Back to the sacred for Johan Gass

When five years separate two albums, it is usually because their author has gone through an important period of reflection or change. Indeed, since the release of his first album Time is running in 2014, Sherbrooke’s Johan Gass has reconsidered his approach to music, in addition to putting his talents to other profits, namely to participate in a film project. animation from his imagination. This parallel company, whose working title was Tree of Life, is not foreign to his return to music.
“To make this film, I collaborated with Farzin Farzaneh and Ginette Souchereau. We put together the script and the narrative modes together. I took care of the soundtrack and the texts, “says the one who, apart from music, earns a living in communication, especially as a professional videographer on his own, and who admits having also sought, with this adventure on the side of the seventh art, to find himself.

“I realized that the leitmotiv of my first record was not only to meet a need for creation, but also recognition, because I’m not a musician at the base, explains the biologist and environmentalist training. I think this approach hurt me a bit because I was not in my center. After, I needed to find myself, to make a spiritual journey and to go into my imagination. For the film, I composed a music, which became the song Tree of Life on the new album. It was she who allowed me this dive in my mind, to invent characters and a universe with a history … And the more I dug into my imagination, the more I realized that these characters were aspects of me. ”

Special rurart

The adopted Quebecer (he lives here since 2002) is particularly reconnected to his love of nature, but he especially found his artistic way. “The film project did not succeed, but it still gave me a lot, since free and wild came from,” he summarizes about this opus 2 appearing on all platforms on September 20 .

Johan Gass says he never stopped writing music during this period and that his new record would probably never have been released if it had not been for his entourage who asked him to go back on scene, including his friends from the Cookshire-Eaton’s Generous Farm.

“They organized a special RURART Johan Gass, which was a turning point. There were children in the audience and I saw how fascinated they were. A week later, I was taking part in an interpretation workshop at Valcourt studio B-12, with Gaële and Jipé Dalpé, and both of them pushed me to question what I had to say and how to make it happen on stage. It was really powerful! It was during this week that I finished the title track of the album, Libres et sauvages. ”

A new manager in her career then encouraged her to launch a crowdfunding campaign to make the record.

“It was like chained almost alone. Everything flowed from source. Jesse Ens volunteered to join the album and Skye Sauvage, who is also my wife, told me that she wanted to add electronic percussion to my music. Bruno Green has agreed to do the mixing and mastering. It was great! ”

Strength of belief

Much of Beckett’s music video accompanies the first single Free and Wild, and its aesthetic gives a good overview of the main themes of the album. It shows Johan Gass as a Viking warrior, surrounded by characters reminiscent of ancient tribes.

“It’s not so much a return to the land that I advocate, but to remember where we come from. I recently read an article on the Lascaux Caves that revealed that people have followed one another from generation to generation over 40,000 years. When we know that agriculture is 8000 years old and that the pyramids of Egypt have 3000, it puts things in perspective. Our modern age is nothing beside all that. We must therefore remember where we came from: the peoples of the earth, for whom nature was sacred. If we meet and if we love his environment, we will protect him. With all the means and technologies we have today, we can aspire to balance. Let us be the guardians of the planet rather than being the cancer. ”

The metaphor of the Viking warrior is not that of returning to a magnified past, forgetting how harsh life was then and how ancient peoples were constantly at war.

“On the other hand, these people had a belief force that moved a lot of air. We can find this strength, become poetic warriors who can do great things. It’s the opposite of eco-anxiety. If we are desperate, we will not have the energy to change, “said the Alsatian of origin.

You want to go?

Launch of Libres et sauvages
Johan Gass
Friday, September 20th, 9 pm
The Little Black Box
Admission: $ 15 (presale: $ 12)

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