Marc Vaillancourt is in sixth grade when, during a basement party organized by his sister, his Supertramp vinyl is stolen. “To apologize, my sister bought me the first Van Halen, and my life changed completely. Some forty years later, while his group B.A.R.F. launches his seventh album, Wilderness Region, the singer is still faithful to this initial thrill, that of the great happiness that getting high gives him.

He has the hair of a professional wrestler from the 1980s and the build of a gladiator, but above all Marc Vaillancourt has the touching smile of a big, sweet child. Sitting in the window of Les Foufounes Electriques, the 54-year-old colossus is almost exactly the same one that MusiquePlus subscribers met in 1996 thanks to the music video for Le P’tit Bonheur, the robust reinterpretation of Félix Leclerc’s immortal signed Groovy Aardvark. “The decision to make the tune was made there,” says Marc, pointing to the terrace.

“I was with Vincent and M.-A. [Vincent Peake and Marc-André Thibert, of Groovy Aardvark] and they asked me to sing with them for a New Year’s party. I really wasn’t convinced. Félix Leclerc’s little happiness? It’s smooth in crisis. We decided to do two songs: this one and (We Are) The Road Crew by Motörhead. When we finished Le p’tit bonheur, everyone was freaking out. »

Former daycare educator, member of the cast of the show Giselle de Brouhaha Danse during which he shared the stage with Dave St-Pierre, professor of automobile mechanics for nearly 25 years; Marc Vaillancourt is the archetype of the curious and affable metalhead pulverizing all the prejudices that still stick to the threadbare jeans of the representatives of this vibrant community.

At the heart of this life filled with diverse experiences, extreme music will nevertheless remain its anchor. “Me, it’s not complicated: the more you get high, the more chances there are that I like”, sums up the one who, after Van Halen, was caught up in the Sabbathian darkness of metal, then a few years later , by the pounding of hardcore. The darkness of metal and the rage of hardcore will become the two alternators on which the salvos of B.A.R.F. will hook up.

Go back. “At that time, we learned that there was a party somewhere, we put the tank on drive and then we climbed. On October 31, 1986, aboard a smoked car, Marc Vaillancourt rushed to Lachute for a Halloween party. “There was a band jamming, but no singer. I don’t know how they knew I was singing, but we did three tracks: one S.O.D. track, one D.R.I. and a song from Slayer. We were all on acid. »

A phone call a few days later seals the deal: the one-night stand becomes B.A.R.F., as in Blasting All Rotten Fuckers. And their first show sows chaos in a high school in Deux-Montagnes, after students from another school infiltrate it. A baptism of fire that will require the intervention of the police. “That noon, the students could either go to the sugar shack, or come see B.A.R.F. I swear: there are still people talking about that show! It was a total mess. And that’s the only show in our life that we did at 11:30.”

The continuation of the trajectory of the cult formation, which Denis Lepage (guitar), Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (bass) and Carlos Araya (drums) complete in 2022, will be less one of chaos than of fraternity, release and finger of honor addressed to these rotten people whom their name slays. But, by the way, who are these “rotten fuckers”? “It’s who you’re thinking about,” Marc replies. It is all those who do not understand, who are stubborn. It’s the system. They are the fools of this world. There is still a not worse list. »

Despite the fabulous brutality of its incendiary pamphlets, the group will manage to carve out a special place for itself, alongside Groovy Aardvark, Grimskunk, Anonymus or Overbass, among the major figures of the golden age of Quebec alternative rock. But in 2004, exhausted by the demands of a career without great means, B.A.R.F. screamed his last Wo Wo Tabarnak at the deceased Spectrum.

With Région sauvage, its third album since its return tour in 2012, the group rightly claims its place in the history of Quebec music, by covering five classics of our song, including Comme Chartrand by Jim and Bertrand, Québec Rock by ‘Offenbach and A musician among many others from Harmonium. “We hope the artists don’t think we scrapped their tunes. »

The six other novelties, all in French and often with an environmentalist point of view, testify to a worried vision of a world in which fires are multiplying, both literally and figuratively. If the album is called Wilderness, it is because “we are the wild ones with the planet. You have to get upset. We’re setting fire to everyone! »

The howler’s zenitude

Marc Vaillancourt evokes several times during the interview the effects of age on his endurance, which forced him to put a cross on the energetic antics of his twenties, although he remains a magnetic presence on stage. What state of mind is he in when the sound barrier erected by his comrades rises behind him?

“Very, very zen,” he blurts out. During the last tour, during each show, at some point, I would turn around, I would look at what was happening around me, and I would say to myself: ‘Tabarnak, man! The other guys at my job don’t look like that on their Saturday night.” »

Tired of the road, Marc sometimes finds himself dreaming of a residence in the same room, “like Celine Dion in Las Vegas”, but savors each of the opportunities offered to him to shout Estie d’sale or Fuck the World …with her three children! “My daughter [who is now 28], when she comes to the show, she is up front and she sings all the lyrics with me. ” A silence. A feeling. “To me, there is nothing more beautiful. »

Reached by email, Jim Corcoran calls this improbable version of Comme Chartrand – his first French song, released in 1973 on Jim and Bertrand’s homonymous album – as a “moving” interpretation. “Moving may be a surprising choice of word, but I am deeply moved by the journey that B.A.R.F. offer to this song which is reborn with a vehemence that I would have liked, but that my modesty and the time did not allow us. The text of Comme Chartrand was never more than a curious collage of shaggy images that smacked of provocation. B.A.R.F. releases the song from its restraint and amplifies its slobbery potential. »


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here