Jean-Sebastien Audet
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Jean-Sebastien Audet

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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"Craft Singles EP Review"

By Andrew Patterson

How much do you remember about Ghostbusters? What I want to talk about is, obviously, The You Are Minez, but also, the concept of a ‘ghost trap’. In the world of the Ghostbusters, I recall that their capers climaxed in very heated moments, when the Ghostbusters had reached maximal proximity to the ghosts they were hunting. They would spend a little time goofing around together then eventually they’d need to get face to face with their enemy. And when they did, in the heat of it all, they’d slam on a foot pedal and suck up the spirit into a tiny metal box.

This seems like a fine model not only for catching ghosts, but for recording pop songs. You run around with your friends for a while, talk briefly with a member of the opposite sex, then you get your shitty metal box and catch yourself a hot ghost. Facing your demons and trying to capture a part of that experience is exciting. This brings me to The You Are Minez.

Calgarian Jean Sebastian Audet is the sole member of The You Are Minez. He writes, performs and records everything. Holed up is a home-recording studio, Audet churns out song after song. It’s the Robert Pollard model: think it up, put it to tape. This means that Audet has made and released a lot of music; some of it is forgettable, some of it is revelatory. This EP’s eight minutes is chock full of the latter. This is, unquestionably, the finest You Are Minez material to date and therefor some of the finest current cuts of Canadian garage-pop.

Over the four songs, Audet shrugs off his shakes and shakes off his heartache with jangle, jangle and still more jangle. His voice is throaty and confident, his guitar tracks patchy and loose. There are tiny blemishes of recording processes tucked into the mix. The compelling nature of these tracks are a credit to Audet’s keen self-awareness as both a performer and listener.

What makes these songs so successful is that they were made with great conviction. Audet seems less interested in getting it ‘right’ than getting it while he can, communicating the idea while it is still fresh, and his songs are all the more exciting for it.

Wouldn’t The Ghostbusters be really boring if they meticulously planned attacks and caught a ghost in it’s sleep without bravado? From an audience perspective, if you’ve got the charm and intelligence of Audet/The Ghostbusters, it’s better if you just bust in there and make it work. You don’t need a lot of know-how. You need the spirit and the feeling.
- Southern Souls


"The You Are Minez - New EP Review "Craft Singles""

Published December 27, 2012 by Josiah Hughes in Record Reviews
Tiny Calgarian Jean Sebastien Audet is always introduced as a talented teenager, but he’s finally breaking the glass ceiling to the point where this music would be good if it was made by a dude in his 30s. The one-time Fast Forward Weekly cover star reprises his You Are Minez moniker here for a quick and easy four-song cassette.

Though he’s always shown a knack for fantastical pop, this just might be Audet’s hookiest batch of tracks yet. Entirely written and recorded by the little champ, the songs are packed with endlessly interesting guitar runs, a busy rhythm section and a blanket of warm, mid-fi production. He’s also adopted a raspy croon, coming across like a chain-smoking badass shot in grainy black-and-white rather than some shortie who goes to St. Francis High School.

Audet is constantly improving with each new release, and apparently working towards something bigger. This four-song cassette is further proof that record labels would be wise to snatch him up while his hot streak is approaching its hottest. - Fast Forward


"Canadian Music Fest Rolls Out First Wave of 2013 Artists"

only a mention of JS as a selected artist

By Alex Hudson
The annual Canadian Music Week will be returning to Toronto in 2013, and as usual, it will include a heap of performances as part of its Canadian Music Fest, which runs from March 19 to 24. There will be more than 1,000 acts in all, and the event has now revealed its first wave of artists.

Among the freshly announced performers on the bill are Two Hours Traffic, Ron Sexsmith, Mac DeMarco, Matt Dusk, Lindsay Stirling, Elephant Stone, the Zolas, Fine Times, Adaline, Rococode, 41st and Home, Bend Sinister, Jean-Sebastien Audet, Mo Kenney, Mount Moriah, Poor Young Things, Leif Vollebekk, Portage and Main, the Mohawk Lodge, the Schomberg Fair, the Dirty Nil, the Stanfields, We Need Surgery, White Ash Falls, Twin River, Tim Chaisson, Wool on Wolves, and many more.

The festival also includes previously confirmed shows from Rihanna (featuring A$AP Rocky), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (with Sharon Van Etten), and Efterklang.

In addition to North American acts, the festival also promises to shine a spotlight on artists from Japan, Korea and Scandinavia. Other attractions include a music conference, Electronic Nation's Bassweek, a jazz series, showcases from numerous organizations (one of them being Exclaim!), the Indie Awards, and film and comedy components.

All of the artists performing at venues around Toronto will be confirmed in the coming months. See the full list of currently announced acts here.

Festival wristbands cost $50 while VIP wristbands are $100. Get full details here. Also, right now CMF is offering a two-for-one deal on wristbands. You can take advantage of it here. - Exclaim


"Faux Fur at MTT"

When you close your eyes and listen, Calgary’s Faux Fur’s undeniably catchy indie pop sound is reminiscent of Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils, or New Jersey’s Ducktails. Upon opening your eyes you’re not alone when your eyes go wide and your brain is scrambled by the true source of this new local phenomenon.

Founding member and musical connoisseur Jean Sebastian Audet, the brains behind Faux Fur, has been recording sounds since he was 14. He records new tracks seemingly everyday, when I asked him what I should feature in this article he sent me the brand new You Are Minez song that he finished an hour ago. He was fairly casual about it, but even on first listen you can't help but be impressed by the effortlessly-seeming catchiness of this pop tune:


Driven by the constant search for the excitement that discovering new music brings, Audet – now 16, has remained as equally committed and as hardworking as his adult counterparts in his drive to seed his unique brand of indie pop around the City of Calgary.

I used to think that going to a bigger city, where the music scene is huge would be good, but since there are so many bands in those places it’s probably harder to get noticed.”

“I think it’s really good in Calgary, it was really easy to start playing shows.”

As a minor, Audet has been limited as to where his band can perform, but not forgetting about that other all-important aspect of networking your music, he quickly befriended Lab Coast’s Chris Dadge while looking for tapes at Hot Wax. It was this lucky break that not only enabled Audet to distribute his music via the record store; it also introduced him to the ever changing and growing realm of local Calgary music.

“Calgary is kind of more garage than it was when I first started listening to local music, I don’t know if it’s gonna stay in that direction, but there is definitely a lot of great bands.”

“Lots of the Mammoth Cave [Records] stuff, and not similar sounding bands, but genre wise, they kind of are either friends with the similar bands, or in a lot of them too.”

It comes as no surprise that Audet was eventually recruited by one of these artists, specifically Craig Storm of the Gooeys – who recruited Audet to play bass. What does come as a surprise however is the fact that even though he is a member in both Faux Fur and The Gooeys, these are only two of Audets countless musical projects. From the punk-pop sound of The You Are Minez, to his hip-hop alias Zouk Fuck, he is always recording his ideas.

“I’ll record a lot for one project, and then I just wont be able to come up with anything good for a really long time, I was planning on having a You Are Minez album out in May, and I haven’t started recording it yet. “

“I don’t really plan out recording so much, so it’ll just be what I think sounds best, I was really into hip-hop for a little while, I don’t know why, I don’t really listen to it anymore, so I’m not focusing on that project much, but I guess if I have nothing to record that’s what I do.”

His eagerness to record and perform his music has landed his band Faux Fur on the Sled Island bill for the second year in a row. They will be playing at 2:00PM Saturday June 23rd at Local 510 located at 510, 17th Ave SW. The rest of his Sled will be action packed as well...most of his side projects have shows throughout the festival.....the complete Jean Sebastian schedule is as follows:

Thursday - pool party, faux fur w/ quaker parents, dog day. new Black, you are minez w/ TAPES, bitter fictions, this city defects
Friday - broken city, the gooeys
Saturday - Local 510, faux fur w/ each other, quaker parents, pleasure cruise


by Travis Borstmayer



Posted in: Calgary,Faux Fur,Indie,Jean Sebastian,Sled Island


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"Calgary musician a worldly busker at age 12"

"Please help support my gelato addiction," read the sign on the musician's guitar case as he played his rock, reggae and blues repertoire in a cobblestone alleyway, not far from a plaza in a medieval village near Tuscany.

If someone were to ask 12-year-old Calgarian Jean-Sebastien Audet how he spent his summer of 2007, this might not even rank as one of the highlights. It was just another day charming and entertaining the tourists and locals as he busked his way around Europe.

If you wonder what a pre-teen was doing giving spontaneous performances on the streets of European cities, it turns out he wasn't on his own. His most ardent admirers -- mom Judy Jarvis, dad Daniel Audet and sister Marie-Macalle -- were never far away.

The family, who moved to Calgary from Montreal three years ago, embarked on a month-long European tour this summer that included week-long stays in the Valencia region, near Barcelona, Spain, the Languedoc region in France, a medieval village near Tuscany in Italy and in Lavaux, Switzerland.

But the family was not just on the Continent to sight-see ancient cathedrals, medieval ruins and vineyards. Instead, they're serious music fans, on a pop-rock-blues-jazz grand tour. Each stop included a big-ticket music event: Van Morrison in Valencia; Sheryl Crow and James Blunt in Italy; Maria Chao in France; a blues fest near Florence. But the apex of the trip was the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, where they saw Herbie Hancock and Chaka Khan on the same bill.

Before each concert, Jean-Sebastien entertained crowds outside the venue, including at Montreux, Europe's most famous music festival.

In fact, Montreux's organizers "gave him a spot and they want him back next year," says mom Judy. "He made some good money there."

The curly haired kid interjects: "It wasn't because I made all that money, but just knowing they appreciated it."

When I arrived at the Audet-Jarvis home, Jean-Sebastien's acoustic guitar was slung over his shoulder (which he'd fractured in a fall off his bike the week before "being a goof with my friends") -- the guitar he plays at least four hours a day.

He owns seven guitars in total. But his favourite is the one he carries with him whenever he goes to concerts with his parents, something he's been doing since he was three months old.

The guitar is scrawled with more than 40 signatures and reads like a Who's Who's of musicians: Los Lobos, Jim Cuddy, Murray McLaughlin, Strunz and Farah, James Hunter and Bill Frisell, Bedouin Soundclash, to name just a few.

He's endeared himself not just to spectators, but to musicians, too, many of whom he's met in his travels this summer and in Calgary where his parents nearly always manage to find a spot backstage at concerts.

To prove it, there are two photo albums thick with autographed pictures of the family with their favourite artists on the coffee table in their home.

Wherever the Grade 7 pupil played in Europe, the small crowds grooved to the music and clapped or filmed him, he says. "I don't want to sound like I'm bragging," he says, "but every 15 seconds they would put money in my case."

His age made him a novelty, he says: "They mostly want to know how old I am and how long I've been playing."

But not everyone was impressed with his busking, like the police in Florence who told him -- incorrectly -- that busking isn't allowed in Italy.

"They thought I was homeless," he says. "They wanted to know where my parents were."

Jean-Sebastien fared better with the crowds than with police: "They didn't care what I was playing," he says. "They'd give me five bucks."

The louder he played, the more he made, and he rewarded himself with his favourite coffee-flavoured Italian ice cream.

"I gained 15 pounds," declared the 12-year-old, proud of the fact that brings him to 120.

Jean-Sebastien plays Saturdays and Sundays in front of the Higher Ground Café in Kensington, a location he still prefers over his more glamorous European appearances: "I just feel more comfortable there." - Calgary Herald


"Faux Fur's Jean Sebastien Audet Wants to Record a Personal Album for You"

By Josiah Hughes
As the brains behind Calgary-based projects like Faux Fur, the You Are Minez, Darren Wantz and Zouk Fuck, you might think that 16-year-old Jean Sebastien Audet already has too much on his plate. Apparently, however, you'd be wrong, as the guitar-toting teen has revealed plans to record an entire album for anyone who asks.

Speaking with Exclaim!, Audet revealed a unique project he's started while out of school for the summer. "I want to record full albums for people personally and never release them, just send them a tape in the mail," he explains. "They can do whatever they want with it. I'll just make the tape and send them the master, and then it'll be in their hands."

While news to us, the project is already in motion. "Since summer's started I've finished two full albums for people. I'm thinking of doing a different genre for every album. The first one, I would compare it to Dinosaur Jr. or something. The next one I recorded had kind of garage-y Sic Alps vibes. Whatever I'm listening to that week is what the album will be comparable to."

If you want one of Audet's one-of-a-kind cassette albums, all you have to do is ask. As per his request, just email him with your name, address and a kind request for the album. He can be reached at yewnorkrecords@gmail.com.

?As for how many Audet can make, he hasn't really specified other than that "it'll slow down when school starts," which will be pretty soon, of course. Still, he added, "I'll try to do as many as possible without blowing my brains out.
- Exclaim


"Music School / Where I Play - Jean Sebastien Audet (Faux Fur, the You Are Minez, Zouk Fuck)"

By Josiah Hughes
As a teenager, what did you do with your summers? Most likely you got a lousy job, went to stereotypical red cup parties and tried with varying success to chase a love interest despite your acne.

Pint-sized Calgarian Jean Sebastien Audet is not your average teen. At the tender age of 16, he spends his summer vacations ? and much of the school year ? holed away in his parent's basement, obsessively recording music. So far, he's captured a total of 358 songs, most of them being featured in his off-kilter post-punk group Faux Fur, the bizarre pop of You Are Minez, the art-damaged solo work of Darren Wantz or under his equally impressive rap alter-ego Zouk Fuck. All of it runs the gamut from interesting enough to absolutely revelatory.

"My friends actually get mad," Audet admits. "I'm sure it's annoying. I always blow them off to record alone in my basement. The other day I just finished a new song and my parents were pissed ? I wasn't coming up for supper and I was still playing drums at, like, 9 o'clock."

Now that the temperatures have risen, the youngster is quite literally living in his studio, sleeping on the pull-out couch across from his recording equipment. The set-up is pretty straightforward: about three years ago, Audet's dad bought some insulation and soundproofed their unfinished basement in a Northwest Calgary duplex.

From there, Audet's craving to capture his every riff started with a Fostex X55 four-track recorder, given to him by Lab Coast mastermind and Samantha Savage-Smith collaborator Chris Dadge. "The four-track was kind of fucked and it played at a really fast speed," Audet says. "Also, in part with it being really old and dysfunctional, any time I recorded something and it had a mistake I had to start over because I couldn't overdub. I couldn't erase anything, so I had to buy dozens and dozens of tapes at a time because I'd go through an entire tape trying to get one song perfect."

Soon enough, the ailing machine finally stopped working. "I couldn't record anything for about a month and it was hell." From there, the singer-songwriter upgraded to a Tascam 424 MKIII and a Portastudio 414 MKII, the latter of which he prefers for drums due to its responsive pre-amp.

While he's definitely got an affinity for old world analog recording units, Audet is no gearhead. In fact, he's only gotten this far because of his independent intuitions. "I've never read a manual to any of my machines," he admits. "That's just the most boring shit, I hate reading about machines. So I've kind of gone through the pain of a month without really know how to use the four-track and eventually figuring it out."

Once he's arrived at an analog sound he's happy with, Audet will usually mix down the instrumentals onto one track with the vocals on the other, then put them into his computer for some last minute tweaking. For some material, however, there's one additional step: "I have a Sony three head TC-630 D reel-to-reel that I use if I want a warbly sound. All of the Darren Wantz stuff was recorded on the four track, then run through the reel-to-reel onto another tape, then put into my computer. It sounds super full when I transfer onto it."

Audet knows he's not exactly doing things the "right" way, but he's the first to admit that he works best on tape. "Even if I knew how to use digital equipment it would still be lo-fi. But to be able to record something shittily with a digital interface and then make it sound good takes a lot more skill than with tape. If you're just recording something that you don't want to be super polished, you can just get it done in one shot on tape and still make it sound pretty good."

That's not to say Audet never uses computers. With Zouk Fuck, his tongue-in-cheek rap persona that rivals Odd Future in lovable deliquency, he'll record a beat in Garageband, bounce it to Audacity and slow it down. Then, he delivers his raps directly into the internal mic of his Macbook.

This is probably a cringe-worthy idea to those of you who have spent a lifetime mastering the art of sound recording, but as any of Audet's releases attest, it's working. Besides, he's got an entire lifetime ahead of him to master the art of audio capture. - Exclaim


"RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE TAPES"

by Ernesto Tomas

“Jean-Sebastien Audet’s band is playing a show on November 17.”

“Which band is he playing with? He’s in so many.”

“All of them. He is playing back-to-back sets with Faux Fur, The Gooeys, The You Are Minez and Darren Wantz.”

I was really excited to meet the kid who was putting this together, the rumoured wunderkind creative genius who, in addition to playing in seven different projects, is releasing a tape of his b-sides, starting a record label and will record you a mix-tape of his original songs on your birthday.

I am welcomed into Audet’s house by his father and the first thing I see is a picture of Audet as a toddler playing guitar and a framed print of him from the cover of FFWD.

His father, Daniel Audet, speaks in a sort of hushed voice at first, excited, but not wanting to disturb the artist at work.

While waiting for a good time to interrupt the practice, I talk to his father, a huge music fan, and learn what an excited, proud supporter he is. His role has involved exposing his son to an amazing record collection and making a home studio for Jean-Sebastien. He also networks and helps with most of the business and organizing things for his son’s publicity. One of Daniel’s ideas was the upcoming show, which will also be filmed.

The main purpose of filming the evening is to get some footage so that videos can be produced for each of the four bands performing. They are hoping to produce/edit three or four songs for each of the four bands that will be filmed at Cantos.

“A side purpose is for us to have keepsakes of this period in time,” says his father.



After meeting the surprisingly mellow Jean-Sebastian in his studio, we go upstairs to his room for the interview. It is a space with a million things to look at: books, records, video games (Sega!), more music gear and music posters covering the walls, including fliers from shows he has played. I enjoy how full of ’90s memorabilia this space is, including a old mauve landline and a framed, signed photo of George Costanza. Plus tapes!

Mix-tapes are another one of Audet’s hobbies. He makes them for himself, his friends and for you, if you email a request. Every custom tape will include artwork by Audet. After it was mentioned in Exclaim! earlier this year, people started to email and ask for their own mix-tapes. Naturally, getting 20 birthday requests is tough because it’s recording 20 albums and making artwork. “It’s going to take a while because I want to make everyone a different album,” he says. He has started recording them though.

He also gets email from people requesting digital albums for free, which he likes. “Digital downloads are shitty things. They shouldn’t cost anything. I don’t use an iPod. I use a Walkman. I don’t see the value of MP3s. If you aren’t building an album/tape/record with artwork and something you can hold, I think it should be free,” says Audet.

I am amazed at all he has going on right now and wonder where he gets all the drive, motivation and creativity to produce more music than some artists make in a lifetime.“I have a lot of ideas,” he says. “Sometimes, I am in the studio from the time I get home (from school. He is in the 11th grade) until I go to sleep.” He is also motivated by the end result. “I think about the end product. Having an entire album, for example. It is so gratifying, that makes me keep making music.”

It takes him no more than two hours to make a song. “If I spend more than one day on a song, I hate it. I am amazed by people that work on an album for a year. I would hate every song.” In his own studio, he can just keep recording all the ideas and move on to new ones. Audet recently inherited hundreds of tapes and, “having nothing better to do,” is recycling them, recording his friends, making art labels and putting them out under his own label, Yew Nork Records.

Audet says that music is just something that he was inspired to do. His parents were academics — non-musicians — but music fans with a record collection that exposed him to great music. “I only started writing songs in Grade 7,” he says. He was busking and putting songs on the Internet. When he was 12 or 13 he had some songs on MySpace and started talking to someone in Portland who, not knowing his age, set him up with a guy in Toronto and he recorded his first album, seven songs with Faux Fur (still his main project) on (now-defunct) Scotch Tape Records. He hates it now, but is happy it went out. It opened a lot of doors, making Audet one step closer to being a professional musician. “I don’t want a regular job — ever. So, I have to do music. I’m good at it and it’s all I’m interested in, so I should make my living from it.”

Audet is now working on a tape for Planet of the Tapes, a Toronto label, that will include unreleased cuts and b-sides he’s compiled. He only releases about 30 percent of the things he records, but Planet of the Tapes thinks more need to get out there. These son - Beatroute


"Teenage music phenom Jean-Sebastien Audet making his name in Calgary"

by Mike Bell

Serendipity.

Not only is it the name of a beloved pink cartoon dragon in Japanese anime (the latter translates as: “you’re making cute, cherubic cartoon characters do what to one another?”), but apparently it is an actual word with an actual meaning. Who knew? (Well, other than the Herald’s lone intern fact-checker Timmy who, in a wonderful coincidence, learned the word in his high school English class this week. Attaboy, Timmy! Have another Skittle.)

In yet another wonderful coincidence, the word “serendipity” actually means a wonderful coincidence or happening that changes your life in a wonderful way (unless you’re John Cusack and then, well, it sends things into a tailspin where you’re stuck starring in John Grisham films, turrble thrillers, saggy romcoms and whatever that film was where Zac Efron gets tinkled on).

So it was an extra wonderful case of serendipity that helped kick off the career of one of this city’s youngest, most talented, prolific and humble singer-songwriters, Jean-Sebastien Audet, who tonight, at the National Music Centre, will showcase four of his eight musical projects that have found fans and favour in the local indie rock scene.

It was a few years ago that the now 16-year-old was busking in Kensington. When his mom forgot to pick him up, he ducked into vinyl record landmark Hot Wax to warm up and wait, where behind the counter was local musician, producer, promoter, record label operator and all-around good egg Chris Dadge, who was impressed with the albums he was looking at and the questions the teen asked.

From then on, Audet was spending “three hours and all of his money” in the story, immersing himself in discovering new music and becoming not just a friend to Dadge but also something of a protege. The more established artist — Dadge has worked and played with everyone from Chad Van Gaalen and Woodpigeon to Samantha Savage Smith and Jay Crocker — quickly took him under his wing, encouraging him, getting him shows and even kicking off his recording career by giving a “busted up four-track he found laying around his basement” to Audet.

“I was happy when I realized how serious (Dadge) was about everything he does and all of the people he’s done stuff with,” the St. Francis student says. “He’s definitely the best person I could have met at the beginning.”

Sitting in a coffee shop a block away from Hot Wax, the soft-spoken Audet tells the story of their chance encounter rather sheepishly, noting that his mom is none-too-pleased when he recounts her forgetfulness. But then again, she and the rest of his family are incredibly proud and supportive of where it led.

In fact, tonight’s show was the idea of his father, who will be filming and recording the evening’s performances by the Audet-powered acts The Gooeys, The You Are Minez, Darren Wants, and, perhaps the most well-known and best of all of his musical endeavours Faux Fur.

“He doesn’t want to release a DVD or anything. He just wants to have something that he can watch later on to document this point in my music,” the Montreal-born Audet says of his pops.

It’s already at a remarkable level, thanks in part to that support: from his folks, Dadge, other musicians in the scene such as former Women member Mike Wallace, community radio station CJSW where he also has a Tuesday night show, and even the local festivals, such as Sled Island and the MTT Fest, who’ve both booked Audet acts.

And the best part, or rather the most, satisfying for the musician is that they’re doing so not because of the novelty of backing some alt rock wunderkind, but because of the quality of the music, itself. In fact, while he understands that his age is something worth noting, he certainly doesn’t consider it a help — thanks, in great part, to it limiting the venues he can played (after another interview, clubs he had mentioned performing in had their knuckles rapped by the AGLC) — and it’s definitely not a number or concept he feels any kind of affiliation with.

“I don’t really feel like I’m 16 because my parents give me a lot of freedom because of all of the stuff I have to do. I have to stay out late a lot and get around by myself,” he says, before adding quickly, perhaps to avoid more grief at home, “with their help of course.

“But I was independent as soon as I started playing shows in Grade 8 and Grade 7. I like when people pay attention to the music rather than that I’m underage.”

As for the music well, although it may fall under different band names and monikers, much of it has a great deal in common, which is the rawness of lo-fi garage rock and the noise sculpting of, say, an act like Sonic Youth, whom Audet professes a particular love for. (The most extreme divergence of the sound is his hip-hop side, which gets exorcised under the nom de plume Zouk F--k.)

Which makes it something of a rather arbitrary decision under which name he chooses to record and possibly release a particular work - Calgary Herald


"How 16-year-old Jean Sebastien Audet changed Calgary’s musical landscape"

[May 3 2012 article from Josiah Hughes in Fast Forward weekly - Calgary]
Jean Sebastien Audet was born in Gatineau, Quebec on April 11, 1996. That means he’s 16 years old and in Grade 10. Let’s put that in rock ’n’ roll cliché context: On the day he was born, Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” was the No. 1 song in Canada. Grunge was already starting to feel like old news, and Kurt Cobain was already two years cold in the ground. It was three years before Napster, so the record industry was at an all-time high. To put it differently, if (God forbid) Audet was to develop a scary drug habit and become a member of rock’s fabled 27 Club, it would happen in 2023.

In other words, the fact that someone that young even exists is enough to send our jaws dropping as we search for crow’s feet around our eyes. But it gets even worse/better: aside from the fact that he’s ridiculously young, Audet’s among Calgary’s most hard-working, versatile and forward-thinking musicians, currently playing in seven active projects that cover everything from weirdo indie pop to bubblegum garage to outsider hip-hop. Best of all, his age doesn’t even factor into the equation when listening to his recordings. Much of his work is on par with, if not better than, the adults attempting the same things.

When he’s not recording in his ramshackle basement studio, he’s releasing limited runs of music from like-minded under-20 savants with his Yew Nork imprint or hosting Least Side Story, a Thursday night show on CJSW. In other words, it’s a far cry from a half-decent paper route, a solid World of Warcraft account, a spot on the high school football team or whatever else those damn kids are up to.

“Whenever I think about my friends that literally do nothing out of school, I wonder how boring their lives must be,” Audet says. “Like if they just play video games or something. Or even my friends that are on school teams. I don’t understand playing a sport every day. The only thing I could imagine doing every day is music. It’s the only thing I’m interested in.”

When I first call him, he’s in the middle of recording. The lovable little turd is always recording, to the point where he lists 245 of his own songs in his iTunes library. That’s 10-and-a-half hours of music recorded in about three years, and it doesn’t include the many unmixed and unfinished ideas on his tape machine or the songs he’s recorded since this interview (while typing this sentence, I got an online notification to check out a brand new EP). It’s a ton of material, although he’s quick to add a disclaimer that “probably only 30 or 40 of the songs are good.”

Sure, some of his recordings are less engaging than others, but the reality is that a good chunk of this work comprises some of the best music being made in Calgary, with each new release better than the last. Aside from an obvious knack for top-shelf hooks and fantastic guitar playing, Audet is approaching each project with an acute aesthetic lens. To put it bluntly, a 16-year-old in the northwest suburbs is making music that sounds like it’s coming out of Brooklyn or Los Angeles.

As he puts it, learning about new bands and hearing amazing songs for the first time drives him to record. “I always say that no music makes me happy because either it’s not good or it’s really good, and then it makes me feel shitty that I don’t record music that sounds that good,” he confesses. “If I hear a song that I really, really like then I record right away, and try to write a song in like an hour. I want someone somewhere to hear one of my songs and want to make something that sounds as good.”

Audet had a cursory interest in indie rock at an early age thanks to his cousin, Josh McIntyre, who records with the blog-famous Toronto group Little Girls. That band’s web presence allowed Audet to discover other projects the same way many people did for a few years: by navigating the pop-up ad hell that was MySpace. Clicking away, he soon discovered groups - Fast Forward


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Jean-Sebastien Audet is only 17 years of age but has already managed to establish himself as a reference on the Calgary music scene. Whether he is on stage in a local club, busking on the street, alone in his studio or on the air, you can count on him to bring the world of sounds to new levels. He is clearly the busiest rock musician of his age in Southern Alberta

Band Members