Somewhere within each of us is the urge to go against the norms of everyday life. Rock n’ roll is what happens when some of us give in to that urge. Its very lifeblood is, and always has been, the desire to rebel. Andre Nault, the creative force behind Ottawa’s Stand Up and Say No, knows this feeling. The husband and father of seven is fighting the widely held belief that men like him must give up a career in music for the sake of adopting a more traditional lifestyle. Nault’s rebellion is, within the context of modern music, refreshingly unique: he is both enthusiastically committed to his music and passionately devoted to his family.
Upon hearing the eleven songs from Stand Up and Say No’s newest Album, The Hour Grows Darker, one is reminded of bands such as Interpol and The Strokes: there is a plethora of driving guitars and catchy melodies, as well as just enough swing to win over those inclined to dance. However, unlike those purveyors of NYC fashion, grit and sex appeal who made their name in part by living the fast life, Nault is essentially a one-man songwriting machine who is focused on family, stability and the realization that those things will always matter most.
Nault long ago abandoned a career in music. Like many musicians, he grew tired of playing to small crowds who simply did not care. According to Nault, he immediately sold all his instruments following his last gig in Quebec City – except for one guitar. Unable to shake the music-writing process, Nault used this guitar to write a collection of jingles that soon caught the ear of a Los Angeles-based licensing company. After his songs were placed in a series of popular car commercials, Nault realized that his dream of making a living via his music could coexist with his duties as a family man.
This second chance at a career in music inspired Nault to form Stand Up and Say No. The project soon became Nault’s personal protest against the conventions of 9-5 workdays and nights spent sitting on the couch in front of the TV. He recalls the moment clearly: “I remember one evening watching television and thinking to myself ‘Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life? Is this how you want the kids to remember you?’” The answer was a resounding “NO!”
The Hour Grows Darker is the sound of Nault voicing his unique brand of rebellion. Rather than write songs that try to appeal to a fleeting perception of cool, Nault writes songs that he thinks are good and worthy of releasing. In an industry that glamorizes empty and conditional relationships, Nault seeks to redefine the meaning of it all: “Now when I write about love, I know what love is.”