VioleTT Pi, comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Karl Gagnon, bassist Éric Auclair, drummer Maxime Drouin, and guitarist and sampler Sylvain Deschamps made their Gatineau debut this past Saturday, April 13, with a live performance at the Petit Chicago meant to promote their first full-length album titled eV.
A confusion of alternative rock, mixed with electroclash, pop, and punk with undertones of grunge: this is how one could attempt to describe the sounds of VioleTT Pi, an emerging francophone band originating from Granby lead by frontman Karl Gagnon. Then again, attempting to describe VioleTT Pi’s musical style is a challenge of its own since there is apparently no such thing as being definable in Karl Gagnon’s world. A world in which the listener is asked to enter without prejudices and with an open-mind capable of absorbing the colourful and sometimes macabre visual imagery painted by the lyrics.
Without an opening act, VioleTT Pi performed two sets to a decent crowd of 40 to 50 people gathered at the Old Hull venue to discover the intriguing character live. Donning a Korn t-shirt, flowery Adidas track pants, huge glasses and a ninja turtle cap, the 25-year old francophone singer-songwriter gave out great energy and projected a flexible voice which moved from whispers and metal gore screams to high-pitched tones.
At times cannibalistic and somewhat depressive, the lyrics can be borderline creepy for some, seemingly thrown together without much thought, but with lots of word play, sexual tension and emotional turmoil spread throughout. That being said, the ever-changing rhythms and musicality behind each song evoke liveliness and carefully thought out compositions. Although the upbeat sounds inevitably make you tap your feet, the lyrics leave you wondering what goes on in the mind of VioleTT Pi. The setlist included the tracks Petit Singe Robot, Pogo, Princesse carnivore, Jeffrey Dahmer au musée d’art contemporain, Black Velvet, Bulbe, La pluie du dragon and Fleur de Londres for which a video was released.
Although unpredictable and a bit hard to follow, VioleTT Pi gave an entertaining performance true to his undefinable image, concluding with a dance solo signed Karl Gagnon, who was clearly amused by his own little routine. The musicians were consistently solid from start to finish and elevated the show thanks to their respective talent.
VioleTT Pi’s eccentric personality may be too much to take in for some, but it’s clearly part of the character and desired image projected by Karl Gagnon. To help focus on the sounds rather than the person, it’s safe to say there could be less blabber to let the music speak for itself. Let’s just say VioleTT Pi sounds better on record, than he does live at this point.
To discover VioleTT Pi, take a look at the group’s official BandCamp page and give eV a listen. You can also check out the video for Fleur de Londres below.