Ember’s Voices #1 – A Conversation with Luc Lemay (Gorguts)
My impulse to conduct such an interview was pure
curiosity. As a fan of Gorguts, I’ve kept an eye and ear on interviews and
archives of the band surfacing on the web since the 2008 reunion. However, I
felt that some key questions were left unanswered and, after couple years of
passive wondering, I decided to compile my questions and reach out to Luc
myself. I do not claim to have succeeded in filling the gaps of knowledge
circulating around the band, but I hope that the following will be a valued
contribution to the Gorguts lore. If anything, the concluding thoughts of our
discussion might be the closest thing to an update on Gorguts’ current
I’d like to start by asking a question about the first two Gorguts albums. I’m interested to know what the composition process was like at that time. It’s clear that it was very different from the direction Gorguts took afterwards, but were you the main composer then? Was there a similar philosophy of “best idea wins” such as the one you mentioned in recent interviews.
Yes. Well listen, of course at the time I made 80% of the music. I wrote all the lyrics as well. But in the very beginning, on the first album, it was more like: I’ll come to the jam space with a couple of riffs and we made the arrangements together. It was clumsier, we learned on the spot and we were just starting you know? But right from the second album, it’s then that I started to compose longer sections… though it’s true on Considered Dead I remember… there already had some but it wasn’t… because I remember once I played a rehearsal to a friend and the song Considered Dead had maybe one minute and a half. I already wrote segments then, but it was clumsier and less experimental. The other boys wrote less but we pretty much made the arrangements together.
I know I often had one-on-one jams with Stéphane Provencher, that was more at the time of Erosion, and I explained to him the drum ideas that I had for my riffs. We tried it and of course he added his touch… I wasn’t the type to tell him to put a ride hit exactly there, it has to be his style. It was pretty much like that… And afterwards with the others we showed each other the riffs and made the arrangements together… It was pretty much like that.
What I find interesting with the Gorguts chronology is that shortly after the release of The Erosion of Sanity you started composing Obscura. If I understand correctly, it’s partly due to the new line-up that you’ve had for the European tour. Since both the release of Erosion and the early composition of Obscura occurred in 1993, I was wondering if there might have been some compositional overlap between the two albums.
No. The Obscura sound really started after the European tour which initialized this new line-up. But the thing is Erosion, we went to record it in august 1992. We recorded the album at Studio Victor in Montreal… and you know an album release is always three months. It’s always released three months after you hand the masters, the artwork and all that. Then I had already started composing one song. It was really the style of Erosion, something rather long… a segment at least three minutes, three-four minutes. It was like Erosion but 2.0, even more technical, more riffs. You know like the bands you hear on Unique Leader? A lot of blasts à la Suffo, very technical and a lot of riffs. So we were going in that direction you know?
And then what happened is there was a fuck at Roadrunner’s. Considered Dead was released on Roadrunner [Records] but there was like, not a sub-label, but a catalog of extreme music. At some point I’m not sure what happened… this catalog wasn’t there anymore or something like that… but anyhow it postponed the release of Erosion. And then it dragged and dragged and dragged and december came, and the year 1993 started... and within the band the atmosphere wasn’t great. It was more of a chore to go rehearse. The album… it took a while before it got released. That era was so weird that I don’t even remember how it was when the album was released. Did we like it? It was like the album came out and we… not that we didn’t care but it wasn’t pleasant within the band. It was a strange time in the band’s life.
And then Stéphane Provencher, the drummer, he wasn’t interested in playing anymore, he wasn’t into it at all and it was rough for the band. He quick and a week later Sylvain Marcoux quit as well… Ah but the thing is before Stéphane and Sylvain quit the band, we changed our bass player. I liked the sound that Steve Cloutier had better… Provencher had played with him back in the days in his first band Damaged… that was before Gorguts… because we had a common friend and that’s how I met these guys. So at some point I liked Eric [Giguère]'s style less and I really wanted to make music with Cloutier, so Cloutier joined the band. We learned together the whole set we had to play and then Stéphane and Sylvain left… For Steve it was like "damn, what is it?". He joins the band, he’s super into it and two guys leave. So I kept going with him but we didn’t stay a duo for long because after Marcoux and Provencher left, I had a phone call to tour Europe. A no-brainer! Of course I wanted to go! We had only done an American tour. So of course I wanted to play in Europe. So then with [Steeve] Hurdle, I started showing him the songs. It was a bit more complicated to find a drummer. At some point we had Julien Fecteau of Demorture, a Coaticook band. He was really good, but he lacked confidence. He sounded good, the songs sounded really good with him. I digged his style very much. Finally he decided to… you know we had jammed maybe one week together and he didn’t feel ready to go. Didn’t feel confident enough. After that we got Lee [Harrison], the drummer from Monstrosity. He had accepted to come so I met with a travel agent. I wanted to buy a plane ticket for Lee. And then I got a call from Steve MacDonald. I explained to him that we didn’t have a drummer and we had a tour… Anyways, he absolutely wanted to audition so he took the bus, we auditioned him—I already had a drum kit at home—and we heard him play 'Fall From Grace' by Morbid Angel and I really dug it. I’d never seen a drummer blast like that! That’s how we got the tour line-up. In the morning I showed the riffs to Hurdle from 8 to noon. I showed the whole song so that he could practice alone. In the afternoon, I went back home. MacDonald lived at my place. For the whole afternoon I assembled the song structure with him… and he had a good ear, he got the beats quickly, it was more for form that we had to work together. So we got the song on drums in the afternoon and in the evening we jammed all four of us. We did one song a day like that. We got the whole set, and it gave us 3-4 days of rehearsals to do the whole set in the afternoons and evenings and then we left for Europe to play.
So to answer your question, we went to play in Europe
and it was agreed that upon coming back Steeve Hurdle would go back to play in
Purulence with his boys. Then, a month later he decided that he wanted to come
play with us. That’s when we started to compose Obscura. That’s why the sound
changed too, they were all new individuals and I was the sole original member.
We told each other that we didn’t want to make music like Erosion.
Speaking of Obscura, there are a lot of urban legends surrounding the composition of that album, some are explained more than others (in the booklet of Obscura’s CD reissue for example). One of them is that you sat around a table and essentially vocally composed the album. Can you nuance this?
No, no, no, no. The sayings are deformed. We sat at a table at my place and we gave ourselves some rules: We won’t do riffs with fast picking like Erosion or Suffocation, you know the big buzz back then? We won’t do riffs with a skank beat, you know the Slayer beat (Erosion nothing but that, wall to wall)? We will intentionally avoid that. So, vocally, verbally, it’s these tags that we’ve established. We made a sort of composition manifesto together: We won’t do that, only beats either really heavy or with blast beats, no fast picking like Erosion, two vocalists and all that! So we established all of these rules.
Cloutier composed in his band Psychicthrob, Hurdle was
the main composer in Purulence… he wrote 80% of the material. We were all
strong heads together who wrote in our respective bands, so the valve was fully
open! So we always gave ourselves a week off at home and found riffs. The week
later we would gather at the jam space and play all the riffs we’d composed.
At some point we said “we won’t look at how the riff is played”. You know
sometimes you watch a guitarist play and visually you see that it’s really
technical so it’s impressive. But sometimes, that it be impressive visually
doesn’t mean it’s interesting to the ear. When the dust settles, when you’ve
listened to it 10 times… you’re like “meh, I like it less now”. So at some
point we decided we won’t look how the riffs are played and we’ll only trust
our ears. Listen to what happens, really. Close your eyes, listen, what is the
atmosphere you’re hearing? That’s how we developed our listening and refined
this. Sing the riff that I’m playing. To internalize the musical idea before
even learning it. I’ll give you an example: if I teach you a new word in
another language, you’ll learn to say it before sitting and learning to write
it. It’s simpler because you understood it by sound, by ear, you’ve
internalized the idea. The idea, you’re comfortable with it and after you push
it one step further. You’ll learn to express it on your instruments. So that’s
why we worked a lot vocally. At the beginning it can be intimidating and I
admit not everyone is comfortable to start doing a bunch of “lalala” standing
in front of each other. I work a lot like that and I like it when I find
musicians like… recently I composed a song with Dave Davidson from Revocation.
We were on Skype and we worked like that. We composed a good portion of the
song like that. Even the guys… when I work with Patrice [Hamelin] we do that. When I work
with Kevin [Hufnagel] and Colin [Marston] we do that too. I like that approach because it’s the idea
in it’s purest form. You don’t have the constraint and you’re not distracted by
“ah I made a mistake here, I’ll start over”. Look, you’ll focus on playing it
after. It’s like if I recite a 10-line sentence, you’ll learn the sentence by
heart and when you know it by heart then you can sit down and write it without
trouble. Well it’s the same thing with music, and I like working this way. So
to come back to you question, the sayings were deformed. The two elements were
there “vocally” and “sitting at a table”, but they weren’t connected the right
I’m interested in the distribution of tasks in Obscura. If I look at the booklet, it’s pretty much you and Hurdle who wrote the lyrics for the entirety of the album. The name Hurdle appears on 10 of the 11 tracks of the album for composition. From your point of you, how did the task distribution work out?
Well, the task distribution was like I explained to
you. We were all at home composing new riffs. It isn’t that if my name wasn’t
credited for the song I didn’t find riffs for that song. Rather, it’s because
we didn’t keep my ideas. It’s just that we’ve really credited whose riff we did
use to make the piece. But the tasks, we didn’t have the impression that one
worked less than the other, not at all. The four of us were always hard at work
but I mean… if I found three riffs during the week we just don’t keep them
because it doesn’t work well with the other riffs. But I sleep well… I live
well with that, there’s no problem. It’s not that one is less efficient than
That’s it, I find it interesting to discuss it because when we just read a booklet it seems different…
That’s it, it gives another perception.
Exactly. Awesome, well that’s very interesting. If understand correctly, after Obscura Steeve Hurdle chose to not keep going with Gorguts. How do you see his involvement, as well as that of Steve Cloutier and Steve MacDonald within the band for the current Gorguts sound. What is the legacy of their contribution to the band?
Well, they’re important because if I didn’t play with
these guys, this sound would never have happened. Now Gorguts is full of riffs
with open strings and all that. Well, Cloutier’s riffs were like that a lot.
That was his style, he wrote on the bass you know… It was the kind of
dissonance that he used. So I developed this approach by playing his stuff.
Hurdle also played open strings, but his style was more chords with shapes more like… he plated clusters, they were blocks… dissonant blocks. Cloutier’s
writing was more melodic, a thing that moves forward, but Hurdle was more
vertical, plated. You know, horizontal music is a melody that moves forward, but
if you play *imitates plated chords*… things like that are more
vertical. I didn’t play guitar like that before. My sound was like Erosion.
When I saw Terrence Hobbs and Doug [Cerrito] from Suffocation play, my jaw dropped and
said “damn, I want to play like them and I want to be as good as them”. They
influenced me a lot and that’s why Erosion sounds like that. But after
that, it’s really because of Cloutier and Hurdle… and of course MacDonald’s
drumming as well… MacDonald really had a sound on the drums. Gorguts would not have
developed this sound had I not played with these guys, that’s certain! We have
to give credit where credit is due. It was really inspiring to play with them
and we inspired each other. Today I’ll do most of the music and the guys will
add their fingerprint in the arrangements. But of course Obscura… Anyways to
me, the first Gorguts album is Obscura because this is where we sound like
ourselves and not a pale copy of the old school and this and that… and you know
man it’s perfectly alright that it sounds like something else in the beginning.
You don’t start out playing understanding everything and being on your own
planet. It’s by imitation, it’s always like that and at some point your voice,
your discourse takes over. Do I want to say the same sentences as the neighbor
but change the word order?
I makes me think of the Norwegian band Dødheimsgard. It’s a band that started with a very raw black metal sound but that, from the beginning (according to its main composer Vicotnik) strived to move towards something much more personal, more exploratory, but thought that they must establish a basis before going into the super-experimental. And now today that band reinvents itself with every album, so what you’re saying really echoes that approach.
Ah, well it’s exactly what we were doing ourselves.
You listen to From Wisdom, it doesn’t sound like Obscura… I’m not
talking about the production but the ideas. After that Colored Sand is in Wisdom’s
style but Colored Sands is way more complex than Obscura in form and
It’s interesting that you mention form because it’s my next question. When I listen to Obscura, it seems to me that some of the songs have a fairly traditional structure for death metal as opposed to the extended guitar techniques used for picking and sound effects versus later albums where form really expands. Already with From Wisdom form explodes, but then with Colored Sands it all becomes way more progressive. Do you see it that way? Could we say that for Obscura, form wasn’t the main focus and that afterward things went towards form development?
Form was always important because for me… when
composing becomes laborious, the problems often lie there. It’s in the form. That’s
what’s difficult to organize. If you put this riff before that riff, how do we
solder them together? Sometimes we leave them like that and it works well,
sometimes “Ah!” it may require a transition, I hear this and that you know?
It’s funny, it’s by playing them that often the riffs impose things. But form…
it’s all there that it happens… Let’s say in painting, you can have several
beautiful objects that don’t work well together. You must always feel like
you’re going somewhere. It’s important. You can have the best riffs but if they
are badly assembled it doesn’t work. It’s structure. Like a story, you can a
have great characters, but if the way they interact isn’t interesting… You know
form is a bit like your intrigue…
You’ve studied at the Montreal conservatory and if I’m not mistaken, you quit before finishing and it was because you didn’t want to take your electroacoustic courses. Is that right?
Well, that didn’t interest me. And I was upset… well not upset like… I didn’t go to the director’s office and say “eat shit you motherfuckers”, it’s not that but… Politely, I often disagreed. Firstly, I went to university and was much older than the rest of the gang. I finished highschool, I never went to CÉGEP and I was doing a DEC and Bachelors degree at the same time. So at some point… you know I didn’t live at mom and dad’s in Outremont. I have to work, I pay my studies and I didn’t want to pay for courses that did not interest me. I wasn’t condescending towards what electroacoustic is, it’s very respectable… Nowadays I see it very differently. Nowadays this is the kind of course that would interest me. But back then, it didn’t speak to me at all. So at some point I stopped going to class and when you have three non-motivated absences you get zero. Even if you bring dentist papers every week…
If one is open to curiosity and to learn things that turns them on less, it’s important. But at some point, we have enough critical sense and we know what we want so… especially since they made school in a way that we are clients, we pay for our instruction so… give me what I want to put in my sponge! At that time, I wanted to do analysis, counterpoint, harmony and composition. I don’t want to go and take an electro course.
I was happy with the writing notions that I got. You
know, I had conversations with my teacher back in the day… he said listen… we
can keep going for a long time… but in the end in composition the teacher won’t
tell you to put this note instead of that note, he’s there to guide you.
Nobody’s ever right or wrong in composition. I can write a piece that you’ll
hate and that my neighbor will love and vice versa… It’s like painting, we can
go to a museum and we won’t be into the same things. Composition is a bit like
that. The teacher has experience, he’s there to guide you but beyond that… he
won’t hold your hand for the rest of your life, at some point you have to do
your thing. So I went and got what interested me for the time I was there. I
met awesome people. I went to see the school orchestra rehearse twice a week. I
was super rewarding… until a certain point where I thought “I won’t indebt
myself to do things that do not interest me”, that was my point and that’s it!
Speaking of your years at the Conservatory, I have a CD by Louis Dufort who is now a teacher at the Conservatory…
Ah he teaches there, Louis?
Yes, there's your voice on his piece 'Zenith'…
Ah I remember it very well, I went to do some vocals
Can you tell us more about this experience and its context because I feel like no Gorguts fan is aware that your voice is on that kind of piece?
Indeed, that’s underground! Louis, when I met him, he
was doing his course in composition with Yves Daoust at the Conservatory in
electroacoustic. I was often in the smoking room back then, I smoked cigarettes
so we met there and talked, we got along well. I told him that I had a death
metal band and he said “really? I compose for a choreographer…”. He was composer
for the dance troupe and worked with them. He wrote a piece and I think they
even put on a show! I remember I was in the studio and I did growls, but they
weren’t words that I was singing, I only made textures with my voice. He was
the guy on the other side of the console, he turned the knobs and was really
into it. Very nice Louis, a cool guy!
It’s interesting to talk about this era and to talk about electroacoustic because when I listen to Pleiade’s Dust I really hear a sound design sensibility. There are a few elements such as inverted sounds or more atmospheric passages. I’ve also noticed that you mention Lustmord and dark ambient stuff in recent interviews. Today, how do you see your decision to skip electroacoustic classes?
Well, as I said… you know Colin… I know he alludes to this style in Pleiade’s at some point when it’s only volume swells and is very wide open. But of course, like I said, today I see it differently and it’s something that interests me more. On this album I really wanted to explore… you don’t make a 30-minute song with only blast beats and maximum intensity. After three minutes there’s no point anymore. It takes peaks and valleys as we say… But that’s it, electronic music… I listen to more of it and I like it. I wrote a bit of music for theater for Fabien Cloutier and all that so when I wrote for him I explored things in that direction as well.
You’ll read a book at 15, at 20 and then at 35 and you
won’t see it the same way. We change as individuals, and it’s the same thing
with art. Today, you talk of electroacoustic and with the composition
background that I have I’m interested. It’s not that I was stubborn at the
time, but we must focus on what’s important to us. That’s how we move forward…
Is there a possibility that you’ll explore sound design more in a future Gorguts release, or even another project?
No, because I see the band like an ensemble that plays
chamber music. I’ll give you an example… if you listen to a contemporary
quartet, you have all sorts of effects and instrumental sounds. Well, they’re
the same instruments as if you listened to a Beethoven quartet, only that the
instrument is touched differently… to make something new come out of the
instrument. I want to approach Gorguts in the same way. I don’t want to add
keyboard tracks and sync them live. I’d rather explore my instrument
differently to find more percussive sounds and noises. I don’t feel like
playing keyboards in a Gorguts show, to trivialize my answer… And once again
it’s okay to repeat yourself because that’s what makes your sound.
The concept, the macroscopic view of an album is an important part of the composition for Gorguts. You often mention that the voice and lyrics come later in process. I find that interesting because, for other bands who value concepts such as Deathspell Omega, lyrics often come first and they shape the rest of the music around it. For Gorguts, it seems to be the opposite. What does a concept mean to you and from which album did you start to really pay attention to that?
The concepts once you start touching that it’s interesting… I don’t even see myself working differently. I’d find it complicated to have many topics. Although on Colored Sands it talks about different things, it makes a whole. It's all related to Tibet.
Speaking of lyrics… Let’s say the two of us have a band together, and then you get to the jam space and you play me a solo but I have to compose the riff that’ll go underneath the solo. It’s a bit complicated I find… It’s simpler if you have a riff and you say “here, there’ll be a solo”. I play you the riff and then you write your solo. That’s why I always keep voice for last because… In my experience—there’s no good or wrong way to do this—I find it clumsier… I’ll give you an example, there are often bands who write to me to do backing vocals and it happened a couple times that I receive things… and then I have to try to plug something in the riff but it sounds clumsy. You know, to each his own, and I don’t want to have cheap judgements. I write the music, and if the music is interesting without even having vocals, then we are on the right path. Then, I’ll find how many syllables on which riff so that everything stays musical, so that it fits well. Once all of that is found, only then will I dress it with words. During all that time I’ll search for a theme that interests me, that turns me on, and that I personally want to learn about. That way, I’ll talk about it in music and everybody wins because I’ll educate myself on the topic and I’ll go play some shows talking about this and giving it a heavy perspective.
But you can already have your concept without having
any ideas what the songs will be. The conceptual idea can live without the
music. My method is so that everything falls into place in a way I’m
comfortable with. But one can come before the other.
It’s interesting because on Colored Sands you tackled the lyrics once the music was completely written. I’m wondering if you had the track order in mind with each song's associated theme or if you had to think about it once the songs were composed individually.
Yes. Colored Sands... it took a while before I found the subject. I’ll tell the anecdote quickly. At some point my girlfriend told me she went to visit a colleague she hadn’t seen for a while. She had two kids, one being a bit older. In his coloring book he colored a mandala and gave it to her. When she told me about it, I stuck with the word “mandala”. It piqued my curiosity and I read about it. I said “wow, I want to understand why they do that and where it comes from”. Tibet, of course that’s where it comes from, but why? It’s a complex thing. You don’t wake up in the morning and decide to do a mandala. There’s a whole significance behind it. So that’s how. It’s all because of the boy’s drawing. That’s what made the death metal album. It’s funny what connections we can make sometimes. But the radar must be open so that the sponge absorbs.
At the beginning I wanted to talk only about the mandala in the album. The ritual to make the mandala. Then, I started to read about it and... man and it’s complicated, it’s complex. I could still be reading books and not have a single song composed. So at some point I said “no, the direction isn’t right”. Otherwise I won’t finish, and it might not be that interesting to talk about a mandala for an hour. Then, by reading on the mandala, on Tibetan culture… “Ah!”… at some point they talk about the Dalai Lama… “Ah! Interesting!”. The geography is interesting, the place, the philosophy… and then the whole drama which befell on these people. I said “that’s the angle I’ll take” and that’s what gave the album. And surprisingly… you know art is always full of accidents. You know what I mean? So I already had my subject, and I thought I’ll tackle it from the good side and from the misfortune of these people. So then I already had two groups and for eight songs. So there’ll be four songs on misfortune and four songs on beauty. And then beauty must be divided in four and misfortune in four as well. So immolation… invasion… fugitives trying to flee and being killed… attempts to annihilate the philosophy and all that. So you see? Already it doesn’t take much when you subdivide, you’re almost short on songs. You have to organize your idea. And then for the beautiful things, I wanted to talk about the philosophy (Colin’s song 'Forgotten Arrows'), the mandala ended up on a single song ('Colored Sands'), the discovery of the Dalai Lama ('An Ocean of Wisdom', which actually means Dalai Lama) and then 'Le Toit du Monde', which is the place. You take the listener by the hand and say “we’re going there, I’m taking you to Tibet and I’ll tell you about these people and their philosophy”.
The song order I don’t remember if I chose according
to what I wanted to talk about… or I think the pacing was already established
according to what sounded best. Imagine that one song is a single riff. And
then each song becomes an independent riff and the album becomes one whole
song. You understand my vision? So it was a bit like that approach to come back
to the macro and micro as you were explaining earlier. It’s a bit like a city
in which you have a lot of streets in which you have a lot of houses and the
rooms… So that’s how I see the album. You take a step back and when you look at
the whole picture holds together as well. There’s balance. There’s that rigor
all the way through.
When you conceived Obscura, you established a manifesto to avoid certain tropes of extreme metal. I was wondering if you feel that you, or any of the Gorguts musicians, broke some of these rules over time or if you consider that the manifesto still holds up today?
Ah, I couldn’t say that it applies on the first degree. If I want to use a skank beat here and there like on From Wisdom… The manifesto was really to get us out of our comfort zone and find something else. If you don’t give yourself any constraint you’ll always fall back in your slippers. So it can take longer before you make some findings. If you ask someone to blindfold you, take you for a car ride and leave you on the side of the road, you’ll see things you don’t know in order to find your way back. That’s a bit what we did for the music. We forbade ourselves from putting our slippers on. That way we didn’t have a choice but to invent a new language that pleased us. We won’t start doing nonsense only for the sake of being different. You know sometimes I criticize that in contemporary classical music… sometimes yes it’s fucked up, it’s weird, but it seems weird only for the sake of being weird, it’s not necessarily interesting… to my ears! Maybe you’ll listen to it and roll on the floor, that’s relative. But I think we mustn’t forget that we have to entertain the listener and make him want to listen to the song again.
You know I’m a huge fan of [Krzysztof] Penderecki and I read about him recently. At some point he was criticized for writing for large orchestras and being less avant-garde… but when you look at what he did even when he was older… it wasn’t less avant-garde but he developed his own language. At some point what he replied to a journalist was “Well, I don’t write music for the drawers”. So you can write some fucked up music and leave it in your drawers and not interest anyone. People are capable of listening to complicated music, don’t worry. Like Robert Lepage said, “you must always trust the audience and very often if the audience tells you it’s not great well he may be right”. We mustn’t be too self-centered with our fucked-up music. We must always have a critical look on our own work.
So the manifest was to invent a new language, but at
some point the new language becomes your new slippers. So you can become
redundant even with your new idea from ten years ago. So you must always stay
at the tip of your toes. I’m at the very edge, I won’t fall but… I’ll put
myself in a risky situation. It’s important because it doesn’t take long before
we fall back in our slippers.
About that, I was always curious to understand why you didn’t purge the guitar solos in Gorguts because that’s a very common element in death and thrash metal since forever. How do you see the presence of guitar solos in death metal composition?
Ah! Well that’s a good question. I see it as
importantly as vocals. But look a solo, if we put it at its most fundamental
nature, is an arrangement. It’s a countermelody. It isn’t so different from the
singer singing on a riff. Except that it’s an electrical instrument with
distortion that does it. So it’s not more cliché to do a solo that it is to put
vocals on a riff. But your vocals can be boring just as your solo can be
boring, or they can be great. I see it as an additional layer, an additional
light on your music. I never perceived it like “ah we won’t do solos, it’s
outdated”. No, I don’t see it that way.
Obscura has a very recognizable tone, very natural and powerful. I have a couple friends who wondered if there was recording techniques, microphone placements or specific equipment which contributed to that album’s sound.
No, no wheel was reinvented there. We took Hurdle’s rectifier for the guitar. For the bass, we had Cloutier’s Trace Elliot cab and his transistor SVT Ampeg head. It’s really Pierre Rémillard’s fingers and his ears… it’s the mix. There was nothing rocket science, not at all.
You know, it’s in the performance, and I don’t say
that to pat my back. I’m very old school... you can repair stuff with the
computer, but it’s the performance! This album, we rehearsed it en tabarbak
before we recorded it. It took a long time before we had a record deal so all
we did was play it. There was not a corner that we didn’t know on these songs.
I think that’s why it sounds ferocious like that. But everything else is
production. There’s no magic trick there.
We know through other interviews that ‘Rapturous Grief’ was the longest song to compose. In retrospect, what steps did you have to take for this song in order to be able to compose the rest of the album as quickly as you did? How do you see the process for that song compared to the other ones?
Ah, well it’s simple, it’s just because it was the first time we worked together to write music. We needed to develop a toolbox to communicate and work together. We had to find that, that’s why it took longer. Let’s say you play hockey and you’re really good, well you might switch teams and feel out of place. You need to find your spot. I think it might be similar for music, because music is a team sport as well, we work together. We exchange ideas, etc. It’s a four-way thought process so we must find synergy in it. I can’t see anything else that made the process longer, we were just developing our way to work together.
In the 1993 footage where you rehearse Obscura, we see Steve MacDonald using a tam-tam gong. I was wondering if Patrick Robert used it in the end when he recorded drums for the album.
Ah, I don’t remember. I don’t think so. There’s a gong
on Patrick Robert’s picture because we did the photoshoot in a music booth at
the Music Conservatory. We had asked the percussion class to bring down the
instruments. We had access to them to make visual compositions but it’s not
necessarily because there’s some on the album.
And do you know if Steve MacDonald used the tam-tam gong when he recorded From Wisdom to Hate?
Ah no, I don’t think so.
Among all the Gorguts albums, the one I have the least information regarding concept is From Wisdom to Hate. If I look at the booklet, it seems to be inspired by the Assyrian civilization, given the quote by the king Assurbanipal. What else can you say about the lyrics for that album?
Well, From Wisdom in general doesn’t just talk about Assyrians. I became interested in that, I found a book randomly again and had books about antiquity. I was intrigued by cuneiform writings, clay plates where civilization started in Mesopotamia. So it talks about Mesopotamia. The song 'Inverted' talks about In the name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. It’s about antiquity in general but it’s not only a concept on Mesopotamia.
In 'The Quest for Equilibrium' there is a MIDI intro and I was wondering what made you go for a MIDI orchestration as opposed to a chamber ensemble such as on 'The Battle of Chamdo'?
Ah, well it’s simply because it wasn’t accessible to
me to have real musicians. I wasn’t at the Conservatory anymore back then. If
I’d been at the Conservatory it would’ve been possible to have real musicians
record it. But I wasn’t in that scene anymore so it was more complicated, and I
really insisted to include the piece. But of course, when you listen to it now...
MIDI libraries were not as they are now back then. Today the sampling is way
better, more realistic.
I was wondering about Dan Mongrain’s contribution to Gorguts. I noticed you did some vocals in Martyr’s Warp Zone and that in the same era Dan Mongrain joined Gorguts. What came first, is there an event that lead to the other?
Well, Hurdle quit during the summer of 1999 and we
were offered to play a show at the Milwaukee Metalfest. I called Pierre
Rémillard to see if he’d want to play the show with us, because Rémillard is my buddy
and we get along well. Rémillard as usual has a thousand projects at the same
time and didn’t have time. But then he said “Hey you should call this guy…”. He
told me about Mongrain, I didn’t know Martyr at the time. So he said “call him,
he’ll learn your songs with two fingers in his nose, he’s awesome”. Perfect! So
I contacted Dan, he came to my place and we met… Firstly, the Milwaukee show we
did as a trio. It was great, it worked well. After that, I contacted Dan, he
came to my place in Montreal and in a single evening he learned five Obscura
songs. I swear I played riffs, and he wrote them down on the spot in tablature.
Tabarnack… and it sounded GREAT! He had a great style, but man he’s exceptional
that guy. It’s not only that he understands music, but he understands
aesthetics. You’ll ask him to play blues and he won’t play it academically, he
understands what to do so that it sounds as it should. Not just with scales,
but he understands the playing. He can adapt to the playing to get the aesthetic
of the style he wants to play. He’s a natural. So that’s it, he got the songs
and accepted to join the band. Before composing together, we had three songs
done for From Wisdom. I’d composed 'Inverted', Cloutier composed Behave
'Throught Mythos', I had started to compose 'The Quest for Equilibrium'.
Then Mongrain joined us, he started learning the songs, and the first song we
composed together is 'From Wisdom to Hate'. The rest of the album was
created pretty quickly.
And the narrating voice in Martyr’s Warp Zone, how did it happen?
Dan started playing with us, but the composition for
his album Warp Zone had already begun. So Dan was busy with both. So when we
played together in Gorguts he eventually went to the studio with Martyr to
record Warp Zone. That’s when he asked me if I wanted to do some back vocals.
In an interview with John Longstreth, he talks about when he played on Colored Sands. He explained that after hearing the final recording and mix, he felt like listening to a different album than the one he rehearsed with you. I assume that it’s because when he records his role is the drummer’s and that afterwards he can take a step back from this role. For you, who composes the core of the songs, did you sometimes feel that the result was unrecognizable, or did it always stay close to your initial vision of the album.
Well, when I’m doing it I always try to be true to the
vision I have. I won’t go in studio if I’m not happy with the compositions.
When it’s not ready, it’s not ready. When it’s ready, it’s ready, and that’s
it. However, the idea that it doesn’t seem like me playing… Yes, I have that
feeling, but it takes a while. I have to get the album out of my system. That’s
why it always takes me time to make another album. When I put an album out, it
always takes a while before I start another one because it takes a while for me
to get the previous album out of my system. Otherwise, if I compose right away,
I’ll repeat myself. It’s always been that way. All that is to say that I also
get that feeling but only once I have the album out of my system. I’ll give you
an example: Considered Dead it’s been a really, really, really, really long
time that I’ve listened to it. Today I’ll listen to it and it’ll be weird, but
not necessarily that it’s lame… today I wouldn’t write music like that but at
the time I did my best. That’s what I wanted to do, that was my best! That’s
when you see that we change as individuals over time as well as our
perspective. I don’t have it in my system anymore so of course I’ll listen to
it and feel like it’s another band playing. So I fully understand what John
In Colored Sands, there are two songs for which the skeleton was composed by Colin and Kevin. What happens if we invert the process and that other people provide the skeleton before you add your parts to it?
'Absconders' and 'Forgotten Arrows' are songs that have
been composed from A to Z by Kevin and Colin. In 'Absconders', I dressed the song
with my sound. I don’t play exactly Kevin’s riffs but he’s the one who wrote the
song. As for me, I dress it to the same extent that I would if I played a solo.
I’m not saying that I’m playing solos though… I dress his riffs with my sound.
But Forgotten Arrows, I play more the riffs that Colin wrote. He wrote
tablatures for guitars. Colin plays guitar, he’s a great guitar player. In
dysrhythmia’s latest album, he plays guitar in Krallice, etc. So 'Forgotten
Arrows', he composed it on guitar so I play exactly what he wrote. And then
he wrote his bass lines on what he’d composed on the guitar. But these are songs
that they composed. I didn’t write them, I wrote the lyrics.
I’d like to talk a bit about Negativa. I’m interested in the era when you quit Negativa and then the band stopped. When we look on Metal-Archives, we see that towards the end the line-up was different, Roxanne Constantin was the vocalist. It didn’t materialize though, there is no footage or recordings. Can you tell us about the musical direction that Negativa was striving for around that time?
Yes. Well, at the beginning we did the EP that everyone knows, then Hurdle and I sang. That EP sounds like Obscura, like its companion. Imagine if we’d done another album after Obscura, Hurdle and I, instead of From Wisdom it would’ve been that. That’s how I see this one. So Hurdle wanted to take a step back from that, and I understand him, he didn’t want to do the same thing. Then came the band Battle of Mice with Julie Christmas singing. So Hurdle really liked Julie Christmas’ vocals and that’s what gave him the idea. He was like “man, listen to this, it’s fucked up, I’d love to have a woman sing in the band”. As for me… ok, but I don’t feel like having vocals à la Nightwish or whatever. So I found Battle of Mice fucked up, but it may even have been a bit too much… I don’t know, I could never get into this band. I respected his idea, and you know Negativa was his baby. Yes, I added my grain of salt but I didn’t call the shots. It was a pleasure because we had fun playing together, and when we did the arrangements I gave my opinion, but still that was Hurdle’s sound, his own fingerprint. If he wants a woman to sing in the band, I’ll respect it. I’m open to the idea, I won’t say “ah fuck off that’s not heavy”, that’s no true, let’s try it. At the beginning I was like “meh”, you know I can be pretty old school with my death metal even if I’m very open minded. I like the combinations that I know. Happy accidents can happen though. So we tried it, Roxanne went to sing for a while with us. She was really good but she may have lacked a bit of self-confidence. The jam sessions didn’t move forward as fast as we’d wanted. It tip-toe a little bit at some point. But Roxanne sang super well.
After that, we auditioned another person… while I was there we auditioned two more. Then, that’s when Hurdle gave me the idea to reform Gorguts for the 20th anniversary. That’s when I decided to quit to concentrate only on that, but after I quit Hurdle auditioned another singer who stayed for a little while. But what is a little while… 2 months, 3 months, 6 months? We’d have to ask Étienne Gallo. Étienne and Miguel Valade kept playing together for a while, but I wasn’t in the picture anymore. I was there for the EP and then when Roxanne came in but we didn’t do any recordings.
So for example, the piece ‘Deepen the Mystery’ that you’ve played at the 2007 show, was that part of the new musical direction or not really?
Yes, because we composed a whole album that we’ve never recorded, we had an hourlong… we had a 20-minute song. So yes it was going towards that. But it’s just that after with the female vocals I don’t know which path they took. What we did at the show still brushed more against the EP. It really changed artistic direction after.
So the material with female vocals is something else altogether than ‘Deepen the Mystery’.
Yes. But you know, Roxanne sang Deepen the Mystery but it was completely different from what we played at the show. The music was the same but the fact that Roxanne sang on it really changed the game.
A question about the vocal performance today. When you play material from Obscura, how do you handle Steve Hurdle’s vocals? Do you change your vocal timbre?
I remember that for a while I changed my voice a little bit, I kept it deeper to contrast. When came my vocal lines, it was higher pitched. At some point this faded away. I sing his words, but I sing them as if I was the sole singer on the album. I keep the same rythms though, I didn’t want to rewrite the album.
Did you ever think of making Kevin and Colin sing?
Still speaking of vocals. You sang on several albums, including the excellent The Omnipresent Curse (2009) by Vengeful. You sang a lot on their 20-minute song ‘Transcending’. It’s a contribution which appeared at a point when, at least in the eyes of the public, Gorguts wasn’t active. What can you tell us about this experience?
Ah, it was really cool. Jean-Marie [Leblanc] called me, we went to his friend Hugues [Deslauriers] to record that. At the beginning I felt a little awkward since it had been so long since I’d sang. I wasn’t completely off track, but it wasn’t like when I rehearsed 25 hours a week. But it went pretty well, I think, it’s been a while since I listened to it. It was a time when I didn’t rehearse much, and for a couple years I didn’t play guitar at all.
Ah, well it’s the same thing. There are often bands that reach out. I’m always open, I like it. It isn’t a different experience. It’s fun, it’s a pleasure to give…. If people write it’s because they want to hear me scream in there so I’m always generous on that end, no problem.
What’s happened of Steve Cloutier? Does he still play music?
Nah, I don’t know. It’s been so long since I’ve had any news about him that I don’t even remember when I last heard of him. I don’t know what he does, I think he works in construction.
Now I have a question relating more to Gorguts’ reception and the current metal scene. Since the 2010’s, I observe an emergence of darker, more progressive and dissonant death and black metal, most of them being influenced by Gorguts in some ways. It roughly coincides with the moment when Gorguts re-emerged in the scene with Colored Sands. We then saw you sport T-shirts by Ulcerate, Dodecahedron, Deathspell Omega etc. Is this some sort of feedback loop where both ends influence each other? How do you see it?
Well, look, the way I see it simple… If these bands say that they’ve been inspired by our work, I’m flattered by it. But the other thing is I listen to these bands because I like it. I’ll listen to Metallica just as I’ll listen to Ulcerate. If I like it, I like it. I listen to classical, to country, to dark ambient, to many things…
Do you consciously let yourself be influenced by these bands? In other words, does it get into your slippers?
Ah, well, I don’t think I’m influenced by black metal and Deathspell… you know, I do my own thing. I listen to these bands and wear openly their shirts because I’m a fan of theirs. But if I get influenced… I don’t know. I think I have enough stuff in my toolbox to write songs with my signature. I’m always open, you can’t get more “fan” than me. I’ll give you an example: When Revocation came to play in Montreal, there was Voivod and Conjurer. A long time friend came to visit me and said “man, this band Conjurer, you must listen to it”. So he bought the CD, brought it and gave it to me. That’s cool, I have that on my pile… and you know CDs, I have tons of them and I struggle to listen to this and to that. I’m always on YouTube listening to new stuff, I keep myself up-to-date. I read Decibel, I check it out. I’m not like “ah nowadays it’s boring, I just listen to my Reign in Blood”, that’s not it at all! Like the new Ulcerate, man it’s insane. I’m the first one, when a single is released, and when I know the boys, to send an e-mail “hey guys, I listen to your song, c’est bon en tabarnak!”.
So… Conjurer! My came to visit, brought the CD, I have it on my pile, we listen to a track together, time passes… nothing more. It stays like that. Time passes, and I see that Revocation are coming to Montreal with Voivod… and Conjurer was on the tour. I say “Hey Conjurer, cool I don’t know that band”. I didn’t even remember it was the CD my friend gave me. I was in awe for the whole show, I like to go up front, horns up and all… I’m a total fanboy. The guys finished their set, I went to see them at the merchtable and said “I really liked your set” and looked at their album… and I’m like “crisse, I have that album! Had I known it was you guys I would’ve listened to it way more!”. So I bought a shirt and we laughed about it. I try to be aware of what music comes out. If I get pats in the back from bands that say they’ve been influenced, then great! But look, I like it or I don’t, hence me wearing the shirts. Very often I like it, I’ll write to the band, we’ll become friends and when I’m on tour… it’s like the Dodecahedron guys, they come and see us all the time when we’re in Holland so we’ve become buddies. Ulcerate as well, when I played in New Zealand we played together, and also when they play in Montreal I go see their show.
I find that with the growth of bands playing darker, more progressive styles of extreme metal, the 2010 decade provided a great context for you to come back in full force with Colored Sands. Do agree with that? It’s clearly not a conscious decision to come back at that time, but from your angle is it true that the context was suitable?
Well, for me it’s not something like “the context is good, I’ll release the album”. Not at all. Firstly, the process was really long for Colored Sands, I was stuck in legal issues. It was complicated. When Colored Sands was released it had been ready for a long time already. It dragged for two years, three years… you know I totally missed the boat for the 20th anniversary. I wanted to release it in 2009, because the band was formed in 1989. At that time, I was disconnected from the underground when I composed it. I listened to less stuff. I wrote the album with the toolbox I had. Even Deathspell, when I composed Colored Sands I didn’t even know them. I discovered it when I started to jam with Colin, but my songs were mostly done.
To answer your question... there is a wave of bands like that and people are opened to it. All the better! We composed Obscura in 1993, in 1994 the album was finished. So needless to say that in 1994 the scene was more on The Bleeding, it was still the Cannibal Corpse sound. We were far from Ulcerate and Dodecahedron. I always did the songs that I wanted to do, and if the time is right well great! People are less afraid of this sound. We sent demos in 1993, 1994, 1995, and labels didn’t want anything to do with it… they thought it sucked! It wasn’t the thing, it wasn’t fashionable. If now we hear more of it, it’s because people have a thirst for it.
Nowadays with Internet, people are less scared to listen to something new and fucked up. You have access to so much music. You don’t need to do tape trading like I did in the 80’s and 90’s. Nowadays Bandcamp is the 80’s tape trading. Today you’ll compose the song in your bedroom with EZDrummer and the next you have 15 000 people that listened to it overnight. That’s what helps develop a new sound, your music travels way more. All the better, it’s a great tool!
It’s very interesting. My next question is a bit more abstract and doesn’t specifically concern Gorguts. I observe that since the beginnings of extreme metal, there’s an ongoing sophistication at work, bands become way more conscious of the composition process and aim to develop a language. I find this a bit analogous with the history of jazz, which started as very proletarian type of music—in fact the music of slaves in the very beginning—and became one of the most sophisticated music from the 40’s onwards. Today, we can study jazz in academia, not just classical. I’m wondering if extreme metal will follow this course be institutionalized so that we can study it in an academic context. Do you have an opinion on that?
Ah, well it’s a good question. Time will tell. Metal already has enough… The road is far enough behind that we’d already have something to… there are already books written. When you start writing the history of something. Like Albert’s book, Decibel’s editor. There’s enough time that has passed… but to say if we’re going to talk about it in institutions, I can’t answer that. I hope so! I think metal is taken seriously. About Pleiade’s, it happened once or twice that musicology or music history student contacted me to talk about the album and to make presentations about the album.
Even from a composition point of view or playing style, extreme metal has its own language. It’s not as if it was still close to rock or blues. It’s not Elvis Presley with more distortion.
*laughs* No, no no, it’s not a pale copy… it’s not like [insert non-metal artist/there was a glitch] but with a blast beat. It has a very strong and discernible identity.
To come back to your musical path, recently there was a string trio which emerged on YouTube. I think you were commissioned a piece for the Composer’s Forum at Bishop University in Lennoxville. Is it an older composition, or were you commissioned it recently?
The string trio was written two years ago. The composer’s forum, by the way, is an annual event founded by Andrew McDonald who's been professor of composition at Lennoxville’s Bishop University for about 20 years. Andrew founded the composer’s forum so that the composition class write a piece especially for that event. There were always constraints like… each year the musical instrumentation changed. For example, let’s say a year was piano, clarinet and cello. The other year would be piano, timpani and bassoon. The next year percussions… you understand? It changes all the time. So each composer in the composition class had to write a piece between 5 and 10 minutes for such an instrumentation. So it forces you to write a commissioned work in a short amount of time, about a week. They do this for the concert and then you hear it live for the first time at the Composer’s Forum. It’s awesome. So that had been going on for about 20 years.
Andrew McDonald is a good friend of Marc Chicoine, who is a guitarist and instrument maker, lives in Sherbrooke. Chicoine and I have been friends for 30 years. We even met before I started Gorguts, because Chicoine played in a band which played with Damaged, a band with Steve Cloutier and Stéphane Provencher. So I was in highschool and my buddy François Dallaire was singing in Damaged. We went to school together. So I went to see the shows in Sherbooke, Chicoine played at these shows. Chicoine and I became good friends and through him I met Andrew McDonald. Chicoine had built a jazz guitar for Andrew McDonald because he has a jazz trio, plays jazz and teaches composition. So Chicoine talked to me about Andrew, and he talked to Andrew about my work. At some point Chicoine turned 50, so we were all invited to his birthday. So I met with Andrew then, and I said “Ah, I miss school, the academic side of composition. I listened to your compositions and I really like it, I’d like to take one or two classes per year with you to get back into it”. He said “No problem, just call me whenever you want”.
At some point Andrew sent me an e-mail that said “Luc, even if you’re not a student at Bishop’s, I’d like to invite you to the Composer’s Forum”. Ah, well that’s great! That year was the string trio. That’s how I got there, not because I enrolled again in composition at the university. So I’m pretty lucky to be able to take part of this without being at student at Bishop’s. I have the same following with Andrew while writing the piece. I always take a class or two with him. We look at the work together, he makes some criticisms, we develop “look, why wouldn’t you try this there?”. A bit like when I had my composition classes at the Conservatory. Last year the Composer’s Forum didn’t happen because Andrew wanted to retire. He ended up coming back, so he brought back the Composer’s Forum this year, but as we know with the fucking COVID, everything got cancelled. This year, it was a piece for a very classical trio, violin, cello, piano + guitar. In the end I wrote only for piano. But the event got cancelled so the piece was never played.
All that to say, because of COVID venues are struggling right now, it isn’t funny. A venue in New York called Le poisson rouge reached out-they made a kickstarter to raise money and support the venue-to ask if I’d want to contribute artistically to the fundraiser. They asked me if I could write a piece that would be exclusive to the people contributing to the fundraising, with a score. What a good timing! I just finished a piano sonata, but it won’t be played. I decided to offer it exclusively to Le poisson rouge, so I called it 'Sonate pour un poisson rouge' (Sonata for a Goldfish). The manuscript is already sold, the piece is done! I decided to dedicate it to Le poisson rouge because it’s a place I love in New York. I played there twice, the people are nice, you’re treated like in a castle. The people are really welcoming, they take care of you. The venue is like a jazz club, the atmosphere is amazing. As much for contemporary classical music, chamber music… they have a string orchestra in residence, you have death metal shows. You can go see Artificial Brain and the next day see Yo-Yo ma or Iggy Pop. It was a pleasure to help them with that! This fucking pandemic will breed many collaborations and there are many positive artistic things that were born and will be born out of it.
Can you tell us more about your involvement in the Slay At Home Fest organized by Metal-Injection?
I was approached by Frank from Metal-Injection because we met a couple times. At the beginning, it was Dave Davidson of Revocation who was approached for that. The thing on YouTube right now is musicians gathering and playing covers, and that’s fine, I watch a lot of them, it’s super cool. I think Dave was offered to prepare covers, but he insisted to write something new. Dave had already mentioned in the past that he’d like us to do something together, so he took advantage of that event to initiate it. Frank contacted me and said “would you be interested in preparing a composition for the festival?” with Dave, Liam [Wilson] of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Elliot [Hoffman] of Car Bomb. Car Bomb I didn’t know, but Liam I had already met a couple times. We talked in Europe and went to see one or two shows when we toured the US. Because Kevin Hufnagel is friends with Liam so he introduced us at some point. Dave and I met a couple times when we played in Boston and when we toured together in Europe. We get along super well so I thought why not? Then there was a running gag about me, that I was hibernating, that I was hiding, nobody knew where I was. *laughs* I needed to take a break, I went to hide in the woods. *laughs* So when I got the e-mail I said “of course!”. Moreover, I had not played guitar for two years. I’d done something with Paparagilles, which we taped with the Teramobil guys. But that’s it. So after Christmas I said “Ok let’s go, practice!”. I practiced scales to dust off the picking. So I was right to start practicing two months in advance because later I received that e-mail…
My two last questions might in fact be one. What does Luc Lemay do in confinement and can we expect another Gorguts album in the future?
The thing with having worked with Dave and Elliot is it really got me out of my cavern. Right away when the news spread, Season of Mist’s president wrote to me: “alors merde! What is it? The guys managed to get you out of hibernation? We never get news from you.” The next day, we spoke on Skype and I said “don’t worry, I took a break, I needed a break to change my mind”. We had done a lot of tours two years ago, so we needed to focus on our own things, to take a break and recharge the batteries. Colin and Kevin have projects all the time. Colin has his studio, he’s always busy. Even the last tour in Europe was done with Forest [Dominic Lapointe] from Augury playing with us. I love Forest, he’s a damn good friend and he’s amazing. But I’d rather take a break than replace people all the time.
Other than that, I started practicing again. As I said, I live in the countryside, in a small town. When I quit music, I started working freelance, doing woodwork. I sculp wooden signs. Let’s say you have a small shop, you’re a shoemaker so you want a sign. They’re handmade signs. I started doing that and it gave me a lot of work. I built a whole workshop and eventually started making furniture as well. People came to me for that. So that’s what I do. You know the pandemic… of course it sucks, it’s crap for the music business and for arts. But me in confinement, I’m lucky enough that the phone rang and that I received commissions that I can work on in my workshop. So it doesn’t change much for me. I’m also in writing mode, I’ll start composing a new Gorguts album. I’m sorry to say that it’s a perfect timing… I mean that my writing session ends up happening now. There’s no sword cutting through water, like bands who worked hard for a year or two on an album. They want to unleash it but can’t…
That’s interesting. That’s all the questions I had, we’ve talked for almost two hours
Oh yeah? Well great, it means we’re in good company if we don’t see time flying.
It was great! Thanks a lot!
Great, my pleasure!