Malajube Talk Polaris Prize, Canada's Francophone Scene and 'La Caverne'
Long before Karkwa assumed the spotlight as the Polaris Music Prize's favourite Francophone band, fellow Montreal indie rockers Malajube were racking up their own Polaris nominations. Shortlisted in both 2006 and 2009, Malajube was the first Francophone band to be recognized by the Polaris Prize, but the band believes their chances of a third nomination for their new record, 'La Caverne,' are slim.
"We should have won!" bassist Mathieu Cournoyer tells Spinner. "I don't think a third nomination is going to happen, but you never know."
Nominations aside, Cournoyer does note that Karkwa's Polaris win last year (not to mention their Juno score in March with 'Les Chemins de Verre' nabbing Francophone Album of the Year) will help the Francophone scene, encouraging more artists to sing in their native tongue.
"Before if we wanted to be noticed outside of Quebec, we would have to sing in English," says Cournoyer. "That's the only way to do it. But now, more Francophone bands are singing in French and saying, 'We can still get out of Quebec, and people out there won't mind.' But, at the same time, we won't sell millions of records."
Cournoyer says he would never abandon his first language just to sell millions of records, noting it "didn't feel natural" singing in English when Malajube first started out in 2004.
"Some bands can do it, like Phoenix, and it's fine," he says. "But with some bands, you can hear their accents when they sing in English and I just find it so lame."
Malajube's confidence has propelled them to success so far, with the aforementioned Polaris nominations for 2006's