Les Deuxluxes are known for their unabashed sound, with influences deeply rooted in the era when Sun Studios was a music Mecca, and aesthetics largely indebted to the New York Dolls and early Rod Stewart, while still admiring a few of their contemporaries, especially King Gizzard.
“We really dig the universe they put out there,” says guitarist and singer Anna-Frances Meyer. “They’re the kind of band who’ll release five albums in a year and do stuff that’s simply unthinkable in the current [music-industry] model. You get the feeling you’re tapping right into their brains when you listen to their stuff.”
Les Deuxluxes exist in stark contrast to the current musical landscape – thankfully.
We join them while the pair – Meyer and Étienne Barry, a couple both onstage and at home – is holed up deep in the Québec countryside, with shoddy cellular reception at best. They’re there to work on songs that will likely comprise the sequel to last September’s Springtime Devil: “Let’s just say people might get a little surprise sooner than they think,” says Meyer matter-of-factly.
So what place do their aesthetics occupy in their creative process? “I think it’s somewhat independent of our music,” Meyers says. “That aesthetic has a life of its own. Take the video for “My Babe & Me”: we wanted an all-white video with a motorbike. And that song fit perfectly with the concept… We just want to create our own galaxy. We are inspired by artists that go above and beyond. And then there’s all the artists from the ’60s and ’70s who had such flair and showmanship.”
For Étienne Barry, this adds tremendously to their presentation. “Kiss are quite impressive,” he says. “And their performance lives up to their visuals. The music has to be in synch.” In an ideal world, with an ideal budget, the duo could fall from the sky on a motorbike, “and pyrotechnics like those of AC/DC would be sick… Fireworks are always cool in concert.”
Mainstream audiences were introduced to them during Infoman’s year-end review, for which they were asked to create the musical theme. (Aaired on Québec’s SRC Télé, think of Infoman as Québec’s version of The Rick Mercer Show.) “It went super well,” says Barry. “Daniel Beaumont [Infoman’s lyricist for the last few editions] wrote the lyrics. A lot of stuff from the first draft made it to the final version. The music followed almost without having to think about it.”
The show’s producer, Richard Gohier, agrees: “I’d heard them on the radio during the Plus on est de fous, plus on lit [a literary show on SRC Première] show as well as on Belle et Bum [a music variety show on Télé Québec], on TV, and I really liked their energy. Generally speaking, we try to have a youthful tone, not too establishment, not too conventional, and quite contemporary. Plus, they have a very distinctive look. When we met them, we were awestruck, host Jean-René Dufort and myself, because they’re super-followers of the news and they were totally on top of things when we talked with them. In the end, what they proposed to us was exactly what we were looking for.”
As for the fallout from a prime-time TV appearance on New Year’s Eve, Meyer says, “We can’t deny a lot of people saw us and it’s changed things a bit, but nothing too intense. But we can’t deny Québec is a little tougher. We’ve never had any problems singing in English, we tour a lot and play pretty much anywhere. And we do consider ourselves Québécois artists. Getting stuck on language is shallow, to say the least. It just happens to be in English. We’re lucky to be able to do it and we feel like we belong here, we know everyone on the scene. Canailles, Québec Redneck Bluegrass Project, Ariane Moffatt… I just did a few shows with Safia Nolin! There’s room for everyone and that’s the wonderful thing about Québec, we’re all there to help each other out.”
Obviously, one question begs to be asked: how is it to work as a couple? Says Barry: “Is it more challenging? Not necessarily. The biggest challenge is setting time aside for it. I mean, like, ‘Fuck doing the dishes, let’s make rock ‘n’ roll!’” Meyer adds: “But this symbiosis is also a blessing. It brings a lot to us as a couple. I feel very lucky to be able to make it work so well.”
Here’s to their continued success, for our own pleasure!