Although Montreal-based pomp rockers Rose Nocturne are big stars in their native Quebec, that notoriety has barely spread into the rest of Canada, much less the world at large. The group formed in 1990 when singer Eric Rousseau and guitarist Stephane Desbiens, veterans of several groups in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, joined bassist Jacques Mercier and drummer Dave Paquet. Within a year, they had won a battle of the bands sponsored by a local radio station, and their radio-friendly Francophone art rock was making them a local live favorite. The group's first single, "Pourquoi?," was self-released in 1992. The following year, Rose Nocturne signed with the oddly-named local indie Disques or W. Woolf, which released their second single, "Fou du Roi," later in 1993. Rose Nocturne's debut album, Eclosion ("Blossoming"), was released in 1994. The album was successful enough in Quebec that Sony Music Canada began distributing it nationally. A reissued "Fou du Roi" and the album's third single, "Weekend," were minor hits on Canadian radio and the national music video channel MuchMusic.
Apparently because of their stubborn devotion to Quebecois French in their music (unlike, say, Celine Dion, who forswore her mother tongue early on in her quest for world domination), Rose Nocturne were given a grant by the Quebec Ministry of Culture to record their second album. Recorded at a studio owned by April Wine frontman Miles Goodwyn in the summer of 1996, the harder-rocking Bete du Cirque ("Circus Beast") was released in 1997. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi