We’ve been interviewing a lot of people in our European DIY scene, but it was only a matter of time before we (virtually) crossed the pond to a community very similar to ours: the Quebec punk scene, known for their love of fast punk bands.
Who better to start with than Émilie Plamondon! She’s best known for her radio show Punk Détente, singing for 50 Shades Of Punk Rock & Excuse Me Mister, her love of puns and her amazing record collection she shares on Instagram.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Émilie, I live in Québec City, Canada.
I’ve been hosting a weekly punk rock radio show here for almost 16 years now called Punk Détente! It’s live every Tuesday night, from 6.30 to 8PM (Eastern Standard Time).
I’m part of two acoustic cover bands: 50 shades Of Punk Rock (vocals) and Excuse Me Mister (vocals and acoustic guitar).
How did you first get involved with the punk rock community?
I got involved in this awesome community mainly because of my radio show. I’ve always been interviewing local bands, I’ve always been to some shows and made friends there. With social media, I extend that implication and discovered so many great bands from all around the world and I love to promote them as well.
What’s your favourite album of all time (and what do you love most about it)?
This question is so so so hard to answer because it could change every day. Right now, I would say Party Crasher by A Wilhelm Scream. I love everything about it! It’s so technical, the vocal melodies and harmonies are perfect and the lyrics speak to me a lot too. The end of Hairy Scarecrow gives me so many emotions. I listen to the record at least 3 times a week.
Who’s your favorite new band right now?
I’d say Wolfrik, even if their album Skeleton city was released in 2017, I consider them a new band. I’m into fast and technical punk rock with metal influences, aggressive vocals and shredding guitar. This band has everything I like to hear. Plus, they are great and funny guys! I like them a lot.
I also really love St. Plaster, from the Netherlands. They released a great album in 2019. The vocal melodies are perfect, it’s fast and very catchy. They have a lot of 90s punk rock influences. That band is already over though. Bummer 🙁
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about music?
I totally love that question.
Last year, I started playing guitar for my new band Excuse Me Mister and I’ve been feeling really insecure about it cause I’m still a beginner. It’s a big challenge for me and I get really nervous before shows cause I’m scared I’ll forget all my chords and play so wrong that I fuck up the songs. I asked for some advice to manage my stress better and some people gave me a very simple tip: JUST DON’T GIVE A FUCK AND HAVE FUN. It sounds obvious but that advice helped me a lot. That’s what punk rock is all about, right?
Musically, what’s been your proudest moment?
My new band Excuse me Mister was direct support for Joey Cape at Envol et Macadam festival in Quebec city, last September. There were a couple of hundred people and we were playing on a big stage, outside. I was really nervous but so happy and proud. Like I said, I’m still new to playing guitar and I was very proud to be a 35 year old woman that gave myself a challenge and that got me there. It’s the same for my bandmate Valérie. She is an incredible piano player but she is still new to singing. We both have our own challenge and were nervous about it, but we did it and it was amazing!
Who do you most admire in the scene at the moment?
If I had to name a specific person, I’d say my friend Anthony Grenier from People Of Punk Rock. He does so much for the Quebec scene, and more and more for international bands as well. He made a ‘Punker Deck’, which are like baseball cards, with a lot of people from the local scene on it. He also re-prints some ‘old’ bands’ records and holds a yearly festival in his backyard with acoustic sets. Last year he got members from Adhesive and Venerea to travel overseas so they could play. He’s a local scene genius! And he goes to all the shows and puts a lot of videos on his YouTube channel.
Also, I know it’s gonna sound cheesy but I don’t care: I admire all the DIY bands cause I know they are working SO SO hard and sacrifice a lot of things so they can tour and record albums.
Finally, I admire all the punk rock women whether they are musicians, go to shows, work for zines or other media, photographers, work in venues, etc. I admire all the men doing this too, of course, but I think it’s so important to see more women involved in the scene. It makes me very happy to see more and more of them working so hard.
All these people make me want to keep going with my radio show and make me want to help promote them forever.
What have you got coming up that you’d like people to hear about?
My band 50 shades of punk rock is recording right now, YAY! We are working on 12 acoustic covers from international bands like NOFX, Millencolin, .. but also local bands like Mute, Hitch & Go, … I can’t wait to release it.
I’m also working on a new online podcast. I will speak english on it, even if my english is not that great. But I don’t care, it’s punk rock, haha! I hope to release it in the spring of 2020.
Also, I’m currently writing original songs (finally!). I still love to play covers but I really feel the urge to write and play my own stuff.
Follow her bands here: