Where Have I Been???

 Where Have I Been???

First of all, let me say to you wonderful people that read my blog that I appreciate you coming back to read what I have to say after having been absent from really posting a new one since the end of JUNE. Crazy! I’ve never gone that long without being in touch before…I better explain…but where to start?

Alright, well, you know that I haven’t been completely gone. SBS Live This Week slowed down slightly in the posting of the show as we prepare material for the final quarter of this year. I feel like the show could exist an entire year more with just the material we’ve already shot along with the commitments that we’re already engaged in. Full concerts still to be unleashed, interviews with the likes of KYLE TRUELOVE and hardcore metal band EXPAIN are on schedule, video interviews with NICOLAS & THE ICENI, ALONG CAME LIFE,SHMOLTS and SWAMI LUSHBEARD are either in the final prepping stages or have been sent out. Like I said, content wise, we’re…well…content. Can I get away with that sentence?

But that’s certainly not an explanation of it all…those are just the “ends;” it remains to be seen if the means will be justified…

Truthfully, like a lot of you, I’ve been working a regular j-o-b. I’ve been out there at times with Rob @ SBS over most of this summer…when I could handle it. Being the sole content provider for an online publication, with at minimum four sites of ours to keep updated, as well as a show to produce – I’ll admit there isn’t an ounce of my “old life” left in me. And for the record, while we’re on this subject, YES – I do in fact blame you ALL for this…

Many of you reading will understand this. Many of you have had that moment where you realized that the band you’re in was the one that was not only perfect for you – but gave you that feeling that this was the only thing you’d want to do with the rest of your lives. Well, understand I’m right there, shoulder-to-shoulder with you – only my band is in sleepingbag form. THIS – writing to you all, talking out the music and how we can unite this independent scene once and for all…might seem insignificant to some…but it’s the only thing I want to do with my life anymore.

The complex part being that whole LIFE thing getting in the way, much like it does for you all when trying to juggle schedules or make an album. Bills, weddings, insurance renewals, doctor’s appointments…the list could go on forever…if we LET it.

After this summer – I’m officially DONE with letting that get in the way.

If you look at the history of this blog, or you watch the show – you’ll know I’ve been a far cry from where I’ve been at in my most productive times. What you might not know – is that during that same period of time, way back to earlier this year when SBS Live This Week first started to gain traction – that I had never had so many people I care about truly concerned for my health and well-being.

Take a moment and conceptualize that. Have you been there before? I was at my literal happiest – involved in this independent music scene and out there making a DIFFERENCE with you all. I might have been up for 48 hour stretches of time but what I wasn’t doing was complaining about a single moment of it. I was actually LOVING life. I was able to willfully blind-out the valley of malls we call our planet and feel like I belong…for a moment…

Around the end of March, this all began to change. People I loved most and respected would come up to me and in the same sentence say, “You look sooooooo happy doing what you’re doing now! Good for you! Are you OK?” I could not for the life of me, and still can’t, figure out what might have even looked remotely wrong about seeing a dedicated smile on my face day after day. But soon enough, after this went on to happen multiple times with many different people I know and love…I began to question it myself. Maybe there WAS something wrong; I’ve never believed I was meant to be happy OR satisfied – and if I wasn’t BOTH of those things at this time then I sure was close.

And in April you can see how that affected me. A single blog posting. I believed everything that these respected opinions were saying. I WAS happy; therefore the universe must be crumbling right from underneath our feet, correct?

By the time May had rolled around, Rob and I continued to try and work out the differences in direction this whole SBS thing had taken. And for two guys that have worked together and been in a band for well over a decade…well, we sure suck at talking to each other. Might be the case of too many cooks in the kitchen – we’ll both always be the type to assume that the direction we’re going in is the one that we should be. But to know where you’re going is to know where you are to begin with. I was lost in a world of positivity and inspiration from the independents through interviews and e-mails and keeping in touch with you all daily. Rob hadn’t had that experience – as an audio-engineer with no other SBS-related aspirations – his experience was limited to those that had come through to record – a significantly smaller number. It was then viewed that the show actually got in the way of what our true purpose was – to push the record button…

The show managed to hold on, though I can tell you exactly from watching myself on screen which of those shows I had barely made it through with a dry face of no tears. Our podcast, The Great Canadian Hitlist with radio host Jeff Jeffries crumbled as well. As it went into June – I’ll be the first to admit, that I, Jer @ SBS was officially hiding inside the studio safe and away from the outside world.

For those that follow this blog and what I personally do, that news of me hiding inside is nearly no shock at all. I’m one step under an agoraphobic with my only place of true comfort coming from those of a similar musical passion. I venture out to go and see live music, or talk about music with people through interviews. When there’s no music or musical conversation to be had…well, that’s when I come here to write and start up some more! But in the back of my own mind I truly know – I’m hiding…

The only common denominator in all of these situations going south was ME. My own passion for this music scene was gutting SBS from the inside out. I was trying to plug all the holes in my boat as well as steer and draw the map to where we were going – all at the same time. And I was failing. In many ways, I might still be.

I’ve said it to many of you before, when drive and determination do not match in any given project with partners – it is either bound for trouble or doomed to fail. As far as Rob, Jeff or I were concerned – we all had different goals and ideas as to WHAT this should be. And feeling smacked with this realization, this knowledge that my vision for my team was crumbling around my own enthusiasm…I withdrew even further from you all. I was even a no-show at a couple of events that you’d be sure to have seen me at only months earlier…and the blog postings stopped altogether as I tried to regroup. As a result, June and July nearly saw me put an end to this thing I love so much.

I know there’s not a TON of positives in any of that. I realize that this blog posting isn’t the off-the-wall, crazy and over-caffeinated Jer @ SBS you’ve all supported and become used to. Let me fix that…

Earlier in August I began to finally realize exactly what my mistakes have been all along. Coming back to that drive and determination thing, I realized that our markers for success and running this thing were millions of miles apart. I realized that my passion for music and the independent music scene were FREAKISH in nature and unmatched by any of my team or truly anyone I actually know and see in person. Many think they can – until they see my round the clock regimen and realize it would be impossible to keep up. The reason they can’t is simple – that passion is truly not equal.

I mentioned before that life gets in the way if we LET it. This is what I mean – and this applies to all of us looking to rise up to that next level… There will NEVER be enough hours in a day. There will ALWAYS be multiple tasks that need to be done. You will ALWAYS be tired at the end of a work day. And from what I can see – if we all continue to let those be the dominating factors governing our decisions, well, we’re doomed to be in that cycle from now until the last breath we take. It’s the greatest trap of the planet – your responsibilities versus your overall happiness.

Here’s the good news (FINALLY!): You – much like myself – are the ONLY one who can get yourself out of that never-ending circle of hell you call the daily grind. If those 48 hour days don’t exist, if that extra gear is never shifted into – we’re doomed to simply repeat this process over and over and over. For some, that’s absolutely OK. For those with goals and dreams and an overwhelming feeling you’re supposed to be a part of something more – this is the complete opposite of okay.

I can now accept that I am a FREAK. I’m comfortable with that. I’m more than at peace with my 20 hour days spent working on video-interviews or written articles. I’m comfortable with my team keeping a distance until they’re ready to be a part of this at full capacity, I’m also comfortable with the idea of new people cracking into the SBS inner circle – people that WANT to make this the rest of their lives, just like I do. But mostly – I’ve accepted that people are who they are, and that it’s not my responsibility to change them or mold their focus. I just want them all (you included) to be happy doing whatever it is they’re most passionate about.

And as I wrap up the story part of this blog – I pose this to you now… You are currently doing what you’re most passionate about. That’s right – you totally are! Our time spent doing anything reflects but one of two things: 1) You truly love to do it or 2) You are afraid to fully go after what you truly love and you are simply continuing on in your existence.

And as I wrap up the story part of this blog – I pose this to you now… You are currently doing what you’re most passionate about. That’s right – you totally are! Our time spent doing anything reflects but one of two things: 1) You truly love to do it or 2) You are afraid to fully go after what you truly love and you are simply continuing on in your existence.

Agree or disagree? Let me know at jeremy@sleepingbagstudios.ca and tell me all about what you think. But before you tell me that you don’t fall into the criteria for number one or two – and that you need a third option because you simply “can’t” because of all of those life obligations…ask yourself how many of those extremely long days you’ve put in to make those steps towards your goals. Do you let life, sleep, The Colbert Report or anything else for that matter stop you from having a life spent with your creativity and art as a career? I know that I was.

And I know that I won’t be any longer. It’s good to be back and FEEL that I KNOW that I’m back. Thank you to all of you for sticking this out with me over time. If it wasn’t for the sheer extreme volume of support from all of you artists reaching out to me randomly at different times – I certainly would have walked away by now. Validation is something I’ve never sought after – but I’ll be the first to admit that it was yours that has kept me going here at sleepingbagstudios.


Alright – let’s move on from that Eeyore of a narrative! There’s LOTS going on I want you to know about! Check out this stuff!

LUNGFLOWER: Heard of them? Me neither. But this local band has picked up an asset so large they probably don’t even realize it yet with their new vocalist TYLER MAYFIELD – made official only a couple weeks back. They have their first full show coming up here in Vancouver on August 25th – and you KNOW you’ll see me there for this. I’ve said it a million times – Mayfield is one of the most determined people I’ve ever met – someone who KNOWS that this is what he wants to do with his life and will stop at nothing to make it happen. I’m sure it will be a show to remember, I’m looking forward to it big time…

THROTTLECASTER: Exciting! Just wanted to add that Erko Nomm and his crew have officially entered the SBS Thrice Contest – which is completely awesome! Just like the Kelowna based band CINGED – it’s always exciting to see someone who has worked with us in the past come back! On the down side – we’re not sure Thrice will continue after this current contest due to low entry submissions…so if you’re a fan of free recording time or video shoots – make sure you register by the end of August as this might just be the last time we run it!

IRON KINGDOM: Our friends in IK have just come back from their North American tour from one side of the country to the other and managed to make it a complete success for the band! Gaining new fans in every city they played in – I’ve heard it firsthand from Brad from AETERNA who helped out on tour that they played harder and better than 99.9% of the bands they shared the bill with. Brad’s no slouch – he knows talent and “what’s good” – I’m inclined to believe him! Huge congratulations to Amanda, Chris, Kenny and Leighton for surviving in a van together and coming back loaded with Iron Kingdom success stories. Word on the street is that when they hit Dawson City they all downed the infamous “Sour Toe” drink, where YES, there is in fact an old human toe in the glass donated from some unfortunate frost-bitten soul. Ask’em!

AETERNA: Guitarist Brad Wengranowski came back from the Iron Kingdom tour ready to hit the studio with his band. Look for more news to come as Aeterna begin the process of recording their next album. Every time I see them, every note they hit – this band seems to grow and continually get better and better – so keep an eye out. This is a band to watch, especially if you’re a fan of BRUTAL POWER METAL!

SPACEPORT UNION: Dropped by the studio just yesterday for a VISIT! That’s right! You read that correctly – no interview, no filming of any kind – just a good old fashioned hangout on their way back from a recent show in Kamloops. I had met Aaron and Adam from SU before on one of the SBS Island Adventures, and singer Caroline briefly at this year’s VIMA awards – but it was INCREDIBLE to actually sit down and talk with her at length. What an incredible head this woman has on her shoulders! I could have talked music with her for hours – she so truly “gets it,” and I could easily identify with many of the ideals she has sought for and then found in her band. We had an immense amount in common and I could have easily talked to her until this time next week without wanting a break! And also filling in my last piece of the Spaceport puzzle was meeting Taylor their drummer – a guy who appears loaded with confidence and love for his band. Extremely awesome to spend a significant amount of time with this entire band all off the record just hanging out. I’ll admit though – while talking to Caroline the rest of the band were jamming it out in the studio and from what I could hear…well…let’s just say that as much fun as I had, I might not be so willing to let them escape un-filmed the next time we meet! I got just a taste of what Aaron can do on the bass – a guy that proves yet again that age makes no difference in your relationship with your musical instrument of choice – he’s young but he was KILLING IT in there. Completely chilled out and just give’n it! They left – but what hasn’t left yet is my now unquenchable thirst to see Spaceport Union live for myself!

WEST MY FRIEND: Have also recently come back from their “Madrona Migration” US Tour. We were able to check them out when they passed through Langley and we’ll have some great photos for you very soon. From what we can see and hear – they had an excellent time and made it back in one piece…just a couple of flat tires along the way…no big deal!

EXPAIN: Unreal people! We had the opportunity to interview these guys about a month ago now – we’re just getting the footage ready to unleash soon. Best news on that? Well – first off all I don’t even know what the HELL they were doing here! If you’ve seen any of their videos you’ll know they’ve got superior skills when it comes to visual editing – so I considered myself very lucky to even have them come by. But in an even braver moment – I asked if lead vocalist Dan might be interested in helping edit that particular show and I’m more than stoked to confirm he’s in! I watch videos like he makes for Expain and think about just how vast the visual sea truly is, and how much more I still have to learn. Huge early thank you to Dan and to the rest of Expain for a great interview and performance – beyond stoked to show you that when it’s all said and done. To achieve this, mind you, will more than likely require a heroic effort on my part to keep up with them all at the drinking table…seriously…wish me luck cause I’m thinking the odds are severely stacked against me!

SHMOLTS: I’ve been talking with Jay Serrao from this band from the UK – a project of his that features rotating collaborators and all kinds of creativity. We’ve put together a video interview that he’s currently working hard on – I’ve had a few updates from him and can tell he’s stoked to be a part of this project. That always goes a long way in these situations – many of these have been sent out this year and we don’t end up with a finished interview coming back. As many of you out there know – the project is severely large in scope and takes a tremendous amount of effort on both ends. I can’t lie – this project has scared MANY bands away – I’ve even seen a few cases where the particular artist we were working with has not only backed out of the interview, but disappeared from social media altogether. As serious as I want anyone to take this project if you DO take part in it – please don’t QUIT MUSIC if you don’t want to do the interview! But with Jay and Shmolts – I’m extremely confident that we’ll be seeing something excellent come our way from him later this year. We’re also extremely confident in other acts like SWAMI LUSHBEARD, ALONG CAME LIFE and NICOLAS & THE ICENI finishing theirs once they’re finally sent out later this month.


Show has been sporadic! If you’ve read this entire monstrosity then you already know most of the reasons why! That being said – our recent interviews with MAN MADE LAKE and THE PENSKE FILE showed some of our best results to date as have the recent postings with full shows from CLOSER and THE PIT. I can’t deny that the show is continuing to gain traction and support – thank you all so much for that.
You can expect more full concerts to come out before the end of the year, at least another two parts of SBS But No BS (All Music Episodes) and interviews with Expain and Kyle Truelove set to launch – all projected for this late August and September coming up.


While the re-design of this main site continues to hold us back from posting up our main outlets of content – you can basically find all the missing photos and videos you’d expect to be finding on this very site you’re on now, over at the supernova page! Swing by and check out what we’re doing over there – we had a modest goal of 100,000 hits by the end of our first year there and you can help us beat it early! Currently weighing in with 89196 on the hit counter – we don’t have far to go to reach the goal! About a month and a half left to click away and help us forward in reaching that – our anniversary date on Supernova is Oct. 2nd. The first official SBS Live This Week posted up on November 17th, 2012, with our first guest and now great friend/occasional collaborator LAURA KELSEY.


Alright! It’s great to be back on the blog, and thank you for reading any of the articles on this site. I can see from the back-end numbers here that you all read quite a bit actually – it’s incredibly comforting to know this doesn’t simply go out into the internet void without another glance. Album reviews will certainly continue – I’ll also be including my take on some classic releases from the mainstream very soon and evaluating how these albums have stood up for me over time. Written interviews will certainly continue as well – we’re just finishing up one with an electronic band from France called THE OTHER COLORS. We’ve yet to appear in France and we’re thrilled to be able to present our work there as well – I can personally assure you that much time has been taken to absorb the details of this band and create something excellent on the page.

I am dedicated to continuing on the current sleepingbagstudios path and have the resolve of ten men right now. I am ready and willing to put in that extra time and find every hour and minute I can to be with you all here again on a regular basis. I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement you’ve all sent in during these past months and nearly entire year here online with SBS – BEYOND appreciate, really. By all means – continue to send your thoughts out this way – the more we communicate our struggles, our wants and our needs in the independent scene – well…the more I can continue to rally and fight for the spotlight you and your music deserve in this world.

Find something new to listen to today, and turn it up EXTRA LOUD just for me will you?

Talk to you soon(er)



"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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