Did you miss the fun Fortune Sound Club last Thursday? It’s the beginning of the end for the BC PEAK Performance Project. The first of the last showcases has begun and the countdown is on. See what our artists think was the best part of Boot Camp form a scant 3 weeks ago, who they’d let win in their place, and how they’d eventually ‘remove’ the winners from their place at the top when we interview Joy District, Bed of Stars and Mindil Beach
Since Daniel’s passing I had been feeling less and less inspired to pursue music. Rehearsals and touring felt like a chore, jamming/writing new songs was a bit like pulling teeth, and blog-writing led to hours of staring at a blank word document…Boot camp may have been the remedy for this.
It could be the level of talented musicians we were surrounded by, or the three square meals a day, but the energy I once had for this incredibly competitive industry seems to be firing up again. The songs are coming in and the laziness I’ve felt towards performing is subsiding.
Though the Peak Performance Project is a competition, the camaraderie shown between bands certainly never made it feel like a contest. I’ll be left feeling happy for whoever wins. If you haven’t checked out the 23 other bands from BC and Alberta, try to make some time to do so. I’m sure you’ll find something that you can’t get enough of.
Now for the cheesy conclusion. I’ve always liked the comparison of life being a roller coaster, and believe the ups and downs for musicians are some of the tallest and steepest. It’s all about staying on the ride without puking. My stomach is feeling much less queasy. Thank you, Peak <3
Cam (Mindil Beach) xoxo
P.S. If you’re in Vancouver this Thursday (Sept 24), come to our showcase at Fortune Sound Club with Bed of Stars and Joy District! You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
Although my middle name is Christian, I am admittedly born and raised an agnostic at heart. I have however developed a mesmerizing and beautiful affinity for Rockridge canyon, which held its final Peak performance bootcamp, after 7 magical and productive years, this past week.
When I first entered the competition in 2011, I was searching for answers and guidance, spiritually, musically and the like. My experiences over my past 4 participations in Bootcamp have delivered to me numerous life lessons and epiphanies. Continue reading →
Cowpuncher and I are recording our song with Shawn Cole. It’s been really great. I’m so tired… So I’m just going to make some haikus.
Matt from Cowpuncher
has serious flatulence
Shawn Cole is super
so is sir Cody Taylor
I write great haikus
I am having fun
being better than Brandon
at writing haikus
I’m not tired at all
just having a flippen ball
with all my homies.
Hopefully these photos will help to describe what’s going on… Let me get back to you when I’ve had at least a couple hours of sleep. Goodnight to you, hello studio. Sending love to my Van Fam…. Can’t wait to come back and play for ya’ll on OCT. 8th @Fortune Sound Club, for the Peak Performance Project Showcase #3.
It was a Wet Hot Canadian morning, the smoke was in the air, the smell of coffee breath was pungent, and we were running on two hours of sleep.
We began our journey by hitting the road at 7:30am, long after the rooster had sung his song. It was a long and treacherous road but we enjoyed every sweaty moment. When we arrived in Princeton we saw Find The Others at the… candy store, good man.
A little while down the road we arrived at Rockridge. By the beard of Zeus it was magnificent. The powerful mountains, the glistening lake, the cute road kill on the drive in. It was all a glorious site to see.
To be honest, we were so excited that the next 2 minutes were a blur… but we awoke in a room with Joy District, our brothers from multiple mothers. The next few hours consisted of free gourmet food, music, and candy.
Here’s a picture of Dallyn getting ready for hockey, Andrew reading 50 Shades of Grey, and Tim drawing cartoons.
We decided to wonder around and stumbled upon a little fella who jumped out of the bush. We couldn’t tell what sort of animal he was but this is what he looked like. Some say it was a mythical creature known as a “gnome”.
We hit the stage at 8:45, it was an electrifying set, because the microphones were shocking us every time we went to sing.
But the big event of the night was the staff vs artists hockey game. Our very own Salad was a star on the court, passing the ball, he’s a true quarterback. But alas, the artists loss. It was an inside job.
We then ended the day working hard…. as you can tell from our computer screen.
It’s the morning of Day 5, our brain is jumbled, we’ve lost tons of sleep, and this is how we felt this morning.
The zip line was one of this weeks biggest highlights all around.
Naturally, we built up days of anticipation for it…getting mentally prepared and putting on our diapers just in case. Ancient Chinese warriors say it is best to wear red so that your enemy doesn’t see you bleed… so we wore brown pants.
Everything was running smoothly, Andrew and Conan went first. It was spectacular. The wind was brushing past hairlines, the lake beneath our feet, the feel of flight, and Conan mangled his hand.
Yes folks, that’s right, our guitarist and lead singer pretty much messed up his hand. Something happened when we caught the rope at the end that resulted in it getting caught in the contraption and now his hand is out of service. He went to the medical room and got a sweet ass bandage and brace on. It’s his first ever!
Then we had a giant hackie sack game with all the boys, Mr. Roper, Mindil Beach, Joy District, Cow Puncher, and many other beauties!
Then we dance around the fire and things got a little blurry from that point on. We don’t remember much, but what we do remember is some sort of Voodoo dance and and ritual of some kind that involved a sacrifice….
….on an unrelated note, we cannot find Tim today, so if anyone has seen him please let us know.
Bootcamp has been, as expected, a really special experience thus far.
Once we arrived, our schedule had all of our most intense sessions and workshops right off the bat. I haven’t had a moment to reflect until this moment, Which is Monday, and we’re just over the half way mark.
My memories are quite scattered, so forgive me as I piece the last few days together over the next couple of posts.
I’m currently sitting in a makeshift studio in one of the bunks with Nik Kozub (Shout Out Out Out, Humans, etc) as we finish our collaboration track with Beach Season.
The process has been so fluent, the 6 of us as a team have been working together effortlessly and it has been a blast.
Let’s jump back a bit here though.
Once we signed drove up and signed in, I remember all of us being a little nervous and eager to see who we were bunking with for the week.
I was a bit concerned about being put into a party room, because I tend to like to keep to myself, as do the boys.
However, fortunately they put us with our new friends Beach Season and Braden Gates, and our old and now better friends Ulysses and Zane (Smash Boom Pow), who, talent aside, easily have the most rockstar names in the project.
We’ve all been very respectful of each other and have had a ton of fun together. Sharing ideas from the day and talking about tunes late into the evenings. I’ve arguably been the loudest one now that I think of it…
We started our first day with Sam and Simon (Beach Season) in the sun, planning to write and talk out our collaboration tune, but ended up shooting some hoops instead. Love it.
After that, we went to meet with Nik for a pre-pro meeting.
I remember he told me something so simple and yet so obvious I couldn’t believe I’ve never thought of it before. “Why not start with the chorus?” Brilliant.
It’s a neat trick if you can pull it off, and will definitely influence a wide number of new songs for us.
That night we watched Jesse Roper open the evening, The Royal Foundry, Little India and Cowpuncher. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Cowpuncher guys as we share the same schedule, and have been greatly enjoying their wit and company throughout the days. Lots of talent there as well.
Day two started with a ton of anticipating, as our showcase was that night. Being one of the youngest, freshest bands here, we didn’t quite know how the reception would be of our work and what we are presenting to the audience.
During the AM we had our introduction for the week from Bob D’Eith, and a style session with Kate Matthews. Kate was kind enough to lend me some makeup, as I forgot mine at home, the only thing I forgot (besides gum). Two essentials….
Jumping ahead for a moment here, after our showcase set she also came up to James, Jeff and myself and told us that she loved our style so much that she wouldn’t change a thing about it
She went on about how well we matched and presented ourselves, and how that never happens for her. Which was awesome to hear.
Back to the afternoon.
After lunch we had an interview with Sebastian Buzzalino which you can see here:
Following that we got to do a quick soundcheck.
Tem Hutchinson, our FOH for the week, has been a wonderful help to all the bands during soundcheck, keeping calm and so supportive. I’m sure we all feel lucky to have him be patient and helpful in presenting our music for everyone, I know I am.
It was our very first show with Jeff, and mine and James first as a 3 piece.
The reception from our peers and the panel of judges was overwhelmingly and unexpectedly positive.
We’ve already made some wonderful connections with some very cool people that will already drastically change our trajectory.
I have a new respect for insomniacs.
I’ve always been a night owl, but being here has taken that night owl quality, strapped it to a chair, injected it with caffeine, taped its eyes wide open and said, “hold on.”
And I’m not complaining.
There’s magic in the air between the hours of midnight and 4am here.
An energy we’re all tapping into.
Between the apocalypse welcoming morning horn blast, the energies flowing on every frequency, the “first day at summer camp” initial shyness from us all, the instant best friend connections, the zip line, the pool, the staggering scenery, the karaoke, performance coaching, vocal lessons, the late night writing sessions, and the amazing sessions we are having daily with some inspiring teachers and mentors… it’s a wonder we’re all functioning. But we’ve made it to the last day, it’s bittersweet, for all us BC bands to be able to be a part of something of this scope, especially in the last year has been something remarkable.
Yes, maybe there’s some dark circles forming under our eyes.
Yes, maybe some of us aren’t shaving every morning.
Yes, maybe we’re losing track of what day it is.
Yes, maybe I’m wearing the same pants every day (to be fair I own around two and a half pairs of pants).
No, I wouldn’t trade this for anything (not even new pants).
These are lasting memories, these are lasting friendships, goals, challenges, and above all else, a lasting reminder of the passion that all brought us here together.
Welcome to the PEAK Performance Project.
I started this by saying I have a new respect for insomniacs.
In reality, while that’s true, I humbly have a new respect, for ALL of us.
Every artist here has pushed me, every member of the faculty has given me invaluable information and an amazing set of tools and contacts to use in the coming years.
For the last time, and for all of us leaving here with expanded hearts and minds,
windmills keep moving.