Jordan Kootenay

 Jordan Kootenay

Jordan Kootenay Interview

SBS:  Alrighty dude…thanks for comin’ on back for another round of Q&A – let’s talk some tunes Jordan.  I suppose the logical place to start this time around, is to point out the fact that last time we talked, your brand-new record Damaged Goods was still coming just around the corner, and this time of course, it’s out there for the people to dig on.  What’s the reaction been to it so far & what kind of feedback are you getting from the people out there?  Any memorable comments or insights coming atcha from listeners?

Jordan:  Hey!  Yeah, let’s talk some tunes…  Sorry again for the delay on getting back to you on this!  I appreciate the straight up patience… Got the coffee on the go here and sitting here with a clear head ready to go…  So the reactions I’ve been getting would consist of enjoyment, and shock (in a good way), and maybe a few in the middle of those ones…  The feedback is mixed really.

So on “Years Before,” the individuals “who” can relate to it, because I am sure a few of us have been to the point where you know you’re in rough shape to be thrown in for the night…  A comment I got was, from a good friend, he said: “Jesus, no one told you to actually do that…Fucking guy!”  Then we proceeded to share a good laugh…  But he is probably right.

So the feedback has been fairly good, I’ve gotten a few sour responses…  But hey, if you’re gonna hop into the music, you gotta be prepared to have people dislike what you’re creating because maybe they aren’t on the same page?  I don’t know.  But nothing is taken personal here.  I am quite happy with what I got going on with this EP.

SBS:  Being your official debut & first record – drop some highlights on us.  What was more challenging about making Damaged Goods than you thought it might be going into it all, and what ended up being easier than you thought in that same regard throughout the recording & creative process of writing it?

Jordan:  Well I didn’t think it was going to be hard at all…  It just required commitment and solid worth ethic and flow from not only myself, but from the others…  And I can’t thank them enough for the contributions they did…  Really grateful that Julia put that contribution towards the lyrics and singing them the way she did…  It did open up some perspective, which I was also after with the vocals.

Something I really need to keep in mind with everything going on with the music I’ve been doing, whether if it’s with the Kootenay & Co. project or this project I started up with some other locals here wanting to keep the music thriving…  I can’t lose contact to what I am doing here.  I know people out there “claim” to have their alcoholism under control…  But do we really?  I think this world is fucked and there is tons of us out there in a denial of some sort, and with this EP I didn’t hold back on the lyrical content.  I didn’t find a rhyme scheme like you noticed, I wrote it down the way it is.  And the final product of how it was sang is a product of what was on my mind sung by pure talent…  So I guess what I am getting at here is to those still suffering with something…  YES chasing sobriety is a lot easier than you think…  It is the straight up fear we all come too, in that first week clean with all the self-doubt and shame, and all the overlong memories that seem to drag us back in…  But you gotta really own it and say hey, “negative or not” this shit shaped me into this individual I am today…  Now use it for better and save another struggling…  And the best part about it is…  You DO NOT need A.A., N.A., whatever A it is.  You do not need it.  You need to simply be there for someone vulnerable and let them know they are not alone and take it at their speed.  And typically all that is, is a 15 minute conversation.  That’s it.  That conversation can really save someone.

So anyways…

The thing that was easier as well, than I thought was the mixing phase of things…  I was really particular on what I wanted coming out, but the fella I was working with knew what I wanted after the first approved mix…  And that right there is just his 30+ years in the music business doing its work…

SBS:  Technically, according to the ol’ date stamped onto the record posted online at YouTube, Damaged Goods was released on June 18th – but you’ve chosen to wait it out until July 30th for every other online platform according to what I’ve read out there.  Which is…well that’s a bit of a head-scratcher there Jordan, I ain’t gonna lie.  What is the perceived advantage of going this particular route with releasing Damaged Goods – and of all platforms, what made you decide to go with YouTube first?

Jordan:  Hey, so…  I did look into release strategies, I asked a few people on their ideas…  It just got to the point when I just said “heck with this shit,” I am just gonna upload the EP stream on YouTube and just set the release date everywhere else for the 30th of July!  [laughs]  It is not that I am careless about this whole project, I just don’t want to over complicate it.  (I’ve said this before) I honestly treat this, as I state it as: “Collaborative Recording Project” – and I think the people involved know we are all just having a good time with it, and ain’t expecting a whole lot out of it, besides final products of what we create.

I guess the way I did it, sort of reflects on how anxious I was to releasing it.  I gotta admit, I had to sit back and really evaluate these tracks, so a part of me was “upload it now,” before you never do.  Because I had that self-doubt like how I had back in my first week clean, whether if that was years ago or right now.  Because I think we all we are all our own worst critic.  But I am starting to come around with these tracks, because I honestly have that confidence to say “you know what?  This is going to help someone, eventually” – because it already is.

If it gets some recognition, then hey…  That’s cool, I’d respect that and acknowledge that no problem.  But yeah I know where you are coming from man, because it is a bit of a head scratcher if you wanna look at in that sense you’re coming from.  I just went with YouTube first because it’s fairly accessible for a lot of us.

SBS:  What defines the success of this record for you personally?  Is it as simple as having made it & officially got it out there into the world…or millions of people listening…or enough encouragement in the reaction to want to make more music – what will have you satisfied with the effort you put into making Damaged Goods by what you hear or what you see in return from the people out there – or does any of that even really matter?  Is there some kind of way that you would view Damaged Goods as a failure if it didn’t reach this milestone or that one, or a certain amount of plays or spins or whatever?

Jordan:  That’s it man, you said it…  It’s just a simple matter as having it made and got it out there.  I ain’t expecting millions of views…  But you know what, enough encouragement in their reactions would be nice, to want to make more, but I ain’t relying on that at all either…because I am always on the go with songwriting.  So recognition isn’t the issue so much here.  But I hope the music helps someone else out there…

I also think we all have that wishful thought in the back of our minds to have that sense of exposure without having to do the work, and let the one person share it and hope it gets shared a bunch more times from there…  Ripple effect really [laughs].  Does it ever happen?  Very seldom I’d say…  But that’s just fear of releasing your work…  And this ties in with what I was just saying.  You gotta own it…  I am really pushing myself to own the music I am doing.  I used to dislike anything I made, because I was such a mess who was so hard on myself that I rarely ever jammed, this was years ago though.  But seriously.  I am past all this shit…  We all have a talent and I know I have a vision that will make sense to someone else…  I look forward to that day when someone comes up to me and tells me they appreciate the music, for what it is…acknowledgement goes such a long way…

So you asked if I would view Damaged Goods as a failure if it didn’t reach a certain milestone or something?  Man these tracks are based on failed times [laughs] failed times, hard times…whichever.  So you know what, milestones are great.  I am all for setting goals with this project and see if it can exceed it, when the time comes.  I believe it will get around with the promo I am gonna be putting onto it in the months coming ahead.

SBS:  Now that you’ve spent a significant amount of time with these final mixes & new songs of yours as well – which did you feel came out as the most accessible & appealing to the masses out there, and why?  Would that choice be your own favorite cut from Damaged Goods as well – or is that a completely different tune?  I know it’s always tough to choose out of your own creations – but what’s the best gateway in for the people to entice them into listening…what song do you feel has that potential reach?

Jordan:  “Highway 1A,” or “Undone” have that potential for the “radio” friendly appeal to them.  If this is what you meant when you had said “as the most accessible & appealing to the masses out there,” just because of the overall feel either track gives off…

My own favourite out of this EP, would probably have to be “Hopeless Pride, Pt. 1”…  Why?  Because there isn’t a specific chorus to it, it’s more of a verse after verse sort of deal to it…  I was told these tracks, given the lyricism would be good drinking music [laughs] I am not even kidding you, when someone said that, I sort of sat back and went “huh, I guess it would.”  If you wan’t more honesty, I like all of them quite frankly…  It’s up to the listener, what gateway (state of mind), they are going through to listen to it…  If this is what you mean by gateway.

I did spend a “significant” amount of time with the tracks though.  I got mixes I was happy with, but I was getting to that point of, maybe the mixes ain’t exactly right…  I was chasing perfection, and I find once I start doing that, I lose sense of the craft of being a musician.  Sometimes your doubts or minor flaws is someone else’s liking, and I think that’s so cool how someone shows me their music and they point out a flaw and I tell them the same deal…  I typically go “you know what, that actually flows with it, and I wouldn’t have noticed it if you didn’t say anything” [laughs]

SBS:  Tell us about the layout & flow of Damaged Goods.  In terms of your own storyline & the real-life experiences you draw from in your songwriting – do these songs play in a chronological order surrounding the events of your life, or did you choose to go with a different order for totally different reasons?  What dictated the order of the songs in the way they end up appearing on Damaged Goods?

Jordan:  Yeah I thought about that before starting this up…  I sort of picked random times throughout the years, I was thinking of going after a 10 track album with it originally, but I really sat down with the times and chose the ones you hear, not in any specific order.  I like how I chose to write about times of my life because I feel like I should keep that aspect alive and well in music, like many of us already do…by putting personal experiences on the line to help someone else realize they ain’t alone…  I don’t think I ever mentioned it, but I wasn’t going to go this route originally…  I was going to go after that creative writing aspect of things.

Sort of like that Iron Maiden thing, just not as good [laughs], but you know what I mean, history being sung and basically given history lessons in a song…  But I still have this idea floating around.

SBS:  Presumably to preserve the cohesion in the lineup of songs on Damaged Goods, you went all Country this time around.  Of course those out there that follow Kootenay & Co. know there’s a whole Metal side of what you do as well…is there any news on that front you can tell those fans of yours that dig that side of your sound about the future to come?  They might feel like they’re missing out here bro.

Jordan:  Well I really digged that chick’s track on your SBS Podcast when “Highway 1A”, was spun on there that time…  Episode 120 if you are curious!  She was the first one spun right off the hop…  So I went ahead and wrote some really basic rock tracks with some nice vocal flow in the making…  I do have some metal tracks sitting there, demos and a bunch of other things…

I ain’t gonna lie, I love a lot of genres but Metal music is a go to for me on occasion, like I said in an interview before with you.  I was that kid who had a (shit) metal band growing up on the farm and we would set up in the barn and just hash it out.  We didn’t make any scene [laughs].  We just did the occasional show and let the pride kick in and have a good time with it.  But it was a good time…  It almost seems like I am chasing it time to time when I get together with groups today.  The more sober I get though, I seem to feel that, the more I jam and get clean, and that’s sort of what wants me to keep sober.  Because I’ve actually found a group of individuals who aren’t full blown alcoholics [laughs].

I have an individual I know of, he’s in a group called Sophist, and I’ve actually gotten him to mix one country track based off this EP, which didn’t make the cut, because that singer wasn’t what I was after, once I got to hear him on a few prior country tracks (far & long gone alt-version)…  And this dude I mentioned from Sophist that mixed it is straight up Black Grind-Core…  So if you got the time and like that sort of stuff.  Check out “Rot & Roll” by Sophist, one of my favourites based on the overall flow of the track…  I laugh because it is such a huge difference when it comes to his and my genre of interest…  But he did mix a metal track of mine as well…  He actually is in consideration for most of my Metal stuff to be mixed, once I get to it…  So yes there would be news on that side of spectrum coming soon.  In all honesty – I’ve been out of the loop on social media, so the updates will be there for whoever…  Feel free to ask the next…

SBS:  You ever hear of the ol’ ‘elevator pitch’ my friend?  It’s that wonderful hypothetical – yet sometimes very real scenario, whereby you find yourself in an elevator with some suit & tie…let’s say a record executive here…and you’ve got all of thirty seconds from the time the doors close to explain what Damaged Goods is all about and why they should listen to it before their stop on the next floor – what do you say?  From your perspective, what’s the most convincing reason to play Damaged Goods?

Jordan:  [laughs] what…the…heck man, if I was in that exact scenario?  You’d get dead silence right now.  Because of not being prepared for it, right…  Obviously I’d prepare for that pitch…  But giving this a honest shot here I go, here’s one just on the top of my head, nothing too deadly:  “Hello – Here is Damaged Goods by Kootenay & Co. – it has a possibility for further potential, to reach out to many who need to know they are not alone, and this can be a great contribution to make income if they kept up their creative flow”

But we are all aware, there is tons…tons of music out there that follow the same idea I went after, so in a way, I just did my contribution to help others who seek it or find it accidentally…

I like those kind of moments…where I feel spontaneous enough to throw the music on shuffle mode and hear a great track pop up I wasn’t aware of.  Those kind of moments I like.  Because it’s a bold reminder that there is great music out there, it’s just a matter of finding it…  It’d be cool if someone thought the same about this EP if that happens to them…  Because if you haven’t figure it out yet…I sort of put this thing out there and didn’t expect much of it…I suppose this is fear talkin’ – I will be straight up, I am working on it.  This will get the promo work it deserves.

SBS:  Is it fair to say that Damaged Goods is a record for everyone?  Is ANY record out there, really suited for everyone?  Who is out there in your audience Jordan?  What kind of people do these songs reach out to?  Are there songs on this EP that you feel are strong enough to pull a few folks into Country music?

Jordan:  Absolutely not (for everyone)…  I know people who enjoy their own set of records, how I like my own set.  The audience I have for this EP right now is fairly mixed…  But to point out the obvious, it would be the ones still struggling with their demons and the few who reached out to me who recovered and said the music was great.  It’s just a matter of how you look at it…  You can look at the lyrics as a current state of affairs, and if you’re still struggling of course you’d look at it that way…  Or you can look at them as seeing addiction in the rearview and seeing what you’ve left behind, moving forward to better days.  And this second view is what I had in mind writing the lyrics…

It’s just like anything else in life…  Is tennis for everyone? [laughs].  I’d bet ya, you wouldn’t see me on a tennis court playing.  But for real – same applies to music or being a musician, it isn’t for everyone…  I don’t think the few realize how much dedication it really takes to be considered a “decent” musician.  Because I’ve been the lazy type, sleazy type…  Whatever you wanna call it, where I would half ass shit and not give a fuck about the project I am working on in the past.  And it’s a shame people pride themselves in the drugs or alcohol in the scene sometimes…  But I can’t speak for them.  I just feel like if we want good music back again, it starts with making a decision whether or not if we “need it,” the drug or bottle, to get through a jam or recording day.  I know I had to make that choice when I was sitting in the studio recording “Northern Autopsy,” because it was just taking longer than it really should [laughs].  I know I might sound like I am preaching here, but I ain’t…I am just speaking my mind here.  If someone cares enough to read this interview, we ain’t all perfect…I know I ain’t.  And if you claim to be, then sure…  Cheers to ya…  And this goes out to the small percentage in the scene.  I know the scene is a great place as well, with tons of talent…hands down.  With the professionalism…  But there seems to be that small percentage, just like any other ethnic group & so on, that struggle…

It is possible to get clean.

So you said: “..if this was strong enough to pull a few folks into Country music?”  Yeah man, I have a few individuals from other genres/audiences, we talk time to time and they fucking love the idea of me hopping into the Country genre and basically leaving my mark in it…  The lyrics is what drew them to check it out, because it’s real… It’s not watered down to apply to radio play.  Now I know I may be starting to sound a bit bitter or cocky, but I honestly ain’t…  I just been through enough over the years, to not tolerate a lot of things…  And I am still going through quite a bit, and just like you said Jer…it is amazing I am still here.  I honestly question what my purpose is to be here time to time, and I tend to overcomplicate things…

But it’s simple: make music, make my contribution, stay above water…

Like the rest of us.  It’s the addictions that tend to weigh us down and give us that sense of hopelessness…

But it’s true though.  Addiction has killed tons of us, and I am so glad there are resources everywhere to help those still down, and because of that, helping them stay afloat: I have this EP I wrote, produced and had a wicked set of session musicians contributing to it…

SBS:  Speaking of audiences…what about those live ones?  I know you’d mentioned before about getting these songs together with the locals over there in Alberta to get’em onstage where they belong…and I mean hey, we’re starting to open up in Canada again, ready or not.  So what’s the plan?  Are things moving in behind the scenes to make preparations for that to happen this year with Kootenay & Co.?

Jordan:  Plan is, to keep it the way it is…  Which is a collaborative recording project…  I thought about the live thing with it, I ain’t doing it…  I tried getting people together and I ended up just creating another group (country with some rock), with a friend I know.  Him and I got a set of musicians onboard and we been jamming it out, and we got our first gig coming up here on the 24th of July here, so it’s all good.  Good to know we can get live music back again man!

I am actually glad Canada conned us into getting vaccinated just to be live and running again, if I was still drinking I’d say “Cheers Jer! Bars are FINALLY open again, let’s celebrate” [laughs].  But no man, coffee all day…  And I ain’t talking choppy gas station coffee.  I like the premium grade shit these days [laughs].  Speaking of audience though, they are in for a hell of a show on the 24th this month…  I been prepping to make my first show since opening to be a good one, and the rest that follow.  Being a lead guitar player has its perks though…I don’t have to sing & I get to make the noise and bring some life to the song.

SBS:  As you know, I ended up being a huge fan of what you got out of the song “Undone” from Damaged Goods – the record itself came out great, but this was also a real standout in the lineup to me.  I suppose I’d be a fool to have ya right here and not ask about the whole backstory that goes along with this particular track…so let’s have at’er!  Feel free to share anything & everything you wanna with us about “Undone” – I know I’d be interested in hearing more about it & I’m sure the people would too.

Jordan:  Thanks for the feedback and admitting to liking that track, I was sort of wondering how you would feel about this EP man [laughs].  So I actually took my chances with “Undone” to tell you the truth.  I wanted to try something a bit different, and the demo we had was rough…and I was ready to just toss and re-create the track.  But once I sat down with it and revised the structure, I’ve learnt to like it, I think the intro gives off a nice vibe and the chorus kicks it off…

So the back story, I will simplify it for ya…

So I was working up north building cabins with a crew of old friends I knew, quite a while back, and I was downright struggling with the bottle, and I was showing up hungover, basically daily…  We were basically renting a shitty house that roomed us and I had a floor to fall onto and duffle bag to put my clothes on.

Food was low, and I was always low on the cash because of choosing to drink, it really got to the point where the guys just left for days off and I was left in that town alone locked out of the place…  Town was called McLennan…  Nothing too crazy, but I remember walking on the main street one night, just had that thought of knowing “I don’t fucking belong here” and I was basically slowly making my way to the bar there, just to kill the fact I had all this sorry bastard shit going on in my mind.

The second verse is talking about sobriety…  It’s basically a fast forward from that time…  I did overcome the fact I was struggling (many times), and sort of speaking my input on love in that second verse…  Before going back into the chorus again.  But I’ve struggled on and off and on and off a lot over the years man, and I ain’t giving up yet.  I know one day I will get it.  I don’t plan on letting myself get too far…

“Undone” ended up being a happy mistake, I am glad it worked out the way it did… Reason being, it goes to show taking chances is sometimes needed to create something great.  I basically broke out of my comfort zone within the project to offer a little more for the listeners out there.  I think I oughta do this more often.  But we’ll see man…I don’t wanna end up fucking up 100% one day.  But I know a lot about that…

SBS:  And how about a little more insight into what makes “Hopeless Pride, Pt. 1,” a part one?  Obviously the implications of any part-something is that there’d be another part of it to follow in the future, but let’s be real here…there ain’t no rules on this kinda stuff in music & art, and quite often these mysterious ‘parts’ of songs are what they are, and there’s nothing more to come.  Do you have plans to continue to do something else with “Hopeless Pride” later on – or is what we’ve got all we’re gonna get?

Jordan:  You’d think not, given the amount of lyrical content to it, but it’s coming…  So basically what had happened though is I had a long lyric draft for that song, and I decided to section it off into parts, and I don’t know man, I might, or may not continue it off.  You got me thinking on this.  I wasn’t planning on revisiting this one quite yet anytime soon.

“Hopeless Pride” is a song of searching for purpose, but cannot really find it, being dragged down by the bottle and drugs.  So I honestly relied on that hopelessness and made the most out of it. Because it did get hard trying to stay ahead so I just decided to go and lose my shit, and really dig myself further into the grave.  I called onto addiction full force, and I wasn’t quite ready for it…

SBS:  What exactly are we lookin’ at on the album cover of Damaged Goods, and how did that end up being an image that represented the songs on this record for ya?  What’s the tie-in…how is it relevant?

Jordan:  You’re looking at a damaged building, which implies that it has a history and has been left behind.  Which ties in with me, I left a time behind and the shittier times I’ve been through myself…

But here’s a way to view it as well, you know how men & women out there who are using and go into these kinds of places to use or drink?  Think of it this way, maybe they are trying to relive something that they know they can’t get back.  But the building remains the same, lost and forgotten like the memory they are trying to re-live.  So places like these offer them a sense of comfort?!

Honestly I just thought of this RIGHT now, on the spot.  [laughs] I don’t know if I made sense or said that correctly, but I hope you know what I mean…  But the first part of this is what I was sort of after with the album cover, “building has a history and it was left behind” part…

But yeah “by definition” Damaged Goods is somewhere along the lines of: “A person who is regarded as inadequate or impaired in some way.”

I had a few ideas in mind with the album cover, and you wouldn’t think that it’d be a part of the process that took the longest but it did, I sat on album cover ideas for a good few months while recording and completing the EP…

SBS:  Alright.  Let’s hash this out.  Why is one of my favorite tracks on this record HIDDEN?  How dare you!  LoL – for real though – what made you choose to hide this gem after a million years of silence on the EP, rather than just put it right there on display with the rest of the lineup on Damaged Goods?

Jordan:  I love finding hidden gems man, and I figured I’d keep that alive and well, and make people wonder, like yourself, if I did end up uploading a “nutty file” to the web…  I am SO glad you waited that out to find it…  But hey!  Rest assured, it’s not hidden anymore, I added it to the table of contents on the YouTube video and people will see the title and see it labeled as a hidden track.  So rather than waiting it out, they can fast forward to it.  Just for you man…  Thanks for liking the track it is appreciated.

You know, I’ve come to like this track, it’s a great upbeat track, a little “Poppy” but still chases the idea of Classic Country…  But the story is there, I remember that show too.  Julia did a wicked job here as well.  Reggie, Brian, Mark, Simon…  They all did a solid job.  Me?  Not so much of me here.  I let’em do their thing and that’s their final product.  I just did the acoustic track [laughs], but I was already busy enough producing it, and writing it.  So I wanted to make it more about what “vision” I had in mind for each track anyways.

SBS:  Ahem.  Hey there mister.  You’ve got a new record that’s still like, only available on one platform at the moment and a whole bunch of work to do on the road ahead to the official release of Damaged Goods everywhere out there – and you’ve already got a brand-new single out there now in between?  As in…a song that’s not even ON the record?  Jordan.  My man.  Why is this the ideal time to have dropped “Fugitive Of Love” featuring JT Pearson online NOW with everything else you’ve got going on…and what stopped it from being a part of the lineup of Damaged Goods?  Why’d ya release it as a single instead?

Jordan:  It was part of a different collaboration I was doing with a pretty wicked artist out of Calgary here, JT Pearson is his name…  I know man, there are strategies out there and this is me throwing it the middle finger and telling it the music is here if you want it…  I know I ain’t got a huge following right now, this project is still fairly new although it’s been started quite sometime ago…  Plus I wanted the session players I worked with on the Damaged Goods EP to be all put together for that, and the other single with JT Pearson to be on its own, since it’s a whole different thing.  I am really interested into looking into “that side” of things though eventually…  I know I can’t keep uploading music spontaneously and not have a strategic plan to follow it.

I gotta admit this track turned out okay as well.  We had no idea how it would really turn out.  I remember having some conversation with this fella and I sort of overcomplicated it for a bit there…  But we figured out a system that worked for the both of us.  We basically went off his acoustic scratch track and rough vocal track, and I built off that…  Here I have more guitar involvement.  I did the rhythm and lead guitar throughout the track and the fiddle was mainly in the verse, and the pedal steel was on the chorus’s and at the end of my guitar lead…  I got John Heinrich though on board for this track though on pedal steel.  Reggie wasn’t available and I was anxious to keep the momentum going, so he ended up doing a good enough job.  I ain’t complaining…  Well done stuff for sure!

SBS:  They say ‘you get a lifetime to make your first record and two weeks to make your second.’  Is the fact that we already see new music out being put out there by Kootenay & Co. a sign of what’s to come from here?  In comparison to the journey you just took on with making Damaged Goods, do you see the next record coming together more quickly?  What did you learn in the process of making your debut that’s gonna help you the most when it comes to the next recordings?  Is there a better approach you can take to streamline the process – there’s a fine line between rushing too much & staying relevant & it’s a tough one to navigate for some.  How can your past experiences now benefit your new material?

Jordan:  I have the option to go the same way I did when it comes to recording an EP, or there is another method which could be many things…  There is quite a bit of ways to approaching music, whether if it’s recording or mixing it etc., and I like how some of us have found our own way to getting it out there.  I am still in that process of figuring out what’s best for me and whoever I am collaborating with, within this project.  I think we got a solid system down though, keeping it simple and not overcomplicating it…

I did also learn things within myself though in this process.  As mentioned, I didn’t wanna lose track of myself…  And I think an obvious and also a big one, was patience [laughs]; I am always down to work on patience though.  Something else I did pick up along this whole process was the knowledge you wouldn’t expect to pick up…  Because of it I am so much familiar with my DAW because if there was something I wasn’t agreeing too.  I was on my recording software getting what I exactly wanted.  Then I would send it off like that and mark it as a wet track, so bud mixing it doesn’t over-compress it or anything…  Basically putting it into his software and mixing it in.

I suppose another thing to is: “how you send out stems” [laughs]

First track, I didn’t number, but I would label each track accordingly.  I find if you:

1.) Number tracks

2.) Label Properly

3.) Consolidating the stems

4.) Dry tracks

5.) WAV format

There would be no issue at all…  And when I say consolidate, I mean so they line up perfectly in any DAW.  If you just send out the recorded areas, you are just looking for a huge mess and no studio engineer has to the time clean up after anyone’s shit…  They just wanna be able to put your stems into their set up and do what they are best at.  Mixing, editing and in some cases, mastering it in the final phase of things…  If you know your music enough, this quick list is common sense…  There might be some things I am missing, but the only thing I am missing in this case was numbering them.  It helps…a lot.

Just sharing some basic knowledge here for anyone who cares to accept it.

SBS:  When it comes to Damaged Goods…I’m assuming you’re not completely just movin’ on to new music already & that there’s still plenty of promo planned – we doin’ new merchandise like Kootenay & Co. hoodies & sweatshirts or are there new videos planned around the official release date?  What’s up?

Jordan:  Yeah no, you’re right…  Bunch of promo and promo coming up for the EP to let it be known it’s there, and get it out there for everyone to check out.  I know a minute or so ago I was being a bit sour about maybe not doing this right away, but it’s going to happen.  Just not at this instant just due to the fact, I have a lot going on right now, with my mental health and if anything that has to come first bottom line…  Nothing will be uploaded after that JT Pearson track for quite some time.  But I would be still working on music.  Yeah I thought about the merchandise thing man, I think I may just go as far as CD’s and maybe just a shirt design but I ain’t aiming towards that right now.  Just the CD idea seems enough for this right now…  I am in the process of getting my personal life situated too…which is why I took so long to get back at with this Q&A man.

SBS:  Ideally…if the listeners out there were to take away one key aspect from the songs on your new EP – what would you hope it would be?  What is it about Damaged Goods you’d like them to remember?

Jordan:  Well, I’d hope that they know it’s possible to overcome anything that comes in their life, because these songs are basically minor setbacks in mine…  I don’t know if some people out there consider “alcoholism” or “addiction” minor setbacks…  But it wasn’t for me, there was a time where it consumed my daily living, and there are times where I have a short stints and get back to reality…

It’s those short stints, that hurt the most.  Because it makes me wonder “why was I that vulnerable to even fall down for a short amount of time” … so that made me change my perspective in life, as each one came to me.  If there was something I’d want people to remember about this EP…  It’d just simply be:

I took my time out of my own life, which I am personally struggling with time to time, making music just for you guys to enjoy or just resonate with.  That’s it.  Enjoy it.

But take what you need out of it, we all don’t hear the same thing when we listen to music.  And that is also the joy of it all…  Because when I listen to a certain track sometimes…what I am getting out of it, is not the same as someone else’s, because it has happened before.  I am actually curious to hear one day, as more people listen in to the music, what they are picking up out of it.  Whether if it’s a negative thing or positive thing.

SBS:  Have you got any plans on how to challenge yourself as an artist in between the first record & the next to raise the level of what you can personally bring to it as a musician, or continue to refine your skills?  Some folks are of course content with what they can already do & what they already know – and I’m not knocking that method, for some it works just fine.  I’ve always looked at making music & art & whatnot as a process of picking up new skills along the way that you end up adding to what you’ve already got & building on the talent you have…but not everyone sees it this way.  Is it important for you to keep evolving in some way, shape, or form throughout your career as a musician – how do you see it?

Jordan:  Oh of course Jer, I am always looking to evolve into something better…  Needless to say, as much as I want to grow as a musician, I can’t lose track of myself in the process.  You sort of have an idea of what I struggle with, so it’s basically learning how to balance it with my personal life, music, and sobriety, right?  So it is always important to evolve into something better as a musician, but it is always important to evolve into a better human being while you’re at it.  Balance my friend, balance…I sometimes lose track of it, but I never forget it.

The times though where I do tend to lose my wellbeing, buying into someone else’s negativity I sometimes just have the natural response to see why they are hurting to try and see and help them a little, but because of this…it’s gotten me in situations I probably should have avoided.  But it is what it is…it’s just another lesson learnt.  Sometimes being selfish isn’t a bad thing…  If you are doing it for your own wellbeing, do not feel one sense of guilt.  Because if someone is disturbing your peace…  You really have that choice to decide whether if it’s worth risking or just stepping back to chase what you are after.  Sometimes people come into our lives and we sometimes don’t realize, that is basically a test from life to see if you have the mindset to stick to your goals…  It’s crazy, life has that tendency to do that.  And I’ve encountered plenty of this in my recovery from alcoholism and drug use.  Sometimes I get fooled and sometimes I make the right choice.  And this alone challenged me as an artist so many times.  Whether or not if I should keep up the music or just give it up.  All sorts of things…

SBS:  Let’s make a prediction here.  Five years now, you’ll be able to look back on Damaged Goods, and say…?  How do you see this record holding up over the years?  Is it a moment in time – or is it timeless?  Considering all the things you wanna do with your music and where you might take it next…you never know…like most debuts, you might feel like this EP only revealed the very beginnings of what you were capable of with more time & experience later on.  Should an artist’s current work always be their best?

Jordan:  You bet man!  I didn’t half-ass this EP, although it might not be in favour to some listeners out there.  But I didn’t slack off on the songwriting, being I was the core writer…I didn’t slack off on finding the right singer/voice for it.  And I made sure they’d be okay with it.  And with Julia, she was fairly easy to talk to, it’s her job really to step into projects and I think she is doing a solid job of it, being a session vocalist.  So I sort of see what you’re asking, but my response to it is…  Yes this the current best, of what I can produce, write at the moment, but the next EP or album will be my best then, improving as we go basically…  Because that’s basically what I am after.  Just improving, even if it’s just slight improvement.  Also, I’d like to add – 5 years from now…I’d like to be more stable as a human being and musician…and hopefully in contact with ya man!  You are one heck of a guy doing this.  I don’t know if you are told enough…I appreciate all you are doing.  Keep up the ongoing efforts man.

SBS:  When Kootenay & Co. does get out there live on stage one day – what’s the very first song you wanna play live, and what makes that the number-one choice for ya?  Is there a strong second candidate that might make you reconsider before that time comes – or is the choice for first song clear cut, 100%?

Jordan:  I wish I can give you a clear response to this, but I just don’t know yet man.

SBS:  You sir…have made it to the end of the interview once again…so congrats on that!  It’s been a pleasure to follow up with ya on the brand-new Damaged Goods EP, and great to see you’re already taking that momentum & using it to release even more music this year – good on ya brother.  You know how this final space works – you’ve got the SBS open-floor here to say anything else you’d like to the people out there.  Many thanks once again for your time Jordan – all the best to you & Kootenay & Co.!

Jordan:  No worries, yeah thanks again for the patience man…  I ain’t kidding when I say I am going through quite a bit in my life right now.  It’s crazy how it just comes up and…BAM! – it just hands you a pack full of things to deal with…  More music on the way…  Anyways Jer, take care!

Find out more about Kootenay & Co. from the official pages below!

Official Website:  https://jordankootenay.com

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kootenayco_/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kootenayco_

Bandcamp:  https://kootenayco.bandcamp.com

Magical Multi-link:  https://linktr.ee/kootenayco_

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Jer@SBS

http://sleepingbagstudios.ca

"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."

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