Love is work. All kinds of love. Lisa LeBlanc would tell you that protecting the pleasure that unites her with the music has taken some effort. The singer tells how the joy that the scene gives her has already almost died out under the weight of too many obligations and anxiety.
What does Lisa LeBlanc aspire to? To something both simple and not so simple to achieve. “Me, I just want to have fun,” she says during this interview punctuated by her irresistible laugh, which would be enough to restore good humor to the most irrecoverable of grumps. “We’re lucky we play music, we don’t want it to feel like work. »
But when she made the decision to take a sabbatical year in 2019, the most famous native of Rosaireville quietly felt that the ecstatic joy in which the stage immersed her was deserting her. Wear, fatigue, anxiety, overloaded agenda. At 32, Lisa has already accumulated more than a dozen years of career, three albums and an EP, a number of prizes as well as two burnouts.
“My worst nightmare has always been being jaded,” she blurts out. I’ve seen them, blasé people, en masse, and that’s not what inspires me. It’s not fun to be around the jaded world. I find it really sad, especially in music. »
Especially in music, because her guitar has always been for her like a passport to a world where nothing is too heavy. It’s a pure childish smile that suddenly takes hold of her face when she remembers the Sundays at her grandmother’s house when, after mass, her father’s 15 brothers and sisters, and their children, gathered to eat. and sing.
In the biographical film that will one day be made from the life of Lisa LeBlanc, one of the first scenes will set the scene at a village party. Every Wednesday summer evening, in Rosaireville, anyone who wanted to took the microphone for a little number.
At 13 or 14, the teenager asked the janitor of her high school, Normand Arsenault, to accompany her on the six-string, for a few songs. Normand then offers to give her lessons, “because if you accompany yourself, you would be that much more independent,” she recalls. “And from the first lesson, I got really obsessed and just did that. Every free minute I had in my day, I played the guitar. »
It is Normand, still a weekend singer to this day, that Lisa thinks of when the “sickness” that stalks any professional musician threatens to swallow her up. “I think back to the love he has for music. I go back to that, playing for fun, playing Beatles songs in a school bag. It reminds me that this is why I do this. »
To avoid said nausea, Lisa will have had to learn to answer no more often and to ask her team not to squeeze her lemon too much. Medication, “it changed my life!” Wow! “, she confides, a subject that she agrees to address because she would have liked, younger, that her idols speak so freely about mental health.
Lisa will never forget the ten-hour drive from Montreal to her hometown, “the worst drive of my life”, at the end of which she slept for “six straight days”. End of the line? She knows him a little too intimately.
Although she had suffered from seasonal depression since adolescence, it was during the pandemic that she finally admitted that her condition would not improve only by doing more exercise and that she “needed antidepressants pronto ! “.
She gradually regained a taste for music thanks to the modern pharmacopoeia, but also thanks to the online bingo evenings organized by her lover during the pandemic, for which she began to write, without pressure, refrains. voluntarily nouns, who make up a new Lisa LeBlanc album. Chiac Disco, his euphoric album released in March 2022, soon emerged.
In 2014, the musician released an EP titled Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted. And even if she is the author of this title, Lisa must repeat to herself how much the creator in her gains by offering herself a little of this judiciously lost time, how much the hours to wander that she allowed herself during his first trips to the United States often resulted in something magical.
“I’m not really practice what you preach”, specifies the interpreter of Why do today, as if to emphasize that nothing is ever completely settled. “I really struggle not to feel guilty when I’m not super productive, but I try to remind myself to relax, to enjoy life. »
“There are good ways to talk about it and bad ways to talk about it. The good ones are when someone is actually curious. The bad ones are when you imitate in the middle of a sentence. That’s no fun, no matter who. I see it less and less, compared to when I started, but it stops you so much in the middle of a sentence. […] Me, I don’t notice that I have an accent, I just speak. »
Lisa wrote Today, my life is shit on a corner of the table, in order to make a friend laugh who, too, was going through calamitous days. “It was at the Quai des Brumes [bar spectacle du Plateau], we were the first part of Quebec Redneck Bluegrass Project. I did the tune, and for me, it was the first and the last time I did it, I was not going to play it anymore. And all of a sudden, I found myself with a whole Quai des Brumes who was singing my song. Nobody knew me! That’s how it started. I thought, I guess I’m going to keep doing it on show. »
In 2017, at the Festival d’été de Québec, the legendary metal band from Jonquière came to join Lisa on stage, during a show in which her mother and aunts also took part, as singers. “I was so excited! Seeing my aunts and Voivod backstage was so hilarious. Voivod is the sweetest band in the world. And you saw my aunts say [Lisa takes the voice of one of her aunts, touched by the surprising sweetness of these hairy guys]: “They are nice, han, they are quite fine!” »