Real Deal On Acres Of Lions + More
This has been an exciting week to say the least!
Having Acres Of Lions on the show has been something I’ve been waiting to put up ever since the day it was shot – so to get it out there to you all has been somewhat of a relief…
I say relief because I was for once interested in my own side of this interview as well…let me explain…
As narcisistic as television and internet hosts tend to be, I like to think that I break away from the ego-inducing parts of this process and maintain a grounding that allows me to relate to the creative minds in the way that I do without the interference of some need for my own personal greatness. The goal will always remain the same – the music is what we’re here to see succeed and any individual successes we might achieve would almost stand in the way of our overall goals for the greater good of the community of music. A lot of me had been curious since we taped it – did I manage at all to get any real questions in? Or was I star-struck by the biggest name in independent artists to roll through our studio?
And in truth I miss them already! How could I not? It’s one of those things – when you meet people that you truly feel you relate to, they become wisdom and guidance that you seek out. Jeff and Tyson were incredibly wonderful as guests – truly respectful people who you almost wonder about in terms of if they ever utter a discouraging word.
So I flat out asked them at one point near the beginning; “Are you guys at that point yet where you’re like, what the fuck did we sign up for? We’re in a garage right now?” To which they STILL responded humbly. And this to me is another reflection of WHY they’re important – they understood that we ourselves at SBS are still just getting going. I believe that they recognized this instantly – and rather be “rock stars” about it, simply sat down and enjoyed their time. Awesome.
I was taught long ago in my corporate days that when we used to walk into our customer’s accounts that you treat every worker you pass like the CEO of their company because one day, you never know, they could very well be your boss or at least the person of which we have that relationship and contact point with. That’s the same respect I carry with me now for independent artists – in a way you’re all our “boss” because WE simply don’t exist with a YOU.
Value wise I felt like we had a ton in common in our mutual respect for our respective vocations – there was truly nothing false about Jeff or Tyson. I never once felt like they were trying to “wrap it up” – dangerous because you all know I could talk to them all day long.
And appreciated in the sense that our beautiful studio, though re-designed from the original set-up – was in a near shambles that day. Again, they made no big deal, no noses were turned in the air…
Rob and I had spent the better part of the week moving instruments, maximizing the space and optimizing the recording areas and in doing so we totally couldn’t put Humpty back together again in time for the arrival of Acres Of Lions. I remember feeling like we had blown it before they had even stepped foot in SBS….this terrible sinking feeling that I was going to meet some people here that I truly WANTED to meet and that we were going to let them down BIG TIME that day. And as time drew closer we realized just how far away from a full set up we were. Brutal.
Then the filming issue came up. Our roster of SBS crew is small but mighty – but on this particular day every one of our own crew had prior commitments leaving me with the option of completely still cameras or to find SOMEONE who could help bail me out that was part of the SBS “fringe.”
Rob and Becky were out, Keera as well. I tried Mitch, a graphics artists we jam with sometimes….busy. I tried the infamous Matt D, also to no avail. I reached out to our grunge-homie Tyler Mayfield formerly of the band Overdose and now part of the SBS Team….also busy. Jeff Jeffries, radio host in Vancouver, same story. So it seemed like it would be up to me alone to pull through that day somehow, feeling inadequate in every possible way. To make matters even worse I realized I had left every single one of our tripods in Becky’s car and she was gone for the day. So not only were the still shots going to be still – the cameras themselves would have to be placed in some bizarre spots and I think I can see that reflected in the footage we captured. There’s much of me that is now attached to the memory….and in that sense I wouldn’t have it any other way – but from a video-editor’s perspective I think we missed an angle or two on that shoot despite being extremely happy with what we have put out for their video.
As you CAN see from the footage – all was not lost. One of my own personal indie heroes – BRAD WENGRANOWSKI from the brutal-power-metal band AETERNA bailed us out big time that day by coming by to film. I also like to think that says a lot about our friendship with the scene in general, but with Brad as well. Through our site and correspondence to you, through our show, we preach the inclusion and acceptance of all music into your life – as much as you can fit. And let’s face it – while I might personally LOVE the music of Acres Of Lions, well…let’s just say brutal-power-metal they are not. So for Brad to come by that day to help out really meant a ton – and just like the core values of SBS and what I saw in Acres Of Lions – Brad also has that high respect for people that truly love what they do and instantly could see the passion in Jeff and Tyson for their music. You literally just can’t help but respect people of this calibur. Huge thank you again to Brad – beyond appreciated friend!
So panic not friends – we WILL be back tonight – late in the PM with Part II of the episode – no lie from us – lots going on at SBS today so the posting of this episode could theorectically head into the hours of AM on Monday – but we’re here and doing our best as we always try to do. This episode includes a couple of videos – another brilliant performance by Acres Of Lions – a song called “Prairie Fire.”
I might not know where the oil goes into my car but I can hear a catchy tune on the radio while I pay someone else to do the work on said car…. I hear that resonance this song will have with people and I am so proud of this performance to come out of SBS. In comparison to the album it of course is without the amazing drumming of Shane, whose performance on the finalized studio version is incredible. He came up with a ripping beat for a softer song in sentiment and melody and really made it RUN. But again – I didn’t have the album at the time – this was the way I saw and heard the song for the first time – instantly convinced that it will not be the last. I think they have a genuine hit on their hands with that song and I know it’s going to make me smile when I hear it being played by someone outside on a kick-ass summer day this year.
Speaking of that – this busy band on a tour that started with a visit to us and then kept on across Canada, is now home safe and sound having made many new friends and found a lot of great new music along the way. From what I could see from the social media boards – Acres Of Lions had a successful time on tour and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. And truthfully they’re far from done for the summer – there are festival shows they’re a big part of this year with a lot of new fans anxiously awaiting to hear the new material live for the first time.
Once again I’d like to thank Jeff and Tyson for their time and their putting up with me being a super-fan throughout the interview. Also again, huge thank you to Sacha Miller from Audioblood Inc. for setting that up – you rock lady!
The last two things I want to say about Acres Of Lions are quick and to the point I promise….c’mon now….brevity is my thing isn’t it?
I want you all when watching this episode to really take it to heart. These guys could very well be YOU in a couple of years or a matter of mere moments. It all changes quickly in this industry and the only thing that doesn’t ever need to change is a respect for the craft, the fans and the overall station it puts you in life. Jeff and Tyson have shown me that no matter what, they’ll continue to appreciate these very things. So I’m asking you all, as a personal favour to me, that when you watch these episodes, KNOW that they’ve experienced a spectacular amount of success and they’ve never let it affect their art. They still make the music that THEY want to make. They still enjoy the creative freedomes they’ve always known with their art. They still LOVE what they do. Again – there’s simply no way to NOT respect people of this amazing calibur and candor.
One more – and this is just another example that we have been explaining over time to different artists coming through SBS…we’ve always said that leaving us with some extra music in any way, shape or form is never a bad idea….we’ll find it a good home! I have this quote on camera from Jeff regarding Vancouver hard rock band THE PIT when we passed on the last two EP’s to them as well as the latest EP from AETERNA.
“I Wanna Plant Bombs Everywhere” is a great name for a song!” He’s so right! Just wait until he hears it for the first time like we all have!
But again – super cool for us to have the opportunities to pass on music to other artists and we fully encourage you all once again to start viewing your music as the best possible business card there has ever been. Even Patrick Bateman would stop and stare. Everyone can carry around a piece of cardboard, but not everyone can pass out the very reason people like myself exist and breathe and LOVE their life. You can form connections with people you’ll never even meet and change lives for the better through your art. And just like Tyson points out in Part II of the interview – there wasn’t a ton of people at the Limblifter show (Again Vancouver – wake the HELL UP!!!) and they weren’t sure just how many new faces they saw would seek them out again.
Sometimes it’s a ton. Sometimes it’s none. And sometimes, like many of us say – it starts with ONE. I was at that show. I still have that melody for the song I now know is “Forgive & Forget” in my head. I still feel that want to express and connect and help people through the emotion in Jeff’s voice. And now I’m here, telling you all to check them out and I truly hope that you do this week on our show and beyond that into these next brightly lit years of their future. And if there’s one of you out there that hears the music like I do, and they gain another fan through this that’s all I’m ever looking for. Me + 1. Net gain of 100% on return fan investment. Because it DOES start with one – and if I can paraphrase Tyson once more – we make this art to share it with each other. One will always become two. Two will always become more. The lesson in all of this I believe – is stick to WHO YOU ARE. Make your music in the most honest way you can. Don’t compromise your artistic integrity.
Do these things and the people WILL come. One by one.
OTHER INDIE NEWS:
Okay – I’ll give you a little more on this episode coming out and why it’s taking a little longer to get out….we added a couple things….
First of all we added a video from a French animation team for a band called NICOLAS & THE ICENI from the UK. We’re developing a video interview with them and since this was my own personal introduction to their music, I thought I’d share. So consider this a preview of an upcoming episode later this year as we follow up on the written interview we’ve recently done with them!
Secondly we added brief but curiousity inspiring clips of our upcoming to indie comedians on our show – TOM WILLIAMS and TIM E. D – I simply can’t express how thankful I am to them both for reaching out from as far away as they have and they’ve both taught me that the level of passion, that maximum potential we all reach in the craft we love, is universal. I really enjoyed speaking with them both and I can’t wait to show you these clips. We’ll be leading off with Tom Williams in the upcoming video interview with THE DANBURY LIE, followed by Tim E. D in the episode to follow, TBA.
Rob Loncto of The Danbury Lie incidentally, is a freakin rock star. I’ve been heavily reviewing and editing the footage for that episode during this past week and it really is something exciting to watch. We’ve all seen the studio on screen – and we love it of course – but it’s awesome to see YOUR perspective on YOUR art with YOU having creative control. These opportunities have provided me with countless amazing conversations and daily inspirations. We sent one out to our homie NOVA just the other day and if you could hear how PUMPED this guy is to make this all it can be you’d be every bit as excited as I am right now! He has editing skills in the video department and I like to think what we sent him is really going to inspire him to take this to official “baller status” for a video post!
IRON KINGDOM – the second band to be featured on SBS Live This Week is about to embark on their first US tour. As you all know already I’m a HUGE fan of people that put the WORK into their music – not just in short bursts when things are happening – but consistently pushing your art out there like recent SBS Live guests WEST MY FRIEND, CINGED (Winner of the SBS THRICE contest) or TREEHOUSE! does. I can safely say I’m not sure I can name a person that I know of right now out there doing more work in pushing their band than CHRIS OSTERMAN of Iron Kingdom. So on a personal note – I just want to congratulate this entire band on the work they’ve done with the release of their latest album “At The Gates.” It’s absolutely impressive and I continue to see postings from this band reaching out well beyond our borders and across the globe having their work noticed, heard and reviewed. You’re setting the example for us all Iron Kingdom – keep up the great work!
THE PIT – oh my! Can I say that I’m in love with the editing on that last video? I hope you don’t mind! But for real – aside from considering my words as art – the video world has become the world I live in most and truly love. And there’s not one of us out there that doesn’t love to see their own evolution or progression – but I really felt like the timing on the latest SBS music video post for The Pit – the cover of “We’re In This Together Now” was – just as their newest fan and New York radio host Ed Tyll says – “Tight as a crab’s ass.” I’m very proud of that one. And how about that guest performance by Ryan Rutherford? Me standing next to him is a comical farce. I’m literally about half his height, which for several reasons can make it awkward to meet someone when you only stand waist high to them…. LOL. Ryan is beyond cool as a person; I’ve run into him on a couple occasions through the wedding, SBS and listening to him call in to support The Pit during the Ed Tyll broadcast – let me say the consistency of character is completely there. It’s rare to meet someone you can so quickly feel 100% about – but Ryan is the genuine real deal. I am however, still cautious – if I’m not quick on my feet his giant frame could accidentally step on and squash me. He’s a big dude! I think you’re getting that by now….ok….I’ll move on then…. What I’ve been wanting to tell you is that THE PIT are playing a show coming up at LANA LOU’S in Vancouver on the 25th of May and YOU SHOULD GO! And once again huge thank you to our friends of friends in The Pit, wedding bride + groom of the video event Andy + Jolynn. Incredible honour for us to be there to film that special performance on the best day of your lives together! Thank you for allowing us to share that with the world – I think it’s fantastic that you can absolutely see just how much you two love each other, right there on screen. Incredible!
The EVERYDAY MUSIC TV project with SBS for the 18th was cancelled due to scheduling restrictions resulting in my first ever strained-beyond-repair relationship with a band! It would be unprofessional to name them and there’s no need for that – I’m simply pointing out that even doing what we do in providing this promotion and excitement for bands and fans can still make blood boil on the other side of the screen when something like this happens. We had set up the 18th and 31st as days for shooting with Rod Matheson of Everyday Music TV and unfortunately the 18th didn’t work out for any but this one band on a day where we were already asking a lot of Rod to come out on a busy day for him. So we made the correct call and unfortunately cancelled the date. Not thinking, I simply added this band to the line-up on the 31st in error, completely forgetting that they would not be able to make this date. Certainly my bad, however well intentioned.
I always say it’s important to measure intentions. There’s simply no need to over-express the disappointment in the situation as I truly feel it myself if not even more so. And as I had now read through e-mails how truly disappointed they were at this error and cancellation – I thought to myself, well, if they were willing to come out for one song….maybe just maybe they’ll do my show….multiple songs and interview and all that…best I could do to make it right somehow, I mean, I’m free on that day too now right? Anyway – the offer was rejected due to the disappointment in SBS and that’s completely fair for them to feel how they do. Though we saw a much different side of them through the correspondence at the end (They’ve created their first video and sent me a sweet link with “In Your Fucking Face” attached to it….if only I could find it somewhere….) we do wish this unidentified band the best of luck in the future as they continue to pursue their art.
It was a good reminder for me to again remain humble. Not everyone will like what I do personally or what we do through SBS, something I’ve had to come to accept and realize over time, much as I did years ago when I first started writing about and interviewing bands. I remember when the alternative band CHEVELLE rejected the photos we had taken with the very press pass they provided us to take them with…beautiful shots…all rejected simply because they were unhappy with their overall performance that night and didn’t want that out there visually…or at least that was the reasoning I was supplied with. And just like this did at first – that feeling that I could somehow LET YOU DOWN or disappoint you all through bringing attention to your art, or embarass you through our work together – stung a little but has never left my side and continually guides me to do the best I can for you – to be the best version of myself to represent your art on a note that is inviting to others.
So the POSITIVE part of the Everyday Music TV project is that the date we had set up for the 31st is still alive, fully-stocked and kicking STRONG. I am BEYOND excited at this opportunity for these artists and bands. If you’ve seen what Rod has been able to capture in former SBS interviewees ANNIE BECKER and BRODIE DAWSON – you’d be stoked for them all too!
Check out this list of awesome acts confirmed to come out that day for the shooting: LAURA KELSEY (With Guest Rory) – FILTHY LITTLE THIEVES – BRAD WENGRANOWSKI of AETERNA – IRON KINGDOM – THE PIT – THE BEARDS OF CANADA. It promises to be a busy but unique day for all and I think that this will be another great memory of what we can all accomplish together through the music. There IS the possibility of still squeezing a couple more acts into this time frame but the time is running out to get involved – if you’re interested (Reading this now or in the future) contact me directly at email@example.com and we’ll see if we can’t fit you into that day or a future date to come. And from there we’ll do our best to not disappoint! 😉
Alright – it certainly feels like I’ve written the longest blog post even in my own personal history…so I’ll wrap this up for now, knowing I’ll surely curse myself out for missing a couple of details somewhere along the lines!
Great things still to come in May! See you on screen for Part II of SBS Live This Week with Acres Of Lions! Catch up Part I here if you haven’t seen it yet or just wanna see Jeff’s inspiring solo performance of “Bright Lights” again – click THIS!
You’re all awesome + we appreciate you stopping by our little corner of the internet.