Solids are a Montreal post-punk duo comprised of Xavier Germain-Poitras on guitar and Louis Guillemette creates thunderous beats on drums. They are making waves in the hardcore scene, with a sound that infiltrates and shake the soul through the layers of fuzzy distortion and feedback.
They are currently on their first North American tour, supporting the release of their debut LP, Blame Confusion. We had a chance to chat with Xavier about their music writing experiences and most anticipated moments about embarking on their first North American tour.
MURMUR: As Montreal locals, what are your favourite parts of the music scene here and how has it impacted your own music-making?
XAVIER: Coming from a more punk/hardcore background, I think that I can speak for both us by saying that the dedication of the DIY-minded crowd is the thing that we admire and like the most about Montreal’s music scene, and the thing that actually gave birth to Solids in the first place.
It’s nice to know that even if those small independent venues (quite often people’s homes) keep on being shut down all the time, there will always be another one popping out somewhere else. And since there isn’t any “real” all ages venues (other than 600+ capacity venues) left in the city, it’s really great for the kids to have that circuit as a starting point instead of playing horrible band competitions.
I guess the impact it had and still has on our music writing probably transpires through that desire to keep our sound as raw and stripped down as possible.
MURMUR: You’ve said that you enjoy loud shows best, for the physical impact it has on your body and the unique experience one feels. Have you encountered any problems with tinnitus as of yet, or do you worry about it?
XAVIER: Well we bought real earplugs last year (the ones that are molded to your ears and that reduce all the frequencies equally instead of the dollar store ones from which you can only get an annoying “boomy” sound) and I have to say it’s the best purchase we’ve done in years. I recommend it to anyone playing in a loud band; it is totally worth the price. So yeah, I guess our ears are “safe” now.
MURMUR: I’ve read that Louis is currently in six or so bands– how is it balancing so many different musical projects? Do you ever find that the ideas from the ranging styles and sounds overlap? Does this end up being a benefit or deterrent for your writing in SOLIDS?
XAVIER: Aha, nowadays it’s more like 2 other bands, one in which he plays guitar and another one in which he plays drums. But they are all really different projects with maybe only the loudness in common, so no, it doesn’t really affect our writing. As for balancing them all, I still have no idea how he manages it. I do know that he has a very comprehensive girlfriend though. That helps.
MURMUR: As a band that currently plays in smaller venues (with even the occasional house party), how do you plan to accommodate your intimate show performances as your audience continues to grow?
XAVIER: The idea is to keep it as simple and effective as possible. That’s why we like to only have that lightbulb hanging above us as our “light show” whenever a ceiling fixture allows it. We’re not saying it won’t change at some point, but so far we’ve preferred focusing on the music and the performance in itself instead of overpackaging.
MURMUR: What are your most anticipated cities on your North American tour over the next few months?
XAVIER: We’ve never been to most of the places we’re gonna play, so it’s kind of a tough call. We can’t wait to see the West Coast (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, L.A., San Diego…), meet our new colleagues at Fat Possum Records in Oxford, Mississippi, rediscover Austin at SXSW, and of course there are also old favorites like Toronto, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and so on.
Listen to Solids’ ‘Blame Confusion’ right here.
Playing both March 28th and March 29th, at TRH Bar. You’ll be able to pick up physical copies of their Blame Confusion LP there. For more info, check out the event page here.