Updated: May 10, 2021
By Will Yannacoulias
Gary Ostafichuk is a three decade veteran of the Prince Albert music community. In addition to teaching guitar students and operating a studio, Ostafichuk has been guitarist for a number of local groups such as Misder Completely, Lemon and Penny Reign. Last year Ostafichuk decided to turn his talents to his own songs and launched his solo project, The Gary O Xperiment.
The Xperiment's high energy first single, “Love Like That”, was released today on most streaming services. Ostafichuk played almost all the instruments and handled most of the vocal duties. “My friend and former bandmate Jonathan Thall played drums and I did everything else” Ostafichuk shared, “A couple people helped just to layer vocals, make them a little thicker. One of them was (well known country artist) Donny Parenteau in fact! He was here doing something of his own so I asked him if he’d help with some vocals, and he said ‘You betcha Gary ol’ pal!’”
As an established music producer and owner/operator of Blue Walls Studio, Ostafichuk also handled the recording and mixing of the song. “I’ve had a home studio here since I bought the house fifteen years ago, but now it’s gotten more serious. From doing demos I had made a home studio and I decided ‘maybe I’m just going to take a chance’. I don’t really have room to do drums here so I went to Calgary to record drums and the lead vocal with my mentor, Johnny ‘Six Pack’ Gasparic at MCC Recording Studio.”
Ostafichuk has found the challenge of songwriting and singing to be rewarding. He shared that “I still think of myself as a guitar player, not a singer, still getting used to that, but I’m gaining confidence.” With eight or ten original songs in various stages of production and a “catalog” of song lyrics in reserve, the stage is set for The Gary O Xperiment to produce plenty of new music. “I would really like to be known as a songwriter at this point in my career” Ostafichuk reflected. “Being a songwriter and an entertainer, that’s my holy grail as far as being a musician. I really feel like I've turned a corner as a songwriter and I think people will be happy listening. That’s what I really want to do, perform my own songs."
The Gary O Xperiment’s “Love Like That” is available on all streaming services and on YouTube.