Death To The Sainte-Catherines (1999-2012)

Tonight, I was gonna get back home after a really nice time and write up an article about 2 Montreal modern-legends who formed the most sarcastic band together: King Khan and Bloodshot Bill as the Tandoori Knights. Well, that’s not happening tonight.

A few days ago, Montreal punk band The Sainte-Catherines announced they were disbanding. Only, not just yet. After the new year, they’ll be playing 5 more shows to say their proper farewell.

The Sainte-Catherines mean a lot to me. A lot of firsts.

This band represents the first time in my life that I’ve made (dare I say) friends with some members of a band that I previously really looked up to and was a fan of.

Hugo Mudie, the singer, has always been there to have a drink with me and talk about music, life, whiskey, whatever.

Rich Bouthillier, though not the band’s first drummer, got so drunk one night after some Jameson shooters I got him that he had to miss work. He also came to my band’s show when we opened for Frank Turner, and talked to me about it 2 weeks later when Tim Barry was playing. He also reminded me that my friend Alex and I probably got him one drink too many. But I digress…

Marc-Andre Beaudet. He mixed our first album. What more can I say.

I don’t know how to explain this, because I didn’t know these guys until I read about them and saw their shows. They are an integral part of the Montreal music scene, and it feels like a part of it has now died.

I remember when I was 18 or 19, listening to their song, Ring Of Fire = 4 Points off the album Dancing For Decadence, right after being broken up with, and feeling like no one could verbalize what I was feeling more than this band. This band from my hometown who toured the world and didn’t care about the money and just talked about what was honest and never took themselves too seriously as to have an ego about them…They were just normal guys.

I could relate. And it seemed that as a fan, they could relate to me too.

Yeah, I remember the relationship ending and hearing these words:

“I saw your face, there was a place where I finally found where I feel safe. I spent time in fucking bars when I should be in your trustful arms”

This is the time for me to stop worrying about shit I can’t control. People are dumb and my heart is numb, but I can still see what’s beautiful”
I’ll never forget relating to a song or a lyric this much.
After a while (and I’m sorry to make this self-centered, but I can’t help it), I really started to see these guys (mostly Hugo and Rich) on a more regular basis, at shows. I wrote the damn review of their last album, Fire Works, on, for christ’s sake.
The Sainte-Catherines were a band that never compromised, because they never had a choice to do so. Their music was never accessible enough to be mass-marketed. Every album is different, and every album is on a different label. It was never about the money, the ego, the fame, or whatever. It was about doing what you like, even if you don’t make a living out of it. Something I can completely relate to.
They’ve been doing it for 12 years – and they’ve pretty much done it all. Any member present or past of the band can probably write a pretty damn interesting autobiography based on their experiences.
Still, to the rest of us… We’ve lost something.
The Sainte-Catherines’ breakup, honestly to me… it may be honest, but it sucks.
For a band to admit that they had to call it quits for 100 reasons because, for instance it was bringing more negative to their lives than positive, and that they didn’t want to keep on just to become that old and tired cliched rock band…well, that’s more explanation than any band usually gives. I mean, there’s no citing ”creative differences” here. The explanation’s as honest as their music.
But to me, a fan, well, it represents a part of my life that now is over.
The basement surprise shows at L’Esco are no more.
Seeing the band just hang out at Katacombes after a set and having some shooters: shit, it feels like CBGB all over again.
It maybe just musically, but a generation has just died here.
I’m going to miss it.
Their farewell shows….well, I don’t really know.
Nothing good can come out of them. Sure, the band will get to play their songs a few last times. But I think I know this band, and I know I’ll see tears coming out of em because while they play these songs, they’ll know how special this all is -not just to them, but to the fans, and what they mean to the Montreal scene.
And as fans, we’ll just be watching it fade away – hoping to not feel so dramatic as one of the most amazing punk bands we’ve known shred it all out one last time.
I’m just hoping that, as The Sainte-Catherines’ country-fied side-project Yesterday’s Ring wrote:
 Punx Not Dead…It’s Just Sleeping.

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