Home Music Making music or making love, is there really a difference?

Making music or making love, is there really a difference?

by The Concordian November 29, 2011
Making music or making love, is there really a difference?

Photo credit: Nav Pall

Monogrenade make love to their instruments, plain and simple. Their theatrically sensual gestures and their intensity are both mesmerizing and oddly tantalizing.
Generically characterized as indie pop, their sound is actually much richer and more complex than that. The quartet’s songs blur the lines between musical genres, blending classical, jazz, alternative and folk music into structured chaos. The band’s melancholic melodies, fused with sudden bursts of surmounting energy, prove that opposite sounds do attract.
Monogrenade is a foursome of multi-talented musicians. Lead vocalist Jean-Michel Pigeon is the heart of the group. On keyboard and guitar, he took centre stage during their performance at cabaret La Tulipe on Nov. 23. At his sides, Marianne Houle played the cello and sang backup, Mathieu Collette was on drums and François Lessard rocked the guitar and bass.
As the band’s lyricist, Pigeon gathers inspiration from the music they create during their jam sessions at La Traque, their studio in Rosemont.
Their first album, Tantale, has been getting a lot of attention since its release last March. They have a large Montreal fan base and were nominated twice in the past year, for Best Alternative Album of the Year at ADISQ as well as at GAMIQ, Quebec’s Indie Music Awards.
The three boys grew up together in Portneuf County, Quebec. Though they had fallen out of touch for a long time, they knew they would eventually come together to form a band.
“I immediately thought of Francois because he’s a fantastic musician,” said Collette, praising his bandmate as he put him in a headlock. “He’s very versatile and that’s just what the band needed. Plus, he’s really handsome and he’s got a marvelous moustache.”
“Yup. I tell you, he’s really a musical prodigy,” Pigeon interjected as the trio began to play-fight.
Houle joined the group after meeting the guys in CEGEP. She fell in love with Pigeon’s music style and reached out to him over MySpace.
“I found his music very different,” said Houle. “At the time, I was looking for something creative, not your standard project.”
They’ve toured around Quebec and played shows in Ontario, France and the Yukon.
Reflecting on their funniest moments on the road, the band reminisced about their latest mishaps. On their way to a gig in Gatineau, they left behind Pigeon’s left-handed guitar, forcing him to play backwards, à la Jimi Hendrix.
Their séjour in the Yukon was another particularly jarring experience. The tour took them to Dawson City during the solstice and they spent five days and six nights in broad daylight. After playing their shows and getting wasted at The Snake Pit, they wandered the sunny streets with other drunken locals.
“I’ve never been so drunk for a show,” said Collette. “We went during Saint-Jean-Baptiste and the Francophone community living there really take that holiday seriously. Man, they get destroyed.”
“A group of Anglophones were also at the show,” said Pigeon. “They didn’t really understand the lyrics but it’s a good thing because we had forgotten most of them anyway.”

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