An electric duo, forming a name for themselves through their unique live performances – Prototype is onto something big. Armed with a digital guitar and a filthy lil bit of DJing, the pair practice hour on end to achieve something that would impress even the most doubtful of spectators. Meeting just about half a year ago, they aim to be among the first music acts to perform at all of the big five festivals in South Africa (Ramfest, Oppikoppi, Synergy, Rocking the Daisies and Splashy Fen) in their first year of performing. These two are driven by pure passion; all it takes is a few minutes with them to realize that this South African commodity must be fully appreciated while they’re still on our shores.

DYD: You two have solo projects as Not_Sean and TerroByte. How long have you guys been on the scene and what inspired you to create Prototype?
Not_Sean: Well both of us have been involved in music for most of our lives, myself as a drummer. Not_Sean started a few years back as just a DJ, after some time I wanted to bring a live element to the electro stage; we were originally called “Stormtroopers Anonymous”, and had a drummer. But after it had been a nightmare to get everything to work, we ended up going on as just the two of us.

Jon: I was never really involved in digital music (or as the world knows it, “EDM”) until Prototype came into my life. I was a big fan of Muse, who likes to incorporate some digital aspects into their music. And through surfing how-to’s on how to make certain sounds like Matthew Bellamy does with his built in Kaoss pad on his guitar I came across the Kitara. Saved up, and imported my own one and started experimenting. I played an open mic night last year some time and used the Kitara for one track with my loop station and Not_Sean over here managed to catch it. He approached me after (which is how we met) and we started working together. Terrobyte itself was essentially born with Prototype as a stage name, and kinda worked since I now also DJ at some of my own gigs

DYD: Could you explain what happens on stage? The digital guitar looks incredible!
Not_Sean: Haha, I’ll let Jon explain this one.

Jon: The digital guitar itself is one of the most amazing things I have ever gotten my hands on. It’s basically a synthesizer. Allowing me to create my own sounds while throwing in effects wherever I want. The real magic happens when I get to control parameters on the instrument live. As an example, a guitarist would use a ‘wah’ pedal to make changing sounds, which is where I could drag my fingers across the touch screen and influence a sound in any way that I want. Distortion, filters, pitch – you name it. On top of that is where Not_Sean produces tunes, samples, and drumbeats to match what I am doing. We also run it through Ableton Live to truly unleash it on stage so that it can become a “Launch Pad” for some songs, and for others making its own sound.

DYD: What is your music production process like?
Jon: It actually kind of works as a production line concept as I handle production and Not_Sean handles mastering and tweaking (making the song what we really want). We work as a team when it comes to song writing, and then I’m able to put it into a song that we want.

Not_Sean: Once we have the song/remix made we then work on stripping it down again so that when we perform it live, it all comes together again. Sometimes it’s completely different to how it first sounded, but we are free to change it around. We are big into live production on stage, and it’s an element we are working more and more on. We are also starting to work with some members from conventional bands and making them add their styles to the song. Some rad remixes coming soon!

DYD: Your lives are pretty cool, considering what you’re doing. What is the best part of being musicians?
Not_Sean: For me, It has to be getting to perform in front of people, seeing people jamming out to what you are doing is an amazing feeling, I also love the nerves before a show. No idea why, but I love that feeling.

Jon: Well, the music (laughs). I mean it’s obviously everybody’s real dream to be incredibly successful through their passions, like music and acting and that sort of stuff. Which I am obviously incredibly grateful for, but I guess the most rewarding thing for me is that our work does pay off. There’s nothing more soul-grating than working your ass off all day, every day and having nothing to show for it. The most blatant reward is getting to see people having the best time of their lives while losing themselves to our music at shows and we know it’s because we spend all of our free time grinding to make ourselves better than what is out there. We want to stand out, and we’ll work for it until it kills us.

DYD: Describe yourselves in three words.
Not_Sean: Hugs for everyone!

Jon: I hate this question (laughs). Swag, Yolo, Swag.

DYD: Where would you like to perform this year, internationally and locally?
Not_Sean: We are trying to get our hands on everything out there, I’m focusing largely on booking some dates in Italy and Germany for a year end tour and so far it’s coming along nicely. My main mission at the moment is to get us into Cape Town. Man do those guys party hard!

Jon: I’ve always had this vision of going to Europe and partying in underground clubs around Berlin or Prague and the idea of performing at places like that would actually be a dream come true. Otherwise, Cape Town is in the works, as well as Oppikoppi and Rocking the Daises.

DYD: Do you guys have a favourite performance? Where was it and why is it a favourite?
Not_Sean: Two stand out for me, the first being our first ever gig before we even had a name at Fu-Cha on the YOGYOG stage, we had people jamming as far as we could see all the way into the treeline, I remember standing on the roof of the stage for the last song with a bottle of tequila and just being blown away by the amount of people losing their shit. I would have also said Ramfest, but Splashy Fen on the Uber Dance Valley stage… wow what a stage and such epic sound and lighting. I had a ton of fun at that one, even though one of my controllers bombed out and my drum pad rack fell over. Still was an amazing experience

Jon: Well, before this last month, I’d have to say our first 2 shows. Gin and Fu-cha. It was really rewarding getting great feedback from the crowd as we just started out. Hell, I couldn’t even see the crowd due to all the people filming us with their phones and their flashes on. But other than that, Ramfest. Hands down.

DYD: Who are some of your favourite international and local artists and acts?
Not_Sean: I’m more of a heavy rocker, so would first say bands like Haste the Day, Enter Shikari and Alexisonfire. But with electro music, big influences for me would have to be The Glitch Mob, Bloody Beetroots, Haezer and good old Skrillex. Locally Double Adapter, P.H. Fat, Random Citizen. There are so many other talented youngers bringing it hard.

Jon: Influentially speaking, Pendulum, Prodigy. Favourites, I would have to throw in Muse, Wolfmother. That kind of stuff. I’m a big fan of Riff-Rock if you will, and we try and incorporate that kind of stuff into our music.

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