With his first full-fledged North American tour since reactivating the band set to begin next week, Luc Lemay of Gorguts is the furthest thing from nervous. In fact, he’s “been waiting for this moment for a very long time,” and is eager to “reconnect with the fans.” Given the fact that this will be the ‘Guts first long-form tour of America since reactivating, I’d wager to say that the fans are just as ecstatic. Outside of a few shows here and there, including a memorable stint on the 2012 Death To All tour, Lemay’s merry band of metallers have been biding their time, waiting for the official release of Colored Sands, before deciding to take it on the road.
The headlining tour in question finds Italian imports Nero di Marte opening, and Gorguts drummer John Longstreth’s other band, Origin, sharing the bill, but Lemay reveals that this was not always the case. “Initially, it was supposed to be Ulcerate that were going to open the evenings, but there was not enough shows for them to cover all the fees,” such as airfare and visa sponsorship, so he asked for Nero di Marte. His touring wish list reads like an encyclopedia of all things heavy: “Neurosis, Morbid Angel, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Napalm Death, Carcass,” and the list goes on. As for the latter-most band on that list… well, it looks like his wish was granted, since Gorguts will be opening up for Carcass on the 2014 iteration of the Decibel Magazine Tour. Before that happens however, there’s still the matter of this headlining tour.
Even though rehearsing might seem difficult when the members of your band are scattered across various parts of North America, Lemay insists his crew is composed of “very meticulous musicians,” so the end result feels like they “jam together all the time.” Maybe that’s not surprising though, when half of your band consists of Dysrhythmia‘s string section, and your drummer is a human metronome. Although it might be unwise to expect a lot of older material being played on this tour–or any Gorguts tour for that matter, since Lemay just doesn’t remember how to play some of those old songs that have been permanently etched into the minds of many a fan. He concedes, “most of the songs from Erosion, Considered and Obscura I don’t remember at all,” but to remedy this from happening 20 years down the line, he’s a bit more proactive now, making sure he has “everything written down in tablatures.” Hopefully this translates into a tab book, thus sparing the YouTube-viewing masses from having to watch inevitable deluge of wrong cover videos.
Although Gorguts has never had the most consistent lineup, Lemay has always been surrounded by exceptional musicians; perhaps none more unique than Steeve Hurdle–a crucial element to 1998′s landmark album, Obscura, and one of Lemay’s closest friends. When Hurdle passed away last year, the metal community lost one of its brightest lights, and even though he was not coming back for Gorguts, Lemay credits Steeve for giving him “the idea about making a new album.” Lemay reveals that “one of my biggest regrets is that he never got to hear the record… to me he was the first on the list to hear it.” And while Steeve unfortunately never got to hear the new album, his influence can be heard very specifically in two songs off the new record. “The music from the song “Reduced To Silence” was a song I wrote for Negativa, [and] just before I left Negativa I had written all the music for “An Ocean Of Wisdom.” As for the album’s instrumental piece “The Battle of Chamdo,” Lemay has more where that came from, and would “love to do a record with my compositions, but the costs are very high.”
Gorguts is a band defined by reinvention and bold new beginnings. Each album has a distinct feeling of immersion unique to itself, and Lemay’s golden songwriting rule mirrors this. “Each song’s beginnings have to be very, very different from one another,” and judging by the reception Colored Sands has received, it’s probably fair to say this is his strongest beginning yet. Now who wants to spearhead the Luc Does Classical Kickstarter?
Interview conducted by Mike Melvin in December 2013.