Countdown to Le Phoque OFF Festival – Interview with Yoo Doo Right

Quebec City’s Le Phoque OFF festival will be going virtual this year. It will be held from February 12th to 20th, and feature a number of Quebec’s alternative bands and musicians.

This year’s event creates a chance to reconvene and dissert about important issues such as the place of women in music, mental health problems, and the arrival of virtual shows in our industry.

For only $ 12, you’ll be able to access all the programming! Passes for sale HERE.

In advance of the festival, we are catching up with some of the talents. First, we spoke with Kristian North. Now, we’ve caught up with Montreal’s Yoo Doo Right. Check out the single, “Marche Pt. 3” below, and find out more about the band via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello dear readers, we’re a group called yoo doo right from Montreal, Quebec. Charles Masson plays bass. John plays drums. Justin plays guitar.

How does it feel to be a part of Le Phoque OFF 2021 festival in its 7th consecutive year?

Blessed, truly.

Le Phoque OFF 2021 will be going virtual this year, how do you prepare for a virtual festival compared to a standard festival?

We tend to need to rehearse a lot more…the permanence of the performance is a bit scary. It’s easy for a listener to forget about mistakes in a performance when they’ve had a couple of drinks in a club, passively watching a show while their friend shouts about that day’s events in your ear. When you’re sitting at home alone with headphones on, I would imagine the viewer to be a touch more scrutinizing…maybe that’s just the neurosis kicking in, but you tend to feel a bit more naked in this situation. Open to ridicule. Probably because the viewer has control over the volume at a virtual show as opposed to that power dynamic being in our favor at a real show. I suppose we would also be a bit more meticulous about our personal hygiene too. It turns out that the camera doesn’t add 10 pounds to your body so much as it adds 10 months of quarantine grease to your face.

What can someone who has yet to see you perform live expect from the performance?

It tends to be an overwhelming experience. We prefer to work with local visual artists, using projections to create a more immersive and commanding kind of spectacle. We also tend to throw caution to the wind and opt for a rather imposing wall of amplifiers, pushing decibel levels usually saved only for the runways of jet airliners. There’s something about feeling sound waves crashing into the centre of your chest that can’t help but leave you picking your jaw up off the floor. If you have never had your eyeballs vibrate inside your head, I highly recommend it. It can be quite a transcendental experience and if that’s not magic, I’m not sure what is.

What song of yours would you recommend a new listener check out?

I suppose our newest track, Marche Pt. 3, which is part of the Sounds From Mothland compilation would be a good place to start…its surely quite different than our usual approach to songwriting, but Spotify seems to like using it to make money and hey, who are we as artists in the 2020’s if not trying to trick the algorithm?

Last but not least, how have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

This is a good one. Well, once we realized that we wouldn’t be performing in front of audiences or traveling like we usually do, we collectively decided to simply create art for the sake of creating art and once our rehearsal studio was reopened after an 11 week closure, we got to writing A LOT of new music. I personally think it’s some of our best yet and in fact we are heading soon into our beloved hotel2tango to record it all. Yes, we made a quarantine record. Removing the performative aspect of music has had an undoubtedly profound impact on the approach we have taken towards it. It quite feels like the thrill of being a young child, excitedly learning an instrument in your bedroom with every spare moment you have, experiencing the spirit of exploration, and absolutely relishing in the moment when it all clicks. Of course, not being able to engage with an audience has definitely been an adjustment, but we have taken this pandemic as an opportunity to evolve and create. Something I think we all feel blessed to have been able to work towards. I think that moving forward, there will be an influx of really cool art coming out from all corners of the world and it’s quite exciting to think about. Out of the ashes of a music industry that was devastated by covid-19 will the spirit of creation and truly genuine and thoughtful art come. The pandemic leveled the playing field in a lot of ways and I think it will be really thrilling to experience art in a more intentional way, outside of the toxic and inspirationally depleted norms that in a lot of ways the music industry came to represent (fingers crossed).

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