Posted yesterday at 1:00 p.m.
It’s hard to believe that on October 17, Black Tiger Sex Machine (BTSM) performed in front of nearly 10,000 people in the natural amphitheater of Red Rocks, Colorado.
BTSM is one of the few Quebec bands to perform to sold-out headliners on the mythical outdoor stage where The Beatles and Bob Dylan performed. Arcade Fire gave a show there in 2007 before LCD Soundsystem. And before them, Celine Dion in 1996.
“It’s crazy,” says Julien Maranda. “It was surreal with the pandemic to find ourselves in the middle of rocks in front of our audience,” adds Marc-André Chagnon.
For ten years, Black Tiger Sex Machine has been filling rooms all over the world while remaining in the shadows in Quebec.
BTSM lives up to its name. It’s a machine that fuels a community of fervent, loyal and dedicated fans. The trio has 264,000 followers on Facebook. His songs accumulate millions of plays on Spotify.
Patrick Barry, Julien Maranda and Marc-André Chagnon – who wear tiger helmets on stage – were supposed to have their moment in Montreal headlining Igloofest – with their pal Apashe – on January 15, but the festival was canceled and their performance postponed to next year. Luckily, the US market is BTSM’s largest and the band have been able to perform several shows there over the past few months.
Despite the pandemic, BTSM continues to make it big. For their next video, the second chapter of what the band calls their Movie Experience – which worked very well in show – he rented nothing less than the Village Québécois d’Antan in Drummondville. Filming will take place in a few days.
“It will be a mixture of spaghetti western and [références] to the cyberpunk world”, announces Julien Maranda.
A third album
All this universe obviously goes hand in hand with the third album of BTSM, Once Upon a Time in Cyberworld, which is in thematic continuity with its predecessors, Welcome to Our Church and New Worlds.
The heavy electro music of BTSM (drum and bass) is most certainly made for dancing or getting pumped up with dizzying melodic climbs.
It might be called niche by some, but there are tracks from the new album that bridge deftly with pop, including Wild Kids, already listened to more than 600,000 times on Spotify, on which the English singer Youngr appears.
While BTSM’s first two albums were designed and created for the stage, the new songs from this third opus can be fully enjoyed outside of the shows. “There is more emphasis on vocals with several collaborators, explains Julien Maranda. I think the album will take us somewhere else. »
Black Tiger Sex Machine doesn’t lose the narrative thread of his universe. If we consider the work of BTSM as “the soundtrack of a science fiction film”, explains Patrick Barry, Once Upon a Time in Cyberworld represents hope in a post-apocalyptic world.
There’s still a dark, busy vibe, but on some songs the cadence slows to rap and even reggae beats on Leaders (collaboration with Sicilian singer Alborosie). It should be remembered that the three friends of BTSM first organized house and dancehall evenings before founding their group. “Reggae is an influence of dubstep”, emphasizes Patrick Barry.
BTSM also had the chance to sample an excerpt from the piece Take a Ride by Al Campbell, recorded in 1968 in the legendary Studio One in Kingston, Jamaica.
Other collaborators include Texas rapper Hyro the Hero, English rapper Dread MC, as well as Montreal rappers Wasiu and YMIR.
It was on TikTok that Julien Maranda found Buffalo singer Ryan Perdz (who covers songs by Korn and Kurt Cobain). The latter lent his grainy voice to the piece Sleepwalker and the result makes you want to let off steam with your fist in the air.
Patrick Barry, Julien Maranda and Marc-André Chagnon are musicians, but also entrepreneurs. The three friends who met at Brébeuf College founded Kannibalen Records, a very successful independent record company that operates on the fringes of the traditional record industry model in Quebec. Apart from BTSM, Kannibalen brought fame to the Apashe, Kai Wachi, and Dabin.
The Kannibalen Records team has an important source of income related to what is called publishing or “screen music”. Recently, there have been video games Pistol Whip and Call of Duty. “There are also sports teams who take our songs to enter the stadium,” says Patrick Barry.
At the start of the pandemic, BTSM had to put the most ambitious tour of their career on hold. “Despite everything, we are lucky, because we are already established in the United States and the American market is open”, explains Julien Maranda.
“But it’s weird to think that it’s going to be three years since we played in Quebec,” says Patrick Barry.
This is only a postponement. And let’s bet it will be epic!