September 11, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 8  

Front Page >> Arts & Entertainment > Selfmademan team up with Smallman


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Selfmademan team up with Smallman

By Anna Coutts
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo

JUST LOOK AT THAT ROCK STAR ATTITUDE! The guys of selfmademan clown around at a rockin' photo shoot.

The highly charged sound of Montreal punk rockers Selfmademan is enough to get even the most tired spectator bouncing around like crazy. But there's much more to Selfmademan's music than catchy guitar parts. The lyrics are full of political and social messages, as these four guys use their passion for music to motivate people to stand up and make a difference.

According to lead singer Jay, the title of their fourth and latest album, The Daylight Robbery, is a social metaphor.

"[It relates to] what people go through with their jobs," Jay says. "Their days get stolen away from them and they forget about everything else in life besides work. A lot of people think you have to work to live and along the way they lose the meaning of life."

Since 1999, the guys of Selfmademan have been hard at work creating albums and carving out a name for themselves. Their work is finally paying off, as they recently signed with Smallman Records prior to the creation of The Daylight Robbery.

"We'd been talking with them for a while, so it was great to finally sign with them," Jay says. "We always wanted to sign with them. They work so hard for their bands. They're like family."

Of course, there have still been roadblocks for Selfmademan, despite their newfound success. Jay recently suffered a serious case of tonsillitis, which forced the band to cut several dates off their tour with Moneen.

Despite being slightly fearful of mismanaging his voice, Jay and the boys are now back on tour and extremely pumped about it.

"I love touring," Jay enthuses. "It's great Ñ you get to meet new people and make new friends. Like in London. We have so many friends here now and I'd have to say Call the Office is one of my favorite places to play."

A Quebecer loving a place outside Quebec? To some, this may seem odd, especially when that person is a member of such a politically fueled band. One might expect to find a lot of dislike toward the rest of Canada, but this isn't the case with Selfmademan.

"I think being French definitely gives you different views, but it hasn't made me anti-English," Jay explains. "In fact, I find a lot of the time I express myself better in English. Plus there's a bigger market for English. But sometimes it's better form to write in French. It all depends."

Yet whether the lyrics are in French or English, the message often centers around important social and political issues in today's world.
"I've always listened to a lot of political music," Jay notes. "I just find it more creatively inspiring than cute little pop songs. To me, they're all the same. I don't know, I guess love songs just aren't my thing."

Instead, Jay finds inspiration in everything from his girlfriend's International Development text books, to the breaking up of a close friend's band. According to Jay, his lyrics are meant to motivate and inspire Ñ to get people involved in making a difference and to take a stand rather than cry over the hardships of life.

This may explain Jay's dislike for fellow Montreal natives Simple Plan. Having known the singer and his political lyrics in a former band, Jay notes it was a shame to see him switch to the pop lyrics of "I'm Just a Kid". Is he disappointed in them because he thinks they're sellouts, giving in to the idea of making money rather than making a stand? Pretty much.

"Someone can sell out and still keep their integrity," Jay adds. "Like Radiohead, for example."

Selfmademan will play Call the Office tonight for $5 at the door.



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