The scene squared for mocm

Scene, The (2)

Origin: Montréal, Québec, 🇨🇦

The Scene, a Montreal based band that was started in 1992 by Matthew Vanka and Thomas Thornton. Matthew Vanka, a Montreal native met his future collaborator and bass player Thomas (Tom) Thornton (Winnipeg) in an underground night club Bar Le Lezard in the popular Le Plateau area of Montreal. Common tastes in British Alternative music with all the influences of the Goth factor, it was inevitable that a band was to start. Working out of Tom's loft , both Matthew and Tom quickly took to writing the future songs of The Scene. The yet incomplete band meant , that one of them (Tom) would need to sing to complete the demos to establish themselves as a whole.

Sargasso Seas was the first demo released in January 1992, quickly establishing the duo as a musical force. It was soon apparent that this duo would need to branch out and scour the Montreal scene for like minded musicians to complete the course. Advertising in the then, Montreal bible of local musicians, (The Mirror) the duo placed an ad looking for a "Drummer" as they needed to complete the circle minus the drum machine (Roland R5 Human Rhythm Composer). As many bands at the time have done, Sisters of Mercy (Dr.Avalanche) or Echo and the Bunnymen (Korg Minipops Junior), the human aspect to a band meant dropping the machine for the inconsistencies of the human touch. Along comes 17-year-old protégé, Joska St-Pierre, bordering the outskirts of Granby in Quebec. The long trek to practices meant this was a serious endeavor to take on as a flourishing drummer and soon to be , third member of The Scene. Their weekly jam sessions produced many of The Scene’s demo songs and rough recordings to establish the foundation for what’s to come.

Tom Thornton, finding the difficulty in singing and playing at the same time, knew it was time to once again, place an ad for a potential forth future member of The Scene. Another ad posted in the ever popular The Mirror, presented itself with some hopefuls. After some tryouts and mishaps, a 25-year-old Richard Slowik (former Gene Cutter guitarist) applied for the position even though only having experience as a backing vocalist in his former band. A phone call was all that was needed to establish a common bond in similar musical tastes. After one jam practice, it was soon realized that the trio had found their missing member. They soon embarked on writing and releasing the first proper demo with new singer Richard Slowik.

Voice and Material (Cassette released January 1st, 1994) was a 3 song demo released on the standard cassette format of the time. “Out of Control, Come Clean, and Rise” (Hocus Pocus Records) were the songs to test the waters of the Montreal scene to see if The Scene would penetrate.

Guitar driven melodic punk was the sound emanating from the demo and it was clear that the next step was to go live. Numerous shows, opening up and headlining with some of Montreal’s underground established bands (The Seven Deadly Sins, Oblik Instance, Icor, Never The Less, Funeral Parade…) The Scene was on the rise to one of Montreal’s underrated underground unknowns. Quickly charting on CISM 89,3 FM at 36 position, “I Am” with the release of “Only In Paradise” 1996 on Hocus Pocus Records (HPR777). Recorded in Montreal at the Studio 8 in 1995. CD format was the media needed to break the digital format required by radio stations and downloads. The album “Only In Paradise” was mastered at Le Studio located in the lush mountain side of Morin Heights by Simon Pressey, chief engineer.

"Only in Paradise" is an 8 – song CD release coveted by radio stations CISM 89,3 FM in Montreal and 99.9 The Buzz FM in Burlington Vermont across the border. The song “I Am” was on regular rotation and getting some traction for the band. Borrowing backing vocals from vocalist Uranian Glory (Uranian Valcéanu) (Seven Deadly Sins, The Sins, Lili Fatale) The songs “Soul Spectrum, I Am, Ego’s Trip) were perfectly embellished with Uranian Glory’s melodic voice adding to the supportive Montreal underground music scene.

Playing numerous shows in local Montreal venues like Foufounes Electrique, Bar Le Lezard, Jailhouse Rock, The Cat House, Club Soda and outdoor festivals, The Scene soon made an impact on the scene.

A video of the second release off the album "Only In Paradise" is the opening track on the album "Soul Spectrum". Recorded in Tom's loft basement depicting a dark, cinematic operating theatre. Here we get to see the band in their true essence of Goth meets frantic guitar-oriented playing. Melody driven songs with dynamic hooks, The Scene would collaborate with local artist Krzystof Donewski by participating in a private sold out vernissage party to celebrate music and art. The Halloween vernissage/show was a perfect blend of the two mediums joining artistic forces.



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The scene squared for mocm

Scene, The (2)