In the musician’s music scene, the names Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin may sound familiar, as they’ve been backup singers and studio musicians for ages. For the rest of us, we know these ladies, recently, as Milk and Bone.
With their first album, Little Mourning, coming out as early as March, they may be staples to the music freaks holed up in studios and touring rural Quebec, but luckily for the rest of us, they’ve finally broken out solo and what they’re offering is nothing short of wild.
I had the opportunity to talk to Camille right after Milk and Bone’s mad stint to massive American music festival South by Southwest, and this is what happened:
Bandmark: How was SXSW? What’s it like for you guys playing these big festivals?
Camille: It was definitely the first [big festival] for us, considering we released our album last week, so it was so good having the music community’s support, to take us over there. It was a really big deal for us, and fun too.
BM: What made it so fun?
Camille: Oh, you know, it was 20 degrees! That didn’t hurt. And being around a bunch of musicians and seeing friends we rarely see. We all kind of meet up there. It was also great having a new audience.
BM: What was your first reaction when you found out you were on the Osheaga lineup?
Camille: We freaked out, for sure! I used to work for Evenko, so I used to prepare the lists and have to do that, so this year I’m actually playing. You know, being from here, we’ve always looked up to the people [involved] and it’s just a great honor.
BM: What do you love most about being from the Montreal music scene?
Camille: I don’t know, because I don’t know any other scene. It’s where I started and where I’m still at. But the community here is so close-knit. We always talk and see people around, we’re all friends. There’s no competition, and everyone is always happy for each other, so that is very precious.
BM: Where did you draw inspiration from on Little Mourning? What were the main things that compelled you to make this album?
Camille: All the songs were written on a keyboard and a ukele, and then we went into the studio and arranged and produced the tracks the way we wanted them to sound.
What inspired us was we were listening to a lot of Songza; we have a lot of playlists so there was a lot of inspiration there. It helped us set a sort of a mood.
BM: What sort of mood would you say that was?
Camille: Gloomy and dark and rainy. But a little bit of sun in there as well. Because you can’t make an album that’s all dark; that’d be depressing!
BM: What’s the toughest part about being a musician?
Camille: It’s really different , depending on where you’re at.
I just picture myself a year ago. I was still a musician, but I was playing with other bands as a backup singer and the tough parts then weren’t the same as now. I used to feel like I hadn’t enough shows and couldn’t do anything about it.
Now, [the tough parts are] staying on top of things and knowing what’s happening all the time. We have an amazing team, but we still need to know what’s happening. You know, we’re booking as many shows as we can, but still needing to focus on music…it’s really hard to let go and trust people around you.
BM: How about the most gratifying part?
Camille: Well, we are still living through that every day! Our album came out last week and suddenly we’re on billboards in the metro!
It is so fun because we’re such good friends. Everything is such a gift: the album was a gift to ourselves, and now that people are listening to it, and writing about it and liking it and telling us which songs they like and why, it really means that people took the time to really listen and let us know they liked our songs, and that’s beautiful.
BM: What are you most looking forward to about Osheaga?
Camille: Just playing! And having a wristband for the whole weekend!
It’s an honor, just to know were going to be in the Artist Lounge with Kendrick Lamar, haha!
BM: Who else are you excited to see?
Camille: Like everyone! Florence and the Machine, Patrick Watson, Caribou…Oh, and Christina and The Queens!
We’re opening for Christina and the Queens in New York, so I hope by the time Osheaga comes, we’ll be good buddies!
BM: How about your origins? How did Milk and Bone form? How did you guys get established in Montreal?
Camille: We were both studio musicians for other bands and met in school studying music. We were hired to play on the same show together, and that’s how we became a lot closer. We happened to be doing a lot of road trips together, and at some point we were hired as studio musicians, as lead singers. That had never happened to us before; we’d always been backup singers.
But from then on, we played together and brought in the songs we were both working on.
All of our friends are musicians, so we had great support from them. Everyone we work with has been really understanding.
BM: Besides Osheaga, do you have any other big things in the near future?
Camille: We are pretty much focusing on our Christina and the Queens show in April, because we love her so much!
And Osheaga is the biggest event of year for us. Until we come back and play next year!
And I think we’re going back to Europe to develop our market over there. But pretty much focusing on summer!