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INTERVIEW: Marc Bourgon of Cancelled

Cancelled was conceived as a side project for Marc Bourgon of Fuck the Facts and Greber.  It was a pleasant surprise in my rotation given just how different it is from the pack.  Given these variations from the norm, I was happy to accept the opportunity to pick Marc’s brain on the new music, his influences, and the future of the project.

TO: First off, the music of Cancelled is pretty far removed from that of Greber.  People have varying reasons for needing an outlet that differs from their usual output.  What do you think is yours?

MG: I think it’s because I like imposing limitations on myself. I find it forces me to look at things in a different light and use what I have to make things work. Even with Greber, we are limiting ourselves by only having bass and drums and not adding a guitar player which would fill the sound out more and give us way more sonic options. Also, the thought of writing and releasing material on my own was scary and a huge challenge but it was something I wanted to push through and do for some time now. Having someone else’s opinion to keep your mind clear is essential for making great shit so I masochistically decided to do it all on my own and see what happens.

I understand that much of this material is written on the road.  What does that process look in action?

Usually it was over a long/boring drive. We were fortunate enough to have 4 drivers which made for a lot of downtime spent on those E350 benches. My battery on my shitty computer could only hold a charge for roughly 3 hours so I had to be hasty in getting my ideas down into a somewhat legible and recallable format. I was tough to get motivated to do it at first but after a week or so I couldn’t stop.

I would always aim to watch every band we played with on tour and write one thing down about them. What I liked, what I didn’t like, what parts had impact and which ones were less than awesome. I recalled these a lot and tried to use them as a jump-off point. I would also sing melodies and ideas into my phone and write snippets of lyrics while waiting for the shows to start. It was a great way to stay sane on the road for me and I still do it at home.

Is there any concept or theme behind these tracks, or this project in general?

Mainly just an illustration of human natures tendency to warp itself. A lot of the songs are stories about other people and my take on their situations. Woven into that is a lot of my own problems and insight and whatnot but I always start out trying to get someone or something else as the focal point of the song.\

Who would you consider to be your primary influences for this music?  I was hearing allusions to everything from Radiohead and Thom York’s solo work to heavier sludge groups like The Lion’s Daughter.

I have heard neither of those references. Looks like I have some homework. Thanks for the suggested listening!

No primary influence that I can place. Trendy/shitty pop music had a hand in forming the release because I like some of that stuff and mores appreciate the simplicity of it all. That seems to be what turns a lot of people off of it. I like that part. I tried to bruise my adoption of pop music beyond the point of recognition. In the end it didn’t sound anything like “pop” music so I’m happy.

I’m largely influenced by those who choose to create daringly. I am aware that you “like what you like” and I’m in no way saying that all music should be wacky, weird and unlistenable, but I am always impressed when a group or artist will push their craft to a place that a lot of people may potentially feel alienated by. That “don’t give a fuck” attitude, if genuine, gets me stoked beyond repair.

Those who read my reviews know that I am a big advocate of the “less is more” philosophy both in my own writing and when it comes to albums.  Could you tell us more about what led you to pick these 3 tracks and what we might have expected from the other material?

They just seemed to be a bit more cohesive together than the rest of the songs. I like it when a record has a lot of variation to it and is all over the place but for this release I wanted things to hit all at once. While the three songs are different from each other I feel that their mood was in the same area and I liked the idea of having Tenebrific be a release that confined  itself to a specific mood.

Kurt Ballou and Ryan Butler were both involved in recording this time around.  What was it like working with them?

Amazing. Both of them. Kurt’s reputation precedes him and Ryan Butler over at Arcance Digital Mastering has been a friend for years. Honoured that they were both down to help with the tech side of this. A tertiary reason for getting them to mix/master was to set the bar as high as possible and then worry about how I could do it again. I would love nothing more than to work with both of them again for the next Cancelled release.

What is your favorite track and/or moment on this EP?

If I had to pick a favourite it would be “Social Impressment.” I feel it encapsulates the feeling and tone I was going for on this release. It has some nice build to it, which I like, and it’s a pretty raw one for me on a personal level.

You aspire to perform as Cancelled live in the future.  Has that come any closer to reality?  Could you share who might be involved?

I jam alone with some new material but it’s really hard to make it good with no drummer and just drums running through amps. I’m looking into getting some subs and some different power to push some more air but for the time being there are no plans to move it into the live realm anytime soon. After posting the album stream I’ve had a few offers from here and overseas to fill in during live performance which is exciting. Short answer: we’ll see.

Pitch our readers an underground metal band that you think deserves more attention.

Oh man, Ayahuasca. Their latest album Yin is a fucking masterpiece. It’s more on the proggy side of metal but it has been in rotation for me non-stop since I first heard it. I would recommend it to anyone who likes weird and aggressive music.

Any other closing thoughts on this EP or Cancelled in general?

Huge thanks for doing the interview! I really appreciate the support.

Tenebrific is available now independently through Bandcamp

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