AXLAUSTADE – The Montreal band that played their first-ever show on the main stage at Osheaga

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AXLAUSTADE (Jean-François Sauvé)

Most bands play their first show in a basement bar but not Montreal instrumental three-piece AXLAUSTADE. Their first-ever live performance in front of an audience was on the main stage at this year’s Osheaga Get Together festival in front of thousands of people.

The same weekend saw the release of their debut self-titled album. With the album’s offerings intertwined into a journey of self-exploration, and losing yourself in the story, for the band itself — members Jonathan Dauphinais, Steve Dumas, and Francis Mineau — AXLAUSTADE are luminous mornings, and nights filled with jamming in dark spaces.

The striking force of AXLAUSTADE’s lead single “axl au stade” bore the fruit of a trio forged to propose a modern approach to grunge and instrumental music.

The music video is a lo-fi, mishmash of formulating images, nearly stepping out on top of one another, but escaping without recourse. WATCH BELOW:

Chatting with the band over Zoom they first explain the origins of the unusual band name.

At the beginning, it was like three separate words, but then Steve I think wrote it for an Instagram account or something and we said hey, it looks cool when it’s like in one word,” explains Jonathan.

Steve continues the story. “It’s part of rock n’ rock Montreal rock history. There was a big concert at the Olympic Stadium with Faith No More, Metallica and Guns n’ Roses and it’s the night that James Hatfield got burned by a pyrotechnic. So Metallica stopped the show. And after Guns n’ Roses wait for two or three hours to go on stage. So already people in the stadium were getting a bit crazy and then Axl and Guns n’ Roses just leave after like five songs. And after it was a big riot. I wasn’t there, we were like 12 years old.”

“It took a long time to come on stage cause they had to like tear down all the stage for Metallica and all the crew, the Guns n’ Roses crew was still at the hotel because the show was supposed to be like two hours with Metallica. So, they were waiting at the hotel. So by the time that Guns n’ Roses’ crew guys come into the stadium, they had to set everything up. It was a total mess.”

So how did a brand new band get to play their first-ever show at Osheaga? Jonathan explains.

“I mean, we have all like other careers before we joined that band. So I think it was more a stamp of approval. Like, what you did in the past was good enough. I’m sure you’re going to put on a good show and it’s going to be great. And Steve talked with Nick Farkas. And there’s some sort of like like seven people who approve who’s gonna play and Steve talked with Nick and he said, everybody was like, we need to get that band. I think everybody was everybody agreed with that. So we felt like, oh my God, it’s so cool that our first show is going to be at Osheaga. And it was a good adrenaline rush for us just to say, okay, so we need to make it happen. We need videos and a concept for this show. We need to get ready. So it was, it was very cool.”

On stage at Osheaga Get Together 2021 (Photo: Steve Gerrard)

In March 2020 AXLAUSTADE were all set to fly to Chicago to record with legendary music producer Steve Albini. But the universe had other plans and COVID-19 arrived at exactly the wrong time. In the interview below you can hear the three bandmates chat about Albini, how the album eventually came together and their process of creating a storyline for their music. It’s like the soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist yet.

Watch the full interview below:

Check out their latest single, oui no na below:

Interview by Steve Gerrard

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