Rebranding is a daunting venture for an established band. For the Mario Lepage project, rebranding is just an evolutionary change in what their project represents.
Adam, Kyle, Danny, and Mario have been playing ensemble as Mario Lepage since the winter of 2013, though obviously Mario has been doing it longer. The group is as eclectic as they make them, like Ameracana eggs, but the end result has been a psychedelic scramble.
“When you bring forth three other composers who are just as talented as you if not way more, they see things or hear things that you might not. You establish more connection with the whole public instead with just this one idea. I think the benefit of it is that you’re substantially growing a style,” says LePage.
The group has been deciding on a name since at least January. LePage touts a list of hundreds of names that the band had to choose from. Deciding which name worked best took time, research, and a lot of love.
“I was super stuck on Bastion for a really long time. Bastion signifies a solid structure,” LePage said. Being a bilingual band meant they needed a name that worked well in both English and in French. Ponteix (pronounced pawn-tex) is what they’ve decided to call themselves.
“Ponteix is a small French town in Saskatchewan that symbolizes a defiant force, because they are fighting against assimilation troubles, issues, realities,” LePage said.
Ponteix is about an hour southeast of Swift Current. Its population floats around 600 people. It has been known as Ponteix for 102 years. It is notable for the Plesiosaur fossil found near the town in the early 1990s. It is by all rights your average small Saskatchewan town made special upon closer inspection by the people that live there. And also for the dinosaur fossil.
Right now, the band has six songs that they’re happy with. Fans can expect four singles on the EP. The plan is to release a single and a video by September, and to release an EP by early 2016. These four musicians have been building a dam of expectation, and their audience is thirsty.
“We say that we’re working on an EP for the past two years… We’ve been progressing way too quickly that we realize so many things, y’know, that this song doesn’t justify us anymore, so we’re gonna scrap it and start over. There’s a lot of that,” LePage said.
The Mario Lepage project will be opening as Ponteix for the first time at the Slow Down Molasses release party on Friday, May 29, at Amigos. Also opening is The Avulsions, formerly known as Phalec Baldwin.
Photo Credit: Amber Buchholz