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A Conversation With Endrick Tremblay of Endrick and the Sandwiches


By Ken Wallis.



Endrick and the Sandwiches know how to rock the blues. Hailing out of Quebec, this group honours the blues greats of yesteryears, but inject their own flavour of blues into their music. Interviewing Endrick, you get the sense that he’s a fun-loving guy that enjoys his music and performing.


Ken Wallis interviewed Endrick for his radio show, Blues Source Canada. Excerpts from the interview follow.




Ken Wallis

Endrick and the Sandwiches have got a brand-new album out. It’s called Green Room Rumble and joining us is Endrick Tremblay. Thanks for coming on the show. It's great to see you.


Endrick Tremblay

Good to see you too. Pleased to talk to you today.


Ken Wallis

I've got to ask the obvious question. You probably get this question all the time. Where did the term Sandwiches come from?


Endrick Tremblay

A lot of people are like, are you serious…you call your band Endrick and the Sandwiches? But, you know, I think part of it is a joke because I want to approach this music in a really humble way. Because I think being a white guy born in Canada, I think I gotta keep in mind that we're paying tribute to someone else's culture and that we got to be humble about that. And we know who the kings and the godfathers and the queens of this style are. We just want to humbly celebrate them. Also, I think I wanted to have that name, too. I think part of it is because I'm working in construction. I feel like the sandwiches is kind of a symbol of working class, in a way, because like the music we do is that most of us have a day job. Then we meet at the weekend and we play some blues, maybe it's not the most complex music, but it's something we can all join in and have a good time with. So, I thought it was a good fit for what we are.



Ken Wallis

One of the phrases I really like it, it's on your Facebook page, you're a bunch of white kids trying in vain to emulate the sound of Hooker and Muddy’s boogie and blues. And you guys are certainly saluting the Masters, there's a lot of great tunes on this album.


Endrick Tremblay

Yeah, I think it's funny, we didn't have the intention to come out with a cover album because most of the songs are covers. But we just recorded a bunch of shows and we chose the songs that are the best in our opinion in our shows. It's fun to revisit classics like that and make sure that the next generation will know about them and also know where Rock 'n' Roll comes from. And make sure that these guys and girls maybe didn't have the royalties they deserved for the impact they had on music. But at least if we can remember their name and their catalog, and approach them as songwriters too because in the blues scene, we kind of tend to pay attention to mostly the player aspect of the person instead of taking the attention on the singer songwriter aspect. When I consider artists that made it through the years and survived as being relevant in blues history…they had a lot of character and a really special personality, and they were able to put it in their songs. And yeah, so we wanted to celebrate that.


Ken Wallis

So…Hooker and Muddy were your heroes when you first started getting into the business?


Endrick Tremblay

Yeah yeah for sure. I got to say, personally, John Lee Hooker is probably my favourite because I like the boogie woogie aspect of it…it's a different approach to music, I feel like he's a Pablo Picasso in a way, he's not trying to, he's not necessarily approaching his art as with a rational point of perspective, it's more of a feel and it's less of expression. It's hard for me to get the word across, because obviously, my first language is French, but I feel like it's, even if he's from another era, another culture another time. And he speaks another language. It's just obvious what he's trying to express.


Ken Wallis

And I think you're capturing that very well on this album. Where did the term Green Room Rumble come from?


Endrick Tremblay

I wanted to give the album a name that was something else rather than just Endrick and the Sandwiches Live. I had this thought about this moment where each time we put on a show at this classic blues bar in Montreal called Bistro A Jojo, the band…they always laugh about it… But I asked the band to start the show. And then I'll be waiting in the green room. And then they'll get the crowd warmed up a little bit, and I’ll join them. And it's this really, really teeny green room. And before when we all hang in there, and have a little shot in there, and it's like the perspective that we have of enjoying this evening. So I wanted to give it the name because I remember, I recall the sound of the band that I could hear from being in the green room while they started to play. So that was the idea.


Ken Wallis

When I think of the of the term rumble referring to music. It's fun going on. That's exactly what comes off in the album with you guys in the live recordings. And I also understand you actually hosted a radio show.


Endrick Tremblay

Yeah, I did a long time ago when I was in university. I was studying psychology and I would have the Thursday evening on the radio show in Sherbrooke and it's a small town where there's a lot of mountains and because of that it’s like a small universe. University radio station gets a lot of audience because that's the only one of the rare things that people can get from their car. And it was fun, because it's really the time where I dove into the deepness of the myths and the stories of the blues because I wanted to find new stuff every week for the people. And also, it was a time for me to…as you probably noticed on the album, and just by chatting with me, I'm someone who's really excited about things, and I speak fast and all and I'm sure you know what I’m talking about Ken. When you host the radio show, and you play the song, it obliges you to really take the time to listen to it, and there's something really magical because you want people to listen to it, there's something magic that you want to share with them. And you pay attention to the rhythm…to the vibe and there's something…it just fits with the vibe of the blues, you have to take the time because it's the music of another time. In these days, people were taking the time and good music is not something that you'll get the subtleties of like in a second. It takes a little while and that's what the radio show sure gave me.


Ken Wallis

I sure like that term you use “you share the music, when you're on the radio”. That's what we’re doing. It's the love of the music that you just can't wait to share with other people. That's why I enjoy talking to people like you and playing new albums out there. Basically, that's all I ever do on my show…I’m playing new stuff. I'd love to go back and play Muddy and all the rest but there's so many great Canadian releases coming out that I just keep pouring them out there. And hopefully, the audience is listening. You grew up in Mont Tremblant if I if I'm correct.


Endrick Tremblay

Yes, I did. And that's how I fell into blues because there's a huge Blues Festival there. They really are like the best…I love it. And that's where I understood that blues was something… as you're just saying that the blues is a style of music that is exciting and organic. And it's like a bar kind of music. But also, that there's new artists that are interesting. And honestly, like that's the thing I miss the most, is being in these festivals and meeting artists and discovering new ways of approaching this style of music. I think the blues is, in a way, it's kind of like we're all playing the same songs but trying to make it our own. And I feel like people are, Oh, this is the same song again and again. But when you listen to a good blues artist, it's not the same thing because blues artists put this uniqueness in the music.


Ken Wallis

Well I really enjoy listening to the emerging new artists and young guys like you that are coming up. I've been to the Blues FestivaI at Mont Tremblant four or five years in a row and Brian Slack just puts on one heck of a festival there and it's just marvellous. Tell us who's on the album with you who plays in your group.


Endrick Tremblay

A lot of people on this album. Let me start with the rhythm sections that are always there with me. There's Greg McEvoy who's on the guitar. He's just my best friend. He's from Toronto, and we met on tour and then he moved to Montreal and we decided that we should play music together because we found like a partner. In my generation a lot of people are getting into the blues, most of them… they like to solo a lot but we kind of see it more as part of music and try to play for the crowd instead of just showing off our chops on guitar. That's not what our godfathers taught us. And yeah, Greg totally gets that. So, he's my best partner on that. And then we get Simon Éthier on the bass. Mandela Coupal on the drums. We also have Elyze Venne-Deshaies on the saxophone. She's been there with us since the start. And then we have three girl vocalists that add backgrounds… they had this rock band called Wild Mercury and they just do crazy harmonies and I was like, you should just join us. I feel like it's fun when you have a big band like that, we're an eight piece band. It helps to focus on the song and make it exciting. And putting on a show instead of just focusing on like being a, like a power trio and everyone's Doing like big chops on their guitar or drums and I don't. There's a bunch of ways of thinking, but what I do enjoy is not solos after solos after solos. I like when it's a singer songwriter thing. And it's, it's a party.


Ken Wallis

That's great. Again, the album is Green Room Rumble. It’s Endrick and the Sandwiches. Where can folks get a hold of the album?


Endrick Tremblay

You can get a hold of the album simply by looking at our bandcamp. So, it's just endrickandthesandwiches.bandcamp.com. Then you can also find us on the internet, all the different platforms, and I hope sooner than later, you'll be able to get a CD in person while attending one of our shows. I'm crossing my fingers that it can come back as soon as possible, but, in time.


Ken Wallis

Well, let's just hope it's the spring for sure. And hopefully it's in Mont Tremblant because I'll be there …you can count on that.


Endrick Tremblay

Well we will have to share a beer then.


Ken Wallis

Endrick thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. It's a great album, and it's been great chatting with you.


Endrick Tremblay

Thanks. You have a good evening. Bye, everybody.


Facebook: www.facebook.com/endrickandthesandwiches

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