As early as last week, many people outside of Quebec had not heard of Karkwa. But when the Montreal group, who’ve been together for over a decade, won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in Toronto, that changed almost overnight. Before their Pop Montreal show on September 30th at Metropolis, the Montreal Buzz caught up with guitarist and vocalist Louis-Jean Cormier…
Montreal Buzz: I was watching the Polaris Gala and you guys did seem genuinely shocked to have won…
Louis-Jean Cormier: We were so surprised and still are a bit. It was so unexpected and, right before, all I could think about was being nervous about having to be up there and speak in English in front of everyone.
MB: People in Quebec know Karkwa- Les Chemins de Verre is your fourth album- but is this sort of an introduction to the rest of Canada and the world?
LJC: Yes, we are a little unknown for everybody else and I think this will be very interesting in helping us going to play in new places. On est vraiment content (“we’re really happy”) that this might open some new doors for us.
MB: Do you think that it matter that many of your new fans may not understand all of your lyrics?
LJC: When you have a common musical language, I don’t think it matters as much. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I think things are changing a bit. C’est pas rare de voir des groups qui includes des Anglos et Francos (“it’s not uncommon to see groups with French and English members”) et la Main est plutot bilingue maintenant (“The Main, aka St-Laurent, is fairly bilingual these days”).
MB: What do you guys have planned for your Pop Montreal show?
LJC: We’re very excited to be coming to play this new album for Montreal and to be playing with our friend Leif Vollebekk, people should make sure to show up to see him. Pop Montreal always has so many underground musicians that we’re also excited to discover some new artists.