The drone-punk trio that is Boar God is back with more experimental progressive sounds to pound your eardrums. Eric Bent (vocals, guitar), Sabrina Coté-Poitras (bass, backing vocals) and René-Olivier Duchesne (drums) present their new EP Near Extinction to the world. The four-track EP is packed full of a mature sound that shows forward propulsion from the band. We sat down with Eric and Sabrina to talk about the new EP, their creative process, music and much more!
OSR: How did the band get together?
Eric: The band originally started as my “bedroom project”, where I was at home just recording demos while looking for people to play with. The actual band got together a few years later, from me putting out ads on Kijiji, and Sabrina (bassist) and Rene-Olivier (drummer) both answered, and here we are!
Sabrina: Eric made an announcement on Kijiji that he was looking for members for this band. I got involved and it was just the two of us for a while. A few drummers came and went but then we found Rene-Olivier.
OSR: When the band got together, did you know the sound you wanted to create or has this evolved over time?
Eric: The sound was already kind of set by me in the early demos, but since Sabrina and Rene-Olivier joined and as we have been figuring out our musical chemistry with each other it has organically evolved. Very excited to see where it goes next.
OSR: Is there a common thread or story within your new EP This is Near Extinction?
Eric: All of the songs deal with the subject of ‘loss’ in some way. It wasn’t actually a conscious decision, it was only something I realized later after the songs had already been written.
Sabrina: I believe what inspired the name of the EP was that we were in a moment where our personal and professional lives were taking a toll on our motivation and on the creative process of the band. We were all kind of ‘near extinction’ personally.
OSR: How did you approach writing and recording this EP?
Eric: We just wanted to write songs more as a band rather than as my project, like on our first album Forma where all the songs were written primarily by me. We just also wanted to push the arrangements more, try out different time signatures, stuff like that. The idea to record up in Mont-Tremblant (my parents have a place up there) was Sabrina’s idea, as we kinda wanted to do something pretty DIY.
There was an initial idea to record ourselves, but none of us knows that much about proper recording techniques, and none of us really have access to the right equipment; plus I was absolutely adamant that it had to sound better than our first album Forma. So we asked a friend of ours, Eva Stone, who is an amazing engineer and musician, if she was interested in helping us and she said yes right away.
Sabrina: The songs were started with Eric arriving at practice with riffs and general song ideas, and Rene and I would help to build on it. René had a lot more space in the writing process this time around; he put his ideas for drum parts forward which was not the case with the first album since most of the instruments were already thought of by Eric.
At the same time, I had more room to come up with my own bass parts and the results all around are much better than what we were doing before; we all get to bring out our individual personalities more. For these recordings we really wanted to experience something new rather than being in a studio, so we took advantage of the opportunity that Eric’s parents gave us to produce the EP in their chalet in the woods for a weekend.
OSR: What did you hope to achieve when creating this album and did you achieve this?
Eric: We just hoped to up the ante on our songs and recording; have it be an evolution from our first album. We definitely accomplished that!
Sabrina: Lift the group to another level and move away from the sound and songwriting approach of our first album, so that the arrangements and instrumental parts are really more personalized. And yes, I think we have done well!
OSR: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while creating This is Near Extinction?
Eric: The biggest challenge was finally deciding on a date to record it. (laughs) We kept flip-flopping on when we would finally do the sessions for months because either the songs weren’t done yet or work schedules got in the way. Other than that the actual recording process was really smooth and fun.
Sabrina: Spending more time per week at the practice room. We failed! (laughs)
OSR: If the band were pack animals, what would you be and why?
Eric: Probably a camel or a yak. I don’t know why, I have just always found them to be very interesting.
Sabrina: A horse. Not sure why I am answering this question. (laughs)
OSR: Is there one song on the EP that holds a special place for you?
Eric: ‘Life Eternal’, the first song. It was written last year around the same time my niece was born, so that makes it pretty special for me.
OSR: If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would it be and why?
Eric: La Sala Rossa here in Montreal. So many of the best shows I have seen have been at that place, so it has been a long-time dream of mine to play on that stage.
Sabrina: Shimokitazawa Shelter in Japan because why not go play in Japan? Also simply because it’s a small venue which I like more!
OSR: What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Sabrina: New songs, new merch design, new music video and if it’s possible new visual effects (projection) onstage.