Some bands break up because they can’t stand each other anymore. For others, it’s because they plateau and have nowhere else to go. Creative differences is also a popular one. And sometimes, a band just naturally runs its course.
That’s basically what went down with dynamic rock duo/eventual trio Solids. After about a decade of leaving it on the field, the local band will thrash their way through one final show Saturday at Sala Rossa.
Xavier Germain Poitras and Louis Guillemette (along with latter-day third member Guillaume Chiasson) close out the band with a concise discography: one 37-minute LP, Blame Confusion (2013 self-released, 2014 officially) and scattered EPs.
They’re all still good pals and jam on the regular at Cité 2000, but excitement for the band — which had no shortage of hype here and abroad when Blame Confusion dropped on American label Fat Possum — had waned internally.
“We gave it all for 3-4 years,” explained Guillmette at their longtime jam space, which they’ll be departing. “After we got back from that, we got back into job working mode, we had kids and jamming became about hanging out.”
Added Germain Poitras: “We still jam all the time, but when we’re in the space, we’re more in the mood the chill and relax. And coming to the jam space at night is a different vibe. When we were working on the band full-time, we came here during the day and it was quiet and nice. But now it’s different.” (If you don’t know, basically every metal band in the city jams there at night.)
At the height of their powers, the group was as relentless and pummeling as any local act. They were punk enough, hardcore enough and melodic enough to straddle quite a few lines and their rambunctious live sets became the stuff of legend. Their shows would always be accompanied by a light hanging from the ceiling that the band and fans could knock around (and even spike like a volleyball to disastrous consequences).
But after Blame Confusion and 2016 EP Else, momentum for new music slowed. Then they each became dads at around the same time.
“Being a dad is amazing, but a game changer. We knew that going in,” Germain Poitras said. “We were working on new songs, but we weren’t all that stoked about them. We decided to take a step back, and that went into a full hiatus. We were just at that point where we had to let it sit for a while.”
Added Guillemette: “You know when you’re so excited that you forget how tired you are? I felt we weren’t as excited about these new songs, so instead we’d come to the jam space and feel tired.”
Germain Poitras concluded: “I don’t know if it’s us being old, but the tiredness took over the excitement.”
Another theory that perhaps explains why hardcore legends Minor Threat only dropped one album? After Else, the band felt they could explore new sonic territory, but that sort of freedom for a band that thrived on the restrictions of a guitar and drum set-up ended up being stifling, not invigorating.
Anyways, fear not for Solids. The band got to travel the world — including Europe, China and North America — play some raucous shows in their hometown, including a wild two-show residency at TRH Bar and at l’Absynthe on St-Denis the night the red squares got pepper sprayed, and dropped a no-nonsense album that will never age a day.
“We wondered about whether to call it our last show or to just gradually vanish, but we owed it to ourselves because playing live was always what got us going,” said Germain Poitras.
“It would’ve sucked to not do a last show, even if we come back in six years.” ■
Solids play at la Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent) on Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 p.m., sold out