The Prestige: Heartfelt Sonic Intensity

The Prestige definitely live up to their ambitious moniker – heartfelt yet heavy metallic hardcore that will stun and inspire the senses.  An up and coming band from Canada who has been garnering a good deal of attention and respect, The Prestige has recorded with none other than Antoine Lussier of Ion Dissonance.  They are also an Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands winner, receiving the opportunity to play a date on a local Warped TourThe Prestige’s latest video Captive definitely captures the magic and intensity of their music.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the members of The Prestige to find out more about this crucial band on the rise.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Prestige, and how long the band has been together.
Hi my name is Sebastien Marois and I play guitar in The Prestige. The band started out in spring of 2008. April to be exact. It all started when me and the other guitarist who’s name is also Sebastien, wanted to start a new band. We posted an add online and this is how we met our current drummer Gabriel.We spent the first year jamming out ideas, replacing members after members until we had our first solid lineup in the summer of 2009.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We are from Montréal Quebec Canada. The music scene is alive and well over here. Lately, there has been a lot of bands of our genre (metal) disbanding and quitting and a lot of new bands have started to play shows so I guess we’re in some sort of transition. I’m 24 years old and feel really old sometimes when I attend or participate in local shows. It’s always cool to see 16-17 year old kids starting a band! There is no better feeling than playing live and feel the energy coming from the crowd. I know this is cliché to say but our loyal crowd here supports us amazingly and make us feel proud to be from Montréal. A nice shoutout to our pals and roomates Skip The Foreplay!

Where did you get the idea for the lyrics of the new song Captive?
The song treats about the idea that it is always easier to hate someone or something than it is to love it. We easily envy others and we easily build up hatred for X reasons rather than to forgive and love. We end up being captive and a slave to our own feelings!

How long did it take to film the Captive video and who was the director?
It’s funny because the location we were suppose to shoot initially got shut down last minute. So we came up with a new idea and a new location 3 weeks before filming. It took us 17 hours to get all the shots we wanted. Philippe Monaco is the one behind this video alongside with Audrey, one of our singer’s girlfriend and her friend Clo. Phil truly is a genius in photography, he did the majority of our photo shoots and was able to make us look good! How did he pull that off? I have NO idea haha. This is his first official video and we are truly proud by all his time and patience he put in it.

Select two other The Prestige songs and what inspired the lyrics.
The Quiet War: This song I wrote the lyrics with Jean-Christophe and Martin with the idea that there are wars everyday around us. Big ones that we see on television newspapers where there is blood spilled and there are also the much more smaller and subtle ones that we don’t always see. Like people who try by any means necessary to stop you from achieving your goals. We don’t always see or hear about those small and quiet wars but they are very present and people suffer from them everyday.

Atlantic City ( My Excuse To Come Here…) : This song has the most wacky meaning of all our songs. The lyrics are in no way related to the title. The title is in fact a reference to NBC’s show To Catch A Predator. One of the man caught by Chris Hansen said to the decoy he thought he was dating : ‘My Excuse to come here? I went to Atlantic City’. We though it was so funny that we had to put it in a title. Its really random but still funny haha.

How close are you to releasing an all new EP or album? Do you have a working title yet and if so, is there any story behind the title?
We recorded 3 new songs that 2 of them have been released and the reaction so far is amazing. We changed our sound a bit and we were expecting to maybe upset some fans because we put the southern sound a bit behind because we felt like we needed to change our sound when we lost one of our singers Simon and we replaced him with Martin. So we wrote 12 songs and we expect to record the rest this year for a release at the end of 2012! The title behind the upcoming LP is ‘Ecotone‘. JC came up with the title and by reading the description we though it was perfect for us.

Here is the definition straight out of wikipedia: +An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes but different patches of the landscape, such as forest and grassland. [1] It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and grassland ecosystems).[ 2] An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.+ We think we are crossing some sort of transition from being a local band doing music for fun to where we are working to go now. Being a full time touring band and make it our full time jobs. I think the word Ecotone defines exactly where The Prestige is right now!

What was it like working with Ion Dissonance’s Antoine Lussier and how did he become involved with the project?
Working with Antoine and Yanick his partner is by far the best experience the band had so far! Antoine is simply a goddamn genius. We came in for our first EP The Great Floods not too much prepared and not knowing what to expect but the chemistry was amazing. He helped us a lot to develop our sound. We spent a week or so in his house and it would be like 10-12 hours of tracking and then fooling around with him. He is really talented and it shows. We will record Ecotone with him again. We cant imagine tracking with anybody else because Antoine knows EXACTLY how we want to sound and he deserves a lot of credits for our sound.

What was the experience like playing Warped Tour and how did you get on the show?
The experience was awesome but a bit shitty at the same time haha. We played Warped Tour in mid July here in Montreal and believe me it gets REALLY hot here in summer. The heat was so intense that at 8:30 am we were already sweating from just standing outside and we had to pay for our water during our set. We got that gig by winning the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands contest. We were part of the 5 bands that won a spot that day amongst hundreds of them. It was truly an honor to be part of this legendary annual tour and we intend to do the full tour in a near future!

What kind of touring have you done so far and do you have any interesting stories from the road you could share?
We’ve opened for big acts like Dead And Divine, We Came As Romans, Let Live and The Bled and we also did the most shittiest shows possible haha. We played in front of crowds of 200, 300 people, played live on Television and we did the most weird and sketchy basement shows ever and we enjoy every single second of it! The most weird and funny story involves when we were in Niagara Falls. We parked the van in a parking lot next to a really old house and at the top floor there was someone sitting next to a window. That person was shaking his head in all direction while staring at a television showing static. We stood there 5 or 10 minutes maybe asking ourselves what the fuck is this ? So end up leaving the parking lot and going to spend a couple of hours in town. When we get back to the van we see the same thing. Same person shaking his head in all directions. So we decide to throw a rock at the window to see what would happen. The person turned around by the sounds of the rocks hitting the glass and what we saw was creepy. All we saw was long hair hiding the face but we knew he was staring at us. We ran to the van and hit the pedal laughing while being scared shitless by what we saw.

How long has your new vocalist Martin Lemieux been in the band and what was his background prior to joining The Prestige?
Martin joined the band in May 2011 only a month after Simon left the formation. After losing Simon we thought that we were done for because he had a great part in our signature sound. Gabriel talked about a guy he knew who used to have a band that we though he would fit perfectly in the band. We went and listened to his previous band and I remember having goosebumps on my arms because after only 10 seconds I knew it would fit perfectly! We asked him to try out and he said yes immediately! He knew us and liked what he did. We tried him out and it was an instant match! He is an amazing singer and an even more amazing human being. The best part of having a band is that you become so close to those people that become your second family. Martin was a part of our family the first day we met him!

With could one expect from a live The Prestige show?
Having fun! We’re not here to look tough or to be cooler than anyone else. We play music that we wrote with our hearts and that we like to play and we are blessed to have people who love it! We have the best and the most loyal fan base. We couldn’t even dare imagine having this luck when we started almost 4 years ago. To see people sing your lyrics in a show is the most wonderful thing a band can ask. We even have 2 persons who got tattooed drawings related to us. It’s crazy!

What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the very first time?
I’d like them to remember that we’re THAT band from Montreal who had that catchy guitar or vocal lick that sticks with them! We gave everything we have in those songs and I guess it shows.

Any final words of wisdom?
Never quit on your dreams. Never let others tell you things that are the opposite of what you are seeking to achieve. Follow your heart, be honest and work hard. There is absolutely no magical recipe. Just give the best of what you have. People always recognize that and will follow you. The musical scene is an amazing little world. Support your local acts and be supportive to them. They may just might be the next best thing and you’ll have the honor to say that you were there since day 1.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
This was truly a pleasure to do thank you for giving us the exposure and we will be rocking Los Angeles pretty soon I promise 🙂 Party on!

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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