The Montreal music scene pays tribute to David Bowie

Hear local musicians’ favourite Bowie tunes and read about how his music affected them and their work + watch Arcade Fire’s memorial Bowie parade in New Orleans.

Michael Venus
Michael Venus (Never Apart)

Song: “Fashion”

“The passing of David Bowie has affected me deeply and my heart still sinks thinking he is gone. He leaves behind a legacy of innovation and multidisciplinary explorations, not to mention the waves he made in gender non-conformity, expression and sexual liberation. He was the ultimate game changer in the world of rock ’n’ roll, pushing boundaries and creating pure magic. He is not only one of my biggest influences, but he influenced all my other favourite influences. He changed the landscape of pop music and made it chic to be queer and broke down many gender norms so many years ago, giving hope to a unique or different youth. His genius will live on forever and Bowie will always remain the ultimate Starman.

“‘Fashion’ really rings true to me as a familiar anthem over the years. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but sing, dance and pose.”

Michael Venus, founder of art/event space Never Apart (7049 St-Urbain). Its winter exhibition, No Gender by Sylvain Tremblay, runs until April 9.


Song: “The Man Who Sold the World”

“I grew up in rural New Brunswick and experienced my musical awakening with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other iconic ’90s alternative bands. David Bowie had already smashed barriers, been criticized, banished, thrown aside and praised for his creative output. His unapologetic, flamboyant, oddball characters had been accepted by many of his peers and adoring fans. Bowie was a star. Bowie was already part of the mythical world in which kids’ imaginations ran wild, and uncontrolled — partly thanks to Jim Henson.

“Even outside music, Bowie was ubiquitous during my youth, as the Goblin King or as judge of an underground runway walk-off between two model elites. He had nothing to prove to my generation. He had already beaten down all barriers in his career.

“Looking back, I feel mostly connected to this earlier work; ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ is the one that stands out the most as a sentimental ’90s grunge fan looking up to the stars for signs of Bowie.”

Construct (aka Marc Aurele), DJ. He DJs monthly at Conkrete (Newspeak) and Beaux Degats (Foufounes Electriques), next edition Feb. 24.

Jace Lasek
Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes)

Song: “Warszawa”

“I was first introduced to Bowie in the ’80s when I was like 12 years old and I heard ‘Modern Love’ on the radio, and then to hear all those older experimental records, the Thin White Duke stuff, it was like, fuck, he’s three or four artists in one! Collaborating with Robert Fripp and Brian Eno added so much diversity to him, and that also secured him in the brains of young indie rock kids who hate mainstream music. He was the guy who straddled both sides to allow both camps to discover different music, like, ‘I listen to Low so maybe I’ll check out Stardust.’ He was a gateway.

“He basically didn’t give a fuck; he was trying things out and that was partly the spirit of the era, and that made him really special. He was doing it for himself and for artists and for art’s sake and for music’s sake. That’s a beautiful thing.”

Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes/music producer at Breakglass Studio. The band released their fifth album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, on Jan 22. and will launch it at Theatre Plaza on Feb. 19.

CONTINUE TO PAGE 4: Essaie Pas, Jason Bajada and Catherine McCandless of Young Galaxy