There is no family like a punk rock pack. Whether it’s for laughing, playing, or support, Our Darkest Days is a unit melded through friendship and music. Vince Fournier gave Shockwave a look at the band’s dynamics and a reminder that we all suffer from common agonies.
Shockwave Magazine: Have you always been a punk rock singer?
Vince: Yes. I had three bands for approximately five or six years each. Our Darkest Days is my new band and I started this band with friends. At the start it was just to have fun, because we all have families, we are all around mid-thirties/near forties. We started this band to have fun, but life goes on. We started to do a lot of gigs and we recorded an album.
Can you tell me about the personalities of the artists in Our Darkest Days?
We think the same. All the members have been in the scene for a long moment. We have similar values. We came from the same class; we are not from rich families. We have a punk mentality. We have our families, we have our jobs, we all have our companies. We are not different, because we have the same goals and the same values. We’ve been friends for a long time, like 25 years. We were friends when we were young.
One of the aspects of punk music is friendships that last a very long time, like family.
Can you tell me a little about how you all met or if there was any odd meetings between you?
We met each other when we were in bands before and the Quebec scene is not big. Everybody knows each other. After that we started a band together. We are like a big family. Jam [Gosselin], our bass-man, has two children and we are at his house a lot. We do a lot of dinners and stuff. We do a lot together. We go fishing. We’ve been friends for a long time.
Who is the better fisherman?
Jam. After that it’s me.
What track means the most to you from your album A Common Agony?
I think “The Book.” “The Book” and “Seedless.” It is about a certain period in my life. It was a dark period in my life. That’s my favorite tracks lyrically because it comes from my gut. I was very, very down. The lyrics mean a lot to me, and musically too because we worked a lot on these two tracks. After that, the first track on the album “Now My Days Are Numbered” talks about somebody in my family with Alzheimer’s. So, I’ve decided to talk about that, because the sentiment can touch everybody in the world. We all have old people in our family who loses his mind. So, I’ve decided to write about that.
Are you hoping it reaches out to people and helps them cope, or are you just trying to explain your experience with Alzheimer’s?
I’ve taken political positions in the past, but in this band I’ve decided to write about stuff that can touch everybody. Like the day life. It’s a lot of dark. I talk about the sadness when you break up. I’m talking about when you get old. I’m talking about friends and what you lost, but there’s always a positive message in each song. Like, today everything is not going good, but if you work, everything can start to be better.
Is that where the title of your album came from?
Yeah. When you look on Facebook, everybody shows the positive of his life, but it’s not the truth. Everybody has a common agony. Everybody has bad moments. It’s not real that everything is good, everything is beautiful, or everything is pink. A Common Agony means: we all live our shit everyday, but we’ve got to go through this. We’ve got to work to have a better future.
That’s very unifying. So, that’s what you want to tell the world, beneath the mask there is more. If there was a one line summary, what would your album tell the world?
Today, it will be better. Tomorrow it will be better.
One of the parts of your album that impressed me the most is all of your singing in that stacked and layered harmonic way. It seems very difficult to create.
Yes, it takes a lot of time to arrive at this result. At the start, Danny, the guitar player, comes to the studio with all the riffs. After that, we have structure, but we don’t have the speed of the song. We decide with the drummer [Guillaume Fortin] which part will be mid-tempo and which other part will be fast as fuck. It’s hard to explain that, because I’m the singer. I have the best job.
I was the only one who was singing and the other guys were just singing a bit, but we’ve worked a lot to make this result. What we did was compose the main melody and after that we assigned the octaves. We sit in the studio like, “Vince, what is the melody? Okay, so you have to sing like this.” I found all the melodies and the other guys sing. They took singing classes too.
Yep, I did too. I sing a lot of high pitch. In the album, I have a lot of highs in my voice. Just to keep the endurance in my voice I have to take singing classes.
Do you take these classes together or individually?
Do you guys stay on task?
(laughing) Not now. We just learned the basics to sing correctly and how to keep the pitch.
Who is the class clown, always goofing off?
Danny [Greene]. He’s a damn clown (laughing).
What are your shows like?
It’s very energetic. We go as fast as we can. We don’t talk a lot in the shows, we play, but between the songs I’m that kind of guy that loves to interact with the crowd.
It seems like you have a loyal fan base.
Exactly, we were in the scene for a long time. Honestly, we are lucky to have that fan base for a band. It’s our first album. Our fans waited a long time for us to release this album. In our fan base, there are a lot of people who were fans from our bands before. In Quebec, people who listen to punk rock are loyal to it. They follow the bands. They share the bands. We are lucky for that.
First of all, we have a release show in Quebec, December 9th. After that, we will work to release the album in Eastern Canada. We plan to tour probably Canada, probably the states, probably Europe, or South America. We will check for the opportunities, but for now we will work to share to the world the album correctly. We will be going back to the studio in 2017 because we have new songs to record. We don’t want to stop. We would like to record at least a new EP per year just to give the fans something new.
It sounds like you have a lot going on. Don’t forget about the states, we want to see you too.
We want to go too, we just have to look at some details, but we want to visit you there.
Our Darkest Days holds a theme of companionship in artistry. Their life-long connection, displayed through their music, reassures fans that we all suffer from similar strife, but hold strong, tomorrow is a new day.