Calling All Captains may play pop-punk shows filled with people moshing at night, but lead vocalist Luc Gauthier has another passion by day—Métis dancing.
Gauthier is Métis, which is an indigenous culture of people in Canada. Métis is a blend of European and Native American, and a huge part of their culture is dancing. Gauthier has been dancing since he was 9 years old.
“It’s really helped me in music,” Gauthier says. “I probably wouldn’t be so comfortable on stage and have good rhythm if I didn’t dance.”
The Métis jig comes naturally to Gauthier. He entered his first competition around age 10 where he received first place.
“I kept practicing. Every year, I’d keep entering and winning,” he says. “It was mind blowing to me that I was doing it.”
Gauthier tries to stay as involved with his culture whenever he can. He does so by emceeing events and celebrations and teaching people about his culture to overcome stereotypes.
“There’s a lot of prejudices in Canada with the aboriginal population, [and] it kind of instills a lot of self-doubt and lack of self-confidence in some of the younger people,” he says.
“There’s lots of issues with substance abuse and everything like that, but it happens almost because people expect it of you,” he continues. “You grow up with such self-doubt, nobody believes in you and nobody is supporting you and you think, ‘Well, then I might as well be [an addict].”
Gauthier demonstrates Métis dancing:
Another reason he stays involved is to serve as a role model for the younger generation. They might not have anyone to look up to, and he hopes to teach them how to be confident.
“That’s why I always participate and talk to the young [people]—the ones that don’t really necessarily have a role model,” Gauthier says.
In addition to dancing and fronting a pop-punk band who just signed to Equal Vision Records, Gauthier is a case worker, and he owns a clothing line. Balancing everything is hard, but he gives credit to his bandmate and “legitimate best friend” guitarist Connor Dawkins for being his “rock.”
“I really don’t know if I could do anything that I do without him,” Gauthier says.
Dawkins and the other bandmates are supportive of Gauthier’s passion for Métis heritage by showing up to his performances, listening to the legends and just being there for him.
Calling All Captains have a lot planned for their future with their new label, including more music and touring.
“We’re really trying to hit the ground running,” Gauthier says. “This is the biggest opportunity we’ve had. We really want to make this happen.”