Mobile

Mobile

BandRock

Just as news of Montreal's erupting music underground began to reach international ears, five young Montreal musicians did the unthinkable: They moved to Toronto. Out of step with the common thinking, for sure, but Mobile have never been common thinkers.

Biography

Where most other bands are chafing at the stage, blinding visions of performing glory burning holes in their souls, Mobile spent three long, patient years in their isolated Montreal studio rehearsing, never venturing past the membrane of their common chrysalis until they were absolutely and utterly certain that they were wholly formed.
Just as news of Montreal's erupting music underground began to reach international ears, five young Montreal musicians did the unthinkable: They moved to Toronto. Out of step with the common thinking, for sure, but Mobile have never been common thinkers.

Says singer Mat: "We were frequently disappointed by live local bands who weren't prepared to do a real show. We wanted to be seen as a great band, a strong band. Our songwriting wasn't as strong as it is now, but we were really focused - rehearsing four times a week for three years makes you sound good." Three years in a milieu where three minutes generally tests the outside limits of endurance. As you might expect, they didn't emerge so much as explode.

Boyhood chums and amigos all, prior to their self-enforced captivity they'd been playing together for upwards of 15 years in various shapes and morphing forms that never strayed too far from the core. Close to a lifetime of shared musical history and carefully constructed creative intuition hermetically compressed into a dangerously tight unit. It's that volatility, that powerful release that had the band playing to full houses every time they ventured into their hometown's better venues.

"Playing live has always been our strength," says Mat, "and we gained a good reputation for that. We've been told since day one that it's obvious we're longtime friends and that there is a chemistry happening." That and, of course, the tunes.

One doesn't show up at consistently oversold - on only word of mouth - large-capacity clubs without the product one's pitching, a lesson Mobile never had to learn. Their live show is an education in naked emotion, a unified five-man exercise in visual dynamism that offers a fortified framework supporting the songs. Rock is the raison d'tre; unrestricted innovation and invention the basic operating principles.

"Criq and I grew up together," says Mat, "and he taught me how to play guitar. It was a really natural thing when Criq and I started working together, because we always had the same taste in music and we were really alike, in a way, in our playing. We never studied music but always had the music in us in a way that was really natural. So writing was really easy for us to do."

All five writers and players are almost pathological in their adoration of all things musical. A poet's love of song craft, evident in their passion for bands like Primal Scream, The Cure, Stone Roses, The Police and even Pink Floyd, combined with an engineer's facility with gear and gadgetry, has uniquely prepared them for the challenges of a critical listening public. And while the band invites no end of comparative analogy, they flat out defy definitive pigeonholing: as students of musical history, they are here to learn and advance, not rewrite.

Bassist Dominic asserts that, "It's a coincidence that we fit in with many of the '80s-influenced bands that are popular right now - The Killers, Hot Hot Heat, Franz Ferdinand, whatever - but we're not copying anybody. We're different from these bands: We're a little more rock, a little more pop and a little more modern."

mobileIn other words, they are ready to embrace risks of the business. Which took them away from their storied hometown at precisely the time, as reasoned thinking would dictate, when they should have been there blazing away in the buckshot fray of frantic indie bands looking to exploit the benevolent rays of worldwide attention that were suddenly shining their way. Or, as more commonly occurs, perhaps looking to hitch a ride on a passing coattail. But that ain't the Mobile way.

They followed their hearts, and not the crowd, to Toronto. "Before we left for Toronto," explains drummer Pierre-Marc, "the band had reached a certain critical level, and we came to the conclusion that we weren't going to be able to take it any farther in Montreal. At rehearsal one day Criq said 'Maybe it's time to move.' We looked at each other and it was instantly yes. It was a natural move because we wanted to take a shot at making it instead of just quitting one day, frustrated, and without really having tried or taken a risk."

The five French speakers settled into a two-room bedroom/studio and again immersed themselves full-time, often around the clock, in the task at hand: getting someone to notice the extraordinary writing and performance load set to blow right beneath their feet. And notice they did. "The first show we played in Toronto, we played to maybe 20 people," recalls Dominic. "But we impressed people right away. People were like 'Holy f***! We've never heard of these guys, but they have an