The Great Russian Empire – Low Ends (2017)
For fans of Faith No More, Interpol, Joy Division, Russian Circles, Cop Shoot Cop
Release Date: September 8, 2017
“Speaking about unusual music, here is The Great Russian Empire and their astounding debut EP….Although they are genre-bending, constantly jumping from one style to another, the dark rock foundation always stands. Type O Negative meets Nick Cave meets Ween meets Joy Division, something like. Something pretty damn contagious too, I can guarantee you that.” – Merchants of Air
“Who needs a guitar!? A haunting & emotive listen, the EP is more than just dark & throbbing bass. It’s layered with gorgeous vocals & symphonic string instruments, sharing much with the 90’s alternative style of rock (Type O Negative, Faith No More). The Great Russian Empire have managed to craft an exciting & unique piece of work that is far more than just a bunch of throwaway songs.” – Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life
“TGRE has their own distinct sound, which 9 of 10 bands fail to discover or create. This band not only makes the double bass attack work, but makes it their own. Well done.” – Gears of Rock
“Canadian rockers THE GREAT RUSSIAN EMPIRE have eschewed the guitar option and gone for two basses instead. It really shouldn’t work but in a bass loving bass clandestine amalgamation it does, and some – By Guy Shankland. The surprise is just how damn good and dark it sounds. ‘The Low Ends’ E.P oozes pure black current concentre head tilting Rock ‘N’ Dark.” – Original Rock
“Now, to be honest with you, I can’t quite get my head around this band! … How is it they can do what they do AND make it work – with impact! … And so superbly as well!” – Way Out Radio
Release Date: September 8, 2017
1. Full of Blood (6:19)
2. The Hands That Bring The Road Kill To The Side (3:49)
3. If Tomorrow Ever Comes (Cop Shoot Cop cover) (6:03)
4. Blood Everywhere (3:52)
5. Pig’s Blood (3:56)
6. The Fence (4:15)
EP Length: 28:19
– All songs written by B. Forté, except The Fence written by B. Forté and M. Colozzo, and If Tomorrow Ever Comes written by Tod A.
– Mixed and produced by B. Forté and David Méliès.
– Member of SOCAN
– Canadian Content – MAPL
EP Band and Live Line UP:
Benoît Forté – Bass
Nicolas Miquelon – Bass
Mathieu Lassonde – Drums
Additional guest musicians:
Jason Mateus – Vocals
Sara Jasmin – Violon
Julien Thibault – Cello
2017 – Low Ends (EP)
2014 – Pig’s Blood (single)
“Revolution brought us bass guitar. Bass guitar brought us The Great Russian Empire.”
The Great Russian Empire (TGRE) is a dark rock collective from Montreal QC, born of a desire to create music in an environment where guitars don’t exist. This project features a double-bass approach from bassist Benoît Forté (The Lonely Sidewalkers/Coco Méliès/ex-Fallstaf/ex-North East Bistro) and bassist Nicolas Miquelon (Norilsk/Mortör/ex-Kintra).
The project is bred by the 1980’s new wave and early 1990’s alternative genre, by way of modern folk and various rock influences. Its bass orientation carries something different at its core, although familiar in its construction and arrangements. Far from referencing a pastiche, The Great Russian Empire’s name is a wink to the collective and eclectic nature of this musical venture.
TGRE released a first single, “Pig’s Blood” in 2014, to showcase the new entity’s persona. After revisiting the song’s arrangements, writing more material, and adding a few soldiers to its ranks (either permanent or session musicians), the collective re-entered the studio to assemble “Low Ends”. Dark in content, the EP’s lyrics are crafted around tragic personal events, and layered with vocals, violin and cello.
“Low Ends” is due out September 8, 2017 and will be available in digital format via Bandcamp along with the CD version presented in a gatefold digi-sleeve.
More About LOW ENDS explained by the band.
In fact, LOW ENDS wasn’t originally supposed to be recorded, well not for our first release. We (Ben Forte and Nic Miquelon) had worked on 6-7 instrumental songs that were supposed to see the day of light on this recording. Let say we were done about 75% and there was still a lot of work to be done and we didn’t feel that we were ready to lay everything down in studio. So… I (Ben Forte) had these other songs almost all done, with lyrics and a good vision of the arrangements. I felt going instrumental right after my other past projects FALLSTAF and NORTH EAST BISTRO would leave me hanging with things not said. So I asked my friend Jason from DIRTCAKE if he could sing on the recordings and he agreed the second I asked and he did an amazing job. I also felt the tracks were a little empty with a few basses and a drum kit so I added strings to support the songs and brought in a cello and a violin. David Méliès recorded almost everything and produced the whole project. Took almost 5 five years to complete this EP and looking back, these first songs we wrote are great because of the literal Low Ends.
Track By Track explained by TGRE…
1. Full of Blood
Religions, wars, races, why can’t we all get along? What is the REAL problem? Slow evolution, really slow evolution of man…
2. The Hands That Bring The Road Kill To The Side
I always wondered how the dead animals were gently put on the shoulder of the road. Stupid question I know. I first thought it was by the hands of God, but we all know it isn’t. But sometimes it eases the mind avoiding existential questioning! Another song about life and death and what’s in-between.
3. If Tomorrow Ever Comes (COP SHOOT COP cover)
I knew Tod A. from CSC wrote all the songs so I got in touch with him about 2 years ago. He gave me his blessing on recording our version of IF TOMORROW EVER BECOMES. TGRE was born the first I heard CSC, about 25 years ago. Just didn’t know it yet at the time.
4. Blood Everywhere
This is the heaviest song on the EP. The lyrics are related to the saturated media of the Dr. Guy Turcotte case, where he killed his two children. It was everywhere, it almost drove me crazy one night going to bed. The only way I could free myself of the whole thing was putting lyrics to paper.
5. Pig’s Blood
Cancer. I (Ben Forte) lost a lot of people because of cancer. Friends, family… Through testimony, I tried to write a song about relief when it’s time to go. Pig’s blood is a French expression meaning “to worry a lot”.
6. The Fence (Fallstaf cover)
I (Ben Forte) always loved the first bass line I did on Fallstaf’s “The Hitman Plays The Trombone” EP, but I wanted to change it for this cover on this EP and hit more low stuff. So I asked Nic to lay a bass riff to replace the guitar, with Jason doing vocals similar to the original and we kept the drums all the same.