Belmundo Regal’s philosophy helps Radio Radio cook up a new attitude

Granted, their Acadian accent is warm, quirky and endearing, but look past Radio Radio’s well-exploited hip-hop lingo and you’ll find daring sound combos, lyrics that mesh the deep and the absurd, and a rich cast of complex characters.
They’ll be rounding up their Belmundo Regal tour, which showcases their most recent album by the same name, at Metropolis on Dec. 16.
The album’s philosophy was inspired by a friend of the band.
When contacted by The Concordian, Gabriel Malenfant was cooking up some of his famous pepper jelly. His recipe, along with many others, can be found on the group’s website.
“Sharing just comes naturally for us,” explained Malenfant, when asked about the kitchen tips, stories and recipes. “Food was a particularly big part of this album. Cliché Hot [2008] was really a junk food album. We were on the road […] and it became really easy to be unhealthy. This time, we wanted to stay in line with Belmundo’s philosophy. He once told us that ‘a good place to live was where you could get fresh tomatoes,’ and we really did find that sitting down to a meal made all of the difference; it let us create regular reference points for ourselves.”
The Radio Radio dinner table has had quite a bit of come-and-go recently. Belmundo Regal had Gabriel and his two other crew members, Alexandre Bilodeau and Jacques Doucet, working without former band member Timothée Richard for the first time. Conversely, the 2012 album has the band joining forces with musicians from Louisiana, Montreal and Nova Scotia—a first for them as well. “It definitely adds a twist,” Malenfant said with enthusiasm. “Plus, I think our themes are widening, people are getting to know us more, we’re getting to know ourselves a bit better[…]and the myth around Radio Radio is kind of building.”
The album’s recent journey of self-described ‘rap regal gypsy disco pow-wow’ has been action-packed and full of praise. Since March 2010, Belmundo Regal has been shortlisted for the Polaris Prize and has picked up a Miroir Award, a Felix, two GAMIQs and a Nova Scotia Music Award along with a nod from Radio-Canada.
But praise for the trio hasn’t been confined to Canuck land, as they’ve been invited to perform in Paris, London, Louisiana, and Austin, where they performed at the famous SXSW festival.
But can New Yorkers and Parisians possibly understand references to Dekshoos (deck shoes) and Jacuzzis? “I think so, I mean the Internet has the world becoming so small,” he explained. “We really feel at home wherever we go. I think our travelling has also taught us to travel with humility and with social and cultural dexterity. Plus, we cover pretty timeless themes that we then mix with pop references. Look at Dekshoo and sailboats; the whole of America more or less began with sailboats in one way or another.”
For those interested in a healthy dose of Atlantic passion, humour and Friday night feel, be sure to catch the trio on their last show of the tour. “We’re pulling out the big guns on this one,” revealed Malenfant, as he continued his jelly. “Let’s just say it’ll be worth checking out, we’ve got quite a few tricks up our sleeves this time.”

Radio Radio will play the Metropolis Dec. 16 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available through

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