Resurrecting a ‘dead’ scene
Back when venues like the Avenue Theatre or The Artery existed, music fanatics could go to shows that didn’t cater to a specific genre. Now, that musical coexistence seems to be slowly withering away.
Prothean Fest, an upcoming festival created by local promoter and label Prothean Productions, aims to foster that past mentality.
The festival was created in order to fill the void that Ghost Throats DIY, (Edmonton’s yearly DIY hardcore festival) left due to it being on hiatus.
“It sort of derailed because there wasn’t enough scene support,” says the co-creator of Prothean Productions, Rob Hanley. “We wanted to foster the bands that would normally play and give these smaller bands a chance build connections with other bands.”
Along with his friend Adam Mountford, Hanley started Prothean Productions as a record label under the Prothean moniker about a year ago.
“Our original idea was to put out tapes for bands that don’t usually get a physical release,” Hanley says. “We basically only break even on everything.”
The two friends, who have released tapes for eight to nine bands so far, picked up the name from the Prothean race in the popular Mass Effect video game series.
“They were the species with the lifecycle that came before the current one in the game. Basically they’re an ancient civilization,” Hanley says. “If I made a connection to what we’re doing, we’re kind of coming from a dead scene. All the bands that we would go out and see at 16, it didn’t matter what scene or genre the band fell in. In one show you could see an acoustic singer songwriter, a hardcore band, maybe even a rapper.”
Right now, Prothean Productions is based in Edmonton’s post hardcore screamo scene releasing tapes for bands like EXITS, Leap Year (who is now Dad’s Clone), and Florals, but Hanley hopes to eventually branch out.
“It’s lots of Sewing Machine Factory and house show bands right now, but we are open to working with other artists from different scenes,” Hanley says.
Prothean’s station in the hardcore scene makes sense due to Hanley and Mountford making up the hardcore noise band Moth Priest. Still, Hanley has every intention to break out of his comfort zone with Prothean Productions.
“I want this to be a thing that brings the scenes together,” Hanley says. “I’m even guilty of it. There’s a bunch of bands from Edmonton that I’ve heard the names of but I haven’t checked out because it’s not a part of the scene I normally associate with.”
When deciding on the lineup for Prothean Fest, Hanley established a roster of bands that normally wouldn’t play or associate each other.
“On the Saturday we have bands like Heavy Weather and Pastel Blank who are more softer screamo post-rock,” Hanley says. “Then we have EXITS and Self Harm who are like crushing hardcore, power violence. Those are two scenes that don’t really associate with each other so hopefully somebody from one of the scenes will hear one of those bands and be like, ‘Hey I really like this.’ It opens a gateway for new music.”
Fri., July 7 – Sat., July 8
Prothean Fest featuring EXITS, Dad’s Clone, Moth Priest, Self Harm, Stalagmites and more
Millcreek Cafe, $10 each show