“The goal is to surprise”, explains, without surprise, the man with the red beard responding to the pseudonym VioleTT Pi. Somewhere between Limp Bizkit and Gilles Deleuze, interview with a singer for whom I is another.
“If you don’t understand me, you tell me, because I often leave,” warns Karl Gagnon, a salutary warning as his thought, nourished by music and philosophy, flutters in all directions, like his songs all in sinuosities and in ambushes, which an electrocardiogram would confuse with an attack of tachycardia.
The classic interview in which a scribe asks a songwriter to comment on the intimate events hidden behind his words? It is not with the wildflower sitting before us that it will take place.
“I is another,” Karl explains of his work, echoing Rimbaud’s maxim. The precision is reassuring, so often does the idea of ending it arise on this third album, Baloney suicide, the same title as his collection of poetry with a furiously woozy syntax published in 2019 at La Mèche.
It is therefore not with despair in his heart, but rather with the fascination of someone who loves vast questions, that the musician is measured here against that of death. “Deleuze said that what is interesting with questions is not to give them answers, but the way we get out of them”, he underlines, paraphrasing the French philosopher, Gilles of his first name, whose work carries a reputation for unfathomable abstraction.
Who are the protagonists who express themselves in the songs of VioleTT Pi, these desperate boys and girls who use shocking phrases like “Pretend you love your body” or “I’m so ugly I want to die”?
“I have no idea,” Karl replies, his eyes widening, as if the question was completely absurd. Rare exception to this bias for fiction: Butane, the most surprisingly touching letter from a father to his daughter, to whom he repeats to do everything to protect her flame, her essence, “Run, Kiwi/because you’ll be there alone/to save your soul/run away from foolishness/before it happens”.
A mischievous smirk cuts across the 35-year-old dad’s face. “It’s a song about gasoline and I called it Butane. He laughs like others would laugh at a fart joke. “That’s my best philosophical joke!” »
In The Cigar at the Edge of the Lips, a certain Carl-Camille (the first name of Karl in the romantic universe of his brother Akim1) attends with purely ecstatic joy a performance by Limp Bizkit, the flagship group of his adolescence in Granby. A scene that your journalist remembers having received as the confirmation of an intuition, the music of VioleTT Pi having always refused to erase its seemingly less noble influences, not to say less cool. The hints of nu metal heard in eV (2016) and Manifesto Against Fear (2016)? It wasn’t just in our ears.
It is thus logical that Baloney suicide is once again contaminated by a maelstrom of heterogeneous references, from the very FM languor of He who waits, to the strident cries of Thrown into the world like a trophy, to the very Nintendo frenzy of Butane couplets.
“It’s like in The Matrix, when the camera makes a 360 around the characters”, summarizes the one who says he wanted to “appear in full”, from all angles, throughout the entire album.
“Chu just a phoney anyway”, he sings in the title track of Baloney suicide, an admission that should not be taken literally, Karl Gagnon being the type to say one thing to express it another, to subvert received ideas by greedily embracing them.
This enemy of the false hierarchies between low and high culture remembers as if it were yesterday the disdainful gaze of the record store when he obtained the vinyl reissue of Significant Other, the masterpiece of Limp Bizkit.
“He totally judged me and I thought it was so funny, because who cares, right? Do you think you’re cooler than me? OK. »
Wisdom may be knowing that we are all someone else’s baloney.