The Broadys

TheBroadysI video-chatted with The Broadys, a Montreal-based rock trio that comprises Dominic Parent (guitar/vocals), Mathieu Lemarche (bass), and Martin Lefort (drums).

We discussed their first full-length studio album, their music videos, and what the band is all about.

 

Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): Your songs are extremely high-energy. Is this something that is a product of your live shows or your choice in songwriting style?

Dominic:We try to create the same energy live that is on the album. Of course, there are more guitars on the album – we didn’t want to limit our sound to a three-piece band when in the studio.

 

RMM: Let’s talk about songwriting. Do you have a primary songwriter? How do your songs come together?

Mathieu: Any one of us can come up with an idea, and we listen to it and build up around it.

Dominic: Everyone has the freedom to write. We try to organize our personal ideas, bring them to the band, and then build together. Sometimes one of us will bring a full song to the table, other times it takes a good jamming session to build the song.

[As for] lyrics, we are really open-minded to all the ideas. Though I’m the lead singer, we don’t always use my ideas. It’s the band’s vision.

 

RMM: You’re a three-piece band – drums, bass, and guitar. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this relatively small group?

Dominic: To be honest, we’re looking to audition a new guitarist to add to the live show. When we’re playing a show, we need to try to capture all the main elements of the song, which is difficult without a second guitarist. But for now, being a 3-piece really brings the writing process and the jamming process to its roots. We try to keep it simple. Our philosophy is ‘less is more’, which we didn’t necessarily follow for the album – we didn’t give ourselves boundaries and say, “We can’t sound bigger than what we are.”  The album had no limitations, but for the live show, we eventually would like to have someone else there.

We’d like to invite guest musicians – another guitar player, brass, keyboards – to bring the live performance to another level.

 

RMM: So you guys classify yourselves as straight-up rock-n-roll.  

Mathieu: For sure.

 

RMM: Personally, I always find it reassuring to know that there are still real, back-to-basics rock bands out there.  

Dominic: Like Dave Grohl mentioned [in his Grammy acceptance speech] … rock is not dead!

 

RMM: What bands influenced you growing up?

Dominic:  The influences are very wide – Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Beastie Boys, Pink Floyd, Gorillas, Offspring, Pearl Jam, a lot of punk rock.

 

RMM: What’s your recording background, aside from this album?

Dominic: We did a year of pre-production in our home studio in Mont Tremblent.  We always record our sessions, when we practice.  We like to hear how we sound live, and recording is part of our process even when we’re just jamming.

 

RMM: And how long did you spend in the studio working on this album?

Dominic: This album took a year and a half in the studio, plus the pre-production time in our home.

 

RMM: When you’re recording, did you take tracks live-off-the-floor or track the instruments individually?

Dominic: We record the ghost tracks live off the floor to capture the energy of the live song, then record drums, bass and guitar individually on top of that.

 

RMM: What were some of the challenges you faced going into a professional studio setting as opposed to your pre-production at home?

Dominic: It was a really long process. When we brought our songs to the producer, he had a somewhat different vision. He wanted to bring us to the best of what we could write and play. When we first started to play with the structures with the producer, we had to be able to put aside the old versions and be open-minded. Forgetting what was already written was the biggest challenge.

 

RMM: The album has clear elements of rock and grunge at its roots, but it’s a well-polished album with great production quality.  

Mathieu: Yeah, compared to the old [pre-production] versions, it’s just more polished and developed.

Dominic:The changes we made with the producer –  the whole band made these decisions. The producer was full of new ideas and different ideas, and wasn’t afraid to push new ways to play the song. We either agreed or disagreed on his new ideas. The whole objective was to bring the songs to a higher level.

Mathieu: To a higher level, but still staying authentic.

Dominic: There were no bad compromises. We were all willing to make those changes. The idea of working with a producer was to bring the best out of us. We grew a lot through this process.

 

RMM: Let’s talk now about the music videos. There are three posted on your website. How did you choose which tracks to shoot for videos?

Dominic: A little bit of feedback from our fans, and we had some intuition about what we wanted to release as a video and what image we wanted to present as a band. We had good friends that wanted to help us [with the videos] and visually support the image of the band with their film skills.

 

RMM: What is the band’s focus now that you’re out of the studio, and what are your future plans?

Dominic: We’re still working hard. We’re trying to go outside Montreal, working a lot to develop new ways to get our music out there.

 

RMM: How do you create a balance between the various elements of being in a band – writing, recording, playing live, management – and your personal lives?

Dominic:Right now, it’s all about passion. We all love playing music together. It’s a great time. We created a kind of fun discipline, jamming to be in shape live while recording and managing the business section. We spread the [management] tasks evenly and work as a team as much as we can. We try to make it a lifestyle.

 

RMM: Dominic, playing live, how do you choose which guitar parts to focus on? How do you approach solos without a rhythm guitarist?

Dominic: We work as a team. We try to fill as much musical space as we can. We focus on the hooks, and try to make sure every instrument has its moment to shine. We try to have fun in our own songs and jam them out a bit, improvise – when you’re coming to see a live performance, you want to see a different colour than you would on the album.

 

RMM: Mathieu, do you tend to adjust your bass lines for the live shows to fill more of the mid-range space when Dominic is playing lead parts?

Mathieu: Most of the time I try to keep the backbone of the track. Music has to breathe. I try to keep respect between the instruments and give each instrument a chance to shine, but the bass lines don’t always need to change – the backbone is the backbone.

 

RMM: Mathieu, you sing some backup vocals – do you consider yourself a vocalist?

Mathieu:I haven’t been doing backup vocals for that long, but since we’re only three it’s nice to have two or even three vocalists. I try to back Dominic up as much as I can

Dominic:Once again, it brings the high energy in a live show when you have the whole band backing each other up on vocals.

 

RMM: Martin, you play a pretty small drum kit; a four-piece. What’s the motivation behind the minimalist setup?

Martin:  Sometimes I play a big kit here at home, but when I go live I prefer to have less gear to bring (laughs). But less is more, sometimes it’s better for the sound to have a smaller kit.

 

RMM: And you do other work in music as well, as a drum tech if I’m not mistaken. 

Martin: More like a roadie. I go on tour with artists from Quebec. That’s my day job. So if you need a drum tech … (laughs)

 

RMM: When are The Broadys coming to Toronto next?

Dominic: We’ll be in Toronto at the end of March for Canadian Music Week. We play Friday the 24th at a club called Cherry Cola’s. I think we have a 3:00 am slot, so hopefully some people can make it out. We’re going to play the same show whether it’s for ten people or a hundred people. We’re looking forward to seeing some other bands and have some fun. We always have a great time in Toronto. Get your ears ready!

 

Check out The Broadys at

http://www.thebroadys.com/

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