Montreal-based trio Le Couleur is back in town promoting their latest EP, Dolce Desir. The drummer of the electro-dance-pop group, Steven Chouniard, took time to speak with the Tribune in the midst of their tour, which began in New York City and will be continuing up to Quebec City.
For a group singing entirely in French, playing for predominantly English-speaking audiences in anglophone cities like New York and Toronto may seem like a risk. As Chouinard explained, it’s quite the opposite.
“I didn’t expect anything like this,” Chouinard admitted, describing the success of their tour thus far. “We’re singing in French [for mostly] English people, so you don’t know what [to expect]. But it went really well, actually. The American people are very open [to] this language.”
The band also attributes its success within anglophone audiences to the style of music it plays.
“We are doing this kind of dance-y house disco music that can take on any language,” Chouinard said.
When prompted with the question of defining the band’s music, however, Chouinard paused.
“That is a hard question actually, because we don’t like to categorize our music,” Chouinard explained. “No artist likes to categorize [his or her] music [….] I would say, like I said earlier, it’s dance music. We want to make people dance.”
In defining the impact he wanted to have in the music world, Chouinard responded humbly: It’s not about the fame, it’s about the music.
“We just want to to play our music in front of people,” Chouinard said. “And the more people [that are] there, the more happy we are [….] You put all your passion, all your money, all your time, all your heart in those songs […] The goal is just to play in front of more people, and just live with your music, live with your passion.”
Le Couleur’s passion about their music means they rarely have time to do anything else, but when the members of Le Couleur do find free time, they enjoy tracking down musical gems—particularly vinyl records. It’s difficult for the group to find spare moments like these while on tour, however. Chouinard acknowledged the difficulties that come with constant travel.
“You arrive [at the city you’re performing in], you’ve been driving all day, you get to the venue for the soundcheck, you have some time between the soundcheck and the performance, you eat—sometimes you don’t have time, so you don’t eat,” Chouinard lamented. “In the morning, you pack up the set and you get to the other [venue].”
The high-speed, high-intensity nature of going on tour is just part of the job. Outlining his hectic schedule for the past few days, Chouinard explained how he had only gotten three hours of sleep the night before. Playing shows at night had kept him up late, only to wake up several hours later in the early morning to travel to the next stop on tour. However, Chouinard noted that type of hard work and motivation is essential to finding prosperity in the music business.
“You have to work very, very hard, and you don’t give up, you keep going.”