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Le Journal de Montreal Interview

Bassist Patrick Thibault is part of The Boxtones, one of the most popular groups in Dubai at the moment. The band will attempt to break through in the UK this year.

A musician from the Laurentians unknown in Quebec is now considered a star in the United Arab Emirates, where he has stepped on the same stage as The Who, Enrique Iglesias and Florence & The Machine.

Patrick Thibault, 38, has traveled extensively in bands at various hotels around the world. In 2011, it culminated in Dubai, where he was noticed and recruited by the rock band The Boxtones.

Since then, his life has been transformed, the group being one of the most prominent in the United Arab Emirates. Patrick plays in front of hundreds of thousands of people each year.

He stands out everywhere. However, when he returned to Quebec, he lived in total anonymity.

The Boxtones originally featured covers of popular songs in Dubai. After a while, the band wrote their own songs. Recently, The Boxtones signed with Universal Music to launch their second album, ‘Home’.

THE LIFE OF A STAR

Now that he is a renowned musician on the other side of the planet, he regularly lends himself to autographs or photos. He tells that at each outing, the group meets admirers. "It is thanks to them that we make a living. We can’t reject them. It's nice to see that they are impressed and happy to see us."

Regularly, The Boxtones are invited to premieres of films or to great restaurants.

"Many companies here want to be seen, so they offer sponsorship at our shows," he says.

ELTON JOHN CONCERT

The group also had the chance to play alongside Pharrell Williams and Blur by being the opening act of their shows.

The Boxtones will be on stage as the opening act for Elton John’s concert in December 2017 at the Autism Rocks Arena in Dubai.

"We are well known here and we hope to get recognition on a larger scale. We make a good living, but we are not rich. We are planning a tour of England this summer. A three-month media campaign has just been launched by Universal to lay the ground work."

FAR FROM HIS ROOTS

Happy with this great moment in his career, Patrick Thibault confesses that he does miss his family and region of origin.

"I would like to come back sometime, but the music market is difficult and more restricted in Quebec. Our new album tackles this subject a bit: to chase your dream, even if it takes us away from our roots. We are incredibly lucky and there are so many opportunities here. "

BULLIED IN HIGH SCHOOL

During his adolescence, Patrick Thibault was a shy and marginal student at Saint-Jerome’s Polyvalente High School.

He even adds that he was victim of bullying. "I was a bit of an out of the ordinary kid, often mistreated. It is also because of this that I found my path. I don’t hold any grudges though; it did not stop me from achieving my goals" he says.

Of course, intimidation affected him and, even today, he must work on his confidence. "When 30,000 people have their hands in the air because I'm on stage, it helps."