Oscar Souto exclaims, while his comrade frowns, not sure to recognize himself in what he hears. “Anyone else would make songs like that and it would just be vulgar to be vulgar. With Mononc’, there is a refinement, an elegance in the text, which you cannot find elsewhere. The great priest of trash rhyme, Serge by his first name, and the legends of local thrash metal, Anonymus, celebrate the 20th anniversary of L’académie du massacre.
Refined, Mononc’ Serge? The shy man denies it, although we have to admit it: no one else could, on the same album, chant “Fuck you Maman Dion” and quote… Heidegger.
It was at the defunct COOL FM radio that the dozing punk in Serge Robert received his first validation ration. “When I heard that a new rock radio station was being born in Montreal, I imagined that they would play Éric Lapointe and La Chicane, he recalls, that kind of rock. But against all odds, the station will be faithful, for a brief period, to its commitment to the musical margin, unheard of for a so-called commercial radio.
Obscure artists such as Les Cowboys Fringants, WD-40 and Arseniq33 will thus frequent the top of the charts for the first time (and for the only time, in many cases). Marijuana, Mononc’ Serge’s ironic anthem that the green leaf should never be legalized, will transform him in the eyes of many into an irresistible figure of counter-cultural insubordination.
“The idea that I belonged to the underground, for me, it was something completely eccentric,” recalls Mr. Robert, 53, snug in the threadbare armchair of the rehearsal room of Anonymus. “I had always seen myself, first and foremost, as a songwriter in the Brassens tradition, and that’s how I continue to see myself,” he says, although his libidin- blasphemy has long since swallowed it.
In the summer of 2001, it was therefore quite logical, but to the great astonishment of the main party concerned, that Uncle Serge was invited to board the alterno caravan of the Pollywod, the Quebec Lollapalooza of the time, in which this that year Lofofora, Groovy Aardvark, Raid and Anonymus.
Clear-sighted, the manager of Anonymus offers them to invite the new kid to scream Marijuana, with them, on the encore, the song naturally corresponding to the muscle of the blast beats and the cracked amps at 11.
The fruit of this impious union between thrash metal and trash talk gave in 2003 L’académie du massacre, a title in the form of spitting in the face of Star Académie, the reality show which then crystallized the very opposite of the values embodied by this atomic fusion. between the linguistic excesses of a Mononc’ Serge and the distortion of Anonymus, made up of Oscar (bass) and Daniel Souto (guitar), Carlos Araya (drums) and Marco Calliari (guitar, since gone to push the song Italian, replaced by Jef Fortin).
With its galvanized reinterpretations of classics from Mononc’ Serge’s repertoire such as Les patates, Mourir pour le Canada and Le gala de l’ADISQ, the first album of the profanation supergroup will crystallize the image of Mononc’ Serge as an itchy bitch. Quebec showbiz. Almost against his will.
“When I left Les Colocs, I wrote more serious songs, which I performed, and which nobody wanted. After losing his musicians to Lhasa de Sela (including guitarist Yves Desrosiers), Serge Robert landed on the air at CIBL in 1997, where he laid down silly and nasty refrains inspired by current events. It was when he stumped Jacques Villeneuve that a record company finally showed up.
“I’ve been trapped!” “, he exclaims, in the tone of one who would plead not guilty, and for whom the main joy contained in a song like Sébastien Benoît is not to chant that he does not like the host, but to hear his metal friends screaming in the second part of the text that they love him.
But does he still see it as a prison, that deflagrating tone to which he has often been reduced? Because come to think of it, there are thousands of serious songwriters, while songwriters about potatoes or the deadly swelling of a Pink Floyd show…
“It’s just sometimes,” Mononc’ replies, “I put a lot of time and effort into songs where I’m working every line, and nobody cares about those songs. But sometimes I write a song that in my eyes is completely garroched, and that’s always the one that people end up liking. »
“But I know there’s a pleasure in transgression, in laughing at what shouldn’t be laughed at. Refined and wise, Uncle Serge.