The band’s drummer Benoit Poirier speaks on how they pieced together what they would consider to be their best album to date.
By: Sun Noor
The Montreal-based rock band Jesuslesfilles unveiled their fourth record back in June. Over the years, frontman and guitarist Martin Blackburn, guitarist Guillaume Chiasson, keyboardist and vocalist Yuki Berthiaume-Tremblay and drummer Benoit Poirier have formed into their ideal group. Continuing with the idea developed on their previous record that revolves around a main character named, Daniel, L’heure idéale further pursues that narrative in a a very El Dorado-esque manner. This Daniel character will now head west on a journey of self-discovery. Playing on the notion of people wanting to go to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams, this album looks into the idea of moving forward and being present, as there is no better moment than now. I caught up with the band’s drummer Benoit to talk about how this inside joke managed to evolve into a full length project.
How did the idea behind L’heure idéale come about?
“Well, the idea started from this joke that we have about the fact that a bunch of people seem to want to go to LA for whatever reason and we thought it was kind of funny. So we started with that and built this narrative around our singer impersonating a fictional character named Daniel, who as a cowboy will go to the West to discover himself. It’s not really a concept album but that storyline helped build the songwriting aspect.”
I read that you wrote and produced the album in four months though collaborations. How was that like? Were there any particular challenges?
“We only had two shows planned last spring and then work on this album, which did not change much for us. Not playing might have even helped us stay focussed on the songwriting. All of the writing was mostly done by our singer martin, who built those songs from demos. We then jammed with those demos for maybe a month or two until we went to record in the studio. In terms of the collaborations, Laurence-Anne is a friend of ours who we wanted to feature on this album. We had some strings that we added on the last song of the album “Trottoirs d’or,” and and violin played by producer Emmanuel Éthier, who previously worked with Corridor and Chocolat and a bunch of other artists. The cellist, Catherine Le Saunier is a friend of our bass player Thomas and played in some of of the Malajube records.”
Did the final product of the album resemble what you guys had in mind in the beginning?
“Probably not. For some reason we intended to work on the entire album ourselves and self-produce it. At some point, we figured we might ask for some grants, which we managed to get, so we had a decent amount of funds to produce this album. So we included the collaborations I mentioned before and spent more time at Studio Gamma with Samuel Gemme who worked on the last Corridor album and a bunch of others. I’d say that these are really our best songs for sure. We liked the demos and might have kept some but the songs sound much more bigger and polished. That was kind of a surprise for us, that we sound like that because we never really spent that much time in the studio.”
What were some of your influences when working on this album?
“Martin was was influenced by John Lennon on this album, I don’t understand why that was. He talked a lot about him during the writing and recording process. Apart from that there’s the newer, Californian artist called Worn-Tin that he found out about in a random Spotify playlist. Connan Mockasin was also an influence with this album. I’d say that the album is more ‘pop’ compared to our other stuff by our standards because of those influences but we also have a few ‘rock’ songs that relate to our usual sound.”
Was going into that pop direction something that you considered before?
“Martin kind of wanted to go in that direction but the result was great.”
You’ve been a band for nearly 13 years now. Have the dynamics changed overtime?
“The lineup changed a lot. We’ve had a different lineup for every album so far. Again, I hope we stick with this one for a while, as it’s my favourite so far, I’d say. Of course, the dynamics change because of that. With our evolution throughout the years, I’d say that our sound is a bit more polished. I guess we’ve know each other for a while now and know how to communicate ideas, which is awesome.”
Lastly, what are some of your favourite records at the moment?
“The Vanille album which was released at the beginning of the year. It’s like a power pop, 60s sunshine pop album with a bit of a grunge influence. It’s called Soleil 96. Our guitarist Guillaume’s other band Bon Enfant have an upcoming album that sounds good as well.”
The band unveiled a new visual for their track “L.A.” which closes the trilogy of videos with the previous visuals for “Troisième Semaine” and “Antennes.” Directed by Philippe Beauséjour aka Phil Console, the video continues the theme of wandering and adventure without finding a final destination.
Watch the video for “L.A.” featuring Laurence-Anne below:
Header photo credit: Camille Gladu-Drouin