Disco lives on and its new revival is with Montreal’s collective band ThisCoTech. This enormous band releases its first full length album, INDISCO, with 13 tracks performed by over 25 musicians. I talked to drummer and part of the band’s core, Fiz (Olivier Fiset), about the band and their new album.
Fiz explained that the entire album began as a studio project between Dawnbeat (Danny Trudeau) and himself in 2010. “We went into a studio with all our friends and now we’re bringing it live,” he says. “We’re not a jam band like we get all 12 musicians together and jam to see what songs come out. Dawnbeat and I wanted to produce tracks and invite different singers. We have a brass section, a rhythm section, and a huge load of singers.”
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The two originally had 17 tracks, but whittled it down to 13 throught he mixing process. “They’re all originals,” says Fiz, “And we want to have the first album make a statement. We wanted it to be a feel good music album thats also a party. We also wanted to go to different influences. One song is in Portuguese where we sing with Brazilian traditions, but we always have a disco vibe.”
The songs were initially jam-riffed by Fiz and Dawnbeat and then given a preproduction treatment before going to the studio. Every song has a soulful, happy sound, designed to make people dance.
As for finding co-musicians, ThisCoTech had no problems at all. “They’re all our friends,” says Fiz. “We studied with them at CEGEP and jam together with them. When we have a show, it’s a big party because we’re all friends. We’re happy to be together.” As it turns out, they’ve been playing together with most of the musicians for more than 4-5 years and many of them are full-timers with thier own set of gigs to worry about.
Similarly, the singers are friends as well. The lyrics for most songs were composed by Willis Pride, who plays keys on the album. “He has a great way of writing lyrics,” says Fiz. The other singers he mentions include Valérie Daure, who studied at a laboire, and Élizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, who liked the disco-retro vibe of the band.
“For most singers, this is different from what they sing,” explains Fiz. “This is a change for them. They’re doing with us what they’re not normally doing as musicians.”
The launch is one of the few times all the members of the band can get together. “We want to tour, but we go around like a normal 4-5 person band,” Fiz explains. “We’re a big band.” He hopes that the new album will help them find festivals to play at, which are more appropriate for the band’s enormous size.
Even though no one from the band was alive in the ’70s, Fiz identifies some of their influences as Curits Mayfield, Motown, and Marvin Gaye, as well as KC and the Sunshine Band. “We grew up with those songs,” he says. “The whole family can enjoy these grooves. They’re perfect for kids. For older people, it will be a revival of groove of ’70s.”
While it is possible to check out the band’s two singles, This is My World and Music is Your Worst Enemy, as well as preorder Indisco at itunes and bandcamp, your one and only chance to see the 18-piece band live right now is on September 3 at Le Belmont (4483 St Laurent) at 8 p.m. $12 Free CD to first 100 attendees.