Sebastien Ste Marie, lead singer of Van Damsel, breathed a heavy sigh of relief when judges announced Van Damsel as the final band in the top three of the Peak Performance Project.
"Feeling relief, excitement, really happy, there's no doubt about it," says Ste-Marie. "We get to go through with our plans, we get to play at the Commodore Ballroom [in Vancouver], and we're getting some money."
Van Damsel is guaranteed $50,000 for being in the top three, with the chance to win $100,000 if the band wins the whole thing.
In fact, it's money Van Damsel has it's already spent on travel, promotion, and on their new self-titled album 'Van Damsel.'
"Just recording our album, it was $30,000 to $40,000," says drummer Matthew Barron on the costs of operating a band. "To make a music video, it can cost between $5,000 and $10,000, even more depending on the production quality. Stuff like publicity is also several thousand dollars."
Van Damsel has already pumped in tens of thousands of dollars to get where they are today, mainly on their new album, which features their hit single 'Best of Everything. It's reached as high as 32nd on Canadian music charts.
"It has done some stuff for us. Charted across Canada on radio, we've got some views on YouTube. It's got some notice," says Ste-Marie. "Every other song hasn't been released, but we are playing them on tour shows. We have a second single 'Sophia' that will be coming out in November."
Since forming in 2010, Barron says the four members of Van Damsel have worked well together, always pushing themselves to be better.
"I think what really works for us is that we're willing to work with each other and we're just willing to move through challenges and to achieve the next leve, where as I think a lot of times ti's easier to give up on something," says Barron.
Van Damsel has persevered, and will next take the stage November 19th at the Commodore in Vancouver. As they turn the corner in their career, the band hopes to inspire other local artists.
"I know not every musician plays this style of music or fits in this type of competition. But maybe it will spur other musicians to really push to the next level, and never necessarily be satisfied with where you are. Always striving for more, that's what we do."
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