Philippe Brach, from superstar to woodsman
Philippe Brach comes out of his den to deliver to the public a fourth album, The people we love.
For five years, from 2014 to 2019, Philippe Brach was everywhere. He has released three albums to public and critical acclaim which have earned him several Félix awards, in addition to doing hundreds of shows throughout Quebec and even elsewhere.
Then he disappeared. For years, the name of Philippe Brach ceased to circulate. The 33-year-old musician systematically refused any media proposal made to him. Until March 2023.
The singer-songwriter comes out of his lair to deliver a fourth album, Les gens qu'on aime. Where was he? What was he doing? Where is he going? It was at the New Canada Hot Dog, on rue Beaubien, that he sat down with Métro to tell us everything.
Need to withdraw
After his ultimate show, presented at Club Soda on October 14, 2019, Philippe Brach packed his suitcase and flew to East Africa where he traveled for four months. He returned just in time to experience the confinement of the pandemic in his little cabin in the woods of the Hautes-Laurentides, about three hours from Montreal, where he has lived for six years.
My place is in the woods. I live a 19th century life. I hunt. My neighbors are trappers. Everyone around my house makes fun of who I am and what I do. I love that!
In his village plagued by poverty where there are no local shops, the artist works in the community. He manages meals on wheels, the thrift store, the caregiver program, medical transportation and more.
Philippe Brach, who says he is “unable to stop”, is still out corner of the country on a few occasions, whether to direct Yannick de Martino and Étienne Coppée or to carry out a project by the musician Velours Velours.
On the other hand, the co-founder of the La Noce festival felt the need to put an end to the mediatized life of a musician he had lived for five years.
“I got to a point where I was on stage for the 250th time on my tour doing the same tunes and I didn't like the fact of figuring out what I was doing. I had the feeling that if I continued, I would no longer have any emotion when I speak into a microphone. I stopped at the right time,” believes Philippe Brach.
The musician is not a fan of fame and could very well live without existing publicly, he says. < /p>
For years, the name of Philippe Brach ceased to circulate. Until March 2023. Photo credit: JF Galipeau.
Need to come back
For three years, Philippe Brach did not touch his guitar. “I was thinking maybe I was never going to release anything again and I was comfortable with that. »
Lately, ideas for songs that he had no choice but to write have come to his mind. He performed, but only when the pieces came to mind, never full time.
It’s finally when he had a health problem that he said to himself that he had to make a decision: either he made an album now, or he never made one again, “It's always more pleasant to look at life in a tragic way”, laughs Philippe Brach.
Thus, the creation of the album People we love began.
“The production was done in an extremely rushed way”, says the artist. At the end of November, he had a “brain bubble”: he called all his fellow musicians. On January 9, all these beautiful people entered the studio to record the album in six days. On February 9, all the mixes went to mastering, the final stage.
“I called my label and asked for a March release. Book me a hundred shows for a year and a half! They were totally hallucinating, but were really happy,” says the musician.
Philippe Brach couldn't have kept his album on ice for several months, as most do. artists, who organize super planned outings. “I'm the type of guy who gets tired quickly. It would never have happened. »
An album inspired by the real world
The people we love is Philippe Brach's less dark opus. It’s an album that is easy to listen to and that allows itself some madness. For example, the piece Revolution (the song) could have been a radio success if the artist had not decided to conclude it with noises of drowning, he believes. “I like the idea that maybe I had a stack of cash and set it on fire. »
The album is also more open, less centered on his person, he who uses very little of the “I”. It is moreover an opus inspired by the people that Philippe Brach meets in his village, men and women who “contrary to what we think of them”.
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who has no concept of ego. Who does not think of being in the eye of the other. Real people who speak and act without knowing that we are thinking about them. These are precious people for the musician, “pure human beings”, increasingly rare in a time when people often tend to show off on social networks.
< p>The overall message that the artist wants to convey with his album is both simple and radical. “I am talking about a desire to unlearn what we have been taught and to describe the systems in place to start afresh, to think of other ways of living, of consuming, of managing what surrounds us. Because really, what we have here doesn't work, in so many ways. »
The musician admits that while he did not miss public life, he was still bored of the stage. As of this fall, a hundred concert dates across the province are on Philippe Brach's agenda. In the lot, there are two concept shows, including one scheduled for MTelus on November 18. Don't miss your chance to catch it, because it warns us: as soon as it's over, it returns to its lair.