INTERVIEW: Prince Club
A few weeks ago, we were privileged enough to physically chat with Prince Club. More specifically, we got to talk to Zach (half of Prince Club) about their latest EP, ‘Platinum’ which is out now on Snatch Records. In the interview, which you will soon read, we discussed subjects such as collaborating with Toronto native, Poupon, Canadian snow storms, and the dream of being a junkie. (Read the interview, and you will soon understand.) It was truly an honor for Prince Club to put forth the time to answer some of our questions. Cheers.
Life Crushed: So both Prince Club and Poupon have come together to make a split EP a few times now. How did that partnership, or collaborative effort come together originally?
Prince Club: It started off about a year ago. Poupon being from Toronto, (Prince Club hailing from Montreal) sent over a few promos to our email, and we thought it was pretty cool but it stayed at that for a while until Max (the other half of Prince Club) went down to Toronto for a weekend. He immediately bonded with Poupon – like they instantly became best friends. They began somewhat of a twitter love affair; it was almost kind of creepy (laughs). It wasn’t until a few months later, maybe the second time around that they sat down together and made ‘Platinum’, our second release on Snatch as Prince Club. This past winter though, we went down to play a gig in Toronto, and since all three of us were together we decided we would make another track. We were at Poupon’s house, so we were able to just wake up and start recording because his studio is in his pool house, which inspired us to make some “pool-house music”. That morning too, when we woke up, there was a massive Canadian storm with 18-wheelers flipped upside-down everywhere, it was insane. It was all inspiring, and that morning we layed down a bass line, I did the vocals, and from there our new EP was born.
LC: Ok so that essentially touches on our next question. In regards to how a track is formulated, who covers the different aspects of a song?
PC: Right, so basically Poupon and Max cover the bass sounds, and make the loops. With ‘Technique’ I layed down the vocals, the first part of the hook, which were from a Kelis track. Her original lyrics though were “…technique that freaks these boys” which I thought was a good start to a hook but I thought we should make it more appropriate or relevant to Prince Club (laughs), so I changed it to “Technique that freaks these girls” and later I thought it made more sense in regards to the DJ aspect of it with Technique turntables. After that I layed down the main harmony, and Max did all the major drum and percussion details. So overall, Max will do the computer-oriented stuff, then Ben (aka Poupon) will add his touch to all that, and then I put the vocals over it. I tapped into the bass line a little, but mainly just focused on the vocals. For instance, with ‘The Block’ – that was specifically Max and Poupon collaborating together this summer in LA because Max lives there now.
LC: How long does that process take generally? It seems like a ton of work and collaboration between both Prince Club and Poupon.
PC: Well actually, that’s the beauty of it all. When Max and Ben are physically together, the process goes by so much quicker. Where as we would usually have to render a bunch of files, and send them back and forth, which can take a long time to accomplish. With both ‘The Block’ and ‘Technique’, its almost just a days work. It takes maybe four to six hours to nail down a track, and then the small adjustments and details are worked on here and there. It all varies though, depending on the complexity and intention of a track. Sometimes, you can spend up to 13 hours on one single track knowing that it will never be released, and then sometimes you can just walk into the studio and instantly bang out a track.
LC: In regards to the current EP, what was the original motivation and why exactly did you get together with Poupon again? Was there a deeper reason behind it, or was it due to the fact that you guys click well together?
PC: That’s exactly it. There was no other intention behind it; we just work really well together. There’s no denying that, and there’s definitely no big secret behind it. Max and Poupon get along really well together when it comes to producing, and same with me. Motivationally, we wanted to create something that bridged together something you could listen to pre-funking, or in your car but also something you could play in the clubs and dance too; something really sexy and groovy as well as something easy to listen to that’s light and summer themed.
LC: That brings up another point we wanted to get to which was, in effort to avoid any pigeonholing or placing you within any certain genres, how would you typically define your sound?
PC: Well if you look at everything we’ve done, even a month back, you can see that we do a little bit of everything, and it’s starting to feel really right. We’re able to really push a name like “Prince Club” because it’s relatively accessible. We obviously play lots of house music, but we also really like techno, electro, dubstep, and even drum and bass. Primarily we produce house music, but we always try to listen to different things. At first, it was hard because we were all over the place but now it’s pretty cool because we can pick the sounds we like and adjust them to the places we’re playing and even the time of night we play them.
LC: This segues into another question, which revolves around the concept of live performance. Are live performances necessary to your music in particular, and are they necessary to this culture in general?
PC: As far as performance, yeah! I’ve told this story before, but last summer I got to this gig in Europe so I started playing some deeper techno and it wasn’t really picking up but then I played one of our own tracks, and then five more and all of a sudden the party was crackin’. Our sound is fairly universal, accessible house. It’s cool to listen to wherever you are, but the way that Max utilizes bass in the tracks; it’s a completely different experience to hear it on a massive sound system. The way you perceive our wide range of sounds is totally different on a deep sound system. In some aspects, that kind of system is crucial to our sound.
LC: Do you then cater to a club audience primarily? Or do you also try to make music that’s better for headphones?
PC: Both Max and I grew up together in a rock band originally, before we started playing electronic music; I sang while Max played drums. So we’re used to playing in front of live audiences from that – it just makes sense to us; we just like that direct response. We choose to make easily accessible ‘bangers’, which are totally relevant these days, to get that sort of feed back from crowds. But we also have stuff that we aren’t even close to releasing that could be seen as much ‘harder’ or less accessible tracks. For now, more than ever, we want to make floor songs to party to.
LC: Does the music you’re making reflect your guys’ own personality?
PC: Yes and no. We aren’t huge into the party scene, but of course we DJ so we get into it now and then. Two or so years ago, Max didn’t really go out that much. I was DJ’ing so it was a little different. I think to some level, it relates more that we’re from North America. We never intended to make super deep music, we…like I said for the last question, we intended to just get the party going. We’re not putting out a bunch of party music like a bunch of fucking machines, for now we’re just making house music cause that’s what we feel like doing. So to get back to your question, we aren’t really into a party scene at all, but we do enjoy a good party.
LC: So what are the chances of you ever getting out here to Seattle? Have you ever been out here, is it something that even sounds appealing?
PC: Yeah, for sure! I was there when I was younger, my parents sent me to Vancouver and the mountains for a few days to keep me out of trouble, and then I visited Seattle for a few days. When we were talking about my personality, I said I played in a rock band. I grew up on stuff like Nirvana, so for me the city means a lot musically. When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Kurt Cobain. I’d say to girls in the schoolyard, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a junkie.” (Laughs) I used to roll up plants that were in the classroom, and pretend to smoke them. So yeah, any chance I get to travel to Seattle I definitely would. As a kid I was naïve, sure but yet, I was convinced that Seattle’s music scene was honest. You would listen to those guys in interviews, and they wouldn’t give a shit. They were just in it to make music, and that’s really pure to me.
Buy Prince Club & Poupon’s latest EP here.
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