Tuesdays August 18th
One To Midnight: a name to remember
in a while, you get to meet a band that you know will get the
recognition that they deserve in a near future. I had the
opportunity to spend some time with the guys from One To Midnight, but also with the people involved in their organization. I
got to the site of La Festival d’été de Beloeil on Friday and met the
band’s singer John Jed and drummer Rick Lee. After a small chat,
we decided to head for a Bed & Breakfast which the band was using
as an headquarter. Alain Forget, owner of Gîte Beaux Brunelles was kind enough to lend us his kitchen for the interview. He opened up a bottle of wine and we sat down.
of questions were asked in the previous interviews that the band had
given about their association with the Montreal Canadiens, but I wanted
to know more about their music, their process and their motivation, so
you will see only one questions about the habs.
been looking over the media and there are been a lot of attention
especially because of the Montreal Canadiens supporting you by
attending to your album launch. I do you feel about all that
attention? Their was some attention before, but how is it since
the club or some of the players have endorsed your music?
you know, it’s a gift. When we played for the Montreal Canadiens
at their party, they are passionate guys and we are passionate guys and
I think that this is the common denominator in between the Montreal
Canadiens and the One To Midnight Family. The passion for sports,
the passion for music, whatever drives you to be the best that you can
at what you do. For them to endorse us was a gift. We
didn’t planned for it, the album launch was planned, but Mathieu
Dandeneault is a really good friend of mine as well as other players,
so when they showed up to the launch it was mind boggling. I
cannot stress the word enough that it was a gift.
So how as it been since the launch?
Well it has been the circus of rock & roll!
We had a phenomenal launch and we had
a great support mechanism like the Montreal
Habs. We are slowy learning how to fit within
that circus of rock & roll. The infrastructure
ready for this type of launch. The Montreal rock scene is a great
rock scene, but is isn’t opened has it should be. Were trying to
jump over some issues that we had with some radio stations. Where
trying to get our fare share of the pie. Were just trying to make
our way, but it is surely a great ride.
been working together for 14 years. Were the Montreal Canadien’s
approach the steppingstone to say let’s do an album? Even if the
album was in the process, was it the event that told you to do it right
had written a lot of stuff throughout the years and we were in studio
recording some stuff, but I think that the Montreal Canadiens making us
do some gigs encouraged us, kinda “Guys you got to put this out there”,
so that gave us a good kick in the pants to say let’s do this, just
take it more seriously than we already have been so we pushed the
envelope and we had good people involved with us. One of them
named Jay Lefevbre, which is the brother of Sebastien Lefevbre from
Simple Plan. He had worked with Bob Rock and he came in using the
same structure that we had and spiked it up. As soon has we saw
what he was talking about, we just went with it. We just worked
song after song, hooked up with our record company and everything just
exploded, its just took of from there.
As far as the recording process,
was the director leading you through
the process or just giving you advice?
literally walked into the studio were we practiced and listen to about
half of one song and literally said to me: “Rick speed this up, Johnny,
just change a little bit the groove out there…”. He’s a musician
himself and he can play all the instruments, so he knew everything.
He basically put that last stroke of brush on each one of us.
We said let’s be opened minded about it and did the stuff that he
said and we said wow. The songs were a little faster or a little
slower a little less singles, a little more vocals and he just put a
little brush here and there and if their was conflicts, you said what
you had to say. He just said if you have something to say, well fight
about it, and he learned that from Bob Rock.
we had a preliminary meeting with Rick and I before meeting with the
rest of the band, that was made very clear, as Jay said tracks are the
tracks. If you start with good tracks, you have a good
foundation, you can’t help but evolve on those foundations and the rest
of it was just fine tuning. But at the and of the day, Jay and
One To Midnight had one hell of a magic storm going on and we had
tracks that were legitimate, but also hard and we produced what you
hear on the album which is real rugged genuine rock & roll.
have been together for 14 years. Do you think that it gives you
an edge on other bands which would get their first hit right after
I wouldn’t call it an edge.
think that I would say that we do not have an edge on everybody, I
think what we have is a certain purity and legitimacy. We are
beyond pretending and after so many years together. Rick Lee will
come up with a beat and Johnny will come up and write and Cool Hand
will come along, DJ Power Surge will just join in and the guys knows
were I am going and I know were they are going and I think that what
rock & roll is all about. We don’t have to look at each
other, we don’t need to think. Were just acting raw.
have listen to some of your stuff, you sing songs like Round and around
and Taxi, then you listen to songs like show me the way and you
see that you have a pretty wide range of songs, including more ruff
songs and a couple of pop songs. What are your musical influences.
Rick Lee and DJ are big Kiss Fans
is a Bon Jovi fan, we like Bon Jovi to, we like Journey, we like U2, we
like Styx, we like Peter Gabriel, the 80’s, the 90’s, but then again we
like also Led Zeppelin and other 70’s stuff, but I guess these are our
influences and a lot of people say that we sound, even if they say that
we have our own sound, when they come and see us live, they see us jump
around and act together, we go to the crowd, we get people on stage
sometimes. They cannot say that we are show off, we are part of
them, we are just a bunch of guys having a good time. That’s what
we do. We like also Nickelback.
do not think that when we make a song, we start with stuff and say I am
going to take this influence and this influence, it’s more genuine
feeling based on a true event or an imaginary event, it is usually very
spontaneous. So if we are writing and feeling pop, then it will
be a pop song. If it is a hardcore and I feel aggressive, it will
be a hardrock song.
you are in your writing process or your composing process, would you
start with the lyrics or you guys start jamming, or you have a little
idea of what you would like to do?
would say it is a little bit of both, but I would say usually that I
would come with a text and a melody and pan it on the guys the guys
that will take it from there and we have been together for so long that
they feel my sentiment. I don’t have to introduce the song, I’ll
come in with the lyrics and the melody and I could come up and say I
hear this on drums and I hear this on bass, but One To Midnight are my
brothers, so I usually come up with a song and they do the rest.
It’s just like magic.
guys have been around the block many time and have done many shows, who
is the person, either opening act or somebody that you worked with or
somebody that came along that impressed you the most.
I think who has impressed me the most was
Prince. As crazy as it sounds, when I was a
Prince show. I thought to myself, my god this
guy has no holding back. It’s a 100% pure
instinct and there is no way that the show
is scripted. It was on the purple Rain tour and
I said this is the way its got to be. It was pop,
but to me it was true rock. This guy rocked.
A 100% driven, no holds barred, just unbelievable energy.
One act that comes up to me was Lenny Kravitz also. It was just out there.
have looked at a lot of stuff on the web, your web site, youtube and
you start to be well known looking at the hits on your name.
While browsing through the web, I have noticed that you have made
a special song for a girl named Valerie. Listen to the song, and
it really touched me. Could you tell me how this project started.
all great projects, it was someone that knew someone through our
bassist Johnny. We got a call saying that their was a girl and
here’s her story. She is loosing her eyesight. On top of it
she has a problem with her nervous system where she can’t feel
anything, so even if she looses her eyesight, she can’t read brail
because she can’t feel the tip of her fingers. The whole story
was told to me in two minutes and I said, I’m in. And I
knew that when I signed in that the rest of the brothers would go
along. I talked to our manager Serge Comeau and told him here’s
the deal and he said if your in I am in. We put the show together
for this special girl, which is an incredible lady. The morning
of the show, I got inspired, so I wrote the song. So that
afternoon just before the sound checks, I sang the song to the guys and
like I said before it was magic. So that evening, we sang the
song live in front of a full auditorium and we brought Valerie up on
stage. The girl is amazing. We are struggling and fighting
to build a career and building and supporting our families and she is
fighting for an education. She is at an another level completely.
It also related to other people that are fighting cancer and
quadriplegic. People in our surrounding that got obstacles and
for us as artist it touches us. The whole Valerie project is just
a heart project.
that John writes is always something that Johns felt. I’ve been
with the band for 14 years and it always been one of John’s stories.
He comes up with it and we just move forward on it. People
might say that it sounds like something, but it is always genuine
heartfelt songs. That what it has been and that’s what it will
Where would you see yourself on 5 years
me 5 years from now, I would say getting to another level while doing
what we always loved doing and also continuing helping people in need.
To me it has always been music from our heart to other people’s
heart. If we can help somebody and put a smile on their face that
years from now, I would like to be known around the world. We
will be on our multiple album and multiple tours. I hope that we
will be in the same frame of mind that we are now.
In the next 5 years, we are among the top 25 acts in the world.
What would the song on your MP3 player that you have that you might be a little shy to say that you have on it.
I would say Michael Jackson. Even though that it is not as rock, but we like it.
I would have a MP3 player, which I don’t, I am more of a CD guy, but if
I had, I would have I would defiantly have some Michael Jackson.
I have to say that I had a lot of fun doing that interview that night.
The night after I went to meet the band’s
record company owner at their get together
before the show and he showed me a
special piece of gear. They had a special
guitar made especially for the band on the
form of the Montreal Canadien’s logo. This
Jean-Luc Bouthiller. This guitar was to be
used by Cool Hand Luke on the seventh
song of tonight’s set.
didn’t spoke to the band that night as they were getting ready for the
show, but I could notice that they we psyched about the gig. They
left on a pickup truck and I headed for the stage for pictures from the
band got on stage shortly after and what I saw was genuine rock
band, playing from their heart and most of all having genuine fun on
stage. You could see it from their interaction on stage, but also
by the way John interacted with the crowd.
played their songs, but also played some U2 covers as well as Crazy
Train from Ozzy Osbourne, which is always a good way to gain the crowd
that not have known all of One To Midnight’s material.
think that I had the chance to meet a band that will go far and
hopefully as I told them at the end of the interview, will be able to
meet them back on their first world tour.
Tuesday, August 11th
AC/DC Rocks Montreal!
legends have lived again to their reputation by giving an amazing
performance last Saturday at the Olympic Stadium. The stadium was
filled and was ready for scorching guitar, heavy riffs and great
staging. AC/DC answered to the expectation with a huge stage
(which took 3 days to assemble) including a 1:20 replica of a
locomotive as the centerpiece. The band did all their greatest
hits plus a couple of songs from their Black Ice album.
Conclusion, the fans really got their money worth.
Sorry for the lateness of my article, but my gear got stuck at the
airport for 8 days, giving me no access to update and post.