As the energy of the M for Montréal festival reaches its crescendo on closing night, we had the privilege of sitting down with the psych-rock outfit Hippie Hourrah! Comprising of Cédric Marinelli on voice, Gabriel Lambert on guitar, and Miles Dupire-Gagnon on drums, the band shares insights into their sonic journey just before hitting the stage for a night of transcendental musical exploration.
PAN M 360 : Hello Hippie Hourrah! Thanks for making the time before your show. You’ll be on stage in a few hours, does the band do anything in particular before a gig. Any kind of pre-show ritual or something?
Gabriel : Well I don’t know. We just goof around.
Miles : Yeah, but then again a ritual means it happens everytime, and sometimes we don’t.
PAN M 360 : You don’t get particularly nervous or anything?
Cedric: We’re getting too old for that. We know what we’re in for, we get disappointed if it’s shit but we just try and have fun out there.
PAN M 360 : As a “psychedelic” rock band, do you make room for a lot of spontaneity in the live set?
Gabriel : For sure, there’s quite a bit of that. We kind of have some organised jams, and sometimes we surprise ourselves by going other places entirely, just going off script.
PAN M 360 : Has the script been to play mostly off of Exposition Individuelle? Have you been trying out some newer material perhaps?
Miles : Did you see our set earlier? We play most songs from our latest record and then some from the previous record.
Gabriel : I mean the album came out in April so not too much newer stuff yet.
PAN M 360 : How did your earlier set go?
Miles : Well we played just a 30 minute set.
Cedric : Yeah for the music business. You know music business people.
Gabriel : Yeah it was an industry show but I would rather play an industrial show
PAN M 360 : And what exactly is the industry these days? Do you find that it’s still relevant or it’s becoming more and more irrelevant?
Cedric : That’s the big question
Gabriel : Yeah big question. I was just talking about it with some people last week. It’s like there’s kind of a two-speed industry right now. The old industry that’s still going and that’s trying to keep the fire alive, and then there’s everything else and so it doesn’t feel so coherent anymore.
MIles : I would say that everybody has good intentions but I don’t find that the priorities are to get the money to the right people. I mean musicians are always the last ones to get something, which makes sense in a bureaucratic way, but musicians are the ones who need the money.
Cedric : At the same time, when we started, there was nothing for us to start from. We started during the pandemic. Miles had broken his arm. He told me I have some time, and together we started trying out some stuff and now we’re a band. It’s cool, in the sense that we have a good team with us, we work really hard, we do a lot of touring. Sure we’re new, and so nobody knows us, but we’re going to keep making music and when it works, it works, and when it doesn’t work, well, we drink.
PAN M 360 : I’d love to know the story behind the band name. Was it easy? Because usually that’s the hardest part.
Cedric : Well we were still not a serious band yet and I just said it and we thought it was kind of stupid, but still it just took on.
Miles : I’ve met a lot of people that don’t really like the name actually.
Cedric : But what’s funny is that on Instagram, there’s like a bunch of hippies that follow us because of our name. That’s so funny.
PAN M 360 : Speaking about Instagram, do you find that it’s a necessary tool for the band?
Miles : Well it seems to be the only thing….It used to be like, even just three years ago with Facebook, that you were on tour and there was an event for your show. Okay, there’s 250 people interested. But now there’s just nobody there..
Cedric : I try to do DIY stuff. Like to promote the arty side of the band. Like the covers, stuff like that, all the visuals, that’s what I do. To maintain our identity.
PAN M 360 : Your music is most often described as ‘psychedelic rock’, well ‘nonchalant psychedelic rock’ for this program, but I mean do you think that’s a descriptor or do you resent it a bit?
Miles : I don’t think so. It’s just rock.
Gabriel : The danger is that if you call it psychedelic rock, then people have a really kind of clear picture in their minds of what to expect. And while we touch on those influences we’re not exactly Paisley rockers from the 60’s.
PAN M 360 : Well anyone just needs to listen to “Pur sang rouge”. Awesome song.
Cedric : Thanks. I personally don’t want to do just one thing. When I started doing the demo for that with Gab, he gave me a little keyboard and I wanted to do a kind of rap tune, and the guys laughed at me, you know, whatever. In the end even if it’s not rap, we compromise, and we find something that sounds cool.
PAN M 360 : And is that how the songs come about, kind of with a jam or something?
Miles : No, not really. It should though, haha.
Gabriel : Yeah, it should, but it doesn’t.
Cedric : I think every song has its own story behind it.
Gabriel : I think that if we were jamming to play songs, we would just record hours and hours of just improvised music. I would have a hard time limiting it to just five minutes you know.
PAN M 360 : I know the visual element is really a big part of the band, do you make an effort to bring that to the live shows?
Gabriel : Well, tonight we are going to have some projections actually, which is pretty cool. And I don’t know if you’ve seen Cedric, but there’s something going on there. We’re doing some stuff with our costumes, and that’s something we can do on tour too, because bringing lights is costly.
PAN M 360 : All your albums have been really well produced with a tight kind of pop-production. You’ve got a bunch of overdubs and stuff. Do you feel the need to compensate in the live show with more energy, more jams, or something.
Miles : Well It can be different, too. Personally, I see the live set as a different album, a different creative aspect. I mean, a live show that sounds exactly like the album, personally, would get bored of it.
Cedric : Yeah, I mean we already tracked it. We want to do something different now.
PAN M 360 : So does a song like “Pur sang rouge” open up more in the live show?
Miles : Ha, that’s the only one we play kind of as it is.
Cedric : I think it’s great that we have one song that finishes. Because we just tend to do the opposite and just have perpetual jams going on.
PAN M 360 : Fair enough. So what’s next for the band?
Gabriel : We’re hoping for Mexico. It’s not sure but we all just did like five interviews with the press in Mexico. So it seems there’s some interest. We’ll see!