Published Jan 01, 2006If you've ever witnessed Les Georges Leningrad perform in the flesh, you're already well aware of how exuberant and insane this treacherous trio are pies in the face, bizarre sex simulation, gold medallions, fake moustaches and hairy chests. To call them a spectacle is an understatement.
Poney P., Bobo Boutin and Mingo L'Indien are about as far from being your typical electro-fuelled post-punk act as humanly possible; they sure as hell don't care about being cool, have no time for confronting serious subject matter and debating politics is probably the last item on their agenda. No, Montreal's Les Georges Leningrad are about being crazy, shaking your ass and having riotous fun.
Their sophomore album and first for Alien8, Sur les Traces de Black Eskimo, is a tour de force of dance floor action, as well as a huge leap forward for the band after their somewhat ramshackle and more drastically experimental 2002 debut, Deux Hot Dogs Moutarde Chou. Black Eskimo barn-burners like "Supa Doopa," "Sponsorships" and "Fifi F" will undoubtedly be tearing up art-scene dance parties for years to come, and their growing popularity shows no signs of backing off. Nor does their bizarre sense of humour.
"We are on his traces, following him," explains lead singer Poney, referring to her relationship with the mysterious Black Eskimo. "He wears size 11. Poops every five miles. Maybe we will lose his trace, it doesn't matter. The journey is sunny and really beautiful. In the area where we are now, all icebergs are made from milk: manatee milk."
Bobo elaborates. "The last time I got a rapid view of him, it was terrific. A long, long scar travelling his visage... Cocaine countenance in a Whitesnake t-shirt Barn-door ears At midnight, he was harshly diving into greasy KFC garbage and then in the wee, wee hours he molested a dead boy. I was weeping blood. I opened my eyes and found myself asleep in the cardigan arms of a Scottish manatee called Rose."
Quite the story. Less bizarre are the reasons for the departure of original bassist Toundra LaLouve. "She met her prince charming, got married and had tons of babies," confides Poney. "She is now the most perfect housekeeper, washing dishes with leopard-skin gloves. Probably she is good at what she is doing now."
Once LaLouve was out of the picture, the band's unique vision seemed to become clearer. "The night we fired the other girl, we all took some mushrooms and started playing music," recounts Poney. "I cried for a long, long time. I was released. I started jumping around, clapping my hands and yelling all the time. There was a rainbow and a lovebird came from it, and we knew we were becoming very powerful. This commedia dell'arte' side of Les Georges was gone. We were raw and primitive, more than ever. We were really religious at that moment. Bats in the night. Pee beat into the snow, then I claimed officially to the boys: Hey, let's do some snow-wave music!'"
Bobo has another term for their art. "It's petrochemical rock! Our structure was calling for more beats, butts and blisters. An act of exhaustion that people can dance to like firecrackers, sweaty cowbell, bloody thumbs, flooding tears, specs, spits, horny sticks, sticky licks and consumption. Fucking cranny old school of rhythms! Beat is music! We are pro-biceps and pro-dirt. I would like to play drums with bones at Kevin Hainey's funeral!"
Perhaps I'll hold them to that, but in the meantime I'm content to be alive and Les Georges Leningrad are busy flooring audiences worldwide. However, it hasn't always been this way.
"For a long time I wished I was a performer, but I had a lot of difficulties for my talent to be recognised by other people," remembers Poney. "It started in high school at theatre classes; I was playing a mushroom in a Super Mario Brothers play I wrote with my friend. A shame. Then church choirs; I was fired by the teacher. Music classes: alto, flute, horrible. The crooked notes were spreading from my instrument. The teacher was making me stand in front of all my classmates and play until I had all the good notes. I was wearing braces and goggle glasses. A total humiliation. I ended up going into the drawing classes so I didn't have to talk to other people. I became a performer under a table, five years ago. Now, I am a beast."
Bobo's early experiences were much more assertive. "I have always been a beast! Naturally born beast, hairy beast, virgin beast with rubber bones, eating under the tables, covered in mud, speaking Arabic and having a clinic once a month of experimental leech operations. I never had the talent for selling lemonade or anything. I was playing piano with a natural beastly sensibility, playing with my teeth sometimes. So my mother decided to buy a black drum kit. I decided to get out of the red Nissan sports car of tragedy."
The rest is history.