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- Posted on Dec 30th 2009 2:00PM by Drew Berner
Montreal composer and performer DJ Champion, born Maxime Morin, did just that with his sophomore album, erasing the entire project before starting from scratch to create 'Resistance.' The decision should have been excruciating, effectively flushing months of work down the drain, but Morin felt the choice was simple.
"The composer in me was quite happy with what I had, but the DJ in me just listened the the songs and I wouldn't buy it as a DJ, I wouldn't play those songs as a DJ. So it was obvious that I couldn't go on with that kind of music, with those songs,' Morin tells Spinner. "Some people told me it was courageous and it takes balls -- well, no it doesn't! I didn't like [the songs]! It's more about pride than courage.
"If it would have been a year after 'Chill'em All' I would have [kept the original songs], but four years after 'Chill'em All' -- I couldn't do it," Morin says. "I had to evolve and challenge myself and go somewhere else. I realized that I had to resist the easy way -- that's the 'Resistance.'"
The process was anything but easy after wiping the slate clean. Morin spent a lot of time and effort making composing more difficult for himself by imposing challenges that would force him out of his comfort zone.
"One of them was to use the ugliest guitar tone I could find or the one that I hate the most and try to do something nice with it," Morin recalls. "Sometimes it's too easy to play with the tones you like and the beats you like. You have to put yourself at risk, even in a bad situation...that was the exercise, to focus on what good you can make out of it."
He admits he also struggled with anxiety and 'unconfidence' over losing touch with the music scene that earned him a strong following and a hit single in 'No Heaven.' To keep those feelings at bay, Morin drenched his music in dark, heavy sounds that verge on heavy metal at times -- a far cry from the party-hearty electro-rock of his debut, 'Chill'em All.'
"[Using dark sounds is] like putting a black leather jacket on -- you feel tougher," Morin reveals. "I try to avoid it because I think it's not the way to go all the time...but at one point [during the recording] I just decided, 'OK, that's my mindset, let's just try it this way. If you don't like it in a year or two, work on yourself and don't let that happen again.'"