Interview by Dale Roy with Luc Lemay 1998…

Here is a killer death metal band, many thought was dead but they have kept their vision true and assembled a deadly line-up since their last output so long ago to blast back upon the scene. Their weapon is a great new technical death metal platter, filled with heavy riffs and strange and catchy melodies. Read on as I probed founding member Luc Lemay about the past/present/future of the Canadian metallers known as Gorguts...

***Update - The band have split up around late 2004 despite releasing 2 amazing albums. Some of the ex-members including Luc have formed a new band called Negativa, Luc says it is heavy and killer but I have not heard any of the music so I cannot comment. Enjoy the phone interview.



Hi Dale, Luc from Gorguts here.

Hey how are ya, man?

Fine, you?

Good, good…

So you got the album?

Yeah I just got a advance tape of it.

Whattya think?

I really liked it actually, I like it much better than “The Erosion Of Sanity” album.

It doesn’t sound even close like we did before ya know, like total new.

You (recently) released a Mini-CD didn’t you?

No we didn’t, we were going to but we didn’t.

It was going to be called “Clouds” wasn’t it?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…but you see these songs are on the new album you know.

Could you list the current line-up as with Gorguts since the beginning it seems to have been a high member turn-over and it is hard to keep track!?

So okay…I’m going to start from scratch to let you know roughly what happened. Just to tell people, cause it has been awhile since we put an album out you know, so I will tell you a rough story just to let people know what was going on. So okay, so with the first line-up we did both the first album you know, we did both the “Considered Dead” & “The Erosion Of Sanity” and after that the album “Erosion Of Sanity” came out in January ’93. So, ah, just a bit before it came out, we put the bass player out.  So, then we got Steve Cloutier and he started learning all of the songs. He got all the material together and um fuckin’ in February ya know the guitar player and drummer decided to quit the band, just after the album came out. So, both the guitar player and the drummer left. And, after, we got Steev Hurdle. He plays guitar, and used to be the guitar and singer for the band Purulence, I don’t know if you ever…

Yeah I have their old seven inch

Yep. He came in the band just to do the tour, actually, cause him and me have been good friends for a long time and shit. So he joined the line-up, and learned the songs in like 3 weeks and we got another drummer from Quebec City who used to play in Sadistic Vision and his name is Steve Mcdonald. Okay, so he came in the band and learned all the songs and we went to Europe to do a tour with Blasphemy, that was in January and all of March you know of ’93. We went to Europe to do the tour and after we came (back) here ya know Steev Hurdle went back with Purulence. He jammed with them for about a month. After that, he decided to quit that band cause it really wasn’t working out as he wanted. So, then he came back to play with us. After we wrote all the album - the album that you have in hand now – which, uh, we started to write it in summer ’93 and we finished it in fall ’94 and then we took a little break cause we had a deal back then with the label Red Light which went out of business ya know. After that we had been talking with Hypnotic (Yes, Hypnotic went so far as to start advertising the MCD I spoke of above –Dale) for awhile too and it never worked out with them. After in ’95 we moved to Montreal and it’s going to be 3 years in July that we have been in Montreal. But, six months after we moved to Montreal, the drummer Steve Mcdonald left the band…(sighs)…then we have been a year without a drummer. We couldn’t find anybody. Then, during this period of time we couldn’t find any drummer we got royalty money from Roadrunner, so we said fuck man were going to record an album by ourselves and we’re going to shop with the masters, it will be easier to get a deal. So we did the album last summer (’97) with a drummer which is called Patrick Robert Then, he has been in the band for almost 2 years now, so we jammed together and he learned all the new stuff for the third album “Obscura”. We went into the studio last summer - in let’s say last August or somethin’ - and than we did all the album and get through all the lawyer stuff with Marty at Olympic (Records). Here we are and the album is coming out this year (Late June 1998 to be precise –Dale). So that’s why it roughly took a lot of time because we had a lot of line-up bullshits you know. There was deals that didn’t work out, we lost a lot of time with that. It wasn’t easy either to find a drummer to play this material cause it’s pretty fast and very technical.

So the member turn-over is due mostly to bad luck, it’s not that your just hard to work with!?

No (not) at all. It’s not even personal differences. These guys were just like fuckin’ they didn’t want to do it anymore, and they just quit. This line-up that we have now is the very best line-up that the band ever had ya know, cause Steev the guitar player and Steve the bass player are they are just like fucking riff machines, they write like crazy!. I write myself too so it’s good when we write stuff. Everybody comes up with riffs, and the drummer is fucking awesome! He played jazz for you know like 10 years, so he’s very, very technical. He can play all the shit. He can play beyond slow, and he can play fuckin’ fast you know, and it always sounds interesting you know, cause it is very spicy playing. We can put a lot of stuff with it. It’s no typical death metal anymore ya know. I mean maybe the voice can still have this tag added…

I like the vocals on the new one.

Yeah and there is two vocals as Steev was singing in Purulence so we said shit we gotta put two vocals in there. So wait to hear the new stuff cause we started to write the fourth album now cause it’s…heh heh…it’s Skin Chamber meets King Crimson. It’s fucked up!. It’s fucking crazy! It’s very - it’s not like typical guitar playing and stuff like that. Even on “Obscura,” we start the basis of this new style you know, cause we use more noise with our guitar so it’s not typical guitar playing so we can get a new sound dimension with that.

It seems like there is a lot more going on with the new one.

Of course. Smoke a fat dubbie and put the headphones on!.

During the time since the last album have you attempted to keep touch with the underground spreading flyers or anything?

Not pretty much you know, cause okay all these line-up stories we couldn’t get the band going good so we’ve been kinda out of the scene. It’s just that people kind of weren’t hearing of us anymore and we didn’t even do a US tour for “Erosion…” the album came out and nobody see’s us and pfffftt it went a bit anonymous, you know what I’m saying?. With this one I am sure we are going to hit big. Can you hold on one sec I will grab my cigarette…


(returns)…Also you know what is cool for our fans with the new album, due to that we haven’t released an album since 1993, so roughly you know if we would have put out an album  a year and a half after it would have been ’95 and here we are in 1998 it would have been a fourth album timing wise. So you know this is our third but it lasts an hour, so it’s a big album so it justifies the five years, in a way. It would have been bad five years waiting and putting out a thrity-five minute album.

That would suck…Would you be offended if I was to say up until the new album that my favorite Gorguts release maybe in part due to nostalgic value was the ’91 demo “…And Then Comes Lividity”!?

Oh yeah but you must have liked the first album because it is pretty much in the same way. We don’t play much out of it (live) though, we play like two, three songs you know…

Do you still play “Haematological Allergy”?

No, no we play “Stiff And Cold” and “Disincarnated”. We play that and out of “The Erosion Of Sanity” we play uh “Orphans Of Sickness” and they we will only play the new shit live. To promote the new stuff cause this is the new sound and this is the new image and it’s more our identity too, it doesn’t sound like fuckin’ Cannibal Corpse, it doesn’t sound like anybody. We have our own identity with this album. You can’t really tag it, like when you listen to Voivod you don’t say oh it’s thrash, it’s death, it’s this, it’s that. It’s Voivod it’s the sound for the band that’s all. That’s what we want with Gorguts.

Were you happy with “The Erosion Of Sanity” album when it came out and…

We were happy of the music and everything you know but the promotion sucked, no tour for this. It’s cool we went to Europe, we already toured the states for “Considered Dead”…if we would have toured the states for “Erosion…” cause we had a good buzz going on and it was still fresh. I’m not really happy with the job the label did with that. I mean did you see ads for this album? No way. But, with our new deal with Olympic, Marty does a fucking killer job I mean…did you see the ad in Metal Maniacs?.

I sure did.

You see this is the biggest ad we ever had for the fucking band since the very beginning. So I think we are going to score big with this one. Hopefully! Ha ha

I was going to ask you, how did you hook up with Olympic?

We knew Marty for a little while, I mean we were in touch with him when we had the deal with Red Light, that was back in ’95. His label were signing then but we had a cool offer with Red Light, so we decided to go with them. After you know I said we talked to other labels and Marty got back in touch with us. We told him we were going to record an album and he was offering a very good offer. We’d rather be on a smaller known label which does a fucking killer job, instead of being on a big label just for the name and prestige and they don’t care about you cause they got too many big bands to care about. I would rather be a big band on a smaller, than a small band on a bigger label.

I was going to ask you how it was working with them cause I have been talking mostly to Eric and a bit to Marty on the phone and they seem to be quite heavily into the underground scene. That has to help a lot!?

Of course. They listen to this music you know they are just like business guys. I mean they know good about the business but they have their heart in the music. That’s what it takes. I mean they like the music for what it is, they are not in it just for the business matters, cash and this and that. Otherwise, they would be signing Hip Hop bands you know.

How does Olympic compare to Roadrunner with cooperation and day-to-day contact?

It’s way better…I mean I’m not saying Roadrunner sucked, but they had Sepultura, Fear Factory to care about, so Gorguts was further away on the shelf. But with Marty he takes good care of the band. It’s easy to speak to each other on the phone. I mean he’s always there, business wise it is better.

Yeah I think the new album material sounds fresher and more energized than the last album.

It is more modern sounding, it doesn’t sound out of fashion you know.

I also dug the vocals on the album I like them better now.

Yeah? Cool thanks man.

They are more tortured sounding.

Ha ha going heavier…heavier all the time!.

Are you satisfied with the recording and the sound on the new one?

Killer…oh yeah…sounds natural and not tons of tricks and stuff like that. Doesn’t sound like music that needs to be the studio to sound good. We’re going to go live, and it is going to sound very much the same. It sounds a bit like a Terrorizer album, which is very rough edge. It is very raw, and in your fucking face like when you hear the blast beats and stuff. I like the guitar sound, everything is clear you can hear everything drum, bass, guitar and everything is there. When you crank it, it just gets louder, not like “The Erosion…” album when you used to crank it would sound like a bit muddy.

Where was it recorded and…?

Studio Victor, same place as “The Erosion…” but we did it with our friend Pierre Remillard, guitar player from Obliveon, know him?.

Oh yeah, for sure I do man.

Yeah he is a killer productor man!. He is a great guy, and he is knowing our band for a long time. He is the one who did our very first demo you know. He knew our music for a long time, and he knows how to make it sound. He is a guitar player too, so he knows how to make this music sound. He worked with all of us before with other bands too. He worked Steev in Purulence and with Steve Cloutier on his old band Psychicthrob (shit I remember that band believe it or not he he -Dale), he did their demo. So it was very friendly working together with him.

Which do you prefer a live situation or the whole recording vibe?

I like both. It is a different stage of the music, I mean  I like recording cause it’s like doing the very…uh…how can I say that…you know when you do drawings and do tons of sketches and then you do the painting for real. It’s like you rehearse, doing your sketches and than you go into the studio and have…

The final product.

Yeah! The final product.  It’s all polished. It’s always killer to hear your stuff with great sound cause you are always discovering in your own music that you have been playing for a long time which you never heard you know. Live, it’s fucking killer, with the pit and shit in front it is fucking killer, there is not one I like better than the other.

How does the writing process go with Gorguts does everybody get in on it and the arranging of the material?

Everybody, it’s not a one man band at all. Nope everybody is writing and everybody has his word to say and that is the way I like it.

Is that the way it has always been?

I mean I used to write all the stuff before (on the demo, first 2 albums), but the other guys were all the main writers in their previous bands and I was the main writer in Gorguts before. So, when we all got together we were like three strong writers together, so it’s good to share ideas and it is better to arrange music. It’s not more one than the other everybody writes, everybody yeah.

How long does it take to write any given Gorguts song, start to finish?

Okay for “Obscura” it was very strange but that is the way it went, we were like giving everybody a week off being at home. Coming up with new riffs and stuff like that and a week later we were in the rehearsal space showing each other the new riffs. After we got all the riffs together it took us like 2 or 3 days to write a song.

Oh yeah, come together really fast eh?

Oh yeah once we know were we are going and we have all the good riffs, say Steev may come up with a new riff and show me and I’ll go “Oh dude that would be cool I can put mine right after” you know. All together it is pretty fast yeah.

You had a song in the past “With Their Flesh, He’ll Create” which tied in with the Bride Of Reanimator film if I am correct!?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Since I have no lyric sheet at this point can you tell me do any of the new songs tie in with horror/gore movie themes?

No…we totally left this type of subject aside. The new album is very different lyrically cause Steev writes the lyrics to and he come up with all the concept, cause he does a lot of reading on mystical kinda stuff, meditation…like the Indians from India do a lot meditation. It is like death but in a very peaceful way. It’s very serene and it’s more poetic and instead of being a story from the very first verse till the end. Like on “The Erosion…” & “Considered Dead” it is like more small stories, which used to be my style, but the new lyrics are more like a poem, every sentence is more like thinking it is not linked together like a story. They are more like thoughts.

Well we are on the subject of “With Their Flesh, He’ll Create”, correct me if I am wrong but you guys had shot or partially shot a video for this song, did it ever see the light of day!?

I don’t think so ha ha ha!!. Now where did you hear that we did that(sounding kinda surprised)?.

You did an old interview in a mag I used to write for The Sepulchral Voice and you said you were going to finish filming it the following Friday.

Yeah, it was alright but it was too amateurish. It was my friend of mine you was studying audio and video and he needed a band to do a video and he was into our stuff, it was alright.

Not something you wanted to release?

It is cool to watch it once you are drunk ha ha ha!.

Luc, I know you smoke and drink do you find that effects your stamina  and/or your voice on stage or rehearsal at all?

No it’s alright we are used to it. I mean I don’t smoke like fuckin’ twenty joints before we go on stage you know.

You smoke cigarettes though right?

I smoke cigarette and I smoke weed. We like to weed when we are writing you can hear it?. But no it’s not that bad I ride a lot of bicycles and I try to keep in shape. It’s okay the day that I see it hurts me and it is bad and hurts my performance I will quit. It’s more important to be on stage than smoke cigarettes at my place.

On stage, do you guys move a lot or do you just kinda stay in one spot and headbang and thrash away?

We move around a lot, were all wireless and we put a mic on both sides of the stage. Steev plays and sings on his side and I sing on my side with the bass player in the middle and me and Steev can switch from one side to another. We don’t stay on one side or another we move a lot cause we find it very energizing, people like that. Me the first I like it when a band moves.

Then you pick up some of your energy from the band.

Of course man!.

As far as a North American tour is concerned is there one booked at this point? With who and when?

No, as far as shows booked we are going to play the Milwaukee and we will being playing in Detroit in August.

At the Michigan Deathfest?

Yeah, yeah. So the album is coming out in 3 weeks, than people will know we are back for real, cause a lot of people don’t think we are around anymore. But this is not a album assimilate in one listen cause there is a lot of surprise in it, the more you listen the more you find stuff cause the arrangement is very subtle.

I noticed on the new stuff there is a lot more harmonies and melodies playing off of each other and stuff.

Yep, more separate parts and it sounds larger. There is no more mid-pace at all there is just heavy beats or blast beats, we don’t use the mid-pace beat anymore like on the first 2 albums. Just in the drum department it is very different.

Do you know what Olympic’s plans are for distribution overseas?

Overseas it is bad, I don’t remember the name of the distributor…um…it is Ideal I think, Roadrunner are distributed through them in Europe. We will distributed through Mercury in the states, which is a major label, death metal on a major label it is high time man ha!.

Do you think you will be headed over to Europe for shows?

For sure, for sure!. We’ll have a good buzz, I hope though!. We went to Europe already though and had a good time there, the promoters know us already there and when they find out we have a new album he’ll bring us back for sure. We had a good tour there, killer shows.

What do you think of the whole retro-thrash thing going thru the underground right now and do you still listen to all of your old Destruction and Venom albums ect…?

I like my “Release From Agony” from Destruction, this my very fave album from them and “Eternal Devastation”. I listen to (Death’s) “Scream Bloody Gore” & “Leprosy”, I listen to the first 2 Atrocity’s, Morbid Angel till “Domination” I don’t like the new one, I don’t like the new singer.

You worked with the well known artist Dan Seagrave in the past, how was he to work with? Did you just give him a basic concept and let him roll with it?

Yeah I gave him a basic concept and he was sending me sketches. He is a great artist so I trust his word a lot, there is no bug in there.

Who put together the new cover and layout?

Me…I did it myself. It is a picture. We didn’t want a painting on the cover. I did all the drawings in the album. Every song has a drawing, like an effigy cause you know there is a lot imagery. I did all of the cover on computer with Photoshop and Infography. I do a lot of drawing and stuff like that. I drew a new logo, have a fresh image for the band for the late ‘90’s.

How did your childhood progress? Were you always into musical instruments at a young age?

Started playing guitar at like 7, 8 and started playing piano at age 13 to age 15. I bought myself a electric guitar and got into death metal and after from ’93 I started learning violin and viola. I study at the conservatory learning composition. I still play violin but there is some viola on the album on the 2nd song, it’s a violin but bigger and sounds deeper.

What kind of child were you? Did you dig the whole school experience?

I liked school a lot, that is why I am still going. I was doing a lot of drawing, playing music, hanging with my friends but I was always into drawing and doing stuff with my hands and always had a very artistic sense.

Okay time for a offbeat question, if you could kill someone and knew you could get away with it, who would it be and how would you do it?

(Intense laughter!)…Can I call you back tomorrow, just to confirm I did it!?. I don’t know man I would kill Sadam Hussien, I would do it nail by nail and hang him up somewhere. I would ask him to pump a joint up his ass, kick his ass and make him listen to Gorguts at 20 until he dies! Ha ha.

On tours out of town/country did you ever have any problems finding clubs or vehicle problems or some other crazy thing?

When we were on the tour in ‘91/92 with Cannibal Corpse we fucking lost trailer full of our equipment at 9 in the morning on the George Washington bridge!. The pin went off on the back bumper and the chain broke off, and the trailer was doing zig zags through all of the traffic with the equipment in there. Fucking crazy!.

What are some of the bands you been playing with the last couple years and bands you would recommend?

Oh in the Quebec scene, well there is Obliveon and Ghoulunatics, they are good and actually they will be doing their album show release here on Friday. Voivod!, everything else here is a cheesier rip-off of Suffocation.

Do you feel lyrics are a important part of your music and do you think the person who vocalizes them should also write them?

Yes it is, we are not just standing there to make it heavy you know. We don’t have to sing systemically. Our music sounds good without the lyrics, it doesn’t sound empty. But it is important to have your lyrics in the heart and you have more conviction when you sing them. You need to like what you are singing. I wouldn’t write gore anymore cause I wouldn’t feel really into singing this type of stuff. I think it is as important as writing music, writing good music it is not an easy thing. I’m not saying “Oh, dude my lyrics are great” this and that. Well, I like to sing what is wrote from my hand, I don’t sing Steev’s lyrics at all. Then we find out who sing when and we get together on a subject, we take it our own ways and when we put it together it looks like the whole thing was written by the same hands.

Tell me about the lyrics behind the tune “Subtle Body”.

It is about the astral body, when it is all done physically, it talks about the soul itself. How it travels and shit, it deals with all the immensity and serenity of death, the brightness and the shining way of it. It is a big trip starting on, what’s it’s all done here. “Carnal State” this talks about your flesh apartment down on earth and when the rent is all over, it talks about the superiority of the soul over the flesh. The concept of both, flesh is like when you are fucking living and after a while you know it won’t work out anymore. But in your head you know there is something after and you are preparing yourself.

Okay Luc I think that is about it, thank you for the interview bro!.

Cool thank you man!!. Can you hook me up with a issue when it is out!?.

Fuck yeah for sure I will man.



The Complete Gorguts Discography 

And Then Comes Lividity (Demo - 1990)

Considered Dead Full-length, 1991

The Erosion of Sanity Full-length, 1993

Obscura Full-length, 1998

From Wisdom to Hate Full-length, 2001


...And Then Comes Lividity/Demo Anthology 2003


Live in Rotterdam 2006



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