Non-Stop Je Te Plie en Deux (“Non-Stop I Fold You Into Two”) is the freshman LP from Montreal electro/punk trio We Are Wolves. Set to tour the US for the second time with The Gossip, Denver has the pleasure of hosting the first gig on October 14th (at Larimer Lounge).
With gleeful anticipation, Kaffeine Buzz had the distinct recent pleasure of depleting several of drummer, Antonin Marquis’ highly valued international cell phone minutes with an in-depth getting to know you session. We feel it’s only right to share…
Kaffeine Buzz: Is this the first US tour for We Are Wolves?
Antonin Marquis: This is actually our second tour. We’ve been touring in the States for the first time about six months ago with And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and the International Noise Conspiracy. Two very well known bands on major labels; so we were the little sheep at the back, you know. But this is our second tour.
KB: Being such close neighbors, it seem strange that there is such a cultural and social difference between the US and Canada. Do you sense that when you visit the United States?
AM: The thing that is very unique about coming from Montreal is that you share your environment with both English speakers and French speakers. Both languages are official here. As far as culture is concerned, on the personal level, I do relate to the English [speaking] culture. As far as American culture is involved, personally I don’t feel any big difference. The biggest difference is, in Montreal, we do have an audience. We have a following. We’ve been playing here so long. Playing in the States, people just don’t know us. When we play there, it starts out seeming that the crowd is shy. It takes sometimes at least four or five songs before we get to hear them cheer and have fun. It’s not a huge difference. People have fun everywhere.
KB: Have you ever considered utilizing French in your lyrics, and is there any reason that you don’t currently?
AM: All three of us are Francophone. We do have a new song that is totally in French. On the record, it’s either instrumentals or lyrics in English. But either way, people do not understand what we are saying. On stage, we speak English, we speak French… The lead singer speaks Spanish. We use all three languages at random. Every show, we say we are from Montreal at least 10 or 15 times; and at every show we get people coming to us saying, “Where are you guys from?” But for us it doesn’t make any difference. It’s just another layer in the music. When the sound man asks, “how do you like your vocals?” we say, “Blended in the mix.”
KB: It seems as though Montreal has really made a name for itself, with numerous bands being recognized both on the popular level and in the Indie underground. Is there a revolution happening in your eyes, being a Montreal native?
AM: Actually the music scene here right now is very, very healthy. It is recognized internationally; but for me this is not new, because I was raised in a Montreal suburb; it’s been forever that I’m interested in the local scene. To me the music [scene] has always been good here. It started out with all the garage bands about 10 years ago that were popular in the States. Now it’s Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade. Especially in the United States, people are really interested in Montreal. Articles appear in Spin Magazine, the New York Times; people are talking about ‘the new Seattle’. There’s a good side to it, because so many Indie bands have the fortune to be exposed and to travel and to communicate their music to the world. What I’m worried about is that it can only last for a few moments. At one point the media will be looking for ‘the next Montreal’.
KB: Is it a smash-and-grab, where bands just want to get on board before the ship sails, or is there viability in all of the recognition?
AM: It’s all worth it. Montreal is really small; and at the moment, it seems like everybody’s in a band, and you get to play with half of them. Even though I wasn’t even born, I believe the same thing happened in the late seventies in New York and England. It’s like the punk invasion. Now a lot of people like to speak about our music as ‘post-punk’.
KB: The Gossip are very different in sound from WAW. What brought you together, and what do you see as attractive in your pairing?
AM: I have to be honest. The reason we are touring with the Gossip is we share the same booking agent. All three of us knew about the Gossip and we all liked them as musicians. We met them for the first time in North Hampton, Massachusetts. We played our first gig there together, and the connection was so good. They’ve been playing with bands that are similar to us, like Numbers and with Erase Errata. As far as electronic music is concerned, we all listen to and love classic bands, like Devo and Suicide, and Two Boy Army, and the Normal, and the Screamers… Bands that have the punk energy, but want to use electronics. We like to use dance beats because we want to make people dance. We don’t only want to make them angry and shout and scream; it’s all about fun at the same time.
KB: Speaking of wanting to make people dance, have you ever considered a remix of one of your tracks? Some of them have an inherent disco edge, but tend not to be all that lengthy.
AM: A remix? Anytime, anytime! It seems like trend, to have a song remixed by someone you admire. I remember Les Georges Leningrad had their song “Supa Dupa” remixed by Akufen. And, the Gossip has the song “Standing in the Way of Control”—the title of their new record—was remixed by Le Tigre. I’d love for this to happen to We Are Wolves, but maybe we’ll have to wait for the next record and make sure to keep all tracks safe in the computer.
KB: The dance aspect could certainly hit in Europe. Have you traveled outside of North America, or do you have plans to?
AM: The band has never been to Europe. We have planned to go. The project is next summer to go to Europe. But the great thing about the Internet is that you get to know people from all around the world. We do receive email from [people in] England and France and Spain through Myspace and our Website. We’ve been doing some interviews; but this is my main goal right now, to go there, to see a new continent because of the band. That’s the great thing about music. I’m having such fun right now. We’ve been coast to coast in the United States, and now the plan is to go to Europe. To me, it’s amazing.