Some of the albums with Marc LaFrance singing bg-vocals:
BEGGARS & THIEVES
BEGGARS & THIEVES
CANADIAN AOR SUPERGROUP SHOOTS FROM THE HIP!
Marc LaFrance, the voice behind many famous hardrock albums in your record collection has recentely released a new CD, with his own band project. Indeed, this Canadian vocalist became one of the most in demand session singers in hardrock. Well, I´m sure you own at least one, of all the albums with "Freelance LaFrance" singing background vocals. Check out what he has to say about FIRST SHOT and the album "From The Hip".
Urban of AOR-E: Tell us a little bit about First Shot. It´s like a Canadian AOR
'dream-team' with Dave Pickell (Bryan Adams, BLVD), Peter Clarke (Straight
Lines, Body Electric), Doug Edwards (Skylark, Nick Gilder, BLVD) and
yourself. I guess you all go way back?
Yes, unfortunately we all go way back in time. I think between all of us we have performed on 100's of albums some bigger known artists such as Motley Crue, David Foster, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi etc. Everyone has had extremely successful and busy careers. I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and worked with former members of the Guess Who which were the first rock band to go number 1 world wide from Canada in the 60's and 70's. In 1970 the American Woman album out sold the Beatles and the Stones. Is that dating yourself or what. By the way the name of that band with ex Guess Who members was Crowcuss.
How would you describe 'From The Hip', to the readers out there. A wild mixture of AOR, Rock, Westcoast and Pop?
I think 'From The Hip' is a great mixture of that definitive 80's rock. A bit of Bryan Adams and Richard Marx definitely a westcoast sounding album.
The overall sound is very '80s. I guess that many of the songs were actually written back in the 'hair' days... right?
All the songs were written in the 80's. We all had great hair back then. Actually I feel fortunate because I still have a full head of hair although it is much shorter.
The reason I enjoy the album this much is the diversity of the song material. It must be nice to have songwriters/musicians such as Pickell & Edwards to lean on?
Yes, David has had several hits throughout the world and album cuts one of which was on a Robbie Robertson's from The Band's album and of course Doug Edwards continues to collect royalties from the great classic song he wrote "Wild Flower" in which I think over 200 people have covered such as Kenny Rogers. He recently received an award from BMI for over 1 Million Spins.
What would be your own favorite tracks from the album?
I really like "First Shot" despite the fact that the song was written in the eighties it still holds true lyrically with the recent tragic events in New York and for that matter in all the wars that are still happening in the World today." Lost Without Your Love" is a great ballad, "No Fun" and "Action" are pretty rockin' tracks and "Heartbreak Avenue" isn't too bad.
"Being With The One´s You Love" is indeed different from the other songs. Who or what inspired you to write it?
It´s actually pretty far from hardrock isn´t it? I wrote that with Mick DallaVee and Mike Sicoly, it was inspired by our families fortunately we all grew up in great close nit families and that is what the song is all about. I think Dave Pickell's piano track is out standing on that cut.
Who came up with the frontcover idea? (I blame Khalil :-) And what the heck does it stand for anyway? A modern day Cowboy fights all his duels behind the computer... or?
I think it is a great concept, I think it was Khalil's idea but if you check out the lyrics in First Shot it fits perfectly. The modern technology meets the western gun fighting days.
I wrote in the review of the CD. That 'Simplicity is often the same as pure brilliance'. Meaning that many of the tracks are 'simple' rock tunes. 3-4 chords and a catchy hook is all that takes. I´m not sure if you agree with me here? (Keep it simple = keep it catchy?)
Absolutely, let the song do the work. There is a tendency for people to over produce, I love simplicity.
Will there be another album in the future? Or was this is a 'once in a lifetime' project?
Yes, I think we will do another album between all of the writers we wrote a lot of songs and they are not doing any good collecting dust.
For the few out there, who haven´t heard about Marc LaFrance before. Please, do tell a bit about your own band history. It all started with Crowcuss or?
Oh God! Do you have a room for this in your article? I will keep it short. As I mentioned earlier I started my career in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada it is a prairie town in the center of Canada it is extremely cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The Winters are long so either you play hockey or find something else that may interest you. I did play hockey and was terrible at it. One day I came home from another lost game and there they were The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. For me it was a religious experience from that day forth music was for me.
I started out in little basement bands eventually ended up in one of Winnipeg's top cover bands: Musical Odyssey in the early seventies. At that time Winnipeg was really happening musically largely because of the Guess Who which were one of the top bands in the World. They would come out and check out the up and coming bands. They became fans of sorts so when the Guess Who broke up Bill Wallace and Greg Leskiw along with Larry Pink and Hermann Fruhm and I started Crowcuss. That was in 1976 we recorded two albums which did quite well in Canada and Guatemala of all places we had a # 1 hit there. We traveled the country for about four years. Then I moved to Vancouver in 1980. That is when the heavy session work started.
Yeah! You´ve been bg/guest vocalist on 'hundreds' of albums. With everything from Bon Jovi, Blue Murder, Scorpions, Motley Crue to Cher, Carly Simon etc. etc. How did it all start? And how did you become one of the most in demand sessions singers in hardrock?
I had done a lot of session work back in Winnipeg, I started working in studios almost immediately. Mostly on commercials so when I moved to Vancouver I went around to all the big production companies with the 2 Crowcuss albums and a demo reel of some jingles I had sung on. I got my first session a day later and never looked back. I worked a lot for a company called GGRP they owned Little Mountain Sound at the time I think, that is were I met Bob Rock, Bruce Fairbairn and Jim Vallance. Bryan Adams used to come out and see Crowcuss whenever we played in Vancouver before I moved there. Bryan and I sang on a lot of commercials together before he made it. Paul Dean (Loverboy) and I go back to the seventies when he was in a band called Scrubbaloe Caine and when I was in Crowcuss he came out to see us perform. Everything fell together so I would be in Little Mountain singing on a MacDonald's commercial one day and working with Motley Crue the next. It was a great time.
Which session work did you enjoy the most? Any fun story to tell?
I loved working on the album projects because you would get to be part of the creative process. I have a lot of great stories however I don't want to get anybody in trouble. We must sit down and have a beer some time and I will tell you some stuff off the record.
What about the rock scene in Canada today? Good, bad or worse? Heck, even Bryan Adams turned away from "real" rock. (some of the later albums)
I think it is pretty healthy in the last couple of years I started my own label and get to help work and license music for many different types of artists. I help get territory deals for many of the artists I represent such as Noise Therapy, Retrograde and Lee Aaron and deal with all genres of music. I have been responsible in some 150 deals in the last year which include territory licensing deals as well as placing music in Film, TV and Video games. I travel to Europe twice a year I do the MIDEM and Pop Komm conferences and find product from all over the world to license. There is some great music out there you just have to look for it. As far as Canada and BC go I think Nickleback which is from Vancouver is one of the top selling rock bands in the world right now. They are the first Canadian rock band since the Guess Who, 30 years ago to go number one in both Canada and the States at the same time. I think they are starting to take off in Europe as well. Rock is back.
Since all Canadians play Hockey :-) What´s your thoughts about the up coming Olympic Games hockey? You do know that we Swedes will kick your behinds :-) Seriously, do you know any Swedish players? Ever heard about the Toronto 'Meatballs' line-up??
Yes, as I mentioned earlier I played hockey but I really sucked. Don't count out Team Canada at the Olympic Games. I go to games when I get a chance, here in Vancouver we have DANIEL and HENRIK SEDIN twins playing with the Canucks. I go to Toronto now and then and catch games there, a friend of mine works for the Leafs so I get to go to the games in style so I have heard of the Meatballs lineup. (Urban - The 'Swedish Meatballs' lineup is of course, Toronto Captain: Mats Sundin, Mikael Renberg & Jonas Höglund)
What are your plans for the nearest future? Any session work or other projects? I guess you´re busy with your own label and the work as promoter in Canada?
Yes, I am very busy. I still do a bit of session work I also have a band that does mostly Corporate work. We will be doing a gig in Warsaw, Poland in June 2002. The label is doing very well I will be in Cannes, France this coming January for MIDEM 2002 you should attend it is a great conference. We have a lot of great up and coming artists.
If You have anything you´d like to say, add or promote. Please do !!!?
Of course you can check out our web site for info on our activities; http://www.sparkrecords.com/delinquent/
by: Urban "Wally" Wallström,