Les Georges Leningrad
Interview by Louis Rastelli
From Vol. 3 No. 1, 2004
In just three or four years, this Montreal band has attracted quite a bit of attention with their sometimes catchy, sometimes noisy music and eccentric stage shows. After putting out a few CD-Rs, local label Alien8 picked up their first self-produced LP and has just released their second album. Originally a four-piece, the band is now a trio, comprised of Mingo l’Indien, Bobo Boutin and the girl with a pony tail. These last two have been occasional Fish Piss contributors and have been producing art and self-published comics and brochures for many years in Montreal before taking up music. Perhaps not surprisingly, their art looks just like their music sounds and vice-versa.
FP: How many years of classical piano did you all learn before deciding to start a band?
Mingo: Me I didn’t learn piano, but saxophone with Fausto Papetti. It was for me the beginning of a long dream.
the girl with a poney tail: No piano, no guitar and no No-No. A shower was my school.
My grandmother Réjeanne used to be a very spectacular person with a way of saying truths in a totaly crude and candid way. She was going out with my gay uncle in gay Cub Meds and she was the queen over there. She was testing the different kind of shooters (she always precise that she is First to taste, because of other people’s germs) and the first to judge in Men-Beauty contests. At Transvestite bar, she tchaches with the performers live about knitting. She is gorgeous. Everybody there and at the Club Med call her Mama.
That is in this same desire of experiencing everything in life that I figure being into this adventure. My next one will be to play in a big movie, as a German actress.
FP: It seems you amputated ⁄ of Les Georges Leningrad in 2003. Did that hurt?
M: C’est comme au hockey. Quand tu joue à cinq contre quatre c’est plus dur mais t’a plus d’espace. Alors c’est plus facile pour déplacer la rondelle.
tgwapt: C’est délicat. Disons que nous avons décidés d’être triangulaires. La maladie s’était installée dans notre quatuor. Nous avions deux choix, tout arrêter ou prendre une décision radicale. Nous avons saigné et cicatrisé. Nous sommes une autre chose qui nous plait.
FP: Where did I put my keys?
M: You don’t have keys!
tgwapt: Absurdo Rastello est un serrurrier.
FP: How do you like playing in the U.S.? Any favourite cities there?
M: I like touring in the states and i hate it at the same time. Its like a love story. My favorite city are San Francisco, New York and New Orleans. And you?
tgwapt: I love it, especially when I can see animals that are new. Roadrunners, crocodiles, tatous. I enjoy looking at americans: there are the fat ones, and the ones that live underground. These ones, they share music knowledge, they play with you in the basement, they dance on fake banana pills and don’t feel guilty with hamburgers.
Touring means seeing our friends everywhere. What impresses me is that every night, somebody offers you to sleep over their place. Except one, and I don’t know why it is like that… Toronto. Why? Can you explain me??
My favorite cities are New Orleans, because of swamps, Quintron and Pussycat, Leftie, and Ernie K-Doe’s temple. Portland, because a piece of my heart bounces there. West coast is all friends. Atlanta brings you to Lakeside Lounge and the alphabets. Thrift stores all over U.S. are a miracle.
But I learned to love Montreal as a cozy hometown that I am not ready to quit. We have a beautiful quality of life here. Working in N.Y. 60 hours a week to be able to afford the rent is just silly.
FP: Do you hope to one day play a show in Leningrad?
M: Veulent-ils de nous?
tgwapt: Of course, but I’ll be intimidated. Like Ween, with their album Quebec, I’m sure they have a strange feeling when they play here. How about Chicago, or Boston named band?
We played in the Quebec countryside this summer, and some people told me we looked like a band from Russia trying to play the rock. I think he got something. I like to feel like a foreigner. For these people I was, because they could not describe it. My dream is to play in a small town in Kazakhstan, or in deep Africa. Feeling the tigers are near.
FP: What is up with that guy from Add N to X? What was he doing at your New Year’s show a couple years ago? How do you meet such people? Does he chew gum?
M: I cant answer. We are under law.
tgwapt: He is gone to see his Mother Queen now. He was a DeeJay for our New Year’s Eve show. We meet all these people at our shows. Ti-Père told us people from the U.K. are moody and hard to understand, like a girl with P.M.S. He comes back and forth. He is a screw or a nail.
FP: What was more fun: making those CDs yourself with the fancy cardboard silkscreened covers a few years ago; making your own red-vinyl LP; or having a CD come out on a label?
M: A blend of all of this fun cause it change everytime. We are not stick with some kind of thing. We love to do all. The next album will be different you will see…
tgwapt: Silkscreen is good, but my muscles sometimes cry. I am still a silkscreen junkie, but now Les Georges are asking a lot of time. I need to make love too. We did our first record by ourselves, and we are very proud. We just could refund our bank this week.
It was for us, at first. But then we were popular. Now, I really like to be on a label, because I feel like a pro. Alien8 are two funny twins. You can see them walk on the streets all the time. They are Laurel and Hardy.
FP: Was it hard to make an LP (recording, mastering, pressing plants etc.)?
M: Drinking just enough to record. Its hard too to to… i don’t remember.
tgwapt: On a fait du B.B.Q., loué des micros dans le sous-sol, Mini-Golf le soir, crème glacée. Mingo et Bobo mixaient. Moi je faisais des omelettes. On laissait des erreurs un peu partout. On a fait des Sheer dans la garnotte avec l’auto.
Enregistré des trains. J’avais fait des Bloody Mary. Je chantais très mal.
La première take, c’est toujours la meilleure. Je jouais aux cartes pendant les breaks.
FP: Raconte-moi une histoire.
M: Il y a longtemps de cela un homme nommé Mitsou vivait en Papouasie.
Il était très méchant et ne mangeait que des brebis. Un jour qu’il alla se baigner à la rivière, il mit son tube à l’eau car il ne savait pas nager.
Il voguait tranquillement quand il accosta au camping chez Gérard. C’est la qu’il apprit le lancer du Jos Louis et à observer les coquillages. Du coup il vit un dddd..dd au loin. Il s’avanca tranquillement près de lui. Il le prit par derrière et le sodomisa toute la journée. Il vécurent heureux et n’eurent jamais d’enfants…
tgwapt: Il y a très longtemps de cela un petit garçon nommé Jeannot vivait à Mascouche. Il s’amusait beaucoup dans les prés. Un jour, sur son BMX, il s’éloigna un peu plus qu’à l’habitude et se retrouva nez à nez avec un chien Pug.
Il se mit à le suivre et se retrouva dans la cours d’une vaste demeure victorienne. Il se retourna et vit des centaines de Pugs. Tous les pugs se retournèrent d’un seul coup et se mirent à sauter de joie sur le petit garçon. Il était fou de joie. Il était au paradis.
Lorsqu’il fut plus grand, il rencontra une jeune fille très tannante et lui raconta cette touchante histoire. La mission de la jeune espiègle fut de la raconter à tout le monde. Si vous connaissez quelqu’un qui joue dans Fly Pan Am et dont le nom commence par J., veuillez lui trouver une photo de Pug, comme ça il pourra revivre une sensation d’antan.
FP: Any chance that you might be touring with Huey Lewis and the News soon? Do you know if he still wants a new drug?
M: We have a call to tour with Journey. But the just do a small tour. we want it big.
tgwapt: We toured before with a band called The Musical Box. They are a Genesis cover Band. I think it is enough. We broke their noses at the Carnegie Hall.
Robert Lepage was very mad too. Merde, no more high-tech stuff.
It this not true!!! I forgot! Le Cirque du Soleil wants us to be part of their next show called In uterim. We are supposed to walk on top of each other with some girating 3D screens around. We will be dressed up of feathers with giant bubbles popping up everywhere with a skunk smell hidden inside.
FP: What’s that smell?
M: Ça sent le centre sud mon cher.
tgwapt: Skank: a black bottle with a white stripe on the middle. You know that famous stars always reaches a perfume of their own.
Dearest Fish Piss Readers, this is a première for you guys. Les Georges Leningrad are proud and happy to release this new fragrance made from freshly picked aromas… Skank.