As one might deduce from the amount of sonic territory covered on their molten mashup of a debut album, Nightlife, the members of Skip the Foreplay aren’t all from the same musical tribe.
“We are all friends who were born in the same place,” singer Marc-André Fillion says on the line from the band’s homebase of Montreal. “And although we all have different pasts, we’ve ended up at the same place musically. [Guitarist] Charles Pilon is from the metal scene and used to play glam rock. He had long hair and whatever before he changed his mind and started doing hardcore. The deejay, JM [Jean-Michel Aumais] is obviously not really from that world.”
After coming together in a suburb just outside Montreal, Skip the Foreplay kickstarted its career DIY-style, recording a video for the self-recorded single “This City (We’re Taking Over)” and then posting it on YouTube. Before you could say rampaging, synth-soaked hard-metal crusty-crunk anthem, Epitaph Records came calling with a record deal.
You’ll hear plenty of rivet-head-ready riffage on Nightlife, not to mention bowel-detonating techno, bass-bombed hip-hop, Warped-generation pop-punk, and larynx-destroying screamo.
In other words, it doesn’t sound like Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Besnard Lakes, or any of the other bands that made Montreal the coolest musical mecca on the planet in the ’00s. Should the likes of Mindless Self Indulgence, I Set My Friends on Fire, or LMFAO require touring partners sometime in the future, however, Skip the Foreplay would be a natural.
“In the scene we sort of fit into, it’s pretty much just us,” Fillion says simply. “We have our place in Montreal and, I think, in Canada.”
The singer and his bandmates—who include guitarist Mathieu Maltais, bassist Julien Guy-Béland, and drummer Marc-André Lemyre—were determined, right from the start, to do something that cross-pollinated their various influences. That didn’t always go over well in a city where the metal scene tends to be as insular as it is dominated by purists, and in which Skip the Foreplay has roots.
“We had a little bit of hate in Montreal, but that’s going to come with the territory,” Fillion admits.
What he’s prouder of is the way that Skip the Foreplay has brought the more open-minded members of pop music’s various tribes together. And not just within the ranks of the band.
“I think a metalhead can listen to our band and go, ‘It’s poppish with electronic stuff but still aggressive,’ ’’ he says. “Then we’ve got a mix of hardcore that’s balanced enough for kids who like both those genres. Everyone today listens to so many kinds of music that you don’t have to stick to one of them. One song will have an electro thing where you feel like going clubbing, and then the next will make you want to get moving in the mosh pit because of the aggressivity.”
Skip the Foreplay plays the Rio Theatre on Sunday (September 23).