Iconoclast Profile Page
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I had the opportunity to speak with lead singer Marc Bourgon in anticipation of the show. Here's our conversation:
T.O. Snob: Thanks for doing this for us.
Marc Bourgon: Thank you, we really appreciate the exposure. It's really hard for Ottawa bands to get any kind of publicity unless you're in this kind clique that's really become the media darlings. Certain bands like kind of fall within, I don't want to slag because I love Kathleen Edwards, but they kind of fall within the naval-gazing, skinny jeans crowd. The media really gravitates towards that.
Especially with our kind of music, straight ahead rock, no bones about it. Unless you're really good people say "fuck, whatever", been there done that. But we make no apologies and we don't try to reinvent stuff. You've heard it before. It's rock, it's heavy. There's guitars, there's drums, egging the crowd on.
T.O. Snob: You guys play pretty straightforward rock stuff. The Internet buzz isn't with your kind of band and they sort of look down it that music like you're a bunch of meatheads...
MB: Yeah, a bunch of knuckle-draggers...
T.O. Snob: Exactly. How do you feel about that?
MB: It's difficult. I don't want to say we're the cream of the crop, but there are good bands no matter what style of music you are. We just try to rise above that. The biggest thing is bands tend to quit. If after 3 or 4 years they haven't had any kind of success they've aspired to the just move on. Or they quit this band and start something else. But this band's been together for 7 years and we've really started to build and get our name out there.
No matter what kind of music you play a good band knows how to put on a show and get a crowd going, likes to have fun and clearly are having fun on stage, those are the sort of bands that will stick around. Eventually hopefully people will take notice.
T.O. Snob: Now you guys had a good reason to quit when Mike, your bassist, couldn't sing anymore.
MB: Yeah, I was even at their last show. I didn't notice, because I was pretty hammered, but his vocals were pretty bad. They had a lot of discussions about, "dude you've got to quit smoking, it's ruining your singing voice". Then he got sick and wasn't able to sing at all.
They eventually decided they needed to get another singer and I auditioned with a couple of other people. I ended up getting it and that was it.
T.O. Snob: How does that work with the dynamic of the band?
MB: It was really hard at first. I don't think he liked anybody coming in. It was probably hard for him to accept that he wasn't the singer anymore.
But Korn IS Iconoclast. Korn is the one that comes up with most of the riffs. He's the one that always has something to show somebody. He holds it all together. If it wasn't for Korn we wouldn't have any of our songs. He's a force on stage and he's a force with our songwriting. Even though he isn't singing anymore he is still the heart and soul of the band.
T.O. Snob: If someone hasn't seen you before how would you describe your show?
MB: It's not your grandma's rock band let's put it that way. We like to get out there. We aren't ones to sit around on stage and bang our instruments. We like to put on a show.
I've been to so many shows and there are so many bands out there that kind of bounce around. A lot of bands I like the way they sound, but performance wise they leave a lot to be desired. I mean it's show business right? We want to put on a show. We want to get the crowd involved. We want to go out into the crowd. We want to show that we're into what we're doing and just rock the shit out of people.
T.O. Snob: What inspires you guys to write?
MB: Well I write the lyrics with a little bit of help here and there. The first record came out in 2006 and those were songs that came together pretty quickly when I joined the band. They revolved mostly around a break-up that I was going through at the time. But you can't go on about that stuff every single day. Get over it right?
So this time around for our new EP called Iconoclast the subject matter was fairly dark. There's a couple of songs about sexual abuse. There are harassment songs. Tons of stuff. Lots of things I've come across over the years that I put down on paper and now they're down on the record.
T.O. Snob: How would you describe the Ottawa scene and who would you recommend we look out for?
MB: The scene is awesome. There's tons of bands that don't get enough credit in this city. A lot of the Canadian music scene is Toronto-centric or Montreal-centric. You know the Metrics and the Stars from Montreal, and name any other band and their from Toronto right.
But Ottawa's got a great scene with lots of bands that can put on a great show. There's one band called Down In Ashes. Just wicked guys and great musicians. Straight ahead hard rock like ourselves. Maybe a little more metal, a few more guitar solos. Another band called Plotagainstme.
T.O. Snob: If you guys could tour with anybody in the world who would it be?
MB: Living or dead?
Personally who we would stick together with and get along with, Papa Roach definitely one. My own personal pick, Thornley would be a huge one. Danko Jones of course, we played with him a few times.
T.O. Snob: I heard you actually blew him off the stage the last time you played together.
MB: That's flattering at best. We had a friend of a friend who was there who writes a blog. He gave Danko an 8 out of 10 and we got an 8 as well. That was flattering. I don't quite agree 'cause Danko's the man.
Anybody who goes on stage cranks the guitars up and puts on a good show I think we'd find a way to get along quite well.
T.O. Snob: What's you're guiltiest musical pleasure?
MB: Loverboy. I'll tell you right now, I'm the only one in the band. I'm 5 years older than the next oldest member and I've been listening to music since I was 4 years old. When kids were still playing with their dinky toys I was cranking it out in my mom's living room. The first album I ever owned was Loverboy's first record. I still listen to that record.
I don't think it's guilty. But it's an influential record in my life.
T.O. Snob: Is there anything else you'd like to say before your show to folks in Toronto?
MB: Thursday April 9th we're gonna kick off the Easter long weekend. We're at Lee's Palace going on at midnight. There are couple other bands playing and we're going on last.
We're excited to come back to Toronto. It's gonna be a kick ass show. We're gonna be out there doing all kinds of crazy shit and hopefully everyone will be having a few drinks and into it.
Go to our website and our Myspace. Become our friend and we'll send you all kinds of cool spam.
T.O. Snob: Thanks for doing this Marc.