Video Killed The Radio Star…

9 Jan

The Buggles…

Happy new year y’all! I hope it is igniting some serious life drive and new perspectives.

Although it did for me up to now, I woke up early this morning with an enormous feeling of dread. It was 6 am and -15 degrees outside, 15 cm of now on the ground, cat huddled up near the heater and I couldn’t help to get the feeling of enormous pressure, a feeling that 2015 could prove another one of those major decision making years. So many plans, so many new dreams! There is no shortage of new dreams nowadays.

We made an immensely awesome video for the song “In Order to Survive”. Today we unleash it to the world! It was filmed by Robert Donachie and Edited by Arnaud Lamy. They both did an incredible job on a very low budget and I thank them for their time and devotion. They are both very capable and creative friends and this video shows that. Here it is! (note) YouTube comments are highly appreciated and encouraged!

In the course of the last 3 months I made the major decision to put the One Man Band Festival on hold for this year after much deliberation. I was missing playing music, I was missing touring, and I was missing playing in a band. I was burned out from last 3 years work (volontary of course) on the festival and thought I need to let the grass re-grow on this one and focus on other things even if just for 1 year to feel the love for it again, it<s hard work putting it al together and really frustrating at times too. Part of me feels like I am letting a community down and people in Montreal as well, but the other side says that now I can devote this time to what I do best, make music. And so I have released a new EP this year, Passion Pilgrim, is a compilation of 5 songs recorded on my last tours. The EP contains hypnotic beat-driven tunes with catchy hooks. It was recorded innovatively using 4-second loops and up to eighteen instruments at once. And mixed by Dave Draves (Little Bullhorn, Ottawa, On), mastered by Roger Siebel at SAE Mastering (Phoenix AZ).

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We recorded it in 1 day and it contains elements of plate smashing, dancing feet on my head and lots of other psychedelic and psychological elements to get into your subconscious and eventually force you to join a cult (you’ll see what I mean) I especially like the instrument drawing part and singing in my onesies.

So what’s in store for the JCEX in 2015, what’s in store for OMBF 2016? Only time will tell but I believe taking a break will be good for OMBF, we are talking about forming a whole new team and really biting back in 2016, we are talking about some great new OMBs coming to Montreal. So much but until then we need a break!

As for me I’m playing with a band now, some cool people who happen to be great musicians, we had our CD launch on Dec 3rd @ casadelpopolo with the lovely Xania (on tour in Europe now) and it was pretty killer (check the pics out below).

So it being 3am as I write this, I’m lying here thinking about what’s next… For now the plan is to play some shows here and there, Im playing bass with Couteau Papillon which is fun, and they have a  show coming up. The JCEX wil also be playing some summer festivals (check the tour dates) and possibly a tour sometime in late summer if it can be possible, trying to give les expectations to my life and more in the moment stuff (easier said than done)..I have to somehow negotiate all that with the purchase of a new home in the spring which I am really excited and nervous about! Feeling like such a grown up these days (whhaa happened??!)

All these plans and pressures seem really daunting when you think about them all at once, but then again I guess that’s why the passage of time was invented. I hope you all enjoy the Video and New record if you haven’t heard it yet, you can stream or download it HERE. As for all you radical One Man and One Woman Bands who wanna play the fest, get in touch in the early fall for OMBF 2016. We haven’t forgotten you yet!

Happy new year to all you hepcats, keep those chins up and see you on stage!

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Walking On, Walking On The Moon…

7 Nov

The Police…

There’s a quote by the famous Carl Sagan, which goes “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”. During his heyday in the 1960s, when the US was at (cold) war with Russia, there was a drive for both countries to reach the moon, to explore and establish a technological ‘upper hand’ if you will and to demonstrate to the world a kind of technological supremacy over the enemy, by reaching the yet unexplored outer space. But even though one might say that on a political level, this space race was fueled by a need for some good old-fashioned chest pounding to scare off the opponent, the actual drive to overcome the incredibly difficult obstacles that humans are faced in reaching into the great beyond was not sparked by a desire for war. It was the direct result of the unique ability for humans to dream, to think of tomorrow, to project our existence into a yet undiscovered and uncreated future. Indeed it was our ability to dream that brought us to space. This was the sixties, an era that for some unknown reason exploded on humanity like a supernova of creativity, of fearlessness, of mastery and imagination. We were unafraid of the consequences of our actions, we were thinking of the future.

I often wonder why music was so powerful back then. Was it because it was not separate from all other aspects of life? Was it because people not only identified with their heroes but rather embodied the ideals that these heroes sang and wrote about? Was it because the desire to create art, to spend every waking moment of ones life in crafting it, perfecting it, living it, was not one based on supply and demand, on the promise of wealth, on the cult of personality, on the creation of product, or on the desire for fame?

As I make music, I can’t help but be affected by this decor of disposability, by this pressure to do more, to be more, to write a “hit” song, to be a respected songwriter. Although I only lightly entertain these thoughts and like many other musicians, am guilty of secretly hoping to stroke my ego by writing an album everyone will love. What I really want to do is make music that will encapsulate my experience and that will convey feelings that people can use to their own experience. Music that can re-ignitie people to dream, to find that “something” that has been drained in every aspect of our self obsessed consumer driven society.

That something…is nothing.

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Where is the nothing, where is the unknown, where is the uncreated, the space where silence is the sound of order, that is where real creativity lives. That was my approach in creating this new record called passion pilgrim (my 3rd album to date) that I present to you. It was written as a reflexion of my many travels over the past few years and was recorded in a very unique way, using only a series of 4 second looops, all played live by me, and linked together through an ingenious system of loopers, samplers and sequencers. On December 3rd, I , along with new bandmates James Andrew Rosen (ex-Shoot The Moon), Philippe Lachance (Couteau Papillon), and Daniel Kiely (Wind Up Radio Sessions) will be performing excerpts from the record along with a few new songs. In writing the ep, all I had to do was close my eyes, shut my ears and take it in, why…because somewhere, something inside me something was waiting to be known.

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 On December 3rd, come to the Passion Pilgrim EP launch at Casa Del Popolo in Montreal (with    immensely talented guests Xania (opening set) and Linda Luttinger doing on canvas live painting to music).

 There is no fee at the door, you pay what you can and my EP will be on sale. We will be on at 10pm .

In other news ,we have been working hard on a video for the song “In Order To Survive” which I think you”gonna love, cause the song is good and the vid is engaging. It was so much fun to shoot. Shot in 2 days all Outremont and the Plateau, the vid includes scenes with plates smashing right beside my head, people dancing on my face and skateboarding through traffic. I can<t wait to shoot another vid. I can”t wait for you to see it too! Check out some pictures of my new york trip, of the video shoot and of the new EP here… CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE CD ON ITUNES

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Baby Boomerang…

30 Jun

T.Rex…

7.09am, the alarm clock rings. Selfishly holding onto whatever bits of sleep I can still get, my eyes, stay firmly pressed against closed eyelids. That feeling of irritation that comes with having to literally lift all my bodyweight out of bed and drag myself to the nearest lavatory is always a difficult one to bear, and one which doesn’t seem to get any easier as the years go by. But these days it is different, the sun is already out by the time I am awake, the air is fresh and I already feel energized. No this is not the same scene played out on any given cold winter day. This is summer;  yes summer is actually here, comes back like a boomerang every year. I’ve been waiting for this.

Even though I am energized, I can’t help but feel bogged down by my rituals and lo-habituals here. Yes I may be going through post-fest depression. I have spoken to a few other people who have had this. They put on an event and put so much energy into it then once it is done, they are just completely deflated.

After organizing the third year of the One Man Band Festival from May 15th to the 18th, I was on such a high form the success of this event, and had met so many great people and the music was just …no other word but …just sick… that there was nowhere else to go but down afterwards. The year leading up to this event which saw a total of this year saw a total 67 solo artists from 11 countries with a 2100+ overall audience count between all of the shows and free events. Most importantly, we expanded a network where one man bands and solo musicians, industry and media could come together in our beautiful city. It was such an awesome feeling to see it all come together, not without many hiccups of course, including, my car breaking down, a few artists getting sick and a few shows doing quite badly, beyond that though, everything was beautiful, including the weather. We hosted 4 free shows, one on the Place Des Festivals, the other on the McCord Museum and one free outdoor show at the Terrace McAuslan which was just the perfect wait to end the fest.

I am already rethinking about 2015 and how to possibly go forward with little budget and limited time, I am not even sure another edition is possible. Some other epiphanies I have been having was about my own personal music, which, because of the festival has been put on the backburner for almost 2 whole years now. I haven’t toured in one and a half years to commemorate myself to the fest but want this year feel much more leeway to start again. I don’t feel quite so bogged down by the fest, anymore, partly because now I feel I understand the business and what I need to do much better, it feels much more realistic than before where it was almost a source of stress.

And this brings me to my plans for the fall. I had to refuse 2 festivals this summer of which one was for ArtsWells, which could have involved an awesome tour with my friend and Canadian legendary musician Wax Mannequin. This kind of pissed me off because I wasn’t ready to go out west. I just to put it bluntly, do not have my shit together music wise. So I made the promise to myself, to set a goal to get my EP mastered by the end of July (it has already been recorded and mixed),  to print and release the record in September, and go on tour for November in the UK and Scandinavia (as part of a trip out to see my in laws) playing a few hometown gigs. This is the master plan for now, the other part of that is to write a new record and to reinvent my one man band to something much simpler, much less electronic, but that is still going to turn some heads. I’m already hitting the studio now and feeling quite good about plans to come. I can see the boomerang making its way back now, full circle.

I leave you for now with some pictures of the festival as well as a few pics of Vermont, where we went right after the fest to decompress. My wife Lisa is now a permanent resident and I feel a beautiful renewal and longevity to our journey together which makes me ecstatic. Summer is here, time for lakes, rivers, festivals (Quebec City fest which is happening next week with lots and lots of insane artists). Once the EP is mastered at the end of the month, I will make a video for the Song Rhapsody in Pink. Which is going to be something spectacular. That’s a wrap!

 

 

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