We Are Wolves bridges the cultural divide
French, English, whatever, We Are Wolves wants you to run with their pack.
The Montreal visual art students-turned-techno rockers apply the We in the moniker to anyone who hits their gigs. Hungry crowds in Europe, the U.S. and Canada have been flocking to the Quebecois trio of Vincent Levesque, Alex Ortiz and Antonin Marquis to feed their need for gritty, keyboard-heavy thrashes. Small wonder why: Their discs Total Magique and 2005’s Non Stop Je Te Plie En Deux have earned the band the Galaxie Rising Stars award at the M for Montreal music showcase in October, a spot on CBC 3’s live concert radio sessions and attention from Spin and Rolling Stone.
With a sound as feral as this, it only makes sense to the band that they’ve got an appropriate handle.
“It (the wolf) was hunted because it was associated with the devil. It’s a wild symbol,” says keyboardist and vocalist Levesque. “For us, it was more about, ‘We are.’ We wanted to symbolize the community because that’s who we are, not only in Montreal, but anyone who comes to the show. We Are Wolves and they’re wolves.”
Among several acts winning over anglophone listeners, WAW is the latest from a province that has recently produced some of the best in Canadian music — acts such as Arcade Fire, DJ Champion, and Patrick Watson are winning worldwide acclaim. Levesque says the talent has always been there, even if the masses noticed only recently.
“There have always been amazing bands coming out of here, but for whatever reason, the media jumped on it in the past year or so.” says Levesque. “There’s always been a good energy, partly because it’s so cheap to live here. It’s good for artists.”
Striving for a mosaic is just natural for a group of artsies from a multicultural town, Levesque says, noting they approach their music by drawing from a number of varied and eclectic sources. But they still know who they are and where they come from.
“We’re French, but singing in English came naturally for us,” Levesque says. “But we’re pressuring ourselves to write in French. It’s the idea of postmodernism: You draw from different cultures and you get things from different places. And we’ve had a really good reception with it.”