Guidestones are a Montreal band which features twin brothers Ryan (vocals/guitar) & Zander Boudreau (drums), Gabrielle La Rue (vocals/guitar) and Dizzy Velvet (bass).
Montreal Rocks spoke with Zander, Gabrielle and Dizzy, whom they called “the band psychologist” and eventually Ryan in the background.
It has been a crazy ride since the Pandemic, and Dizzy was there to soothe the spirits of his bandmates.
When such an event happens, you can either react or respond. A reaction is usually done on impulse, which will often not give the best results. The band chose to respond, taking a more thoughtful approach that would lead to the results they wanted.
It was an opportunity to focus on the business side of the band.
“It’s more time, more stress, a lot of work, but it’s the kind of job you like doing…coming home at 11 at night: Oh, I have 4 hours to work on the video clip. You do it with a smile on your face because you know you will be proud of your results.” (Dizzy)
“Being in a band is basically accepting that you are an entrepreneur.” (Zander)
Taking a DIY approach, the band started taking control of all aspects of the business, which included shooting the videos themselves.
The major benefit was that the results were true to their vision, something that outsiders just can’t see clearly sometimes.
New Album – Keeps Me Up
The new album is an introspective look at the lives of the band, wrapped up in a catchy candy coated rock vibe.
“We killed ourselves putting it together.” (Zander)
The album Keeps Me Up replaces the DeLorean with a convertible Camaro, as their songs spill out of the speakers, nudging themselves between Brian Adams and Bon Jovi on mid-80s Rock FM.
For those in Montreal, think CHOM FM.
“That means we nailed what we were going for…the golden era of radio Rock music” shares Zander.
The album was mixed by Dave Traina, of The Damn Truth.
The album is meant to be heard as a whole, and is not just a collection of singles. With only one song, “you are not getting the full scope of our band. It’s impossible to capture what we are doing.”, explains Zander.
The album launch is on November 3rd, 2021 @ Verre Bouteille – SOLD OUT. Follow them on Facebook for a possible 2nd show.
The first single was Ground Control.
The video was a 1-shot take off a phone from the back of a pickup with $400 of water balloons and paintballs.
To get the slow-motion effect, they played the song at 150%.
“We had to go!”, exclaims Gabrielle.
Everything had to line up, including Zander’s drum cymbal shield deflecting paint balls.
Ways of Old
One of the songs I personally enjoyed was Ways of Old.
“Ways of Old was a song that was on our first EP, that felt we didn’t capture it to its full potential.” (Zander)
With a few little changes, it can now be enjoyed in the way it was meant to be heard.
Hang Tight was a last-minute addition to the album, because of all the extra COVID writting time.
“It felt like it was the song that would wrap it up.” (Gabrielle)
It was also the song that sparked a desire for them to learn the ropes of self-recording.
The band sent the raw tracks to Dave Traina who put it together into a finished product.
“It’s really symbolic, the name of the single: Hang Tight. That’s essentially what we’ve been doing this whole time.” (Zander)
Band Name Meaning
Zander has hardcore adventure loving friends who would do treks deep into the woods.
“In the trails that are really off the beaten path, other hikers leave markers to signal where you are and that you are going the right way. They are called guide stones. For us, these songs are guide stones to our lives. It’s points in time of our lives, like a marker or a tattoo. It’s like a map, of us.” (Zander)
Zander admits that he was a little inspired by the Georgia Guidestones.
In 1980, the Georgia Guidestones were erected with 10 guidelines for a better word.
This enigmatic structure, referred to as “American Stonehenge”, features instructions like:
- Balance personal rights with social duties
- Unite humanity with a living new language
- Leave room for nature
These are written in 8 modern, and 4 ancient languages.
When asked to contribute one instruction for a better world, all three agreed that “leave room for nature” was the one they identified with the most.
Respect is the topic Dizzy also identified with, a superpower that allows him to speak with Zander on differing opinions, yet respect each other’s opinions.
“It not an argument. It’s to make someone grown and show them something that maybe they didn’t see. For me, this is the core of the band.” (Dizzy)
<<At this point in the discussion, Gab reaches to the sky, and returns with what the band called a “Jesus beer”…a miracle on MontrealRocks!>>
Even if the members come from a different place, and arguments come along, they are all reaching to a central core sound with respect, wanting the best for each other.
I’m surprised to see the band not sporting some cool hats.
“We do love hats.” (Gabrielle)
Hats are Zander’s side gig with East Crown Hat Co whom many other artists such as Dave Traina will wear while performing.
Bespoke hats are common during a Guidestones gig, and you might just drool at all the hip creations on the site…I know I am.
“Everyone in the band, pardon the pun, wears different hats” Zander comments, bringing the discussion back to the many facets of running an entrepreneurial band.
A Guidestone show is always a good time, but there was one show at Turbo Haus in particular that, to me, was the best idea ever. It ended being their last show before the Pandemic.
You know when at the end of a good show…after the encore…you just want a little more.
Les Shirley, friends of the band, played a gig with Guidestones. Each did a great set, but they returned for a final set as a supergroup which I called: LesGuideShirleyStones.
A mash up of both bands sang a few covers, and it felt like a giant party where everyone was invited.
“That’s something we do all the time with Les Shirley and others.” (Gabrielle)
According to Zander, it was replicating what they already do a few times a month in their jam space. “It made it more intimate, a family vibe.”
As Dizzy explains, “let’s have a party together. It’s just 3 songs and that’s it.”
It’s enough…leave them wanting more. A perfect way to end a show.
Fantasy Rock Band
When asked to create the ultimate rock band, whose answers reveal their main inspirations, their answers were:
Singer: Stevie Nicks or Hayley Williams from Gabrielle, while Dizzy suggested Courtney Barnett. The consensus fell on Hayley.
Guitar: Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) chosen by Ryan who is now off-screen. “Absolute legend.” Ryan recommends a hidden gem album by Vince Neil with Steve Stevens: Exposed.
BONUS: Watch the full interview to learn what toy was used on Rebel Yell to make that guitar sound…which Zander owns a limited edition signed version.
Bass: Thundercat, obviously chosen by Dizzy, who respects how he can work with Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller & Kendrick Lamar. “Epic bass player.”
Keys: David Bryan (Bon Jovi) chosen by Zander.
Drums: Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne) chosen by Zander. “He was one of my biggest influences.” Tied was another Ozzy drummer who also drummed for Whitesnake: Tommy Aldridge.
Connect with Guidestones:
Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their day jobs with out-of-the-box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives. He created the Rock Star Today MasterMind Experience for musicians. Randal also is a collector of signed vinyl.Share this :