On the road with Claudia Bouvette and Julie St-Pierre

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Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:00:00] Hi everyone, my name is Anne-Elisabeth Bossé and welcome to the volunteer podcast: It happens to everyone. Because Beneva is such a great place to be, we've put our network of contacts to work to create memorable encounters. Each episode, I have a guest to talk about what's happening in their life.

Traveling when you're young, it's not always easy, it can be challenging, but it can also be formative. But touring when you're young, being on the road all the time, how does that work? Is it always fun? To talk about it, I have Claudia Bouvette who participated in her first tour at the age of 15 with Mixmania 2, and I have Julie St-Pierre who participated in her first tour at the age of 16 with Mixmania 1. Let's go!


Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Here we go! Claudia, I'm so happy to have you on the podcast, it's really an honor! I admire you so much! I'm so glad you're here!

Claudia: [00:00:54] Thank you! I'm glad to be here too.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:00:56] Mini recap. You participated in Mixmania 2 in 2011.

Claudia: Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: You were 15-16 years old I think?

Claudia: Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: After that, in 2019, you released Cool It, your micro-album.

Claudia: Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: 2022, Paradise Club that everyone knows, last spring. And who says album, necessarily says tour, right? Hmmm... the touring life.

Claudia: Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: But before talking to you about the Paradise Club tour, I'd like to take you back to your first, first, first tour, the one you did when you were 15. What's the first time that comes to you when I talk about that?

Claudia: [00:01:29] Uh, first thing, a Jean Légaré, so a tour van.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: 100%.

Claudia: After that, of course, I go see my friends from Mix. There were eight of us in the gang, four girls, four guys, going around Quebec in Jean Légaré.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:01:45] Then in the same van.

Claudia: [00:01:46] Same van. And I would tell you that my best memories, honestly, obviously, the shows. That was pretty crazy. You know, we were young, unprofessional people who learned to become professionals by snapping our fingers.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:02:02] Yes, yes, building the plane in mid-air a little bit. Yes, yes, at high speed.

Claudia: [00:02:06] Exactly. So, yes, let's admit it, the shows, the after-shows, you know, after each show, we had an autograph session, then photos, then almost the whole room was in line. So it was... Then often, we did extra shows in the same day, so it was two shows a day and two autograph sessions after. So it was intense. Really, really intense. But I would say that my strongest memories, for real, are the bus rides from city to city.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:02:35] Strong in what sense?

Claudia: [00:02:37] Well, in the sense that it was like the time when we were all together, and then we shared some of that intimacy of, even if it was just playing games or just talking or falling asleep on our best friend's shoulder or... Then we were with our nanny, Chantal as well, who was making the rounds with the rest of us, taking care of us.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:02:57] Yes, because in fact, it was just you guys who could understand what was going on, because you were all unprofessional, thrown in there. So you were kind of up against it, I guess. Who else can understand that reality, of being thrown in...

Claudia: [00:03:10] Then it's crazy, because it's really hard to describe how extreme an experience it was in every sense of the word. As much in the positive side as there are really negative facets that we experienced afterwards, you know, from having been propelled so quickly into the showbiz thing.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:03:33] Well, that's for sure. But let's say we stay with Jean Légaré, didn't you have a boyfriend? Were you in a relationship with one of the guys?

Claudia: [00:03:42] Oh yeah, me, Tommy Tremblay, Little Tom.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:03:44] Little Tom. Was that your first boyfriend?

Claudia: [00:03:46] That was my first one.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:03:47] It's so much intensity in the same... Then especially, the age.

Claudia: [00:03:51] You know, like when you're 16, you're experiencing your first of everything. You're in love for the first time in your life. You're tripping, but you're swooning over this guy. Then you're young, so you have no reference points. Then let's admit that you get out of the love side, just what you were living as a human being, it was really too much. And then, well, you embark there the kind of stardom and the kind of recognition of everybody all of a sudden, it was really intense. Then well, it was a relationship... You know, I can say that I was really in love with Tom, and I know that it was reciprocal, and it was... It was beautiful, but it was also crazy!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:04:33], But it's all very on the 220, there.

Claudia: [00:04:34] Ah, ouch, ouch! Yes, yes, yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:04:35] I imagine that it may have had its negative sides as well with... I mean, by dint of living in such close proximity, with such strong emotions...

Claudia: [00:04:44] I have a memory of Chantal driving the van and then playing music for us, tunes like "Tu ne m'aimes plus" or what was the...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:04:55] Mario Pelchat? You don't love me anymore, you asked for it, you wanted it, I don't love you anymore?

Claudia: [00:04:59] Is that it? Ah! I can't remember what the... but I remember that...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:05:01] You'd have to check, but yes, that could be it.

Claudia: [00:05:03] She would play break up tunes and then we would holler in the back seat.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:05:06] No, no, no!

Claudia: [00:05:07] Then we were tearing each other's hearts out and then we were in love, but we weren't able to love each other properly at that point.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:05:13] In plain sight. All of this there, in a group.

Claudia: [00:05:17] Yes. Right.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:05:18] My God. You mentioned it quickly, the contrast that it created when it stopped. I don't know if you're a scuba diver, but you know when you go super deep...

Claudia: No, not at all.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:05:27] Me neither, the worst, but it's a good image. You can't go back up that fast because your lungs can't take it. I kind of have that image when I think about Mixmania. You live something really, really intense, you are projected in the depths of it, then quickly you are asked to surface, as if nothing had happened, to go back to school with everyone. How did you live this clash, in good French?

Claudia: [00:05:48] Oh my! It was really... I think we didn't have any guidance for what it represented, for the magnitude of the situation. You see, from one day to the next, I was back at school. After two and a half months of living in a penthouse in Old Montreal, on the top floor, living the absolute dream. It was like everything I had dreamed of up to that point, learning to dance, sing, be in the spotlight.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:06:20] You were living the dream, dream, dream.

Claudia: [00:06:22] The real dream, you know. And I was really in my little sponge mode. I welcomed everything I experienced, and I was really in all my innocence

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:06:32] Total candor.

Claudia: [00:06:34] Right. Then when I came back to school... then by the way, I have to say parenthetically, I never got as good grades in school as I did when I was in the house.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:06:42] Huh, it's particular. Happiness brought...

Claudia: [00:06:44] I think I was so challenged in the right place and then finally I felt like I was understood and taken in the right way. It seems like the school system for me has always been difficult. I'm a bit of a rebel, I hated everything. I didn't want to be there, I wanted to do...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:07:01] You are an artist.

Claudia: [00:07:01] Right.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:07:02] I understand. You needed a different style of framing, then... OK.

Claudia: [00:07:06] Yeah, so when I came back to school, it was really drastic. Then there was no one to understand me first of all and I had no guidance. And on top of that, my gang of friends was a bit wack with me.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:07:22] Well, sure.

Claudia: [00:07:22] Not super fine. I have a gang of girl friends. I even had a teacher who took me aside in her office. She said, "I want to tell you, I heard your friends say some not so nice things about you while you were away. I'd rather tell you, just so you know. So you don't get the wool pulled over your eyes, and then just so you know. So I was like... then all of a sudden I was walking down the hallways and people were looking at me funny.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:07:49] You are 16 years old now.

Claudia: [00:07:51] Judging me, analyzing me.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:07:51] Aïe aïe aïe.

Claudia: [00:07:52] Then it wasn't big bullying in the first degree to put me in a box, but it was insidious. It was a lot of prejudice all of a sudden. And I was always a spontaneous kid. I wasn't afraid of ridicule, I did as I pleased, and that was really my personality, I was like that. Then, when I came back from Mix, I really shut down. I said to myself... Then I didn't want to do... I didn't want to disturb anymore.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:08:17] You wanted more spotlight on you.

Claudia: [00:08:19] No. Then all of a sudden, well there, I was made a snob.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:08:21] It was not a good way to live it. You came in as a winner, they would have been like "ah look at the big head". Then there, if you turn off, it's because you're a snob. No, but it's so much grief at the same time. The mourning of the life together, your first boyfriend, the mourning of the music a little bit everyday, being targeted for the right reasons, being targeted for the wrong reasons. It's a lot of adaptation.

Claudia: [00:08:38] No guidance, no one to help me understand what's going on, to help me calm down. It was a really... it was a really strange time in my life, and then it took me a while to get over that. Because I didn't really understand how to take care of myself. And even socially afterwards, there was some backlash, you know.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:08:56], But obviously, you found your way back to that because you sing. Then, how did you manage to rebuild yourself after that?

Claudia: [00:09:05] Well, afterwards, I had to make choices. You know, I did my secondary 5. After that, I remember that I had a buffer period where I didn't know what to do. You see, I knew that I wanted to make music in my life, that was clear. That was the only thing that was crystal clear, but I didn't know how to go about it. Then it was time to choose a program, which college I wanted to go to. Then I remember saying to myself "I should go into music, but I'm really afraid of being put in a straitjacket that is not..." I was afraid to fit into some kind of mold that wasn't my choice. So I did a CEGEP session in reception and integration because I thought I was smug. I was like "I don't give up school, I'm good".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:09:50] Yes, yes, I'm still in the circuit, then yes.

Claudia: [00:09:52], But at that time, I had my first audition for a TV role, and then I dropped out. So I had a choice to make. It was either make 30 lives and then move to Montreal.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:10:01] You've done 30 lives?

Claudia: [00:10:02] Yes, I did 30 lives. Well, Karine Vanasse.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:10:03] Ah, I was gone because I was doing Karine Pagé with Marina Orsini. We didn't run into each other.

Claudia: [00:10:09] OK! Were you here before?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Yes. I did the first two editions. It is not very interesting, there, but...

Claudia: No, but we...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: No, but we missed each other by a year, I think.

Claudia: [00:10:15] That's what saved me, I would say.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:10:15] Ah yes, you've branched out into gaming.

Claudia: [00:10:17] Yeah, what really saved me was having the right opportunities at the right time and then having the chance and the choice to be able to follow that path.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:10:28], But, it's touching to see that... because it could even have extinguished your little flame. It's really beautiful to fly so high, but you could have burned your wings a little bit afterwards? And then my metaphors...

Claudia: [00:10:37] Oh I love it!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:10:38], But still, you managed to protect your sacred fire, and then to return. Then, in 2022 spring, you release Paradise Club and it brings you back to the great life of touring.

Claudia: Yes!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Do you still like it? Because it's different, it's not the Jean Légaré with Tom and then I didn't love you anymore, and then Chantal, there. What is the big difference between now and before?

Claudia: [00:10:58] Well, the big difference is that now I'm autonomous. You know, I'm the one who's really in charge more than when I was 15 years old and we were really taken care of from start to finish. We were really like children. We were kids. We had to say it clearly.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:11:16] You were.

Claudia: [00:11:18] We were children. The difference is that there is no Jean Légaré, I'm the one driving.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:11:22] You, let's say you're going to turn, I mean, Val-d'Or, you get in your car and you go to...

Claudia: [00:11:27] Yeah. I mean, it depends on the package. If I'm in a duo format, because for whatever reason, I'm going to do a contract that either pays less or there's less space, so that, often we take my tank. Then if we do the trio formula with the drummer, he has a big kit. Well, at that time, last summer we had a white cube that belongs to my manager, so that was really a charm.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:11:53] Do you drive the cube?

Claudia: [00:11:53] No, I don't have a license.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: That's correct.

Claudia: But I think I would be good. I don't know, I'm not going to brag, but I think I'm a good manual driver.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:12:01] I'm sure it is!

Claudia: [00:12:02] I don't want to brag, but I think I'm a good driver.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:12:03] Do you drive manually?

Claudia: Well yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Hats off!

Claudia: What do you think, of course!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Very good. Very, very impressive. When you say tour, you mean leaving home for a long time. How do you feel when you know you're leaving for a week? Do you leave behind a lot of stuff? Does it break your heart, or are the hotels really good in there, let's say?

Claudia: [00:12:16] Oh I don't have a problem with that. Me, it seems like the more I get out of my comfort zone...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: The better you feel.

Claudia: I feel better. Let's say, for example, when... this is not a tour, but when I did Jeremie, the first season, we were staying at Camp Bruchési in an old house that was a hundred years old, and they had organized it for us with bunk beds. Then I was tripping my life to share my toilet with my friends.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:12:40] Oh my, my!

Claudia: I know!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: There are not many of you out there who are going through the same thing.

Claudia: [00:12:42], But I, it's like the common side kind of, it turns me on.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:12:47] And you're never... I find, there's a French word that would be like a bit nostalgic, but that's not what I mean. You're not home sick. You don't miss home.

Claudia: [00:12:54] I think potentially after a long time, yeah. You know, I like coming home and everything. But I don't have that many responsibilities, you know. Except let's say my dog. But otherwise, I don't have anybody in my life and I think that helps me to not feel held back.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:13:12] Yes, if someone is bored.

Claudia: [00:13:14] I feel free, you know, I can just kind of go without worrying about anybody, you know.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:13:19] You've built your life around being able to do that without looking back.

Claudia: [00:13:22] Yes, right.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:13:23] And you also have the advantage of sometimes having your dad with you on tour?

Claudia: [00:13:26] Yeah. Oh no, but that's cool. Because I have to say that last summer was my first real tour. Not in the sense that in Mix's time, it wasn't real. It's just that this is my tour with my equipment. And what I think is wonderful is that I was able to have my father follow me this past summer. Because I know if it wasn't for him being a bender guy or a roady.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:13:51] He followed you on tour, he was the roady.

Claudia: [00:13:52] He was following me. And if he hadn't, we wouldn't have seen each other all summer, you know.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:13:55] Well no, I understand.

Claudia: [00:13:56] And he's good, my dad. He's a hobby technician, so his life has been about organizing things, making sure that everything works, and then taking care of the merchandise. Then he is super proactive and I know he was happy to be there. And at the same time, we shared some great moments.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:14:10] Well yes, unforgettable, for sure. And it must have been reassuring to have your father with you.

Claudia: Yes, really. Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: But it's funny because I'm sure that there are many people who will hear that and it will be a good clash with what they imagine to be the life of the tour. The stars have limos. They're always on planes. That's not the reality.

Claudia: [00:14:27] That's in the movies actually. Or it's when you get to tour like Angela does. But otherwise, it's really not that glam.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:14:37] It's still a lot of courage, as they say, to leave with the cube, to stop often at the Tim.

Claudia: [00:14:42] Do you like coffee, Tim?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:14:43] I like Tim coffee, I like Tim bits, I like bagels.

Claudia: [00:14:47] That's right, the cheese bagels.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: It's very good.

Claudia: Cream cheese, butter.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:14:50], But in any case. In short, everything we're describing, it's not at all banal. Then especially the first tour that you told us about. Then I would like to... It was so beautiful when you met outside the studio. We have Julie St-Pierre with us.

Claudia: Yes!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: My God, who hosted the Mixmania 2 that you were in. And I'd love for her to come and talk about her experience.

Claudia: [00:15:09] I would love that!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:15:11] Do you want to stay?

Claudia: [00:15:12] Well yes, of course. Shall we welcome my big friend?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:15:14] We're hosting it now. Yes.


Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:15:16] Julie St-Pierre.

Julie: Hello!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Another great lady that I am so happy to receive.

Julie: [00:15:20] Well there! So this is a lot of fun, this chat!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:15:22] No, but this will be... it's already fun. Quick presentation because you did Mixmania season 1 in 2002.

Julie: The original.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: The original! for then having hosted Mixmania 2 in 2011, isn't it Mixmania 3 in 2012. And you are also, as we know, a television and radio host.

Julie: Exactly.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: But you two girls have a lot in common.

Julie: [00:15:45] A lot. A lot, a lot. Then every time I hear about Claudia, her experience at Mixmania, I relate to that a lot. Then I think we underestimated, that. We underestimated that we could, despite the ten years difference between the two editions, understand. To understand what we experienced, basically.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:16:01] Well my God, that's interesting. What did Claudia say that rang a bell for you, that got you?

Julie: [00:16:05] The return to normal life, the imposter syndrome? Wanting to fade away, not taking up too much space, all that, there.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:16:12] It's kind of a common path, from what I understand.

Julie: [00:16:15] Yes, obviously, there are aspects that are perhaps less glorious, less fun, but that's because it's part of the thing too. You can't pretend that it's just beautiful and magical. Well no, but it's more positive than negative.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:16:27] It's a human experience with all that it entails.

Julie: [00:16:30] Really. Then to experience it at a young age too, it's special.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:16:33] Yes, you were 16 years old when you did your first tour?

Julie: Yes, right.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Well, roughly speaking, what came to you? How did it go on your side?

Julie: [00:16:38] The tour?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: The first tour.

Julie: I don't remember much. In the sense that it was so strong in emotions, and it was such a great experience that I seem to have... well, I remember that I did a tour, anyway. But precise memories, it seems that I don't remember that. And I'm sometimes angry at myself for not having been able to keep it in my head. But I know that I'm a boring person. And then I had a lover at that time, so...

Claudia: [00:17:05] You too? OK, but not in the gang.

Julie: [00:17:07] He wasn't in the gang, so I found it hard!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:17:08] You left your sweetheart behind at 16.

Julie: [00:17:11], But that's why you don't need a boyfriend. That's the secret.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:17:14] And you know, that could be another podcast. Oh dear, a podcast to do on that.

Julie: [00:17:18], But you know, when you're a teenager too, you define yourself a lot by that, by your entourage, you want to be with your friends. So it's like it's always, always a contradiction between "I'm living my dream" and at the same time "I want to live my teenage life". I'm happy to leave and then live it, but I don't realize how lucky I am, because I just want to be at school with my friends. It's really special.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:17:39] How was school? It was on the weekends... no, I mean, during the week you were at school, and then on the weekends you went on tour?

Julie: [00:17:43] Yes, exactly. Basically, with Mixmania, it lasted, if you think about the TV show and the tour, a year and a half. So I would say that on tour, I don't know, it was maybe a little less than a year, I think.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Still!

Julie: But you know, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then everywhere, then two shows a day, then we leave in a van then...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:18:01] Then did you lack energy or at that age, you are intuable?

Julie: [00:18:05] No, I think that sometimes, there were weekends or either... Because life goes on, maybe we were less tempted or, you know, we had to study, there were exams coming up. I remember...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:18:14] Yes, it doesn't stop.

Julie: [00:18:15] ...having lived my prom, my after prom, and then I couldn't really sleep at the after prom because I had a show the next day and then we were recording the live album.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:18:24] Big sacrifice!

Julie: [00:18:25] So much! For real. Delaying my driving class because I don't have time, I'm at Mixmania, all that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:18:30] Mixmania, big adult challenges.

Julie: Oh yes!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: But in the body of a 16-year-old girl.

Julie: [00:18:34] Yes, but that's it! But you know, we laugh, but you know, the tour was fun. I was touching something, I was living something. But the fact, as Claudia said, to live it with other people, it's both trippy, and at the same time you don't necessarily do what you dream for a personal career. You know, you don't necessarily sing the songs that you want to sing, so there's like...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:18:57] There is a compromise in all of this.

Julie: Yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: It is sure that at this age, there are frictions, there, nevertheless.

Julie: [00:19:02] And of course, I don't know, it was a bit like that in your Mixmania edition, but a band that you create yourself, you choose the members of your band, you choose your touring gang, your technicians, all that. Here, it's imposed. It's wonderful, you know, I don't want people to think that I hated it.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:19:20] You're taken care of. That's great, but...

Julie: [00:19:21], But you know, it's a contest that you're put with... you know, you're with other people that you wouldn't necessarily choose in life. We fell in well, we got along well, but that's it. We had certain ways of seeing things that were sometimes different. Some people were more comfortable, others less so, because there's all that to consolidate.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:19:44] And it's an age when big things are happening, and these are 16-year-olds. It's so many hormones in the same... Julie: [00:19:50] We had to learn to live together.

Claudia: And it's true that hormones are another matter. The rest of us, I remember, we went into the house and it didn't take fifteen minutes for everyone to be in love with everyone else.

Julie: [00:20:00] Ah it was more you guys, yeah.

Claudia: But the rest of us, there's really a strange phenomenon that happened with our gang where it was... I don't remember having any bickering. Then beyond not having had a fight, there was really... we were all in a relationship. I was Tom. Jé was dating Alexandra, Anne-So was dating Mathieu.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:20:19] So it was tripping over itself, big kicks.

Claudia: [00:20:21] Chantal had to tell us half an hour in advance to go to bed, to say goodbye in the living room because it took half an hour to say "good night, see you in the morning".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:20:30] Oh, how funny!

Claudia: It was love.

Julie: [00:20:34] Okay, you were more emo than the rest of us, we weren't that much.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:20:37], But what I hear, what strikes me the most is that you were asked to take on adult responsibilities. I mean, you've done the Bell Centre, you're asked to be professional, the soundcheck, to remember your moves. In short, it's a lot of pressure. And at the same time, you don't have a tank and you can't go for a walk around the block when you're tired. I find it hard to integrate. It's a funny age for that.

Julie: [00:20:58] Yeah, you can't really go out. Then you don't have the majority, so they don't let you go anywhere, go, as you say, get some fresh air if you feel like it.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:21:06] Decompress, have a beer. No.

Julie: [00:21:09] You are accompanied by your parents. I know that on our tour, the parents accompanied us.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Oh yes!

Julie: But hey, we were traveling together, but our parents were often there. Oh yes! And then, I remember, we traveled by plane too. You see, that was the big life.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:21:22] That must have been exciting.

Julie: [00:21:23] Ah, completely. Rimouski, Sept-Îles, Chicoutimi by plane.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:21:28] Long distances.

Julie: [00:21:29] We loved it!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:21:29] Which makes the fall even more drastic when it stops overnight. How do you find out? How does it happen? They say, "Yeah, that was the..." Well, did you know that at some point there was an end?

Julie: [00:21:38] Well yes, we know that the tour is coming to an end, but I know that in our minds, I think that we thought that maybe it would start again eventually. You know, that we would have time to breathe a little, and then you know, to do something else. I remember, if I remember my state of mind, I was fed up. It's as if I wanted it to stop.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: You had done the trick.

Julie: Yes, but I didn't figure it was going to stop like that. Yes, it's really funny to say that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:22:07] That the break would be permanent. You would have taken a break, but you would have done a little Bell Center again at some point.

Julie: [00:22:11] Well yes. And in fact, at the same time, we can't change the way things happened, but I would have liked to enjoy it more. I would have liked to enjoy the tour life more, to enjoy singing at the Bell Centre more. You know, knowing that today. But it was so big, and there were so many things on the schedule for a teenager, that we could...

Claudia: [00:22:29] You can't process it.

Julie: [00:22:29] No, then you had to live it there, in small doses. And at the same time, it's perfect because I think that, otherwise, poup! we'd have tilted there.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:22:35], But do these observations make you want to do it again? Would you do this touring life again?

Julie: [00:22:43] Well, it's funny because Claudia was saying earlier, "I don't have any responsibilities, there's nobody waiting for me". I have responsibilities, there are people waiting for me.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:22:49] Very different set up.

Julie: [00:22:50], But actually, several things. First of all, my children, you know, I understand that you can go on tour with your children, and then there are many parents who are singers, musicians, who go on tour, actors, all that. I know that I would find it difficult. I'm not saying that I wouldn't want to, but I would find it hard to manage my family's schedule, my boyfriend and all that. You know, I'm fine at home, that said. And I think that as we get older, we are more... we like to be more comfortable. You know, when you're young, small hotels, this is part of the trip.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:23:24] The bunk bed, Jérémie, all that, who cares? OK I understand that at some point...

Julie: [00:23:28] I think as an adult, there's a certain comfort that we like to have. Anyway, I'll speak for myself. But you know, I wouldn't say no, but it depends, you know.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Not under any condition.

Julie: Not at any price. Yes, there would be small conditions to respect, I think.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:23:42], But it's fun, that you got a taste of Mixmania again in 2011, when you decided to... How did it happen? Did you decide, did you offer yourself? Were you approached? I want to host Mixmania?

Julie: [00:23:50] Do you know this story?

Claudia: No, but I don't think so.

Julie: OK, so I hear about it, because I'm already in the business, I'm on the radio, I'm on TV and all that. So I hear that in the plans, there is this idea of doing another Mixmania. So, I seize the opportunities in life. I contacted the production myself and said "Hello, I don't know who you thought of, but you forget about it, I'm the one you need".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:24:16] Me, then nobody else.

Julie: [00:24:17] "Well, that's it, it's not going to be possible for it to be someone else. How would I tell you that?" And I think I was convincing because I kind of made it clear to them that no, no, but I'm the right person.

Claudia: [00:24:28], But yes, you are an animator.

Julie: [00:24:30] I lived it, I understand it, I animate, you know, it was all in everything. I loved it all. And then I was trusted, and then I was able to host both editions.

Claudia: [00:24:36], But you were so perfect for it. It doesn't make sense.

Julie: Like a big sister, I think.

Claudia: Yes, and then I think it's crazy because...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: You are so adorable!

Julie: [00:24:43] We don't see each other very often, I'm glad.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:24:45] Please continue.

Claudia: [00:24:46] No, but you know, it was like, you know, living exactly what you lived eight years later at the same age. You know, at 15-16 years old, having you there, you know, mentoring us, living it with us, for you, I'm sure it was something totally different. For the rest of us, it was something else to have you in that role.

Julie: [00:25:09] There were a lot of people who had listened to my Mixmania edition too, so there was that there.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:25:11] Well yes, it's clear.

Claudia: [00:25:12] And now that it's eleven years later and we're both doing our lives, I think that...

Julie: We're down to twelve, did you just say?

Claudia: Yes, it's been twelve years. Mixmania 2, it's been twelve years.

Julie: It's all fucked up, right.

Claudia: [00:25:25] So it's like, I have... It's crazy. I feel like we get to understand each other differently now than we did back then.

Julie: [00:25:32] And then I have a look at Claudia, but I have a look at everyone else.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:25:35] That's so much the question. How do you see these young people today?

Julie: [00:25:38] So proud!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: I guess.

Julie: I'm proud as a little mother, you'll understand.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Yes!

Julie: So I'm proud like a big sister, like... well, you said a little mentoring. Yes, but at the same time, no. Because you know, I really felt more like a big sister and then of... I would have liked that, to have someone who understood what I was going through. And you know, we didn't have that because we were the first, so I thought it was fun. At the same time, I think I wasn't there enough. With hindsight, I say to myself, ah, I would have liked to have been more involved. You see, I came to work in the background.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:26:04], But you weren't on the tour either, you couldn't be there everywhere.

Julie: [00:26:08] I couldn't be everywhere, Anne-Éli, you're right.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:26:09] Well, you can't be everywhere, Julie.

Julie: But hey, we'd like that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: I have a question. What does it mean to you, who you are, to have done this, the life of the tour? What impact did it have on you? You know, it's such a formative period, we're such sponges, as you said. It certainly had an impact. Do you know, with the mini-recovery that you have, how it transformed you?

Julie: [00:26:28] Living together. You know, the tour is a bit like that. You share your space, you share your days, you just live with others, and then a bit of cohabitation at a young age. I didn't really live in a shared apartment after that. That's how my...

Claudia: [00:26:42] I've lived with roommates my whole life. I'm still with two roommates, inexhaustible.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:26:48] Oh my God. You, gang girl, band girl.

Claudia: [00:26:50] More capable!

Julie: You know, it changes a lot of things, the touring life, the experience in itself. Life on tour was also a lot, as you said, to experience great things at a young age.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:27:03] A boost of maturity maybe?

Julie: [00:27:06] Yes, and responsibilities, and there's a kind of rigor at work too. When you're on the move, you have to be responsible enough to say "OK, I have to sleep, I don't have to..." Well, at that age, at Mixmania, we weren't having a party.

Claudia: [00:27:17] I remember at one point my mom told me... she heard a girl come by our table after a show to get autographs and then she heard a little girl say, "Ah, I thought so and so was thin and then she didn't even look at me. But I won't say who it was in the gang, but there was someone who didn't take the time to look up. Then she, she had one moment at the table, then it was going fast, aweille. Then maybe it was her favorite, then she didn't look at it, then she was really sad. Then my mother told me: "You know, take your time".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:27:53] Be careful, yes.

Claudia: [00:27:54] Take time with each person. And then, even if it's just "hello". It makes you, you're right, it makes you learn to consider all the parameters that it represents to do the tour. And then, I mean, we're already so put forward, and we're so taken care of, that it's important to be like, "Okay, but all the people who are there have a job that is just as important. And you know, it's easy to become a diva at that age.

Julie: Oh my God, totally.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:28:19], But it seems that it was the opposite with you two. You have the humility that comes out right away in group work, respecting the role of each and every one.

Julie: [00:28:30] I'm so afraid of that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: It is thus lette, you do not want to be the same.

Julie: Ah, I was afraid, afraid, afraid. And I think that today I'm just stuck with the fact that I see myself less, you know, than I am because I don't want to get any hotter than...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:28:39] The fat diva.

Julie: [00:28:40] Oh yeah, that's it. So I'm like hey, all the time bringing you back, so now I'm like can you just balance that out, then be like...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:28:47] Good ego too, there.

Julie: [00:28:49] Well, you have to. Just at some point...

Claudia: [00:28:51] See your value and then assume it, and then be like "I have a right to be here".

Julie: [00:28:54] You know, I think there's so many layers to this, it's all wrapped up.

Claudia: [00:28:59] Yeah, to all the impact it had on our lives.

Julie: [00:29:02] It's still, you know, it's the whole period where your identity...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Of course!

Julie: You know, it's like wo, it moves a lot, a lot of things. And it's changing so much, too, I think. You know, even within our own immediate family, it's created changes, want, want not.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:29:18] I understand so much what you mean.

Julie: [00:29:20] In friends, then all that. So it's like, all that stuff there, after that stuff there, you're all caught up with that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:29:24] It's like a cousin who calls you "sir" from one day to the next. You're like "let's see, we were playing in the sand together. What's going on?" Then there's like a recoil, then you don't want that so much. You don't want it to change.

Claudia: [00:29:32] Have you ever felt that way with your closest family members?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:29:37] Yes, really. But friends of the time too, there. It looks like you're going back to your region, and then there's... I want to be almost more authentic, than authentic. And then I get too familiar, and then I don't know where I stand.

Julie: [00:29:48] Oh my God, we are so much alike!

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:29:49] People shouldn't think I'm someone else. But even as a teenager, you don't want that. You don't want to get to school and then... in any case. As you say, adulthood is difficult, because at that age, there are a lot of social notions to integrate all at once.

Julie: Very, very much, yes.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Lord God. So, at some point, I imagine that we are Mixmania. Then when Mixmania is over, do we ask ourselves the question: "Who am I without Mixmania?

Julie: [00:30:10] Well, it's just because you get told all the time, "Ah that's Julie from Mixmania, ah that's Claudia from Mixmania".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: It brings you back all the time.

Julie: So your last name becomes Mixmania, you know?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: Oh my, my.

Julie: It's as if... I didn't live through a teenage crisis, I lived through it afterwards, by changing gangs and... You know, I became a little more rock, and you know, I was looking for my world a little bit.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:30:28] Break your image a little bit.

Julie: [00:30:30] Yeah, yeah, it was like I went through it. And then, I think that yes, afterwards, you want to prove to yourself that you are something else, you want to define yourself differently than just being "Julie from Mixmania". And I found that difficult. Then there is just the time that allowed me to.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:30:46] Take a distance from that.

Julie: [00:30:48] Well yes. And now, twenty years later, I'm so proud and happy when someone says to me "Hey, you must be tired of being talked about, but hey, I was listening to you at Mixmania". And it makes me happy to cry, because it touches me, and I find it beautiful. And I notice the effect it had on a certain generation. I feel so privileged to have had that impact. When we are too stuck, I think, on the experience, we don't have that distance to appreciate if we want. So I think it just takes time to say "well today, I don't mind Julie from Mixmania, because I know I'm also something else".

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:31:20] Claudia, did you experience it like that too?

Claudia: [00:31:21] Well, I feel like you do, Julie. You know, as we were saying earlier, what it's like to be pitched in a project like Mixmania where you don't really have any say, and it's a moving train.

Julie: [00:31:36] Then it's okay there. We said yes to that.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: That's the deal.

Julie: That's the deal.

Claudia: [00:31:38] Yes, that's right. Yes, yes. Then I embraced the fact that I was Claudia from the Glamies, and then I was grimacing and then we were a girlpower gang. You know, I really liked that. But afterwards, it was how do I want to represent myself or what do I want to be afterwards. You know, what is my story, how am I going to do it and everything. And now, like you just said, I think that until very recently, I could never have imagined myself performing Amour point zéro on stage. Then when I came back from Big Brother, when I did my launch, I invited all my friends from Mix to come and sing Amour point zéro and Chic chick on stage, and it was crazy...

Julie: [00:32:22] It's like too stuck, it's cheesy, too stuck on the event, it's cheesy, but now it's like...

Claudia: [00:32:27] We're at the edgie.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:32:28] At the right place inside you.

Claudia: [00:32:29] Right. Then I feel...

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: A springboard to become something else. You didn't get rid of it.

Julie: [00:32:30] Nostalgia.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: You assume it.

Claudia: [00:32:31] No, right. But right now I feel like I can appreciate everything that it was and also perform it live, I know there's a lot of people in the room that want me to do it because it reminds them of their youth.

Julie: [00:32:46] Then it doesn't take away from what you're doing today.

Claudia: [00:32:48] No, no, that's right.

Julie: It's great.

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: [00:32:49] You talk about it with a lot of globality, a lot of honesty and no bitterness. You just look at what it was like and then, precisely, embrace what it left you with. It is very, very, very touching to hear you talk about this adventure. Once again, a big thank you for sharing your heart about this experience. It was really very, very interesting and very inspiring.

Julie: [00:33:09] When are we going on a road trip together?

Anne-Élisabeth Bossé: We're leaving!

[3 tips before you hit the road]


Claudia Bouvette tells Anne-Élisabeth about her life on tour, particularly about the months she spent on the road at age16 with the hit show Mixmania. They’re then joined by a cast member from season 1, Julie St-Pierre. They share their experiences, but also talk about their return to reality!

Animation : Anne-Élisabeth Bossé

Claudia Bouvette and Julie St-Pierre

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