Give us a little bio about you.
I started out playing drums, guitar and piano as a young kid.
I fell deeply in love with The Beatles Revolver and simply wanted to make music as cool as that. I ended up as a musician, songwriter, producer who’s toured the world with various artists.
A few fun highlights come to mind; playing CBGB’s in NYC, Prince’s club in Minneapolis, The Cavern Club in Liverpool Pool and The National Art Gallery of Canada.
I’ve spent my life on the road and in the recording studio. My artistic journey has been a great adventure!
Tell us more about your music.
It’s an attempt to illuminate the darkness of everyday existence into technicolor. Music is a language that communicates with the mysteries of life. Playing and writing is the only way I know how to truly express myself; it’s meditative, cathartic, exciting and fun. Music is my reality and my escape from reality.
The best songs are deeply personal and universal all at once. I sing and play many of the instruments myself, but have fantastic friends to collaborate with in the studio.
I love the creative sense of discovery. Art flies the highest when the destination is unknown.
You released Side 1 of The Record Collector,tell us more about it.
The songs on “Side 1” musically echo and re-imagine the vintage records, cassettes and radio of my childhood; like a well loved mixed tape through a modern prism.
Songs such as Junior Astronomer’s Club and The Sun Will Shine Again are an homage to classic psych-pop and literature, about the search for pure magic and love in a tragic world.
From blissful daydreams of seaside carnivals “Shadow in the Light” to sunsets of bittersweet sorrow “She Reveals Her Heart” ; the songs on “Side 1” are the first steps through the looking glass; the beginning of the main character Emily Blue’s odyssey.
There’s an interwoven “rock opera” type narrative throughout the LPs, but the songs can also stand on their own.
What was the writing process like?
Ultimately, I love to create cinematic songs, the kind of tunes I’d want to hear as a music lover. I’m trying to find the centre of my orbit and simultaneity fade into my own parade.
The writing process is subconscious and conscious; Like mini-movies within the framework of a three or four minute song.
Some tunes come to me like a lightning flash, others appear in slow motion. I’m lucky because songs find their way to me.
Many of the compositions tend to be solitary but the most beautiful moments are the collaborations.
Carl Jennings, Kori Pop, Wim Oudijk and Rebecca Everett brought the songs to life.
I’m humbled and forever thankful.
What can we expect from Side 2?
Side 2 is a little darker, like clouds gathering over a carnival so to speak. There are surreal, haunting moments, illuminated by vintage keyboard and guitar sounds. “Teardrop Town” is literally a ghost story; “Emily Blue” also operates in other worldly territory. The LP includes a short story about Emily’s fantastical adventures.
The incredibly imaginative Kori Pop is featured in these songs, she sings lead and plays a wonderful piano part on Land of 1000 Goodbyes…Magic!
The rest of the triple LP continues to take the listener on a sonic journey.
Fall of the Summer Heart completes the album with a 13 min song cycle. Carl, Wim, and Kori’s contributions are nothing short of incredible.
Do you have any gigs coming up or a tour in the new year.
Yes, planning dates for the spring in North America. There’s the possibility of European shows and Japan.
What else can we expect from you in 2018?
I plan to make creative videos for the songs on the album and play live. I’m also working as a producer and session musician. Recording with fantastic artists/ bands like The Nines and Afternoons in Stereo.
I’ve also been speaking to a publisher about releasing the short story from my LP as an illustrated book “Emily Blue and the Star on the Moon” with Bob Rich and Jenna Gregory.
Are you a signed?
I work with an excellent Canadian label called Sonic Envy. Hoping for joint ventures in areas beyond Canada.
Will we see any collaborations coming out?
More work with Steve Eggers (The
Nines) and Afternoons in Stereo. I also helped produce a record with SG Sinnicks.
Who are your influences?
I’ve always loved music from many genres. I’ve collected records since I was a kid.
I was lucky, my wonderful folks bought me cool records at a young age. That started my love affair with music.
Those albums led to an infatuation with 60’s British Invasion/ Mod and American West Coast Psychedelic.
Around the same time local radio stations (CFNY and CKOC) played fantastic music from many genres; 70’s and 80’s Pop/ Rock to eclectic New Wave and Vintage Soul.
I’d occasionally stumble into ancient Classical and Big Band music on the fringes of the dial. Exploring late night radio was a mysterious sonic adventure; theatre of the mind.
A few years later Art Rock and Jazz artists made their way on to my turntable.
On top of all that, there’s always been a vibrant local Canadian scene; it opened the door to the world of indie music.
Ultimately I’ve always been inspired by highly imaginative artists that were constantly evolving.
David Bowie to Miles Davis.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
On a beautiful tropical island lol. I love the process of making albums, hopefully there are many more to come. I’d like to do more soundtrack work and collaboration as well.
I’ll still be searching for the next song idea, possibly even something expansive like a screenplay or a novel.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I enjoy books, classic cinema (love 70’s films) comic books and collect various memorabilia. I love living in Canada; summer’s swimming at the lake, winter skating on the bay.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
I really enjoy festival shows. Over the years I’ve played many venues in Hamilton Ontario, there’s a couple of fantastic clubs that are always great. Nearby in Toronto I’d love to play Massey Hall, many legendary artists have played there.
Would you be up for collaborating with an unsigned artist or band? If
so how can they contact you.
If it was creative, fun and we’re on the same page…yes!!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
A Day In The Life by The Beatles and Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys made me want to become a song writer.
Locally an album called Valentino’s Pirates by Dave Rave inspired me to release my own independent records.
I’m honoured to have this legendary artist sing background on one of my songs (The Sun Will Shine Again) it’s amazing when things come full circle!
Where is your dream festival to perform?
I’ve been lucky enough to play SXSW in Austin Texas, such a wonderful music town!
I’ve toured in the USA but never played California…that would be great! Any of the festivals on the west coast would be cool.
On the other end of the spectrum any beautiful location in Europe is worthy of a daydream!
What made you go in to music?
When I was very young I’d run home from school and watch The Monkees on TV. I was also hypnotized by rock & roll magazines and record stores. I saw Kiss play when I was 10 years old ; loud guitars & drums, fireworks, freaky costumes and stage makeup!
Wow! Life in a band seemed like so much fun! Right out of high school, I went out on the road playing across Canada.
A few years later the legendary producer Daniel Lanois was very encouraging. He was an incredible help to my early band.
This and touring with established bands started me on the road to a life in music.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
I once meet Joe Strummer (The Clash) he said “put your bloody heart into every note”
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not just about the industry also just as an artist/band?
Study the greats; develop your technique, style, tone and taste. Think like an artist not just a musician.
Listen. Learn what to play and what not to play. Develop rhythmic feel and space.
Focus on writing great songs.
Play with passion, heart, soul and joy.
Work with good, creative people who have pure motives.
Make the kind of records you’d want to hear; develop the skills to do so.
Work with an excellent producer.
Use cool instruments and equipment.
Enjoy the process, dream big but be humble.
Play, write and record as much as possible. Create music you believe in before you promote.
Be very creative with album and poster art, videos etc.
Realize you have to get out of your hometown (as great as it may be) to discover the world and see the big picture.
Take changes, explore and experiment…find yourself.
Create your own genre and crown yourself king or queen.
What quote(s) or saying do you always stick by?
Here’s a few favourites-
“Follow your bliss”
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”
“Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free”
” Imagination is more important than knowledge”
“My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light”
“He did not hate the winter now, for he knew that it was merely the spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting”
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”
Winnie The Pooh
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1/ To play with passion.
2/ Enjoy the moment, have fun.
3/ Under all circumstances play your best.
4/ Make sure your equipment is working well.
5/ Remember the essence of the song and the fundamentals. Lyrics, chords, heart and soul.
You come off Tour
1/ Where is the first place you go?
The first day or two I feel like an astronaut that’s been to the moon and back! It’s always wonderful to get home and see family and friends!
2/ Who is the first person you see?
My Wife and Mom.
3/ What is the first thing you eat.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?