Friday, August 23, 2019

Montreal’s LENOIRE collaborates, experiments, get harmonious

August 7, 2019 by Tiegan Suddaby, contributing writer

With their upbeat, modern twist on the blues, Montreal’s LENOIRE go with the flow while performing. They are a band built on harmony. A genuine relationship is key in making music together and, for LENOIRE, always comes first in the process.

“We don’t normally have a routine, we just hang out and chill together,” says bassist/vocalist Carolyne Lemieux. “I would say that’s the routine; we make sure we’re chill and we’re all united, and that’s it… It’s good because we’re always together.”

Their easygoing attitudes and love for improvisation was what brought them to each other in the first place.

“We were in different bands, the three of us,” says drummer/vocalist Gabriel Larose. “We were supposed to go to New Orleans with this band, so me and [vocalist/guitarist] Antoine [Laroche] went on our own… and we decided to start a new band. We started in Montreal, and then Carolyne naturally came in.”

Montreal’s LENOIRE offer up an upbeat and modern take on the blues (photo by Martin Rondeau).

One of the best aspects of touring for the members of the band is the onstage experimentation they like to partake in.

“We had a coffee [shop] gig and there was a grand piano on stage, and we were so excited, we really used it a lot,” says Lemieux. “We switched instruments… sometimes I went on the piano, Gabriel went, I went to the drums. It was really spontaneous.”

Blues as a genre particularly speaks to the members of LENOIRE, because of their influences and because of the freedom that comes with performing the style.

“I love playing it,” says Laroche. “I think it’s so much fun to play, and you have so much liberty when you’re playing blues. There’s that whole history behind it of rawness and spontaneity.”

The members’ love for improvisation and mixing together old and new musical sounds led them to where they are now. But blues has always been at the beating heart of their inspiration.

“We don’t really have a choice. We love old blues and R&B, but we’re influenced by new hip-hop and everything,” says Laroche. “We work with a lot of electronic and hip-hop producers, so I guess it goes with kind of that collaboration. The person who did the mixing and matching on our last EP, Satisfaction, he’s a French hip-hop mixer, so that definitely helped bring in that more modern sound into it.”

Kate Taeuschel, the filmmaker who worked on the band’s video for the song “Oh Girl,” captured the essence of beautiful confusion in their music.

“We had so much footage from that shoot, and so little music to put it over,” says Laroche. “She really worked hard and did a fantastic job to just try and pull those strings all together to get the kind of semblance of a story… I think a lot of the inspiration for it just came from spending this time together. When we were doing the shoot, it was kind of hectic, and the song’s kind of hectic. I think chaos is a bit of an influence there.”

That sense of community extends to other areas of the band: LENOIRE has cultivated a strong bond with other members of the Montreal music scene.

“Over the last two to three years, we really built a community around us, and we’ve gotten to know so many people and just build really great working relationships with other musicians in Montreal, and producers and mixers,” says Laroche.

Post-tour plans are already in order—soon enough, LENOIRE will return to following the flow of the music, this time back in the studio.

“We have to get back to Montreal for some recording sessions,” says Laroche. “We’re working on a new record right at the end of the tour, so that’s a big thing that’s coming up for us. And then we’ll see where it takes us.”

LENOIRE
Saturday, August 10
$8 student tickets, Vinyl Envy
Sunday, August 11
Free, Gorge-ous Coffee
lenoire.band

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