Jean-Paul De Roover Talks New Compilation EP, Working Through Pandemic

By Ayano Hodouchi Dempsey

In 2012, local musician Jean-Paul De Roover started an annual concert of instrumental post-rock music, calling it There Are No Words. De Roover held the concert at Black Pirates Pub, booking some of the other bands in town that were also into instrumental music.“I’ve got a lot of different musical personalities and that was one that I never really got to do,” he explains. 

Since then, it’s become an annual event, happening just before Christmas. But last year, the musicians were sidelined by the pandemic. Unable to host a live event, De Roover instead decided to release a compilation EP with a collaboration track featuring members from each band, and a new or previously unreleased song from each. Android 16, Don’t You(,) Mean People? and Pedestrian Lifestyle contributed to the album, available through Bandcamp on De Roover’s website.

“Throughout the years, we’d always contemplated the idea of what if we all collaborated together, and put out an EP of a compilation disc of all of our bands,” the artist says. With live performances on hold, the musicians decided to commit to the project at last and make it happen. De Roover took on the role of producer and led the initiative. After discussions over group chat, each member did a home recording and sent De Roover the file, and he assembled the collaboration piece. 

“This is the first year we’ve done the recording, but judging by how well it went [working remotely] we’re certainly keen on doing it again in the future,” he says. All of the proceeds from the EP go to the RFDA (Thunder Bay Regional Food Distribution Association).

Not knowing when he will be able to go back to touring and performing live again, De Roover says he wants to spend more time recording. During the first lockdown, he did some live-streamed concerts, but his enthusiasm wore off as he started feeling “livestream fatigue.” He did, however, hire a video crew in June to shoot a six-song performance series at DefSup. “I’d rather do high-quality professional video content rather than a webcam,” he explains. “It’s something I’m more proud of, and it can last—it’s got a longer shelf life.”