Silent running
par M-J Milloy
dans Hour, 28 septembre 2000

Jean Leloup's travels take him to a quieter place

Picture this: Jean Leloup as counsellor to troubled rock stars.

The very suggestion had Leloup doubled over in a giggle fit in the plush banquette of a Mont-Royal street café last week.

"I want to be a psychiatrist for les vedettes. I could make so much money. They need me."

About money, relationships, music, everything.

"Everything, yeah. I can answer it all."

It is certainly, ah, ironic that Leloup - who, after ten years as the unpredictable enfant terrible of Quebec music and someone who knows a thing or two about rock'n'roll troubles - could even jokingly suggest himself as a celebrity counsellor. But, looking back, it makes sense: Jean Leloup, fresh from the artistic and commercial triumph of 1998's Les Fourmis, and five months of head-clearing in Australia and New Zealand, is back. And he's in fighting form.

Leloup's I wanna-be-a-shrink tangent was brought to you in part by Smashing Pumpkins' front man and all-around pain in the ass, Billy Corgan ("The guy is getting fat," the newly svelte Leloup says without a trace of irony), and had its birth in Leloup's feelings on the state of rock'n'roll.

"I'm not interested in big spectacles. I'm looking at raves and DJ shows and everything is getting big and stupid. I want to go little."

And that just about sums up the state of Jean Leloup, still admirably, almost adorably crazy, spitting out more opinions and ideas than a village idiot savant off his Ritalin, searching for the right connection with the right audience.

"I'm practicing in an apartment, and I can't disturb the neighbour," he explains as he outlines his preparations for his upcoming concerts at the Spectrum and Métropolis. "So it's more listening [to the two other musicians] than trying to play loud, like at some big Budweiser show."

Leloup admits that, upon reflection, some of last year's memorable series of shows at Métropolis verged into shake-your-fist, bang-your-head, rock-god territory. It's something he doesn't want to recreate at the upcoming shows, featuring Leloup on acoustic guitar, backed by Jean-Noël Bodo on bass and Stephen Gaudreault on percussion.

"I want to make softer music, but still kick ass. Like Gypsies. They play classical guitar, but they're kicking ass. I see rock bands now, and they're lazy - they just want to play loud."

Leloup says his change in volume was partially inspired by the five months he recently spent in Australia and New Zealand. While he didn't appreciate the Antipodes with the passion of previous jaunts through Africa - "I was so bored I couldn't believe it. Australia is Toronto and New Zealand is Ottawa. Except with better scenery" - he came away with a new appreciation for what he needs to give.

"I travelled not to reach paradise, but to see. It made me decide to play music, because people need real music. Not techno music, but real music."

Real music does not mean new music, though. Although he is working on new stuff - he outlines one new song about a rain of orchids, and another about a model with a bizarre eating problem - the upcoming setlists will feature previously released stuff, including reworkings of songs from Les Fourmis.

"I like people dancing, going crazy, but we don't have to be really loud for that. You can have sex, but you're not obliged to do S/M."

Well, if he wants to be a psychiatrist, he's already got the sexual metaphors down.

Jean Leloup and band at the Spectrum, Sept 27-30, and Nov 16 & 19 at Métropolis (all sold out); tickets for Métropolis, Oct 12, still available. All shows at 8 pm

(Article original)

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Dernière mise à jour le 27 septembre 2000.
Conception: SD