It’s a peaceful Gab Bouchard dressed in a white tank top, reflecting the cover of his new album, Gravines, who was waiting for us on the first floor of the Brasserie de l’Espace public, in his adopted Hochelaga. And if we specify it, it is that he once embraced a life a little more “trash” (to use his words), he will tell us during the interview.
At the dawn of the planetary crisis, the native of Saint-Prime, in Lac-Saint-Jean, released his first album, sad the same, whose pop-oriented folk-rock was serving a heartbreak. The one who swapped his platinum bowl cut for a fiorisque mid-length hair was quick to do it again, recording his second offering to Studio Planet in the midst of a pandemic, from spring 2020 to winter 2022.
Gravineswhich will be released on Friday, is an “album imagined in pain, macerated in red wine, born in the darkness of winter and recorded in the fun“says the guitarist with the distinctive mustache in his booklet.
An album made between buddies“floats in the moon” like Gab and keyboardist Mathieu Quenneville, whose friendship underlies the album, as well as the most seasoned, his accomplices Olivier Langevin, again at the reins of production, and Pierre Girard at mixing.
Of Gravines resolutely rock sounds emanate seventieswhich establish their marks from the first eltonjohnesque piano notes of Dump. This instrument is at the heart of the compositions, magnified by the inimitable riffs from guitar hero of Galaxie and Gros Mené, of this new opus, whose arrangements have grown. Note also the “voice of an angel who smokes tops” by Audrey-Michèle Simard who appeared on Gravines and which blends with finesse to that of Gab — a marriage inspired by the ballad You and I from Wilco.
Again, the killer’s son drum Pierre Bouchard manages to translate the flayed “little hearts”, his own as well as those of loved ones, the “uncalming” addictions and the disastrous thoughts into wonders of songs on edge, infused with pop and country.
“We were looking for moods rather than chords”, says Gab, lyricist and main composer, who during the creation of the album listened to a lot of John Lennon, especially Plastic Ono Band, and Leon Russell. The latter has also inspired “the somewhat circus pianos, the weird little bits”, indicates the guitarist, who also quotes Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino from Arctic Monkeys.
A family of buddies
Drawing on its “experience of recording», Olivier «Pantalonē» Langevin provided his young protege with the structure he really needed, says Gab «Bagou» Bouchard (really, the libretto contains pearls ofinside).
He is challenge in places that I need to be challenged. I think it’s on a human level that I like working with him the most. He pushes me, and he puts me in a frame. Worse, it’s hard to put a frame on me sometimes — talk to my mother about it.
Gab Bouchard, about Olivier Langevin, director of Gravines
It’s his boyfriend-mentor who pushed him to finish his texts, even encouraging him to stay at the Lac in order to finish. Well, it hasn’t always been very fruitful — “3 weeks at the lake for 2 sentences” by Your shift is not overteaches us our precious (yes, we are talking about the libretto) —, but it is the idea of recharging one’s batteries to promote writing that counts.
It took Olivier “Langevino” to lock him up in the studio “four-five hours, no phone” for him to finish the four missing lines of a tune. “I was showing him in the window that I had finished my lines. We already imagined the scene of season 2 of cool same“, he says, referring to his hilarious satirical web series cool same.
And Gab is very grateful to him, he who sees him as an “uncle Ben cool where you’re going to sleep for three days and you do a lot of business that you can’t do at your mother’s”.
Lucifer, new faithful friend
Another pillar of which the album bears the signature: his faithful friend Mathieu “Lucifer” Quenneville, a pianist of great talent introduced to him by Alex Burger two or three years ago, and whose friendship has turned into a fertile collaboration.
“He was everywhere, he knows so many things, he knows which buttons to turn. We were tripping, we were experimenting, we were turning buttons,” Gab fondly recalls about his co-creator, whose piano served as the basis for the songs.
I always wanted to have a lot of piano in my songs. There are synths on sad the same, but they were coming to the end of the arrangements. There, Math was there from the beginning, so it was cool to build tunes around the piano.
Gab Bouchard, about Mathieu Quenneville
It is not for nothing that he writes to her in his thanks: “[…] this album belongs to you as much as to me.
Allow us a slight digression the time to relate this friendly love at first sight, too touching to be silenced. Three days after auditioning Mathieu for the tour of sad the sameGab invited him to a party home, where he slept. The host offered him some pajamas, to which the pianist replied, “Ow, we’ll get along fine if you buy me some pajamas for me to sleep in.” “Man, sure I was getting you pajamas,” Gab replied. The friendship was sealed.
During the creation, Bagou and BébéPoisson (another of the many nicknames of Quenneville) had the freedom to go to the end of their experiments, “as if we had eighteen hundred thousand budget”, recalls the one who finds that All the girls are beautiful.
“Strings, a sax; sometimes we went really far in the arrangements, we distorted the tune, and Langevin said: “That’s not it, but we had to try it. I couldn’t tell you not to go because you always wanted to go.
Proof that the most fruitful friendships are not necessarily the oldest.
Approaching the release of GravinesGab Bouchard is proud to present an album that reflects who it is today: “There are things that I listen to on the first one, and I say to myself: ‘Osti that’s gossant’, probably that I will do this with Gravines in two years, but if tomorrow I get hit by a valve, I’ll be glad I did it at that age.
“Thank you to everyone I know and love, this is my blood delivered for you,” writes Gab Bouchard at the end of the booklet. Gravines. Prolific in the making, he hopes to create an album every two or three years. So strongly that the bloodletting continues! Despite everything, as beautiful as the music drawn from his grafignes on the heart (or on the arms of a loved one), we hope that happiness has gone to him.
Gravines will be released on Friday, August 26, under the Bravo musique label.
music video of You know me too wellsong taken from his first album, sad the samepublished in February 2020