Anomalie - Galerie Tour (The Documentary)
What is up, everybody? My name is Nico. I play keys and produce as Anomalie. I went full time with this project around 2017. For albums and releases online is just me. But then for the live aspect, we are touring with a four piece band.
So there is Ronny Desinor on drums, Alexis Elina on aux keys and Gabriel Lamarre on bass. It's a super fun group to travel with, they’re my dear friends, and I wouldn't be doing it any other way because it is truly a blessing to be able to share a stage with them. It is quite a challenge in some sense because, you know, obviously we had to take a break from any form of shows from 2020 to the spring of 2022. And so we did a North American run in May and June.
This is like a shorter European run and what we've done in the past. So in a sense, like it's a reduced format where we're traveling more lightly. It's the band plus Mathieu, our sound engineer and Sam on photo and video. So we're, you know, traveling with the max amount of gear that we can travel with comfortably on planes and trains and everything.
And so, like, we're kind of like oiling the machine again to kind of like kickstart everything going. Because the reality is that for artists across the world, ticket sales are starting to go up. But we've been seeing kind of like a just kind of trend of sales being still down compared to shows in late 2019. For me, Italy was like.. Milano when we were there on the day of the show, I got to walk around and it was just like, European cities are just amazing compared to North America, there's like no comparison. So I met Nico about like ten years ago.
We met in school, in CEGEP. So we were both studying jazz piano there. So we've been studying together for four years and I mean, we kept playing together with Gabriel also. We met at the same place. So we started like Anomalie started pretty much at that time when we were like 18, 19, it was quite different from what it is now, but kept evolving throughout the years. And yeah, so we've known each other for more than ten years.
So basically, well, I just joined the band I think in March. I actually did a rehearsal for a project with Gab a while ago, but that project never went anywhere, so I never really saw him after. I saw him at jam sessions. So it’s the same thing for Nico, I saw Nico at the jam session and everything like that. And at one point he just asked me if I wanted to join the band and, you know, we saw each other, but we didn't really talk that much.
But from what he said when he asked me, he's like, Oh, I always had a good vibe from you. So would you want to be a part of it? And I actually said yes. So yeah, but the reason why I also love it and I wanted to do it also is it's completely different because I know there's no artists like singer actually singing in front.
So in my head I'm like, Okay, this is different for me because this project is like musicians are going to come, you know, like all type of people. But there's going to be a musicians that come to see the show. So basically, ever since I've been with them and it's been amazing so far. This is a two week tour and there's ten shows.
So schedule can be really tight and tiring and, you know, taking the plane at like 5 a.m. getting up super early. And the day before you’ve played a show and you're tired.
So there's opportunities for, not like things to happen, but you know, everybody's mood can sometimes be not at their highest and nobody is fighting or getting impatient with one another. We are always on a good level of happiness, even when it's really you're sick or tired or whatever, you know, hungry. And so, yeah, it's not with everybody that you would get this kind of vibe. Also, you know, some people would be more irritating or irritate you, whatever, you know. But it's a good mix. Well, the biggest difference between this run and the one that we did in May and June, outside of it being like different continents, is that because it was a longer run and we were able to do it somewhat similarly to what we had done in the past In 2019, there wasn't like that big of a gap.
You know, we were traveling in something that is comparable to like a tour bus but on a smaller scale, and that made it so that, for example, we finished a show wrapped up the gear and then basically had a dedicated driver that would, you know, start driving to the next city and then we would sleep. And so that makes it so that the whole kind of like flow of touring is still hard on the body, but it makes it much more manageable where you basically wake up with somewhat of a bumpy night, but at least like 6 hours of sleep or maybe seven, depending. Sometimes it's five, but know it's still like pretty good. So you wake up in the next city and you have the whole day ahead of you.
That's been really cool. So Europe is very exciting, but we're definitely asking more of our adrenaline and kind of like what we have left in our bodies because it's more like a two or three hours, several nights in a row, waking up early to make sure that we catch a plane or a train. So that's definitely the biggest difference. But outside of that, like in terms of the shows themselves, the experience is comparable in some sense because the reality is that you show up for soundcheck, you then perform as best as you can and then move on to the next one. So when you move from hotel to venue and then to the form of transport that you're about to head on, that kind of like just blurs together in some way.
But then again, like I said earlier, like when you get to talk to people that came to the shows, that's where you're really able to kind of like sink in really what's happening, I guess, is where you notice the difference. So for the masterclass angle, I was actually inspired by an amazing musician called Plini, who is a prog guitar player, one of the top guitar players in my mind from Australia. And he's been doing something similar to that in that format, basically before shows is on his runs. And I found it really inspiring because, you know, several artists are offering VIP experiences where you basically show up early and you get like potentially a tour of the set up and how it is to experience that tour life. For me, I was like potentially interested in doing something like that, but I wasn't particularly stoked about like gating that kind of like access between behind paying a higher amount and a regular ticket.
So the masterclass was super interesting because it made it so that I could actually offer something that was potentially interesting or appealing to a percentage of the audience that are basically musicians or producers and really like going all in on like giving some notions as to how I've learned to both make music, arrange, my approach to harmony and melody and everything, and then having people ask questions and kind of like take that in a certain direction depending on the night. And then, you know, we'll offer several things like merch when we have merch on tour, some preset packs. So trying to give like a whole bundle for that thing.
So from the just personal connection aspect, it is absolutely incredible to be able to have like that direct connection centered around music education. And then from a financial point of view, I am a medium tier artist, so touring can be potentially interesting. But the reality is that most of the time it's like I break even or I have a loss. So it's about like making the call if, like it's worth it to kind of like, you know, tour an album campaign and then usually it's worth it for like streaming and sales usually go up after a tour.
But masterclasses help me give like an additional buffer to make sure that I'm able to survive on that end. So I'm not saying that to be like it is a blessing to be doing it, but most of the time there's like a very big risk associated with touring. My name is Mathieu, Mathieu Sevigny. They call me Captain Flames for some reason. I've been doing the tour manager and sound engineer for the band for the last five years or so.
And you know, other some kind of jobs and tour driver as well at one point. So yeah, that's what I've been doing with the band so far. Yeah, so Mathieu I actually met at the same time as Ronny and within the context of the same project, playing for a singer called Fredy V back home in Montreal as well. So Mathieu is hands down the best sound engineer I've ever worked with.
And even prior to working with him, just hearing his live sound, I was like, This is unbelievable. And that’s a comment that we get like very often since we've been working with him, people are like really amazed at how he's able to, you know, both capture the dynamics of what's happening on stage, but rendering it in a way that feels very live and every detail is like super clear. He's like a very good ear for that. And he he's a master of his craft. So he's basically like the fifth member of the band in a way that is truly remarkable. And so he's been doing this with us since early 2019, and he's doing this European run with us right now.
Nicolas, welcome to Good Morning Forever, my show here on P8 Jazz. Thank you so, so much for having me. You were Here last time in 2019, where you also played at the concert house right beside where we are sitting right now. And then coronavirus virus came and you obviously couldn't go anywhere, but now you're back here.
When I read about you some stuff that other people write, you are called a keyboard wonder.. I mean, he's an okay musician, but it's like he's a great guy, so he makes up for it. No, but he is incredibly talented, but also his history. He started really young practicing classical music and he worked really, really hard, countless hours of practice. So of course, talent.
But it wasn't easy for him or whatever, you know, he had to work really, really hard. And the amazing thing is that he's also a very caring, generous person. He's super nice. He's never judgmental. He always encourages us or just like anybody.
He is really there for his friends is just an amazing person. Definitely one of the most all around amazing person I know. Not only like, not even like with music, just as a human being. He just was well raised, I guess.
And yeah, that's for me. That's all I have to say. Oh well Nico, it's like a dream for a person working with somebody like that.
It's actually, I feel very blessed to be working with a person like that at this point in my life because he is considerating all his bandmates, all his coworkers, me and everybody. So it's really wonderful to work with Nico and I appreciate everyone. And he is really a G.O.A.T., like we say you know. So he's just a great guy.
You know, it's it's hard to describe. It's just the best, the best you can get for me. And I think for many people, you know, he’s a great guy. Yeah, well, we have so much story to say, but it's like Nico is the best. That's it. It is very humbling.
I mean that the whole idea of like the creative process for me, is a very solitary process where I'm able to express in some way not through words, because that's not really my forte, but something that is very personal and kind of like comes from a very deep place. And so when I kind of come out of it and and get direct feedback from shows or from interviews or stuff like that, it kind of brings me back to reality in some way. And every time I'm just able to learn or appreciate that it resonates in some way with someone, I'm all for it. So I'm very, very grateful for it for all of that. Every time we saw each other, we had a great vibe. I always say it's not always about playing because playing is happening like an hour and a half on stage.
What do you do the rest of the time? It's just like the time that we spend together and it's good time makes it stronger on stage also. So yeah, but they are all smart. When I was at the first rehearsal, they talking about stuff like numbers and I was like: What are they talking about? I’m here to play. But it's cool because, you know, I feel like we learn from each other also. So yeah. Then regarding just talking to people who are fans in the audience after the shows.
Honestly, I just wouldn't do it any other way. There's definitely like nights where I'm more tired and I feel like I don't want to stay as long because I need to rest to be able to give my best performance possible the next day. But you know, I think what led me to really to make it so that's super important to me is that, for example: I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for social media.
And so I'm super grateful for that. But at the same time, social media is like very superficial. So, you know, there's lots of engagement, there's lots of, for example, comments on certain videos. There's one video that basically went semi viral, but it's like, for example, even if there's a lot of positive interactions online, it's kind of hard to really take it... ...I don't want to say seriously because I try to keep like a healthy distance from social media. Well, I respond to as many people as possible. But if I feel like if I give it too much importance, whenever there's a negative comment that comes in, it can really hit hard.
So I'm super grateful for that platform because it led to so many amazing opportunities. But then when I get to talk to people in person after the shows, that is like loads more interesting. It's like that's where it gets real for me. Like I get to actually have a conversation with someone and you know, there's their physical language. We can actually exchange ideas about stuff. And the fact that it's happening in person is 100% more real than anything I could see online.
So that's kind of like how I view it. And not to diminish the importance of social media because every comment counts and is super important to me. But there's nothing like being able to talk to someone in person after the show. A lot of special occasions happened.
But the the energy and the the vibe on this band is so nice. I mean, you've seen it. It's incredible.
I don't think nobody's ever been in a bad mood or something. We all get really tired at one point, no nights sleep because too much traveling and stuff. But, you know, we move on and we get the gig done and actually just get sometimes you're like: Wow, this is even better than sometimes, you know, whatever. So they, they do what they like.
And you can tell when you see the show and even me behind it, I can tell you that they do what they like because they're so nice all the time. So and I've been doing many tours with them, a month tour. This was a two week tour and the three last tours with them, for a month period and all the tours.
Never a bad moment. Never something bad happened or a bad feeling or somebody screaming or whatever. Never, never. It's like it's incredible. The first tour was amazing. And this one even better, because it's not only what we played on stage, it's like because I got to know them even more.
We became even more comfortable. And I can honestly say nobody on the band is picky, complaining about stuff. If there's something bad happening, we always manage to just live with it and go with it and on to the next one. Because there is stuff that you can’t change honestly and you're going to have to deal with stuff like that. And so it's the humbleness, the heart, and, you know, so...
Well, I mean, I said it in the beginning, I feel really blessed to have been working for Nico and all the the members of the band. They're so, so nice guys, so great. It's it's a real pleasure and it's been too intense weeks and already over. But, you know, I would have gone for another two weeks. Even though we're all a little tired, you know it's always a nice time and I feel blessed to work with these guys. So I appreciate that.
And I thank Nico for always giving me the opportunity to work with him and to give me his trust, you know? So it's it's really nice, I appreciate that. Two weeks is not that much. Because, you know, after the US tour, maybe after three weeks, you're like: All right, I’d love to sleep in my bed and see my friends, get back to a more stable life, whatever. But two weeks in Europe is super short, so I'm still craving for more. So I'm already sad to leave, but, you know, it's still good to be back in your hometown. Going to see my parents, my dog, my friends, whatever.
So it'll make me more anticipant for the next time. I'll look forward to it. So we started, we started and then when I saw it was like about four or three shows left. So I was like, Oh, damn already, you know? But that's because we have so much fun doing what we do. And I realized no matter what, if it could be one week, two weeks or months, it's just like the energy and what you share with the world, you know, because we go to Europe, we sharing with the world what we have, you know, talking to people and they get back to us. So I think it's more than just playing.
It's like, you know, we wish we could stay more and get to know people more but, you know, it's a part of it. So, yes, it's pretty sad. But I know for me, it's just the beginning. And I know for us, we’re going to keep going. It's still going to happen. We do stuff together, you know.
On my side I also do a lot of stuff, but I really have fun doing this, you know? So I feel like with that project, I’m able to talk to the crowd more and it's amazing. It's been amazing. But yeah, I'm going to miss it. But yeah I know it's not done. It’s not done...