Mountain Radio
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Mountain Radio

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The best kept secret in music


"Tuning into Mountain Radio"

It’s been a wild 48 hours for Jean-Philippe Chartrand, frontman for local band Mountain Radio.

Sitting in a café near his Plateau apartment, Chartrand, 22, describes what his life has been like since Mountain Radio took the stage for the first time on August 24 at the Main Hall on St. Laurent.

More than 100 people packed the small venue.

“It’s been crazy. The reaction from the people was just amazing. They really enjoyed it and I really wasn’t expecting such a positive response,” Chartrand said, shaking his head in disbelief.

“I’ve hardly had any sleep since.”

Chartrand shouldn’t have been so surprised by the response.

Mountain Radio’s first album, From the Mountain Radio, climbed to number one on Université de Montréal’s radio station CISM 89.3 FM four weeks after its official July 3 release.

“We printed 1,000 copies and we sold everything. But now we’re going to send it to a lot more radio stations. We were focusing on that first show but now that it’s done, we can focus on future shows,” he said.

Chartrand and fellow bandmates Massimo Mandato, Dave Iasenza and Pierre-Olivier Duquette are busy rehearsing for their next show on October 5 in L’Assomption and preparing their second album to be released sometime next year.

“We’re working with a manager right now, building a tour in Quebec to gain more experience here, and then the main focus will be the USA and England. For our next official release I’m really not sure. It’s going to depend on the offers. We’re going to play but I’m not going to sign unless I’m totally satisfied with what we’re offered.”

Chartrand can trace his love of music to his childhood when his father, well-known Quebec sports broadcaster Jean-Paul Chartrand and a classic rock fanatic, would play records loud enough that the whole house could hear.

“It has to be Pink Floyd. My father used to play that all day long— Dark Side of The Moon, Meddle, The Wall.

“Actually, when I was very young there was a lot of Bon Jovi playing also, when Living on Prayer came out, which was probably what forged this catchy, pop syndrome that I have. I want all my songs to be catchy,” he said referring to his band’s unique blend of electronic beats, pop hooks and rock riffs.

At four years old, he began playing the drums, and learned guitar at nine.

“When I was younger I had a four-track recorder and I started playing guitar, drums, keyboards.”

Later, Chatrand took an interest in electronic music and began experimenting with a computer program, composing his own music.

In 2001 he became a DJ, working various clubs and adopted the moniker Sadmafioso, which was the name of a song from Montreal band Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

As Sadmafioso, Chartrand gained a loyal following, often headlining at local clubs and after-hours bars.

In addition to spinning other artists’ tracks, he played some of his own music and eventually secured a record deal with Citizen Records of France.

In 2004 and 2005, the record company flew Chartrand to Italy and France on a whirlwind tour of some of Europe’s hottest clubs and festivals.

“Sometimes between gigs I would have only two hours of sleep,” Chartrand recalls. “I had a gig in Naples and the next day I was playing in Bordeaux.”

Chartrand released a two-track vinyl record called Cquetucherches that did “really, really well” in France.

However, he grew tired of travelling and working as a DJ and began thinking of starting his own band.

Last December, Chartrand cut ties with Citizen Records over “creative differences.”

“All the tracks I was sending them they were saying ‘the sounds are too weird, people are not ready yet, we need something more normal.’ I was shocked. I said ‘What? You’re an electro label you’re supposed to go forward not backward. Why would you want me to go normal?

“Mountain Radio was born then because I really wanted to release those tracks. I put aside all the tracks that I had that I really liked and started working more on Mountain Radio.”

He has now signed with a small Madrid company called Proper Proud and will release another vinyl as Sadmafioso under that label in November.

However, Chartrand, who says he hasn’t forgotten his rock roots, will devote his time working on Mountain Radio. He says he wants to find a record company that will work with them and allow them to grow as a band.

“I kind of know what people are going to like or not. I don’t need the label to tell me ‘you don’t know that they’re going to like it, you’re 22, you’re young.’ Yeah, but I’ve been doing music forever. I know what’s going to work live and I saw it and I proved it at our first show. From now on I’m only going to trust my judgment.”

For more information, go to

2006-09-06 11:49:33 - By Remo Zaccagna, The Suburban


"From the Mountain Radio" 2006
Only a few weeks after its release, "From the Mountain Radio" hit the number one spot on CISM's 89,3 FM album chart.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jp, Dc, Meo and Mass all attended Mont-Saint-Louis private High School in Montreal. Dave and Meo had already met in elementary school and the two would later meet Mass and Jp (mass was in dave’s grade eight class, meo was in Jp’s grade nine class). They played some shows in front of classmates at school events. The four lost contact for a while when they all parted ways for college.

Jp however never gave up on music and kept on producing new tracks ranging from rock to electro. In 2003, Jp’s musical talents were discovered and he was signed to “Citizen Records” (a major European electro label). He put out a few successful vinyls through Citizen including the hit single “Cquetucherces”. He also toured Europe playing in almost every major city. After creative differences with the label, Jp decided to switch musical paths.

In the spring of 2006, Jp and Mass who had recently come back into contact, met up and went over some of the tracks that would be featured on “From the Mountain Radio”. Asked if he wanted to be a part of the project Mass immediately agreed. Dave who was at college with Mass would soon join them and completing the quartet was Meo.

Mountain Radio made their live debut that summer in front of a sold out crowd at Main Hall and hit the number one spot soon after on the University of Montreal top thirty album chart.