Britt Bragg of Little Black Design (illustrations and graphic design), Marc Lepage (photography) and Andy Wood (videographer). Working with all these amazing people has been the best part of the project so far.

Tell us a bit about your journey from Benefit of the Doubt to where you are now with this project.

After the band broke up, I released some solo material, but I knew I wanted to work on myself before I could focus on a big project again. Since then, I’ve lived in Taiwan, come back, fought my demons, got my life back, met the love of my life, got married, and now here we are. All of these things inspired me and helped me create my new material.

The guys from Benefit of a Doubt have always been very supportive of my music. I like these guys.

Is there a common element to the songs on the EP? What connects all of this?

Keep hope, stay optimistic and be true to yourself. Beyond that, I would like listeners to interpret the music through their own experience. I like to hear what people think of a song because I like to know what the song means to them.

Compulsive PE.  Illustration: small black drawing.

Do you plan to perform this material live?

I would like. I practiced on an acoustic set, but hope to be able to play a full band set again soon!

What are your influences ? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

It varies, but right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind, Nirvana and Bring Me The Horizon.

Where is the best place for listeners to find and support this project?

They can watch my Andy Wood lyric video on YouTube or they can watch my song on iTunes or Spotify.

What are your favorite places in Ottawa? Where are we most likely to meet you?

Probably a music store like Steve’s or a venue supporting a local band like Maverick’s or Club Saw.

Chase Van Dusen’s latest single “Compulsive” is available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. You can also find him on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.