“This project changed my life”, says Serge Fiori on the new web series Chez Padré with Serge Fiori which presents 11 great interviews where the musician plays the role of the interviewer for the first time.
Serge Fiori had been toying with the idea of “changing chairs” for several years by himself asking questions to guests. “When you do interviews in your name, it isolates you in some way, he mentions in an interview with the Log. You’re just talking about yourself and I was a little tired of that. I wanted to make other people talk. »
The former leader of the Harmonium group approached a dozen personalities he wanted to invite to his home in Lac-Saint-Jean. All accepted and gave themselves up like never before.
Michel Côté’s last interview
Among the 11 guests of this first season, we find the actor Michel Côté. When the latter recently announced that he was retiring from public life due to serious health problems, Serge Fiori mentions having been “thrown to the ground”.
“Michel is a grandiose being,” he said. We spoke to him to find out what he wanted us to do with the interview. He wanted it aired because it was the last interview he did. Now we pray for his healing. He is undergoing treatment and we can only hope that he comes down to the lake this summer by boat and comes to see us. »
The other guests of this first season are Guylaine Tremblay, Normand Brathwaite, Luc Picard, Luc Dionne, Isabel Richer, Michel Barrette, France Castel, Régis Labeaume, Anne Dorval and Louis-Jean Cormier.
Guylaine Tremblay is one of the 11 guests of the first season of Chez Padré.
The title Chez Padre comes from a recent nickname that Serge Fiori was given by some young musicians with whom he worked, including Louis-Jean Cormier and Alex McMahon. “They started calling me Padré,” he says, smiling.
The episodes were recorded over a period of four to five months, in the summer of 2021. “There was like a break [de la pandémie] last summer, explains Serge Fiori. Today I came to Montreal [pour annoncer le projet Chez Padré] because I stay at the lake. And I paranoia my life! I’m afraid [d’attraper la COVID], that doesn’t even make sense. It’s something. And then I watch the episodes. We jump into each other’s arms, we kiss, we pat each other. I say: well, let’s see! We hadn’t even thought of that for a second. »
Michel Côté confided for the last time in an interview with Serge Fiori.
No financial assistance
Some people may be surprised to see that every episode of Chez Padre retails for $3.99, to help offset production costs. Serge Fiori mentions having tried to obtain financial assistance from the government in order to make the series free. Without success.
“People think that Serge Fiori has money. That’s not true, he said. I live by copyright, I live tight. […] We were not helped, even if we asked for it. It’s quite disgusting. We manage on our own. It’s hard. »
The expenses for this web series were significant, because each guest spent a few days in Lac-St-Jean to shoot the interview. “They arrived the day before. We were shooting the next day. We then had a nice big supper with water. In the evening, they returned to the hotel. And maybe they left the next day or not, says Fiori. Everything was organized for them to be comfortable. We had a few drunken evenings [rires]. »
Interest on TV
According to Fiori, some TV networks are starting to be curious about his web project. To pass to the small screen, it will however not be necessary to distort the formula, he mentions. “If you re-edit the shows to make it more television, shorter and tighter, you’re not on the same show,” he said. It will depend on what they want and how. I don’t want these people I interviewed not to be as acclaimed as they are. »
In addition to the 11 episodes, the website of Chez Padre also includes promotional items. Even though it wasn’t his idea [« je ne vendrai pas ma chemise »]Serge Fiori admits finding it nice to be able to buy a glass of whiskey with the mention Chez Padre. “They are emblems, that’s all. »
Two guys from Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean together: Michel Barrette and Serge Fiori.
In addition to Chez PadreSerge Fiori has a busy 2022 with two symphonic projects: symphonic harmonium and Symphonic Riopelle. “I thought the other years were my big years! laughs Fiori. symphonic harmonium, it’s huge. It’s going to be a mentally retarded show with incredible visuals. There will be 70 musicians and a choir of 120 voices. »
“Riopelle, I’m freaking out over this too. It’s his 100th birthday and it’s five paintings on the five periods of all his painting that we set to music. I made themes. I’m lazy in there. It was really Blair Thompson who did all the work! »
Two years ago, Serge Fiori said he was going to retire. Obviously, the 70-year-old artist could not have been more wrong. “Anyway, me, the retreat on the edge of the lake, on the edge of a canoe, I want to die! I can not. I’m also good to work! »
►The 11 episodes of the web series Chez Padré with Serge Fiori can be purchased at chezpadre.ca.