Alright…it has been a long long time since I put out an origin story of the beginnings of SBS Live This Week…and the show turns ONE YEAR OLD on Nov. 17th – so here you go!
Shortly after the second interview we ever completed with IRON KINGDOM and deciding that I still had a valid place in music journalism, I immediately set out to really push what I could do and see just how far I could take it. So for the first time in my life, I set up multiple interviews in one day…something I’m certainly no stranger to now!
On my agenda: Pop-rock band A COLD CITY NIGHT, the sometimes independent/sometimes not Richard Fordham of THIS THING and later that day I had THE PIT coming into the studio for the very first time. This is a day that would eventually shape much of what we did at SBS for the show content and how we went about the interviews. I was in a rhythm of my own now…I felt, as always, that I was prepared and that I knew what I was in for.
As many of you already know – I’m out and about in cyberspace for much of my time and if we’re doing a show, well, we talk. We e-mail or send carrier pigeons, whatever we have to do, but by the time you get here for an interview on SBS Live This Week, if you’ve reached out to me then I’ve more than likely sent you a 10-page e-mail response to even the most basic questions about the show.
Having talked to them all about the tight schedule I was on that day (Keep in mind the length of the show! 2 hours X 3 bands = One exhausted & hairy host!) I made sure they all knew when to roll into the studio, to allow not only time for the other bands to complete, but to allow time for me to charge my cameras and batteries…eat my Wheaties…that kind of thing… Didn’t seem to be any hiccups coming, the schedule was laid out easily enough to handle…so I thought.
I had A Cold City Night coming in first at around noon, followed by This Thing at about 3pm and The Pit later on that night around 7 or 8. That’s plenty of time in any scenario. Again…so I thought.
Talking with Richard from This Thing shortly before the day of the interview, he asked if he would be able to show up early. I apologized and said that wouldn’t be able to happen this time due to the time needed to interview A Cold City Night and to charge up the batteries for This Thing. I had already sent out the “tight schedule” e-mail beforehand, but I suppose this e-mail was to re-affirm that, ‘No Richard, I can’t have you showing up early…” But if you’ve seen the episode with This Thing, well, you already know that RF is a cat of a different kind to say the least!
So shortly after noon, SBS is invaded by the young-punk kids of A Cold City Night. Now…I’m never going to be one to dictate HOW you represent yourselves – that’s not my style…but be ready for some questions! I have no proof beyond my being a veteran BC stoner myself…but I’d suspect that at least a few of them had visited the…errr…herbs & spices cupboard…before coming to the studio. No judgements here! Other than I don’t remember them sharing…and again, just a hunch…no proof or solid evidence, not even a roach!
The interview is going well. 3rd one into the show overall – it has some life + energy and I’m feeling like I can handle this day without error. As it turned out, I wasn’t the only interview they were having that day and already having come a long way out to be at our compound, they had a long way back and were going to have to jet without performance. Ahhh, rockstar life!
Now, there’s ALWAYS a lot on my mind in these interviews – there’s stuff I want to know and there’s always amazing things being said right there in the present to branch off of. Time itself, is the last thing on my mind.
Perhaps it was the nerves, perhaps it was my goldfish-like memory coming back to bite me again, but when Becky from SBS came into the studio to let me know my next act had already arrived…I was mind blown. My immediate first thought was ‘Man – I have literally talked to these guys for forever,’ which unbeknownst to me then, I actually hadn’t. To this day the A Cold City Night interview is one of the shortest I’ve ever done and that was completely accidental.
All of a sudden, This Thing appears in our studio. Okay, it wasn’t as scary as that sounds if you just say: All of a sudden, Richard Fordham appears in our studio. See? Not nearly enough ZING.
I boot out the guys from A Cold City Night and APOLOGIZE for keeping them so incredibly long. At this point, I was still convinced that I had interviewed them for over two hours. Time is apparently irrelevant in my musical space… I’m now freaking out because I’ve got no time to unwind my nerves and jitters from the first interview and next to no battery life. I also have a very odd fellow now in the studio who seems…strangely comfortable being in like…ANY environment. Interesting.
So I stalled as best I could to get what little battery life I could and just talked with Richard off camera for a while. That might be one of my biggest regrets as we just didn’t have the battery life at that time of the studio to be able to continue to run them all for what I thought would now end up being a total of nearly five hours straight; but many of our best conversations never made it to the screen.
Then I saw the time. I had only interviewed A Cold City Night for a total of like, 40 minutes or so – the length of one half of our two part show. Richard, despite my request, was well over an hour early, and for a moment…I wasn’t sure I could save that day from going under.
Then I saw it. It was PINK and it was WEIRD and it was BEAUTIFUL. Richard Fordham of This Thing had an authentic HELLO KITTY GUITAR. Unbelievable. Not only was I sure I had a great set of questions lined up, now I knew this would be my centerpiece. I wanted to talk about that guitar and get the amazing story! As it turned out…that particular story fell a little flat with a somewhat “normal” answer. It led to a conversation I had once with radio host and friend Jeff Jeffries who wisely told me “There’s no such thing as a great question without a great answer.” And no knock on Richard – that was an early lesson in my own expectations…he gave the best answer he could; the honest one.
Still, no lie here either, going from one band of five guys to a totally bizarre conversation with one guy totally drained me. By the time we had wrapped up Richard’s performance in the studio, I was completely spent. DONE. I said goodbye to Richard once we wrapped and thanked him for his time, but here’s the weird part…I never really SAW him leave. All of a sudden, he was just GONE. Not even kidding, I actually went out to the end of the driveway and took a look up and down the street and I DID NOT SEE HIM. Part of me is convinced he is living in the studio somewhere, even to this very day… Legend now has it that when you turn out the lights in the studio and they give off that final burst of juice before fading…that you can still see the flash of a Hello Kitty guitar and Richard Fordham giving you the thumbs up.
Enough of the campfire story. What’s real was that at this point after two interviews and a much needed break in the day before The Pit showed up…well…I wasn’t sure I was going to do this anymore after that second interview. I enjoyed it yes…but what was the overall POINT to what I was doing? What in the hell did I create?
I had apologized to Becky @ SBS – once The Pit got here I was convinced it was going to get LOUD, and that’s not really her scene. We watched the video for “I Wanna Plant Bombs Everywhere” and though she enjoyed it, she was still fairly ready to sit the third shooting out. That all changed when we met Tyler & Trevor Hutton and Scott Lubchynski of The Pit. But then again, so did everything…
All of a sudden I had what still remains to be the three nicest and most humble people this side of Dave Grohl. People with some BEARDAGE that I could relate to. Out of that moment in time, gave birth to their song “Closer (You NEVER go full babyface!)” in reference to Scott’s bare chin at the time of the interview. And now, in recent times…CLOSER has become the name of the growing side-project of Tyler & Trevor with bandmates from ex-band Doc Holliday, Ryan Rutherford and Jake Cummins.
I mean…for a guy who’s entire life goal is to exist between your liner-notes…it doesn’t GET any better than that does it?
But during the course of that interview I learned just how much the independent scene did NOT have a voice that fully represented them, or gave them proper time of day. Here I am writing about an event that happened nearly a year ago now…talking about it AGAIN…still. And I realized a truth I had always known deep down…the good guys never get a break.
If you watch that interview with The Pit you’ll see that moment where Tyler talks about not getting any real help out there during the course of their recording three EP’s. They had this amazing video and song in “I Wanna Plant Bombs Everywhere” and still not nearly enough recognition to punch through to the spotlight. And for the second time that day…mind blown. These were the three most excellent people to meet and they hadn’t had any help in making that incredible music.
They played their songs “Closer” and “Solar Powered Night Light” and rocked the walls out of the studio. Trevor, unknown to him, was using a faulty guitar from sleepingbag and still managed to make it work for 95% of the songs. Regardless of how the guitar held up – the performance was epic and completely made everything seem not only possible, but just flat out awesome when it all goes right.
I came out of that interview and began to draw up this insane plan to help the independent scene, what little I could, shouting from our corner of the internet. I’m proud to say that slowly but surely…it’s working. My goal became to simply inspire creativity and encourage art…to connect as many of you together as I can in one unstoppable indie-music time capsule. We’re all here, and in a million ways we’re all in this together. Thank you for being here.
JOHN KEENAN – who we’ve met through review on this site for his album Imagination To The Nation, is sending us a completely new and yet-to-be released cut of his new DVD to review. This guy continues to be an absolute champion and a relentlessly hard worker. Absolutely love the passion John has for being a part of the music scene and with his songwriting skills and ability to write a hook – he’s got every right to be in it.
AZTEC – Kyle Truelove’s new project from one of our latest episodes of SBS Live This Week has just put out a free download of their latest track, “Feet Like Roots.” Click it to get it!
SPACEPORT UNION – Hearing from lead singer Caroline is always an incredible treat. I’m quite happy to receive an e-mail or message from her at any time, she’s an incredibly inspiring and genuine personality. And she has given the word that herself and her band of prog-rock specialists are refining tunes for that next recording session coming soon.
EXPAIN – Now THIS is awesome. They’ll be sharing a stage with seriously not-famous-enough-though-he’s-still-famous comedian Brian Posehn at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver this November. Check this link to find out details and GO TO THE SHOW!
SBS LIVE THIS WEEK UPDATE:
THIS DAY BURNS – They’re back on the show up early this final week in October before we head into November to celebrate our first full year as a show! TDB was EPIC on that last interview and has drawn a lot of positive comments from you all out there regarding the new tracks we played on the last show. These guys are awesome and I can’t wait to have them on again – coming very soon this week!
After that – we’ve got something special in the works before we take on upcoming interviews with BLACKOUT LIGHTS and FEY. We’ve seen both of these bands share a stage with our good friends in Closer and I can’t wait to get them both here in the studio to immortalize their music within the SBS walls.
A year old already. I almost can’t believe I survived it, alongside all of the written efforts here at sleepingbagstudios.ca, a tremendous amount of effort perhaps – but nothing I’d ever want to call “work.” It has been, and will remain long into the years to come, an honor and a privilege to be with you on the frontline of the independent scene.
Long may you run.