Radio Cannon reps Montreal’s music scene

We spoke to the head honcho of Radio Cannon (formerly known as Midnight Poutine), which was voted #1 Best Podcast in the Best of MTL readers poll.


(clockwise from top left) Theo Mathien, Amie Watson, Greg Bouchard, Emily Hill

Radio Cannon was voted #1 Best Podcast in the Best of MTL readers poll this year, and even though its name will sound unfamiliar to some, it didn’t come out of nowhere. This is the very same podcast formerly known as Midnight Poutine, which was founded in 2006 by Jeremy Morris and Jon Macfarline as a wing of the Midnight Poutine music & food website. The podcast was rebranded when the website’s editorial staff parted ways with its Toronto-based owner last fall. (Incidentally, the website Midnight Poutine will soon relaunch with a new staff, as a “Best of Montreal” blog — yes, really.)

Former Midnight Poutine editor Greg Bouchard has moved to Toronto, where he’s started up a TO-based edition of Radio Cannon, and although he’s no longer a voice on the Montreal podcast, he’s still involved in selecting the music as well as running the site. The local team now consists of Theo Mathien, Amie Watson and Emily Hill, and the podcast’s mandate hasn’t changed.

“The idea is to be super on-the-ground,  independent and DIY,” Bouchard says. “I’d really like it to be a place where we’re playing music that no one else is playing. But it’s not that we’re militantly avoiding stuff that people would know. We look at the concert listings for the week and listen to whoever’s playing, and if we like what we hear, we’ll put it on the podcast, not thinking about who they are or how popular they are.”

The same team was the first to play Montreal artists like Grimes and Blue Hawaii, Bouchard says, and that commitment to showcasing new artists is what’s helped them retain a faithful audience, even in their transitional phase.

“It definitely feels like a big step forward, since the Midnight Poutine podcast won [in the Best of MTL] last year, and this year we won as Radio Cannon,” he says. “I’m ecstatic that listeners made the transition with us. You know this from the Mirror obviously, but [when you rebrand], you’re taking a big leap in the dark and you’re putting a whole lot of faith in the fact that you connect with your audience, your audience cares about the content you create. It’s moments like these that are a marker of the fact that the leap was worth it.” ■

Listen to Radio Cannon here.

To see the complete results of 2014′s Best of MTL readers poll (Top 10s in 150+ categories), click here