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Laughing: "I Forgot How Fun It Is To Get Loud And Rock Out With Your Friends"

Following various shows and festival appearances over the last couple years, Montreal rockers Laughing have shared with us today the music video to their new single "Bruised," the first offering from their upcoming debut LP Because It's True, out June 28th on Celluloid Lunch Records (Surveillance, American Devices, Da Slyme). Comprised of members in Nap Eyes, Fountain, Human Music, and Monomyth, Laughing's new single is draped with every good bit of the band's skewed and literate power pop savvy. Alongside the premiere, we also caught up with members Josh Salter and André Charles Thériault to discuss the origins of the new band and everything fans need to know regarding the new album.

PAPERFACE ZINE: What have you been listening to, reading, watching, or spending a lot of time doing?

ANDRÉ: Hey! Been busy for sure. Working on opening a new bar/pizzeria. Just finished re-watching The Sopranos, slowly but surely working on an album of solo music, and watching tons of movies. Just watched The Mother and the Whore by Jean Eustache last night. Crazy good.

JOSH: Aside from working on album art and video stuff, one major thing has been Laura and I learning to drive. Cole has been working at the local radio station CKUT lately and recently joined local hardcore giants Faze. Laura has a big contemporary dance-piece called I am the fly in the Plasma Pool that Cole and I are performing in. We do some movement stuff as well as play some experimental downtown-style music with our other pals, Sony and Dave, who are opening the new bar/pizza place with André. As for media, recently, I've been listening to off-the-beaten-path Fairport Convention-related records like Daring Adventure by Richard Thompson, Ian Matthews' Stealin' Home and Light Shining by the Albion Band. I'm slowly making my way through the book Electric Edens by Rob Young, which probably isn't surprising based on those recent listens. I usually watch Victor Wembenayama highlight reels every morning while I eat breakfast and watch a movie at night, most recently Vincent & Theo by Robert Altman. 

PZ: Tell our readers about the origins of Laughing. How did you all meet and decide to start playing music together?


A: Laughing started because my bff Nikko and I wanted to start a power pop recording project. I met Josh at a park during the pandemic, and we hit it off musically. I had met Cole a few years back while he was on tour with his old band Slow Dancers and I knew he was a great musician/songwriter and that he had just moved to Montreal, so I asked if he wanted to jam as well. One thing led to another: Nikko got cold feet about performing live (sorry buddy), so we switched Cole from drums to guitar/bass and asked our favorite drummer (and jam space partner) Laura Jeffery if she wanted to join.


J: Yeah, we all met playing music. Cole's old band from when he lived in Winnipeg, Human Music, played with my old band when they rolled through Halifax. Likewise, I played with Laura's old band, Fountain, when we were on the West Coast. My whole band stayed at her parents house the first night we met. André and I met more recently after I saw him play at a local bar. I mentioned he sounded like Jimmy Campbell, whom it turned out he was a huge fan of. Cole had also sent me some songs to maybe write words to, and I ended up having plans to jam with both of them the same week, and maybe they had plans to jam too, either way, we amalgamated everything. When Nikko dropped out, we talked about who would be a good fit, and Laura came up first. I happened to bump into her on the street soon afterwards, and when I told her we were down a member, she volunteered on the spot.


PZ: You've played a lot of shows as a band already, so what has that been like the last couple of years?


J: I love playing shows. The pandemic sort of killed that aspect of my life for a number of years, and it has been a while since I've played in a band that actually jammed regularly, so I'm like a pig in shit. 

A: It's been a blast! Before Laughing, I hadn't been in a band for close to 15 years, I think. Just playing acoustic singer-songwriter style. I forgot how fun it is to get loud and rock out with your friends.


PZ: Do you prefer the recording process or playing live?


A: They are both such different beasts. It's hard to choose a favorite, but I think I'd go with playing live. Especially playing shows outside of Montreal. I really love meeting new people and the adventure that comes along with touring. 

J: Yeah, both are important. I think I ultimately prefer recording, but the process can be quite humbling, so the immediacy of a live show and its inherently social nature are very welcome flipsides.


PZ: Let's now dive into your upcoming debut LP Because It's True. What can you say about the making of the album and when/where it was recorded?


J: This record was made with our friend René Wilson in Montreal at Value Sound Studios in Parc Ex during the fall of 2022. René played in one of the final incarnations of my old band Monomyth, and just before we started making the Laughing record, I'd been recording and attending mix sessions for the newest Nap Eyes record with him, so I had a lot of prior experience with him. We recorded it over about four days and then spent a hell of a long time mixing it. We basically recorded all the main instruments live and then double-or-triple-tracked certain sections with guitars and punched in a few things. So for the most part, it is the sound of a band playing together. I should mention we recorded the song "Pebble" with our pal Scott "Monty" Munroe who plays in Preoccupations at Studio StZo before the rest of the recording sessions which really put the recording bug in us. 


A: It was a ton of fun to make. René is a master with tons of amazing gear. We ate many samosas and had many laughs.

Photo by Colin Medley

PZ: What did you want to do differently this time around compared to previous bands you've all recorded with prior?


J: To be honest, this band's working method is pretty similar to most of the bands I have been a part of. It's always people working together to strengthen an idea. I will say that we were moving at a clip overdubbing and doing a marathon vocal session on the last day of recording where everyone was singing and recording backups live. That definitely added forward momentum.


PZ: Today, we're premiering the video to your new single "Bruised." How exactly did this song come about?


J: I had this song kicking around for a while, but once we started to get the sound of the band codified, I thought this one would work well with everyone. It wasn't totally done, so this gave me the get-up-and go to finish off an intro/outro and tighten up the verses. But the general melody idea, according to my notes, is from at least summer 2020, if not a few years before that. I like a lot of pretty melodramatic songs, so writing about wallowing and having your ego bruised is a good exercise, which I like to think keeps me from doing it too often in the real world. 


PZ: What's the story behind the kids playing in the music footage?


J: A few years ago, I got a Video8 cassette camera from my mom, and some of this footage was on one of the tapes. I have no clue who any of these kids are. I taped over most of it, but I did keep like 20 minutes or so, which I edited down for the video.


PZ: Which song from the LP means the most to you (and why)?

A: I would have to say "Will She Ever Be A Friend Of Mine" for me just because it was the first song we worked on as a band. I'm a sentimental guy, y'know?

PZ: We're huge fans of Theee Retail Simps, Feeling Figures, and Private Lives, but who are some of your favorite bands in Montreal that our readers should check out?

A: There are many great Montreal bands right now; some of my favorites being Gashrat, Drainolith, Hélène Barbier, and Night Lunch. We played a show a while back with this new young band called Frown Line. They rocked. It's nice to see that the kids are into '90s alternative/slowcore/shoegaze sort of stuff.

J: A lot of my long-time favorite songwriters in Canada live here right now. As for newer projects, Can't Believe and Lola 1:2 come to mind.

PZ: What do you recommend our readers do when visiting Montreal?

A: Go up the mountain. Find a show that's happening and go to it. Come eat a slice at Pizza Bouquet and drink some brews at the park.

PZ: What else is on the horizon for Laughing / Laughing-expanded universe later this year that we should keep an eye on?

A: We have a bunch of songs we recorded with René that didn't make the album, so we definitely have to figure out what to do with those. With everyone in the band also being a songwriter, we already have tons of new songs we need to demo and eventually release. Cole and I have been demoing some of my solo tunes with him as a backing band, and I will hopefully have an album to release in the fall.

J: Cole has been playing and recording with Jane Harms, as well as recording, playing on, and mixing the new Faze record. Laura is always working on dance projects, and her new band Tutz, which features my partner Allison and our friend Anni, plays their first show next month with Cindy Lee and Freak Heat Waves. As for me, there are a bunch of new Nap Eyes songs that should start being released soon. The Laughing record comes out at the end of June, so ideally you should keep your eye out for us coming to your town!

Because It's True is out June 28th on Celluloid Lunch Records.


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