First album in 12 years: anything is possible for Vulgaires Machins
“It's a nice feeling to tell yourself that everything is possible”, says Guillaume Beauregard about the return of Vulgaires Machins with a new album in more than a decade. For the next few months, the influential punk band has planned the total: new album, new tour and vinyl reissues of their catalog with retrospective biography.
“It feels like a new chapter. We looked back to be able to look forward.”
In an interview with her sidekick and spouse, Guillaume Beauregard, Marie-Ève Roy talks with excitement about the long-awaited return of Vulgaires Machins after years away spotlights.
In fact, the musicians had distanced themselves after the acoustic tour of 2012. In 2016, they did a small show at Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello. And three years later, they returned to the stage for a few test concerts.
“It was a bit of a survey in the group to see if the dynamic was fun,” says Guillaume Beauregard. The group had then changed drummers, Pat Sayers replacing Patrick Landry. But the founding nucleus of Vulgaires [Guillaume Beauregard, Marie-Ève Roy and Maxime Beauregard] was always faithful to the post.
Everything just before the pandemic, the musicians came together to start writing a new album. They took a year and a half to polish it before hitting the studio with longtime collaborator Gus Van Go. “He's been with us since Counting the Bodies ,” Guillaume says. .
During the pandemic, Guillaume and Marie-Ève became interested in the writings of the philosopher Bernard Stiegler. Part of the album, and the song Asylum in particular, was inspired by his thinking. “At that time, it answered a lot of questions, suffering and unease about the social climate and about technological development,” says Guillaume.
The Disruption album being finished since February, the musicians are obviously very eager for the public to finally hear it. “We've been through all kinds of emotions since February [laughs],” says Marie-Ève.
Put yourself in danger
In November, Vulgaires Machins will take part in a double set mini-tour with the American group Anti-Flag. Each formation will play the same duration. The first part will be provided by Mudie. Vulgar Machins will play second. Anti-Flag will close the whole thing.
Will the band play a lot of Disruption tracks? “As this is the reason why we come back, we definitely want to play several new songs, says Marie-Ève. Because that's where you put yourself in danger.”
“That's where you resuscitate yourself!” adds Guillaume with a big laugh. < /p>
Vulgaires Machins' album, Disruption, is available. The group will be performing with Anti-Flag on November 13 (Impérial Bell, Quebec) and November 19 (MTelus, Montreal). For all the info: vulgairesmachins.ca.
SEVEN QUESTIONS TO VULGAIRES MACHINS
Disruption is your first album in 12 years. Did you feel any pressure while writing it? Have there been any questions?
Guillaume Beauregard: “There were plenty. We questioned our approach a lot, Marie-Ève and I, during the writing. The actual announcement of a new album didn't happen until the album was finished recording. We others, the pressure, we did not feel it so much. We were in the shadows, we were doing our business. Friends around knew we were working on it, but the fans didn't know, no media knew. We were protected in a way from that. Also, I think that because we have confidence in ourselves, that we take it seriously and that we are very rigorous, all the albums that we have made, the most important thing is that we are satisfied of what we have done. When I listened to the album in February, we were proud of what we had managed to do after such a long break.”
You recently released a vinyl box set of all your old albums, as well as a retrospective book. How did it feel to see the book and how far you've come in over 25 years?
Marie-Ève Roy: “It showed me that we can have different lives! It amazed me to see all that we had experienced. There were a lot of things stored in my head that I couldn't remember. It made me proud. Today, I'm really happy to be able to continue doing this in a different way.”
Guillaume: “It's a mixture of pride and the feeling of having accomplished something beautiful together , to have really started from nothing very young. Today, we are in our mid-forties and we still have album projects and the desire to continue making music. We look at it with a lot of happiness.”
Why did philosopher Bernard Stiegler inspire songs on the new album?
Guillaume: “Bernard Stiegler influenced the process [of writing the album] insofar as, in the midst of the pandemic, these are readings that I started to do. Marie-Ève and I were interested in this thought. Because at that time, it answered a lot of questions, suffering and unease about the social climate and technological evolution. It questions the place that phones take in our lives, to what extent technology is taking control of our psyches, of our ways of living together.”
“I find that the reflection of this philosopher is extremely relevant and should be an issue of our societies that we discuss more. Somewhere, we take for granted that technological evolution is necessary and good for us. […] We realized that this concept of disruption, which is really interesting and quite recent in modern philosophy, applies somewhat to all the questions and reflections that we bring to the album . The song Asile borrowed some ideas from this current of thought insofar as it expresses the suffering of the individual who finds himself living alone with his screen. Since a lot of these themes were in the tunes, we thought it made sense to call the album Disruption.”
Could Disruption have been a concept album?
Guillaume: “We've been trying to make concept albums for 20 years. We give up. We can't! [laughs]»
What is your state of mind a few days after the provincial elections?
Guillaume: “It's a mixture of desolation, sadness, anger and incomprehension.”
Marie-Ève: “It is difficult to face someone who tells us that we still have to go into the economy and be more profitable. I do not understand why this is a discourse that we continue to have, when we do not attack the real problem that hangs over our noses. I don't understand why we know everything we know about climate change, and that there are plenty of solutions, but we continue to do the same thing. That vote confirmed that.”
Guillaume: “Democracy is a bit sick. If we see so much extreme right-winging and xenophobic and conservative ideas taking on so much importance in public discourse, we can only worry about that. It's nothing to be happy about. At the same time, it is also the portrait of the time in which we live. The famous concept of disruption comes to play a role in this. In the democracy that is disintegrating before our eyes and the ideas of the right that are taking more and more space.”
You are going to do a mini-tour in November with the group Anti-Flag. Are there any other concerts scheduled for 2023?
Marie-Ève: “We are looking for spring. Of course, in the summer, we will also ride.”
Guillaume: “We don’t want to do 60-70 dates a year. We try to do like Unibroue: a little less, but better. [laughs] That's kind of the philosophy since the return. Because we often say that we are getting old…”
Marie-Ève: “It is not because we are getting old, but because our lives have changed.”  ;
Guillaume: “Doing 60 dates in difficult conditions has been done in our lifetime. It tempts us less. We prefer to play less often and make sure it's an event every time.”
Do you have any plans to return to play in France?
< p>Guillaume: “We would be due. It's part of the projections.”
Marie-Ève: “The last time was in 2010 or 2011? We can't announce anything, but it's one of the possibilities we're looking at. We receive a lot of messages from France. We went to play there about fifteen times, mainly between 2004 and 2010.”
Guillaume: “We played with bands that offered us good touring conditions, where there were a lot of people even if we weren't super famous. We played with Guerilla Poubelle, La Ruda, Burning Heads, Tagada Jones, among others. It was on the principle of exchange. We had them play before us in Quebec.”
How do you see the next few years?
Guillaume: “It's been a while since the album is finished. We are thinking about what to do next. It's a moment that we don't rush either. It's a nice feeling to know that anything is possible, you can do whatever you want. We could do a solo album with acoustic guitar and angry lyrics. Everything is possible. And I like to let the instinct and the desire to do something dominate what will concretely be the schedule in the months to come. We also have an [album] launch to experience. We know we have a busy year ahead.”