The path of a musician can lead to many places. For Laurent Bourque that path led to Montreal. Laurent picked up a guitar at nine and joined his first band, The Spark, at 12. Not many musicians have three recorded albums and 100 local gigs under their belt by 17. But Laurent Bourque is not like most musicians.
Most people can only play one instrument, maybe two, but you’re a multi-instrument musician. What exactly do you play?
When I record I do everything, but play drums and bass. I play the guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo, and a few others.
They can’t all be easy, which is the hardest for you to play?
I have no idea how to play the piano. I wish I had taken lessons when I was younger. When I do play piano I stick to guitar chords. But I have no real training.
You left Ottawa at 17, what drew you to Montreal and not somewhere like Toronto?
I just needed to get out of Ottawa. Musically I knew all the good Montreal bands, there is just more opportunity for a musician in this city. Ottawa has a few good places for shows and only a few good bands.
Each musician has some sort of influence, who influenced you when you were just starting?
The first real music I obsessed over is the Dave Matthews Band. I also listened to the Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., and Counting Crows. I’ve always been attracted to rock, and that’s what I listen to. Lately I’ve been listening to classical, it’s refreshing.
If you had to describe the sound of your music what would you classify it as?
I would have to describe it I would say that it has guitar, bass, drums, so I think it’s rock.
You’re recording an album right now, What We Talk About, what’s the hardest part about putting together an album?
Well this is kind of a hard question for me. Sometimes it’s getting the right takes or trying to figure out what would really make a song. We record drums first, then its up to me to add everything thing else. The real hardest part is when a song isn’t going the way I expected. Then it’s up to me and my producer, Dean Watson, to figure out what to do to make the songs great.
What about your favourite?
I have two. The first is definitely the journey of getting a song to where I want it to be. I love hearing my drummer, Jamie Kronick, lay down all the drum parts for all the tunes. When I write a song I picture what every other instrument will be doing. It’s amazing to hear it all come together as Jamie plays. My second favourite is the hearing the finished product. You spend so much time working on everything; it feels amazing to hear it all together and done.