Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
LA SECURITE 7 by Emmanuel Ethier lead

On the Rise
La Sécurité

09 May 2024, 11:00

Québec art-punk collective La Sécurité are a creative space for its founding members to push the limits of their sonic experimentation.

Life is au naturale for La Sécurité. The French-Canadian art quintet are a pandemic-piss about that's snowballed into an addictively saccharine angular pop sensation about to embark on their first-ever European tour thanks to the Québec Spring export package.

"This is my wildest teenage dream at that moment. I mean, I'm not even kidding", vocalist Éliane Viens-Synnott admits. "That's really how I feel like even with just a few people appreciating and wanting to listen to it." This is the kind of expectation that comes with something that shouldn't exist. But, from an idea born out of confines, they've managed to stretch out their off-kilter post-punk. "At first it was cool, and then we started to do shows outside of Montreal, like going to SXSW two years in a row," she continues. "And that's how we got booking in Europe. Somebody saw us there. They wanted to bring us out there and it's exciting…I can't believe it at this point. I'm just like, 'Cool. I'm glad you like it'," she gently laughs.

Being able to achieve her teenage dream is the result of a simple ethos: "Trying to flip things upside down and see them in different ways." It's with a little help from her friends and partner that it's been doable. From those first pandemic jams, while holed up in their home, Viens-Synnott and her partner bassist Félix Bélisle explored their contrasting backgrounds. While Bélisle is inspired by the likes of LCD Soundsystem and other electro-indie artists, Viens-Synnott has a punk background. But it's in these two pools conspiring and colliding that La Sécurité manages to sparkle. "We made some demos, we thought they were cool, and our friends at [Montreal label] Mothland offered to put them out," she explains. "So we put together a band with three of our good friends, and we basically had our first show booked, so we had to make up enough songs to play a set!"


A freeform plan that steadily snowballed, recruiting the rest of the band was as seamless and saw a veritable who's-who of various Canadian scenes come together with genial ambitions and a DNA of explorative music. Guitarist Melissa Di Menna and Viens-Synnott met when playing together for a local artist. Being thrust into touring 70s pop songs – with Viens-Synnott drumming and Di Menna on guitar – they ended up bunking together and finding a wealth of common ground, perhaps most importantly, "The same like rebellious riot grrrl, teenage punk years," she remembers. "And so that's where we connected. I was like, I want to spend more time with you, and I want to write with you instead of just playing other people's songs."

As for drummer Kenny David Smith, his was more of a natural introduction. A regular at the bar, which Bélisle also worked at – a "hub of the music scene in Montreal," Viens-Synnott calls it – he'd just moved from Ontario, and while she was DJing "he came up to me and said, 'Oh, I love that', he bought me a shot and we started talking. He has a band called Pressure Pin, and at first he invited me to drum in it, but it's like egg punk and it's really fast and I couldn't do it justice. I was like, 'You should find someone else…but do you want to join my band, I have a new band'."

Finally, second guitarist Laurence Anne Charest-Gagné joined the ranks. A solo artist in her own right, it was through collaborations with Bélisle – and eventual communal adventure/camping experiences – that they became close. Upon hearing the future La Sécurité demos, she remarked "I want to play on this," according to Viens-Synnott, and the rest is history. Of it all, she remarks, "It just kind of seemed natural…I keep saying that. It just seems natural. It is true, though."

LA SECURITE 3 by Emmanuel Ethier

From demos to gigs, to their eventual 2023 debut album Stay Safe!, La Sécurité have been remarkably cool about everything. This comes in spades in their sonic: they lean back, letting the rhythms wash over them, rarely expunging more than the required amount of effort and thought, and instead letting the nature of movement take over. Harking back to Viens-Synnott, her drum background means she has a natural inclination that lends itself to La Sécurité's addictive rhythm. "I'm definitely very music orientated, like grooves and drums and rhythms and stuff can just awaken something inside me," she confirms. As for what comes first, the groove or the melody, she offers: "It's kind of like a chicken or the egg kind of situation," she laughs. "I think that one influences the other, but there's all kinds of dances and moves."

Not content with a debut, the group also enlisted some DJs and producers, including Bélisle, to fill out the spaces of Stay Safe! cuts, showcasing their rhythmic inclination. "We gave, what's the word in English…total creative freedom, so it was an experiment in that and I think I could kind of relate that again to my choreography experience. I feel like I like adding layers of things on top of each other. So it's kind of nice to see a different version of something that initially was an idea that came from somewhere else and built up in this way."


It's live that this all comes to life. Admitting that when it came to their first show she was "pretty nervous" as her previous experience was all drumming and sitting. Instead, it was time to bring all of her experiences and influences together. "I was really afraid of being stiff. I didn't know how, and I didn't want to be a persona or I didn't want to have a character, so I fell back on my dance experience of challenges like stage presence. And from there, it morphed into…it is just me, but it's an amplified teenage rebel side of me." She admits that "I like to keep people on their toes, respectfully…I don't mean to make anyone uncomfortable, but it's okay to just play with the vibe of the room."

As for the rest of the band gelling into their respective positions, it's given them all a chance to stretch their legs in other aspects. "It's a space where anything goes in a way," she mentions. "So I think maybe for more like for Kenny, Mel, and I that I'm initially more used to playing in more punk orientated bands and just feels like natural and I think Felix, you know, he is a frontman in Choses Sauvage, which is they get really wild live shows. But I think this is a creative space where you can just do things that are a little bit more like edgy, in a way. And I think for Felix and for Laurence to not be in the front, and to try out a different role and play guitar and bass instead of leading a project…with all of that, giving ourselves this freedom of trying new things, it's that excitement of doing something different.”

The most different thing they do as a band is their splitting between French and English. This has given La Sécurité an advantage. Being a francophone and English-speaking band in Québec, from Viens-Synnott's perspective, having grown up in English-speaking Alberta, she sees that there's an important microcosm that they can flow in and out of: "I have a friend from Alberta that was visiting last year, we were talking about this because there's musicians here that will play in front of like 6000 people, bands that the rest of Canada have never even heard about. Since we sing in French and in English, in a way, it opens our horizons a little bit in the sense that we can play on French stations as much as English ones."

LA SECURITE 6 by Emmanuel Ethier

Splitting themselves down the middle plays into the ethos of turning things upside down, as Viens-Synnott notes, "A thing often people choose a camp, are they gonna be a French band or an English band?" She explains. And, as things have done for La Sécurité since day one, they boiled down to one thing only, and the true ethos of a band that throws caution to the wind in every syncopated turn – "Why do we have to do that?"

La Sécurité plays shows across the UK this month with sets at FOCUS Wales and The Great Escape

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