Eight years before the creation of Bonsound, Gourmet Délice releases his first album on his label Blow The Fuse Records. Fast forward to 2017: Now a Bonsound sublabel, it is relaunched with new releases from Ponctuation, Jesuslesfilles, Le Kraken and Les Breastfeeders. Proof that rock'n'roll is forever!
Looking for a word to encompass all of his musical endeavours (as a musician, label owner and promoter), Gourmet settles on "bonsound". Obviously very Montreal, the word's lower case "b" and "d" has an appealing symmetry. He buys the domain name right then, but it's only 5 years later that Bonsound's real life begins.
The band (made up of our current boss JC, our publisher MER, Joe Gagné, Karine Isabel et Marie-Eve Petit) makes their first apperance. The show was part of 2002's Off Coup de coeur francophone and they only played one song - their cover of Illégal by Corbeau. Later, they take over the radiowaves with the tracks off their hot garage-rock self-titled EP.
Just months before leaving his artistic ambitions behind and founding Bonsound, JC (aka AC/JC on keyboard) and his band Gwenwed release Le retour du bleu métallique, which earns a 4-star review in VOIR. Another band member, a certain Philippe B, decides instead to pursue his solo career.
This debut album of the band-with-15-drummers is at the heart of Bonsound's beginnings. Their manager Yanick wanted Blow the Fuse to put out the record, and after working with JC (who was running Proxenett Records and helping Yanick with grants) and Pierre Gourde (who was booking shows for Le Nombre, Gwenwed & Les Breastfeeders), they realized that they all worked pretty well together. They decided to create a space that could offer a variety of services (management, booking, PR, etc.) to artists who are in between the mainstream and the underground scenes.
Gourmet, JC, Yanick and Pierre B. Gourde create Bonsound with 435$ each in their pockets. This is a time of frozen pogos, 85-hour work weeks and the office's first rule: no smoking joints before noon. Pierre leaves to take up new challenges after a few months, and also leaves his shirt to Gourmet.
Malajube, the first band to be managed by Bonsound (pretty much around the same time the company was created), unveil their first album at Petit Campus. Two years later, the band explodes in popularity and we manage their Scandinavian and American tours.
She works for Bonsound off and on for 8 years. We still receive newsletters addressed to her every week. It's also thanks to her that we have so many archived photos & videos. We love you, Moon-Hee!
While also working as a booker, Eric regularly cooks lunch for all his co-workers using leftovers from his catering / restaurateur friends (whom we won't name here). He leaves Bonsound in 2009 to refine his skill set at Audiogram, and then returns to Bonsound eight years later.
Le Nombre scores a spot on a big FEQ line up along side Les Breastfeeders, New York Dolls and Les Secrétaires Volantes! Surprisignly, New York Dolls are not the headliners, leaving Gourmet & Lubrique extremely busy that night. To get from Montreal to Quebec City, all three local bands rent a 21 passenger van and embark on a real rock 'n' roll road trip.
On December 14, 2006, DJ Champion performed his 7th sold out show that year at Montreal's Métropolis, which was imortalized on a DVD/CD album Champion & ses G-Strings Live. He opted for the Bell Center the following year ;)
About 2 years after launching Bonsound, the late Brent Grulke of SXSW asks us to host a showcase with our artists Les Breastfeeders, DJ Champion, Creature, The Dagons, Call Me Poupée and Malajube. With the help of M for Montreal, we put on a big soirée that people are still talking about!
It's time to say goodbye to the East Plateau office in Cadbury's old factory, the one with no window and a bathroom wall that doesn’t quite meet the ceiling. The 10 employees move to 5333 Casgrain in Mile End, marking the end of Eric's lunches (to everyone's disappointment).
While the label and management rosters steadily expand, Bonsound's publicists get busy promoting several outside artists across Quebec. They work with Feist, Timber Timbre, The Barr Brothers, Chilly Gonzales, City and Colour, Braids, Mozart's Sister, Katie Moore, Boogát, and many others over nearly 10 years.
Longtime friend Yann Perreau signs with Bonsound's record label in 2008. In 2009, he releases his iconic album Un serpent sous les fleurs and wins Songwriter of the year at the ADISQ Gala. Always the impressive, enthusiastic showman, we even saw him fly (just like an oiseau) into a Christmas tree at one of our more memorable x-mas parties!
Kim Ho, Sid Z and Cowbella are back for a few shows since 2018, but the Creature adventure truly peaked between 2008 and 2011. Signed to Universal Canada and France, their debut album, No Sleep At All, is also released by Universal Mexico (hola, Gourmet). The band performs many major shows in Mexico, including one at Estadio Azteca, the 2nd biggest stadium in the world with a capacity of 100k. For now, it's the "score" to beat!
After introducing tons of Acadian sayings to the Quebec public with Cliché Hot (2008), Radio Radio reach new heights with Belmundo Regal, the band's 2nd album comprised of countless hits, including Kenny G Non-Stop. Accolades include the Polaris Prize Short List, the Révélation Radio-Canada prize, the Prix Miroir du FEQ, and nominations at the ADISQ Gala for Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Hip-Hop Album of the Year.
AKA the time we went a little overboard with our animal logos (oops). This promoter set up some amazing Montreal shows, including Ubisoft's rooftop concert series that showcases a breathtaking view of Mount Royal, and a memorable performance by John Lydon's band PIL (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) at La Tulipe in 2015. On November 1, 2019, Bonsound Concerts will take over the Bell Centre to produce French rap duo Bigflo & Oli's show.
Aside from inspiring sooo many clever headlines like "Sa vie n'est plus d'la marde", the instant hit puts the Acadian singer-songwriter and her hometown of Rosaireville on the map. Since then, her self-titled debut album has sold more than 140,000 copies in Canada and France.
In 2013, after attending FME in Rouyn-Noranda for 10 years, we finally decide to organize a Pool Party at our rented house. The place's lovely owners Nicole and Guy let us take over their backyard, where we host around 150 industry folks each year. Since 2015, artists like Safia Nolin, Les Deuxluxes, Duchess Says, Les Louanges and P'tit Belliveau have offered poolside performances, rain or shine.
In February 2013, Philippe B caps off the cycle for Variations fantômes, the critically-acclaimed album that CISM named THE best album of the last decade, with a sold-out, orchestral concert at the Église St-Jean-Baptiste. It won't be until late 2014 that he wins the ADISQ for Songwriter of the Year for his fourth album, Ornithologie, la nuit.
After shouting "En français, SVP!" in the middle of Groenland's show in Rouyn-Noranda, PKP accidentally gives the band's debut album The Chase (2013) a second wind, which eventually sells over 30 000 copies.
Fed up with tripping over each other and the constant noise, the 20 employees carry their stuff up one block to a much more spacious, professional office.
We announced BEYRIES' signature in June 2016. She came out of nowhere and charmed us with her poignant and personal songs, some of which were heard in several TV productions and others streamed millions of times. It’s only a few weeks later that we discovered her on stage, literally at one of her first shows.
A gorgeous festival in the forest, complete with camping sites along the Black River in Béthanie; this was the brainchild of Matt Pontbriand, Martin Bergeron, Enwar Outtas and Bonsound Concerts. The beauty gets a little dampened, one year, when a torrential downpour makes Lisa LeBlanc cut her set short. The festival's 4 editions are full of great memories, especially Malajube's return to the stage in 2015!
Safia Nolin meets her idol Céline Dion backstage at the ADISQ Gala the same year she wins Breakthrough Artist. A year later, in addition to receiving the Félix for Album of the Year - Reinterpretation, she beats the Canadian icon in the category for Female Artist of the Year category. Time for a duet!
Les Deuxluxes, who signed with Bonsound in 2015, have not stopped touring for the past five years, visiting Canada, the US, Europe and... Latin America! At the end of 2016, the duo travels to Chili, Argentina and Brazil, then to Mexico in 2017. As of today, they've racked up over 30 shows in Latin America. ¡Muy caliente!, eh?
VNCE Carter (of Dead Obies fame) introduces us to local producer Ouri, and we immediately fall in love. With Ouri's awesome talent, plus solo projects by Yes Mccan and Joe Rocca in the works, we decide to officially launch our sub-label Make it Rain Records.
What's it like to sell records, again? Nevermind, Geoffroy sparks a bit of hope despite our modern music-consuming ways. The single Sleeping on My Own (off his debut album Coastline) is streamed a million times in two months and has accumulated more than 8.6 million listens on Spotify since it first dropped.
It is not every day that Pitchfork bothers talking about one of our artists! Our PK received a score of 7.9 for his album MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time. The sophomore album was included on the Polaris Music Prize short list and was named World Music Album of the Year at the 2018 ADISQ Gala.
Les Louanges' debut album is already an amazing achievement. The accolades and the awards are numerous (including a spot on the Polaris short list, Révélation Radio-Canada, Prix Félix-Leclerc, and Prix Rapsat-Lelièvre), the album hit all the "Best of 2018" lists immaginable, and his shows across Québec are consistently sold out, even Montreal's Club Soda!
It was love at first sight between NPR and Elisapie during her time at SXSW. She talks about her album The Ballad of the Runaway Girl on All Things Considered, and her moving, deeply personal music video for Una premiered on NPR. Coming soon: a live session with Tiny Desk. Hi, Bob Boilen!
Eight months after singing Girls Just Want To Have Fun with Cyndi Lauper during her FEQ show on the Plains of Abraham, Milk & Bone's sophomore album Deception Bay won a JUNO for Electronic Album of the Year. The two-person band racks up more than 17 million plays with their second album across various streaming services .