… here’s a bit of an interview with Jeeps, singer of Asbestos, originally published by Dure Realite … roughly translated from french by Rebel Time Records and Google …
What are the origins of Asbestos?
Asbestos is the continuation of a 2-3 year old music project called Red Side Burns. We were three buddies who were fooling around in the corner (Franx, Eric and me) and who were trying to motivate other people to join the project that we wanted to be big red oi! Time passed and the project became more and more serious, eventually gelling with a meeting at Franx’s where we laid the foundations of Asbestos with Sansan and Noël.
For some of you, this is not your first band. What are your previous projects?
Yeah we have Eric, our bass player, who is a singer for Union Thugs and sang for Action Sedition. There’s also the legendary Noel who also stars in Union Thugs and Mortier, but starred in Misbehavior and did a little time in Jeunesse Apatride. I’m pretty sure he’s played in other bands…
Where does the name Asbestos come from? Why this choice?
Basically we were looking for an oi sound with a post-punk feel, a bit like Tachanka or Syndrome 81, while bringing something closer to our reality here. While searching for a name, we thought of Asbestos, a mining town that has a history of workers’ struggles on one side and is now practically a ghost town due to the mine’s closure. For me, it is a representation of the inevitability of capitalism and at the same time a beacon of union struggles in Quebec.
While we don’t know a whole lot about the band, it seems that the connection with RASH Montreal and the red skinhead scene is easy to make. Is that a label you want to claim in your speeches, songs, or imagery, as clearly as Action Sedition has been able to do, or are you aligning yourself with something maybe a little more subtle, a bit like Esclaves Salariés?
We proudly wear our colors and we want to be clear on this, we are all people from the far left and you will never see us on the same flyer as groups that do not share close or far from our ideas, especially when it comes to anti-fascism. Personally, I don’t feel the need to repeat what everyone who listens to us already knows. It is certain that there will be symbolic elements here and there, but it will not be a CNT parade in Barcelona in 1936. Not to mention that the more depressive aspect of post-punk does not have a sound that opens the door to an uprising of the masses
You have already released a track called Les Royaux. Tell us a bit about this song.
It’s our home away from home, our living room and, as soon as the snow melts, for sure if you walk past there one evening you’ll see some of our crew. We have been hanging there for over ten years and that is never going to change. Even in winter, Les Royaux is a hot spot, at least when the bars and theaters close. With the Covid, its given us the opportunity to be there even more often.
In terms of text, music or number of tracks, what can we expect for the rest of the album?
As we wanted to do a demo format we are talking about five songs, Des Royaux is by far the happiest and most oi !. The rest will be more hardcore and have a bit of a sad tinge both in terms of the music and the lyrics. We just released a second single with Esprit d’bande , a cover by Pompom Beretta .
You did your first concert in the backyard of Building 7 this summer. For many, it was your first appearance on stage or your first appearance behind this instrument. How did you find this?
I am really happy with the result! First of all, playing in a place as symbolic as the B7 was an honor for us. And this despite the pandemic, another big thank you to the organizers! Otherwise, after having adapted to the lack of monitors, I think we managed to do something respectable for a first outdoor show haha!
What should we expect from Asbestos for 2021 and do you have a little word for the end?
The launch of the eponymous album that’s for sure! Otherwise for the rest it will really depend on the pandemic and our personal lives, as I had a kid, it changes a lot the time that I can put on the project. We have a few songs in the works, but we’re far from ready to go back to the studio.
I know that the other members of the group have started a side-project called Corps Mort with Corinne from Jeunesse Apatride, I can’t wait to hear what it will sound like!
Bandcamp of the group: https://asbestosmtl.bandcamp.com/
Facebook of the group: https://www.facebook.com/asbestosmtl