Whiskey Trench (04 octobre 2008)


Entrevue de Cath et Dave avec Yannick Sarrazin et Mike Sokolyk

De belles opportunités se sont présentées sur le chemin de WHISKEY TRENCH au cours de l'année 2008. Le quatuor se prépare à lancer un tout nouvel album par l'entremise du label floridien Kiss of Death, et vous les avez peut-être aperçu en première partie de LOVED ONES ou A WILHELM SCREAM. Vous les verrez probablement sur les planches d'un Métropolis déjà complet pour le premier des deux spectacles prévus pour NOFX / DILLINGER 4 la semaine prochaine. Voici la première partie d'un entretien avec Yannick et Mike réalisé cet été, que nous dévoilons stratégiquement la veille de leur prestation aux Foufs demain le 5 octobre (avec les SAINTE CATHERINES, LA DESCENTE DU COUDE et SCREAM OUT pour la somme révoltante de zéro dollars) – vous comprendrez pourquoi une fois rendu au bout...

AVIS: Cette entrevue est transcrite de façon intégrale. Si votre cerveau est incapable de lire plus que l'équivalent de trois paragraphes consécutifs, vous devriez peut-être aller lire les nouvelles sur AP à la place.


[CATH] So we're here with Mike and Yannick from WHISKEY TRENCH. Can you guys give us a quick recap of who you are and what you do?

[MIKE] I'm Mike, I play drums.

[YANNICK] Moi c'est Yannick, je joue de la guitare et je chante aussi.

[DAVE] Et le groupe existe depuis quand?

[YANNICK] Ça existe depuis à peu près 2005. On a eu deux lineups - au début il y avait Chris qui jouait avec nous autres et qui était avec Mike dans ALL THE ANSWERS. On a enregistré un sept pouces avec lui. Moi au début j'étais à la basse, et après j'ai switché pour la guitare et on a pris un autre bassiste qu'on a remplacé une autre fois après ce changement-là. Ça a gossé longtemps à ce moment-là, le temps qu'on s'habitue avec notre nouveau bassiste. Et là on vient d'enregistrer dix-neuf chansons et on va sortir un album complet de quatorze chansons sur Kiss Of Death, avec aussi un sept pouces avec ORPHAN CHOIR sur un label de Sherbrooke qui s'appelle Vinyl Addict.

[CATH] Et vous deux, vous vous connaissez comment?

[MIKE] Me and Hugo started jamming together, and he knew Yannick from his old band WALK ASIDE, so we met through Hugo.

[YANNICK] J'étais dans un band avec Hugo avant, SIX CENT LEGEND. Je remplaçais leur bassiste à la fin, on a fait quelques shows ensemble. Donc on était déjà habitués de jouer ensemble.

[CATH] Et comme tu mentionnais tout à l'heure, vous n'avez pas votre lineup original qui avait été dans le fond les débuts du groupe. Comment vous vous sentez en ce moment, au niveau du lineup que vous avez présentement, par rapport à la direction musicale dans laquelle vous vous enlignez?

[YANNICK] Le sept pouces qu'on avait enregistré, j'étais pas entièrement satisfait du son et de la direction qu'on prenait. J'avais le goût de faire quelque chose de plus basé sur le vieux hardcore punk, genre REPLACEMENTS, THE NILS et des affaires comme ça – ça m'inspirait beaucoup. Et je trouvais que le son, sans qu'on l'ait vraiment voulu, ça sonnait plus Gainsville, et j'avais le goût de faire quelque chose de plus rock si on veut. C'est comme, j'écoute pas ça les bands de No Idea; j'écoute les BEACH BOYS

[MIKE] Yeah, my influences, for sure it's more like KYUSS, REPLACEMENTS, THE NILS, and stuff like that, so for sure there's more rock influences and stuff like that in the band. I've been listening to so much BLACK SABBATH... My iPod got stolen, and I had all my BLACK SABBATH stuff on it. I've got one or two records left, so I listen to those ones. But, I just think that it's hard as a drummer to always do the same old punk rock thing so, on our newer songs, I'm trying to throw in some rock and surf and all kinds of stuff like that.

[CATH] I heard some of your new stuff and it's definitely different, actually quite different I think, from some of the stuff that you've put out before. My first impression was that it's kind of closer to what you were initially playing at the very beginning. The new songs are closer to, say, SCREECHING WEASEL, as opposed to stuff you released just before this, which to me was definitely more in the veins of JAWBREAKER circa 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, or HÜSKER DÜ. So I guess my question is, how did you kind of go full circle in your musical direction?

[MIKE] I don't know – Yannick writes a lot of the songs. I'll alter stuff like structure... But I think SCREECHING WEASEL is a huge influence on all of us. GREEN DAY, SCREECHING WEASEL and the THE RAMONES are definitely some bands that we all collectively say that we all listen to a lot, even on the road, it's constantly playing. So I think that, listening to those bands, when someone comes up with a riff, it's kind of an instinct to write in that direction. SCREECHING WEASEL are such a good band... I guess it's a combination between THE RAMONES, JAWBREAKER, 90s punk rock and 50s rock that's driving us to write these songs.

[CATH] Yeah this stuff is definitely different that your other material. I listened to it really closely this week, and I mean... Back vocals?! Since when?!

[MIKE] Yeah... And we did a lot of pre-production, and then we did a live recording at Black Dot, and that really helped us with this recording.

[CATH] And this record that you're mentioning is going to come out on Kiss Of Death...

[MIKE] Yeah, we have thirteen or fourteen songs on this record with Kiss of Death...

[YANNICK] Fourteen.

[MIKE] And two more are going on a split with ORPHAN CHOIR, they're from Windsor and they're really awesome. They're kind of like a mix of rock n roll and SMALL BROWN BIKE. We're playing with them... soon. Maybe like a mini-tour in July sometime.

[DAVE] Est-ce que l'album est monté, pochette et tout?

[YANNICK] Ben non, là on a enregistré, mais on n'a pas encore choisi l'ordre des chansons, on n'a pas encore de pochette. On est en train de chercher tranquillement pour quelqu'un pour nous faire ça. Moi je suis vraiment difficile pour les pochettes.... Je sais pas – j'ai l'impression que je sais pas où regarder...

[MIKE] Initially we were going to work with a photo from this Boston train painter. The thing is, he's touring himself, with his paintings, so it's hard to get him to take the hi res photo. So I think we're going to work with someone else. We have an idea what we're going to use for the artwork, but it's just a matter of getting it done.

[CATH] Who did the cover for your other EP?

[MIKE] Jay… um, Jay...

[YANNICK] Hugo.

[MIKE] Oh yeah, Hugo did that...

[rires]

[DAVE] Et on parlerait d'un lancement autour de quelle date?

[YANNICK] Je sais vraiment pas, mais c'est supposé sortir à l'automne. Mais bon, on sais jamais. Ça c'est pour l'album, mais pour le sept pouces d'après moi vers la fin de l'été. On devrait faire un petit show de lancement.

[DAVE] Et c'est quoi qui serait le plus compliqué, entre enregistrer les chansons et tout le reste qui va avec? Dans le sens de faire la pochette, etc.

[YANNICK] C'est sur que c'est beaucoup de travail en studio. Moi ça me stresse pas mal, je suis tellement un perfectioniste et il y a tellement d'erreurs sur chaque enregistrement qui vont me gosser toute ma vie. Souvent c'est des affaires que personne ne va remarquer, mais en tout cas ça me stresse pas mal faire ça. Mais la pochette.... je suis difficile, mais en même temps j'ai pas d'idées... [rires]. On a parlé à quelques personnes et on va voir ce qu'on va faire. J'étais surtout préoccupé par les tounes, et là c'est un stress d'enlevé de mes épaules.

[DAVE] Êtes-vous plus satisfait de la direction que l'album a pris par rapport à votre EP d'avant?

[YANNICK] Moi oui, je suis vraiment content. Cent pourcent plus content. Je sais pas si ça se dit...

[DAVE] Ça vient juste de se dire [rires].

[MIKE] It's hard to write a full length record, because you know you might like this one song but it may not fit with the other fifteen songs, so you have to say bye bye to that song. Or use it for something else, cause it all has to flow and that's the hard part.

[DAVE] La toune cachée, ça servait pas à ça dans le temps?

[CATH] Plus maintenant – maintenant, on fait des splits!

[MIKE] No, no no! It's because Johnny was written when Chris was in the band. So it's an older song, but we still like playing it, and we re-recorded it. And we have a newer song that was also written just around when Chris left. So it's not that they're bad, it's just a different spirit but they're still the same vibe. So we decided to put those on the split with ORPHAN CHOIR.

[YANNICK] Même la toune Johnny, on l'avait déjà enregistrée comme pas trop bien, et ça me tentait de la refaire de la manière dont je l'avais vu au départ parce que j'étais vraiment pas satisfait du petit CD qu'on avait fait. J'avais aussi oublié de mentionner tout à l'heure, mais le fait que j'ai changé à la guitare, ça a vraiment été un facteur quand même majeur dans le son qu'on a pris, c'est sur que je joue pas de la même manière que Chris. Voilà c'est tout ce que j'avais à dire...

[CATH] Next. Ben, parlons un peu de Kiss of Death, un excellent petit label – comment êtes-vous aboutis avec eux?

[YANNICK] En fait c'est Olivier de FIFTH HOUR HERO qui avait dit à Mike que ça serait peut-être une bonne idée de leur envoyer un CD.

[MIKE] We played this show with FHH and I asked Olivier about them, and he said they were a good label. So when we went down there we played this CD we made for the guy and he [Brian Lippincott] liked it. He's a fucking super nice guy, he put us up for a couple nights, took us skating at the skate park of Tampa... He's super sweet, he bought us food... He was like the nicest guy.

[YANNICK] Ben non, c'est pas lui qui a payé pour la bouffe!

[rires]

[MIKE] He ordered us pizza!

[YANNICK] Really?

[MIKE] Yeah.

[YANNICK] I didn't get any pizza.

[rires]

[DAVE] C'est lui qui a envoyé le CD, c'est lui qui a la pizza.

[rires]

[MIKE] Yeah, he bought us three pizzas.

[YANNICK] When did you get pizzas?!

[MIKE] What?

[YANNICK] When did you get pizzas.

[MIKE] I don't know man, maybe you were gone. We all got pizzas. And then at the skatepark they served vegan food. Really good vegan food and drinks and anything you want. It was just really cool. We skated till after the park was closed, and it was a really good vibe. Florida's cool for shows. My previous bands went down there. This one time we played with THE ATARIS. It's a good place, kids come out.

[YANNICK] Ouais, j'ai vu ça les ATARIS tantôt à l'Heure 1-2-3 Punk.

[rires]

[MIKE] But yeah, Brian's fucking rad.

[CATH] What do you like the most about the way he operates?

[MIKE] For me, they're still a DIY underground label, but he pushes his bands. He seems not to have a lot of stress, and he understands how we operate. Hugo has a baby, so we can't marathon tour. He expects us to tour, but he understands our situation, he understands that being in a band costs money, we're not fifteen anymore.

[CATH] And because they're based in the US, that gives you exposure over there but how can they back you up here?

[MIKE] That's something we're discussing right now. We're going to have to figure something out because they have great distribution – I talked to him last week and he told me sold a few seven inches, so he's moving his own records and he's really busy, he even hired an intern. He says he sells a lot of records on the internet, so that could be an option for now, to get people to buy it directly from Brian. That seems efficient. Or he could use some Canadian distribution, like Sonic Unyon or... No Idea has good distro here...

[YANNICK] Ça serait bon de trouver quelque chose ici, quand on va avoir le CD en ordre. Je sais pas trop comment, mais on va essayer!

[CATH] Parlons un peu de notre belle ville de Montréal. On s'entend, le temps passe, les choses changent, c'est pas la même ville qu'il y a dix ans...

[YANNICK] Je m'ennuie de l'X!

[CATH] Ouais, nous aussi! Tout le monde parle des côtés plus négatifs maintenant, mais il ne peut pas y avoir rien que ça. Selon vous, qu'est-ce qu'il y a de positif qui se passe ici en ce moment?

[petite pause de malaise]

[rires]

[CATH] C'est pas évient tout suite...

[rires]

[YANNICK] Ben moi en ce moment, je pense pas être la bonne personne pour parler de ça parce que je suis vraiment déconnecté en ce moment. J'aimerais ça être plus impliqué, mais j'ai l'impression que je vois pas ce qui se passe. Je vais voir plus de différents genres de shows, mais on dirait qu'il n'y en a plus de bons shows punk rock... Je sais pas. C'est rare que quelqu'un se pointe – même les bands d'ici... Ah mais là je rentre dans le négatif, là ça marche plus!

[rires]

[YANNICK] Euh... You got something?

[MIKE] Something about what?

[CATH] About the way things are, here, now?

[MIKE] Montreal? I think it's awesome in some ways. Like shows at LBH, this house venue... Escogriffe is still cool. We have some shows with the SAINTE CATHERINES in the fall, I was talking wih Hugo [Mudie] about that earlier... It would be nice to see some really good garage bands in Montreal playing with the punk rock bands. We'd have less boundaries and more unification that way. I think there's really good labels here, but they're not checking up on good local bands. They're checking up bands that are good, but that aren't in it for the long run. You know what I mean? A band that works hard, you can tell. Being in a band, what I've learned – unless you're the ROLLING STONES, but even them it's probably like that – it's like having four girlfriends. There's always issues. Alex likes traveling, he has a song about it on the new record. He needs to escape the winter. So maybe we won't be able to tour from January to March.

[YANNICK] C'était quoi déjà la question?

[rires]

[MIKE] But that's positive! But you can edit that later..

[CATH] That'll be the weirdest interview to patch together...

[MIKE] But yeah, being in a band is about traveling and meeting new people. It depends on your situation too – one week, you could say the scene sucks, and then you see a really good show and you paradigm changes.

[DAVE] Mais je pense qu'il y a beaucoup plus de bars maintenant, des places 18+ on en a jamais eu autant, il y a plein de places gratuites pour faire des shows. Même l'Absynthe sur Saint-Denis, qui redonne une part des profits sur le bar... Donc il y a des places intéressantes comme ça, mais du côté des groupes et du monde qui se déplace pour aller voir des spectacles... Je pense qu'il y a moins de monde qui vont dans les shows, et du côté des bands quand on fait des shows, c'est pas évident de trouver des bands punk rock. Des bands ska, il y en a beaucoup, mais dès que tu tombes dans le punk et le hardcore -

[YANNICK] Ya beaucoup de bands ska à Montréal en ce moment?

[CATH] Il y en a plein, ils sont partout!

[YANNICK] Ben là, on est pas en 99.

[rires]

[CATH] Ouais, ben ça revient, check toi.

[rires]

[DAVE] Mais c'est ça, donc ce que je trouve le fun c'est que vous autres justement vous restez plus là-dedans.

[YANNICK] Ben moi c'est ça que j'aime – j'aime d'autres choses aussi, mais je ne me verrais pas vraiment faire un autre genre de band. Pas pour l'instant en tout cas.

[MIKE] For me too. The new Underworld venue that's opening, I heard he wants to be open minded about it. He's gonna do punk, hip hop, DJs, I think there's going to be a mini ramp... I think that could bring things together.

[DAVE] Le seul problème c'est qu'on en aurait besoin de quatre salles de même...

[YANNICK] Il y avait aussi le Black Dot qui était pas pire.

[MIKE] Yeah, Black Dot was cool. That was my favorite place to play.

[CATH] It's really unfortunate, cause they spent all this time and energy into making that place what it became, and a month later it's all gone.

[YANNICK] Ouais, c'est plate. D'après moi ils vont trouver une autre place bientôt. Mais il y a toujours la ville qui vient s'en mêler. Avec l'histoire du Quartier des Spectacles – je connais pas vraiment le dossier, mais ils ont l'air de vouloir chasser tout les rebuts.

[MIKE] The Black Dot was like a skateboard session. Super good sessions only happen like once a month with a bunch of friends, and then it's over. It was like this spontaneous thing. It's unfortunate it shut down, but the bands that played there will probably remember that place cause it was fucking cool.

[CATH] You mentioned the SAINTE CATHERINES before, so I must bring it up. Your ties with that band were revealed to the masses because of their DVD [note: Mike a drummé pour les STE4 de 2000 à 2002 et est interviewé à quelques reprises sur l'enregistrement]. What are your impressions on the DVD?

[MIKE] I watched it. Certain people said certain things about it. Like they painted me negative.

[CATH] Yeah, you came out like a weird idiot.

[MIKE] Yeah, kind of like an idiot, but depending on how you watched it, not really. Hugo's like that, he comes across as being arrogant. People know him as being that way. Being in a band, especially at that time in my life, I was just tired of that lifestyle after doing like five US tours. That's one of the reasons why I quit, and I don't have any regrets about that. I enjoy what I'm doing now, and I'm still friends with those guys.

[CATH] They just edited out the parts that they needed to make it look a certain way, is all I'm saying.

[MIKE] It's manufactured to make them look like this strong powerhouse band. The first tour we did was like they said, fouty shows. But it wasn't super hard, it was super easy. Fine - the van broke down once and it was super hot and we had some struggles, but you know, they edited out parts like when I interviewed Ben from LUCERO. I saw them play in Memphis, and I knew about them cause Ben was in RED FORTY before. And I was trying to get them to come out and see LUCERO, and they were all like, 'No, I'm gonna stay here and watch a movie'. So I went without them and I saw the most awesome show I've ever seen. It was amazing, back when LUCERO was first starting. When I first played in that band, these guys didn't evern know Johnny Cash. I'm serious. And they laughed at me for listening to AC/DC. So like, yeah I used to have arguments with Hugo. He used to say things like, skateboarding is not an art form.

[CATH] Oh my, am I glad I wasn't there.

[MIKE] Ed Templeton and Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Neil Blender... these guys are renowned artists. Mark Gonzales is a fucking painter, how can you say skateboarding is not an artform? Skateboarding is one of the most fundamental postmodern artforms. So we had these childish arguments. But I mean, I was right on a lot of things. Like BORN DEAD ICONS is fundamentally a better band -

[explosion de rires]

[CATH] We were waiting for that one – awesome…

[MIKE] They were fundamentally a better band than fucking SKANKING PICKLE or whatever their name is.

[rires]

[MIKE] Just ask anybody!

[YANNICK] Pourquoi, il parle tu de ça dans le DVD?

[DAVE] Ouais.... [Entame une discussion avec Yannick, qui semble plus ou moins au courant, ayant entendu dire qu'Hugo parlait de MUSTARD PLUG quand il s'agissait en fait de la formation locale YOUNG AND LOST]

[MIKE] But that's not why I quit the band! I just had enough of that way of life at the time. But people who make a quote out of that... It's up to the eyes of the viewer to think whether I'm portrayed as an idiot or whatever.

[CATH] I just didn't expect you to bring that up so literally. It's just funny that you brought that up...

[MIKE] But let's just use an example. The band ALL.

[YANNICK] On parle encore de ça là?!

[MIKE] Or BLACK FLAG. You CANNOT tell me that Britney Spears is better than that!

[CATH] Are you comparing YOUNG AND LOST to Britney Spears??

[rires]

C’est maintenant le moment de la pause Soda Machine. Vous pourrez en faire le visionnement dimanche le 5 octobre dès 17h, tout juste avant la prestation des SAINTE CATHERINES aux Foufs. WHISKEY TRENCH assure la première partie en compagnie de LA DESCENTE DU COUDE et SCREAM OUT. Restez aux aguets pour la suite de cette entrevue!



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