By JESSICA A. BOTELHO
The hard rocking quintet Prospect Hill have climbed the peaks of musical hardship and are basking in the valley of stardom, as they signed a recording contract with Carved Records in April.
But, that’s not all. “Come Alive,” the first single from their third and latest album, Impact, is being played on radio stations across the country. The song has also been licensed by ESPN for the 2012 National Hot Rod Association season and was listed on Amazon’s hot new rock singles chart, making it to the top 10 within just a few days of its release.
“It seems like it’s doing really well and people are taking a liking to it,” said drummer Mark Roberge. “‘Come Alive’ is really about people who aren’t living their lives and just getting caught up in sh*t with relationships and work and are not taking advantage of everyday they are given on this earth.”
For Prospect Hill, who hail from Merrimack Valley, an area just 20 minutes north of Boston, living life to the fullest is what they are all about and being on the road is one of their favorite ways to spend time. Since 2009, they’ve performed an average of 100 shows per year, ranging from throughout the Northeast, East Coast, Midwest and even California.
On one of their most recent tours, they especially enjoyed traveling from gig to gig in their van, affectionately nicknamed, “Vanny DeVito,” as well as their trailer, “Trailer Swift.”
“We always seem to have a lot of fun on the road,” said vocalist Adam Fithian.
Of course, being five best friends might have something to do with it. Bassist Edgar Troncoso described them as being, “really close.”
“You miss your family when you’re on the road but it’s not too bad because you have a bunch of people with you that are not only friends, they’re family,” Troncoso said.
Being a tight-knit group has made the trek to success more fun than work. Nevertheless, they remember the days before they had access to quality instruments and recording equipment.
“When we first started out, we were playing hand-me-down instruments and using our mom and dad’s stereo equipment to amplify our guitars,” said Roberge. “We literally had nothing.”
Realizing they could save money through self-promotion, they created an online presence in 2005 and began building a fan base. Once they acquired enough money, they bought a PA system and eventually established their own label by 2009.
These days, they are being courted by multiple record labels and rubbing shoulders with A-list producers, including Anthony J. Resta, who has worked with artists such as Collective Soul and Duran Duran. Resta also produced Prospect Hill’s, Impact.
“Working with him was amazing,” said Troncoso. “He’s very creative and thinks outside the box. That’s why the CD has it’s own kind of flavor. He’s a ninja on the keyboard.”
Resta isn’t the only well-known name the band has been in contact with lately. In the last few years, they’ve toured with acts such as Alice Cooper, Anthrax, Buckcherry, Fall Out Boy, Korn, Hinder, Stone Sour, Hailstorm, Sevendust, and CageTime, to name a handful.
Further, the band’s first full-length album, For the Lovers the Haters in the Dead, released in 2007, featured Godsmack’s guitarist Tony Rombola. He performed on the song, “S.O.E.”
“We all grew up in the same area so we have a connection,” said Roberge. “It was like having a friend on the album. It was really cool.”
According to Roberge, other “really cool” incidents have happened since then. In 2010, they were named High Times Magazine’s Best Independent Act of 2010 and performed the High Times Magazine Award Showcase in Austin, Texas. Fithian said not only do they feel fortunate to have won, they are also supporters of the decriminalization of marijuana.
“I think the country will change its perception of marijuana because we could turn our financial problems around by making it legal,” he said. “It’s a touchy subject but all in all we’re talking about it in the right context. We’re not saying, ‘Oh, let’s smoke pot.’ It’s about a reform of something that’s been taken out of context by everyone in this country.”
More recently, they were awarded the title of Best Live Act at the 2012 New England Music Awards, which took place at Boston’s Hard Rock Café in February.
“We take a lot of pride in our live shows,” Roberge said. “We go 100 percent no matter how tired or sick we are. We give it all we’ve got.”
To learn more about the band, visit their website at prospecthillmusic.com.