Misteur Valaire play the Montreal International Jazz Festival on June 28. The Montreal Buzz caught up with the group’s Luis Clavis to find out where they’ve been, where they’re going and what they’ve got planned for Jazz Fest…
Misteur Valaire is actually a band of five men from Sherbrooke, Quebec, who now call Montreal home. On the heels of their latest release, Golden Bombay, they’ve been making waves both at home and abroad, with a musical style that dabbles in jazz, electro, pop and hip hop. I caught up with Luis on his cellphone, as he walked along a street somewhere in Montreal.
Montreal Buzz: What’s it like to play Jazz Fest?
Luis Clavis: The scene is great and it’s great to play Montreal in front of so many people. It’s the second time we’ve played the Jazz Fest- it’s the greatest part of the Montreal summer.
MB: What kind of show are you planning?
LC: We won’t change the show, because we toured in Europe and Quebec and the show is working, so we won’t change the tunes but we’ll add some surprises with visuals and take it to another level. We’ll multiply it by at least two (laughs).
MB: The band moved from Sherbrooke to Montreal a while ago. How has living in Montreal changed your musical style?
LC: It changed a lot. First we arrived in Montreal and it gave us the opporutnity to see lots of shows and lots of bands that don’t go to Sherbrooke. We’d go to Divan Orange to see shows and we’d go to all the summer festivals. It was easy to get inspired by all the artists and it helped us meet all our people, our team. It helped us meet other artists like the guys from Bran Van 3000, they’re all people we met in Montreal by going to shows and bars.
MB: Where do you see your musical style going?
LC: We listen to lots of different music and explore new sounds, but the most important thing is that we have a sound and people can recognize our sound, that’s the goal. We don’t want to do one kind of music, we want people to listen to our music and recognize it and the way we play the music, like the colour of the music.
MB: What’s your favourite place to play in Montreal?
LC: Metropolis, but it will probably become the Jazz Fest. Metropolis is the greatest club in Montreal. It holds a lot of people and the sound is good. Even though it’s a big venue you can still see the people. It’s like a giant bar.
MB: Do you have a favourite Montreal band?
LC: Avec Pas d’Casque, it’s a French Quebecois folk band.
MB: What are your summer plans?
LC: We’re touring over the summer. We just recording a new song which will be out in the summer but we don’t have time to do more stuff. We have a side project called Qualite Motel, which is the five of us around the table with synths and beatboxes that we’ll be working on.
MB: You made the (awesomely named) album, Friterday Night, available for free download. Why?
LC: We knew that the music industry wasn’t very good and you have to see the show to understand the music. We have a lot of energy on stage so we decided to give the album so people can talk about it and tell their friends, and the album helps to to promote the band. After two years Friterday Night was downloaded more than 45,000 times, which gives us the chance to play all over the world.
MB: What’s the best way to spend a Montreal summer day?
LC: You have to walk and hang around, there are so many different places in the Mile End and Plateau. I’m not really into downtown but hanging out in the mile end and the plateau can be a great way to spend your day.
Misteur Valaire at Jazz Fest, June 28, 2011