Fred Fortin is on familiar ground at Club Soda. We still remember his amazing tour show. ultramarr in autumn 2016, followed by the complementary one the following spring on the occasion of the Francos. This time, however, it is with his Gros Mené leader’s hat that he returns to the stage of the room on the boulevard Saint-Laurent. And he promises.
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“We’re going to screw it up,” laughs Fortin, before explaining that he barely had time to rehearse the new show with his accomplices Olivier Langevin (guitar), Robbie Kuster (drums) and Tonio Morin-Vargas (percussion and keyboards).
In fact, this Friday’s performance at Les Francos will be the third of the tour. peace and bonus, the quartet having started filming with two shows in Mont-Louis and Rimouski in early June. “He’s really amazing, and he’s still pretty raw from start to finish, the crowd will see Robbie as hot as ever, Old Pike assures us. But we couldn’t rehearse as we could, COVID got involved, I had a positive test in the spring. So we’re not bad on the radar at the moment, I’ve got quite the CPU tilt! »
Especially since Fortin has decided to take over the bass for most of the show’s songs, a temporary challenge for the multi-instrumentalist from Saint-Félicien. “It’s the first time I play the songs on the bass while I sing, I had recorded the album on separate tracks,” he explains.
I said to myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” But untying knots is something I like to do, so I worked hard. And I really like that, playing the bass.
It doesn’t matter, Fortin and his gang are veterans, they know tobacco. Especially since last year they played several Gros Mené songs in trio format, during a spontaneous tour that took them all over Quebec.
“It was like a separate bubble, because the pandemic was still there, it was to show our joy at finally being able to play again,” Fortín told us. We were starting to play again, we didn’t want to redo what we had presented as a duet for the tour microdose. So we allow ourselves to immerse ourselves in the two repertoires, but in the end I always end up redoing some Gros Mené songs. »
” Is he fun dive back into it”
Playing Gros Mené, precisely, does that require another state of mind? “Still, in a way, the emotional implication of the songs is different,” Fortin tells us. The theme is light, even further away from me than in my solo melodies, it’s like psychedelic theater, I’m still trying to tame what’s going on!
“But it’s fun to dive back into it, just to play music and take it wherever you want,” he continues. There is a youthful side to rock, improvisation, and improvisation. And we consider ourselves lucky to still be making great teen music, still going crazy with our pedals and amps, having fun telling each other the same jokes for 25 years and still laughing at them. The tour, we call it the radotour ! »
Composing Gros Mené also requires stepping aside from Fred Fortin, although this is done without too much effort. “I often work on batches of songs, and when I do one for Gros Mené, I do three or four. So it’s been a while since the album was macerated, he explains. For Gros Mené, I start with drum beats. The harmonic content is also going to be different, it’s more like blues. »
My solo songs are more elaborate, built with more complex guitar chord sequences. But I know that sometimes it can be close, there are melodies that could go one way or the other.
If the songs of the Fortín nebula have something in common, it is also because of the unclassifiable melodies of the 51-year-old singer. “I’m always going to have a rhythm in mind, but both alone and with Gros Mené, I do it on purpose so that things evolve throughout the song,” he tells us. A bit like rappers do, I want to put dynamism and movement into the melody. I’m going to jargon what, spluttering a bit, I come up with something that looks like a melody goal. So, the French language doesn’t necessarily take me where I wanted, it takes me to something else. »
Unexpected and somewhat chaotic events that enrich his work, as we are likely to see this Friday night at Club Soda. “As the tour goes on, there are accidents that we decide to take ownership of, he admits. It will happen on Friday, there will be accidents, happy and unhappy. Happy, that’s for sure, unhappy, we highly doubt it.
Gros Mené is at Club Soda this Friday at 8 pm as part of the Francos and on July 8 at the Théâtre de la Vieille Forge, in Petite-Vallée.
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