Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]


Share September 30, 2020 Update October 3, 2020 at 9:00 am Share Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

Steve Bergeron La Tribune Monday, September 21, 2020. Quebec has not yet dramatically turned towards too hot pandemic colors. Chat between two Steve by phone. They haven't had a conversation for almost six years, but have known each other for eighteen years.

No, they are not strictly old friends. But there is a powerful point in common between them, which we call music and which arouses a kind of instant connivance. The first is a singer-songwriter, he creates songs, sends them into the air and plays them on stage. The second, who is a journalist, captures them, comments on them, helps to propagate them when they are worth it and is regularly found in the audience to testify to the unique relationship between the artist and his audience.

“It's so precious to have journalists who follow you like that and who can go back to their archives! comments Dumas. Precisely, I was recently chatting with my bassist at the time, François Plante, and it reminded me of that time when I fell into the crowd. François also remembered it: “Yes, there was a journalist in the room and he had written it.” “

Back in January 2010, at the late Vieux Clocher in Sherbrooke, during the first show of the Traces tour. Dumas comes a little too close to the edge to commune with his admirers… and disappears into the human mass. A fortunately smooth incident, which the singer had turned into a joke as soon as he got back on the boards: “Sherbrooke, I'm ready to dive head first for you!” Can we read in the review signed at the time by the other Steve.

Pride of the LP

But all that does not say the why of this conversation of “good old days”: the reissue, in vinyl, of a remarkable disc, The course of the days , initially released on April 29, 2003. This opus 2 of Dumas, album of consecration, at the same time launched eight years of musical effervescence for the Victoriavillois, and more than placing it on the list of essentials of Quebec song. Titles like Vénus , J'erre , Je ne sais pas , Vol en explosives , Arizona and Linoleum were then permanently engraved in people's minds.

That this record now exists in LP form engenders a form of pride in the songwriter. But, Dumas does not hide it, he had to make peace with Le cours des jours . As much as such a puck is a blessing in an artist's career (especially when you made it at 23), it can become a thorn in your side by overshadowing the rest of its creation. But the singer ended up seeing the glass half full.

“It's a great privilege to have made a record that has taken up so many places with people. It is thanks to him that I still compose music at 41 years old. He was never an obstacle. I am lucky to still do this job, although it is not so intense anymore. Every week someone tells me it's my best album. Of course, I wondered if I would ever manage to do something so important again. Sometimes I listen to other records of mine and still find them cool. But I'm really not bitter. There are so many things out of my control anyway. Despite everything, I had a tour of 120 shows with My Ideals [2018], but a record made at 38 cannot have the same impact as another made at 23 ”, he believes.

Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

Photo accompanying Steve Dumas' first interview with the daily La Tribune , carried out by journalist Steve Bergeron and published on January 16, 2002. Photo archives La Tribune

Dumas partly blames an alignment of planets for the soaring that led Le cours des jours to gold disc status. “Something was happening on the Quebec scene at the time, with the emergence of musicians like Jocelyn Tellier and Carl Bastien. A large part of my audience was the same age as me, an age where music marks us. I then lived eight really intense years, I even found myself headlining at Osheaga. I have so many beautiful memories of that time! “

Just as he has recorded, made in two stages, at Studio Victor in Montreal and then at Studio Wild in Saint-Zénon. He and his musicians were completely immersed in creation.

“At Studio Victor, we worked nights, we slept there, no one among us had children then. And at Studio Wild, we were isolated in the woods in the middle of winter (we had to go by snowmobile). This is where Le cours des jours became what it is, with its hovering side and its struts. I also found my voice there. I was still figuring out how to sing at the time and that's when Carl Bastien [the director] asked me to be as gentle as possible. It always stuck with me. “

Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

Dumas interviewed at La Tribune in November 2004, during the Cours des jours tour. Photo archives La Tribune, Jessica Garneau


Remembering a second wave

Even if we speak of it today as a must in Quebec music, Le cours des jours did not immediately find its audience. We had to wait for a second wind, which took place some 18 months later, largely thanks to the support of Guy A. Lepage, who hosted the ADISQ gala at the time, in addition to the second season of Tout the world is talking about it .

“Not that much happened in the first year. I have had a fairly good critical reception, but not everywhere. There are people who did not understand all these noises. I had the support of music lovers like you, university radio stations, MusiquePlus, but the songs weren't playing on the radio. After a year, I had only sold 10,000, which was not a lot for the time. “

Then, in autumn 2004, the stars aligned. “Guy A. Lepage fell in love with the record and insisted that I come and play at ADISQ, with my band at the time (which was not normally done). Guy then invited me to Everyone's Talking About It . The soundtrack for the film Les magnets [which he signed with Carl Bastien] was also released that fall, as was the video for J'erre , in which I showed another facet of my personality, more humorous. And there, it exploded, I started to sell 1000 albums per week. My life changed with this second wave, ”he says, before bursting into laughter, realizing the last two words he just said.

Another memory that he will not soon forget: he led two tours at the time. “In 2003, when I saw that I wasn't giving a lot of shows, I built a solo show to be able to go on stage without the band. When the demand for the show with my musicians increased, I started doing both tours in parallel. I was on the road all the time. “

Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

First show of the Traces tour, January 16, 2010, at the Vieux Clocher in Sherbrooke, during which Dumas fell off the stage. Photo archives La Tribune, Maxime Picard


Like the pixies

It is by remembering the Pixies playing their entire album Doolittle at the Metropolis that Dumas had the idea to do the same with Le cours des jours . Well he took it: tickets for the first six performances in Montreal sold out in 24 hours, enough to add more. Obviously, that was before the city's passage into the red zone erased the slate. At the time of writing, only the evenings of September 30 in Montreal and October 8 in Sherbrooke had withstood the storm. And all fingers are crossed so that the Eastern Townships remain orange by Thursday.

Regardless of the context, Dumas can only note the flair he had: not only are the public ready to come back to the hall to hear Le cours des jours again , but all of his musicians of the time (Jocelyn Tellier, François Plante, Jean -Phi Goncalves and Vincent Réhel) have agreed to reform the old group. Only Carl Bastien will rather be in the audience, taken by his own musical projects.

“I even went back to rummage through the soundtracks to find exactly who was playing what, because it will be an evening where we will remake the songs as close as possible to the version of the album, in order. I figured that a listening performance would be appropriate in a context of physical distancing. Now, as I will find myself with the gang that followed me until around 2010, we will not shy away from our pleasure of covering other songs from that time: the album Fixer le temps [2006], the microalbum Close the radio and the Magnets soundtrack. “

Dumas: realigning the stars [VIDEO]

Released on April 29, 2003, the album Le cours des jours de Dumas was reissued on vinyl last August. Phot provided

Do you want to go?

Thursday, October 8, 8 p.m.
Granada Theater
Admission: $ 42.50

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