Interview: Luc Lemay of Gorguts

Gorguts

I talked with Gorguts vocalist/guitarist Luc Lemay after their set outside of The Beacham, we talked about their latest release “Colored Sands”, Maryland Deathfest, and some of Luc’s favorite concert experiences. Gorguts are currently on the third annual Decibel Magazine Tour with Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder and Noisem, this was just the first date of the tour, so be sure to check out the remaining tour dates.

Q – You guys just finished playing your set, overall how did you feel about it, as well as the crowd reaction?

Luc – It was great, we’re very happy. People are very generous, they like their metal here, I’m overall very happy. At some points I think to myself, the music is more ambient than everything, you can’t really ask them to go super hard at it, but it was a great reaction, very enthusiastic. I’ve been hanging out at the merch booth all week, the people are super friendly, I’m very happy.

Q – What are your overall expectations for the remainder of this tour?

Luc – To meet people. I’m very eager to play the west coast, because we played around New York, mainly the east coast, so all of the south and west coast I’ve very eager to go on stage and play the new music there.

Q – How do you feel about the tour package?

Luc – It’s great, I’ve been listening to Carcass since I was eighteen years old(laughs).

Q – Your latest album, “Colored Sands”, has been out for around seven months now, how has the overall reception for it been so far?

Luc – Great, great reviews. I never really expected this kind of reaction, it’s been very well received, I couldn’t be happier.

Q – What is the lyrical concept behind “Colored Sands” ?

Luc – The album concept is about Tibet, but it’s divided. The first four songs show the beauty of their geography, the philosophy of those people, some of their rituals like drawing mandalas in sand, that’s where the title “Colored Sands” comes from. And then after you have the orchestral piece, which is the turning point in the story, with the Chinese invasion of 1950, that’s what it pictures. And from there it’s like, say the “bad” side of the story. You’ve got the Chinese invasion of 1950 with “Enemies Of Compassion”, that’s what it’s about, the oppression. “Ember’s Voice” immolating Tibetan monks, immolating themselves in public, about the occupation, they just want to be left alone. “Absconders” is about the people leaving Tibet by foot, they walked to Nepal through snow, it was awful. It’s a true story about the one nun who at seventeen years old, was shot by a Chinese boarder patrol, and it was caught on tape by a mountain climber, so it’s basically a murder on tape. The authority never did anything about it. And the last song, “Reduced To Silence”, the Tibetan have a vow of saliency, they preach non-violence, but at the end of the day, will silence and non-violence serve their cause? If someone hurts you and you’re just not going to say anything, at some point it’s not going to serve them and it will be erased from this place.

Q – Gorguts are coming up on the 25th anniversary of the band’s formation back in 1989. Looking back, did you ever think that 25 years down the road, your music would be acknowledged as some of the most influential in extreme metal?

Luc – No(laughs). I started the band because I was a big fan of Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore”, I just love playing this music. We don’t do this to be famous or to credit ourselves artistically, it leads us in meeting people at wonderful shows like this, but I’m happy(laughs).

Q – Gorguts are a part of this year’s Maryland Deathfest in May. What are your expectations for the festival, and are there any bands you’re personally looking forward to seeing

Luc – I really want to see Ulcerate again, I’m a big fan of them. So far that’s the only one, I only briefly saw the lineup. I’m in touch with Jamey as well, I’ve been wanting to do shows with them for a very long time.

Q – You guys have actually played Maryland Deathfest before, how was that experience for you personally?

Luc – Yes, we played three years ago. It was great, I think it was our first show back in nearly nine or ten years.

Q – How has Gorguts been able to endure the many lineup changes, has it been a sort of open-door policy, or has it just worked out this way?

Luc – It just happens like this. My #1 rule is I never want the other band members to put their own bands aside so they can do this with me, if it works within their schedule then great, but I’m not going to say, “Come do shows with me, your band can wait.”.

Q – Gorguts played on four of the five “Death To All” dates back in 2012. How was it for you personally to be asked to open those shows and play with the ex members of Death?

Luc – Amazing. They’re all idols of mine, so it was great to share the stage, hang out and get to meet them, it was great.

Q – What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you didn’t play?

Luc – “The Incident” tour with Porcupine Tree, that was very mind blowing and disturbing for me, but disturbing in a great way. Also the first time I saw Morbid Angel on their “Blessed Are The Sick” tour, they completely blew my mind. Definitely those two.

Q – What are some of your favorite music releases from the past year?

Luc – To be honest I haven’t followed much with the releases in 2014. I bought a lot of records in 2013, The new Carcass, Ulcerate, I also¬†got “Everblack”. I buy a lot of music.

Q – After this tour is finished, what’s next for Gorguts?

Luc – We go to Europe with Misery Index for ten or eleven shows, Maryland Deathfest, then we go back to Europe for a week on our own, and then we are meeting with Death To All again to play festivals.

Q – What’s the one band you’ve never been able to tour with that you wish you could?

Luc – Opeth.

Q – Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, is there any last thing you’d like to say to any fans and supporters of Gorguts?

Luc – Thanks everybody. No fans, no Gorguts. Thank you.