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INTERVIEW: Canadian Grindcore legends Mesrine

Mesrine are a legendary Canadian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore. 

Find out more about Source of Hatred, the metal scene in Québec and more in my interview with Fred and Seb below.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band started. How does it feel looking back?

Mesrine (Fred): yes, already 20 years, time goes on…When we begin Mesrine it was first all for fun by keeping it simple and efficient, 20 years later, it’s still the same deal haha! We are still making short songs with 2 riffs and 3 chords! On theses days we are a little less active than the previous years, we all have day jobs and 2 members are now dads (I’ve got a son and Steve just got twins 2 months ago!). I think we can continue a few years with our new lineup (which is stronger than ever)

TO: How did the band get started & how did you get into this style of music?

Mesrine (Fred): It started with Dan asking me you have a guitar and an amp??? you don’t need to know how to play, you just need the biggest string and 3 notes it’s enough! So Dan dusted off his old drum kit and started blasting and mincing! Mesrine’s first name was Bean (in honour of Mr Bean) but we weren’t completely satisfied… Since we have both a fascination about criminals and serial killers we though having a name more in that range would be more appropriate so we switched to Mesrine, we thought (and still think) that name is killer.

TO: You latest album, Source of Hatred is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. Tell us more about the album.

Mesrine (Seb): Thanx, we are really happy how the album went out! Our guitar player Jack recorded, mixed and mastered it. We don’t have that much things to tell him about any of those things, he knows what he’s doing ! haha Another thing that’s great about this album is that it’s our first release who will be out in all 3 physical format (CD on PRC Music, Vinyl and cassette on D7i and Doomsday Machine Records)

TO: It’s been 6 years between the album and your previous full length,Obsessive Compulsive. What was the songwriting process for the album?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, the band had a few lineup changes, Jack went from being the bass player to a second guitar player, so they ask Decalisse (ex G.O.D/Fuck the facts) to join the band to complete the lineup. After the last Euro tour and recording e.p’s he left for various reasons and to start a new band, so Mesrine asked Crocko to come back in the band. The writing process for the album begun, Crocko left, so I joined the band and we continue writing the album. Sometimes Fred came in with a riff and we work on it, and most of the time we find riffs ‘’on the spot’’.

TO: You share a couple of members with fellow grinders Fistfuck. How do they manage between both bands?

Mesrine (Seb): Steve and I play in both bands, it’s quite easy since both bands are not that much active, we play 2 or 3 shows a year, jamming almost every 2 weeks, so on my side, I have enough time to play in various other bands hahaha

TO: You have worked with a few record labels. What do you think are the role of a record label in this digital age?

Mesrine (Seb): I run a label (D7i Records) since the last 12 years, a label is very important for indie underground bands, yeah we can listen to everything when we can now, but there is still people who likes physical formats, and underground labels can help distribute, sell and helping bands to get a little more known everywhere else. I am still trading stuff, so people from Quebec can get 7’’ of European bands at a cheaper price than ordering from the internet (postage feeds are killing us lately) !

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Mesrine (Seb): I think grindcore is doing great, When you meet bands from anywhere it’s like you’ve been friends for years. There are great new bands with the old school attitude. Grindcore will be healthy as long as Agathocles will release split e.p we are in business I guess! hahahah

TO: Québec has a well known extreme metal scene. Could you recommend a few bands that the readers should check out?

Mesrine (Seb): Well I can say Badass Commander (another band with me and Jack), it’s an old school death metal band! Non affiliate with Mesrine we got Saccage (labelmates from PRC), Mortlach, K.A.V, Nevrose. Outside of Quebec city we have deboned, Soil of Ignorance, Hard Charger and many more!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Mesrine (Seb): I know Dan would say the same fucking things I was listening back in the early 90’s haha, on my side, I always been into sludge and fuzzy bands and it’s what I listen the most. We are all into Old school stuff (death metal, thrash, crossover, heavy, doom) I think on Source of Hatred we can ear and feel the various influences of the band more than on previous releases.

Mesrine (Fred): Agathocles, Blood, Impetigo, Extreme noise terror, Johnny Cash, Confuse, Terveet Kadet, Carcass Grinder, Psycho, AC/DC, SOD ect…..

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, we just played with D.R.I in our hometown, and played the Earslaughter in Montreal with Blood and a few more amazing bands. We are talking about doing a local show with our buddies in Fistfuck and another of our side projects haha. We have no plan concerning touring, ect in the near future.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Mesrine: Keep supporting everything that’s old school!



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