b00ty camp recap

day 7. we made it – most of us.

This past week has been pretty crazy, met a lot of cool people who bonded over a a shared passion for music and a shared slaving to the caffeine.

They say what happens at band camp stays at band camp. Dean got lost in the lake and we can’t find him.

In lieu, I am pleased to introduce out new bass player: JETSKI



Word. Stay reel.

Connor E.

Jesse At Bootcamp

Hey everyone. Jesse here at Peak Performance Bootcamp. It’s been an amazing time hanging out with all of these great bands and music industry people. I’ve been playing keyboards with Layten Kramer and I’ve learned a ridiculous amount of knowledge and I can’t wait to put it into practice. We learned a tonne about booking, publishing, and radio, but my favourite sessions would have to be the ones about songwriting. We got to have some songwriting sessions with Ryan Guldemon from Mother Mother and his approach is very inspiring. If I wasn’t busy at camp with so many sessions I would want to sit down with a  guitar and write. It’ll have to wait until I get home.

We got to work with Producer Howard Redekopp and co-write a song with Smash Boom Pow. It was great to watch a song come from scratch and turn into a fully finished commercial production in less than two days. There was a lot of help from engineers from Nimbus in order to help speed up the process. There really is a reason why some people are considered pros!

My brain is jam packed, and I’m excited to go home but I can’t wait to put everything I learned into practice and make good use of the knowledge.

Bye peak!

-Jesse Northey

The Pinnacle Moment.

Well we’ve reached the end kids. As I sat atop the beautiful peak off to the south of camp I was able to have a moment of quiet to sit and think. The Hike up was a challenge for me to say the least. I thought of heading back many times along the trail but I decided to challenge myself and go all the way to the top. I couldn’t help but see the correlation between the hike to the pinnacle and my career up to this point. The struggles and challenges are real, The constant self doubt, the self medication, the strain on relationships and families and The missed moments back home. I thought A lot of my son and my wife Coby and how challenging the last two years have been for us. I don’t envy her for having to be married to a travelling musician, But I am grateful for the fact that she has stayed for as long as she has. Its a strange a twisted road but I think there is a purpose there. The Road less travelled is littered with Abandon and broken dreams but those who persist are treated to a little glimpse of what it means to actually live. To find beauty in the struggle is to truly understand this. I couldn’t help but smile as I looked over at comrades Jesse Roper and Shari Rae, I think they were feeling the same Bliss. As we hiked back down the mountain I felt the best feeling Ive had a week.

I did it, I climbed the Peak.

Babe it’s over

Well damn. Got through our showcase last night, the release was real. I thought everyone would hate us, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much warmth and support everyone showed. Even the judges, I thought they would rip us apart but they we’re honest, kind and gave a lot of really great insight into how to improve. There was a definite level up last night, my eyes are open, the road is lit and I feel ready.

I really learned to scrutinize and appreciate all the small details throughout the art of music and the music industry itself. It’s a crazy world out there and I can’t believe how naive and ignorant I’ve been. So thank you to our wonderful instructors and the wonderful band mates for teaching us so much and pushing us in the right direction. Now I’m confident that I, myself am able to impart the same wisdom that was imparted on me:

-Everything starts with good songs, no matter what.
-Be true to your message, believe and stand by your vision.
-Strategize with tactics, you can’t have one without the other.
-You are a business, you are the CEO, run yourself like a boss.
-There is no “luck” per se, hard work will return itself to you.
-Be expressive and personable, let that reflect off your music and vice versa.
-Be kind.
-Take care of your people and the people that take care of you, respect the efforts of others especially when they are benefitting yourself. (Jordain, you’re my dawg)
-Be on time.
-Don’t cling onto your songs, let them grow and be influenced by others (Thanks Nik!)
-Learn from everyone, yet take it with a grain of salt (what works for some might not work for others)
-Lawyer up.
-Fixing the small things will help create the big things.
-When you’re on the stage, that stage is yours and your audience is yours. Open up and let your presence flourish.

After a week of no phone service, low quality internet and no sleep I think I’m ready to return home. Thank you to The Peak for establishing this magnificently well organized project in partnership with Alberta Music and BC Music. I’m still blown away at how much time and money you invest to level up us struggling, broke musicians. Thank you to Rock Ridge staff for taking such excellent care of us, letting us use your space and indulging in the beauty of your camp. Thank you to the excellent team provided by Nimbus, your students are so outstandingly passionate and it blows my mind everyday (and they’re all music geniuses!) As well thank you to the producers (Nik you’re my boy), sound technicians, technical staff and videographers for making us all sound and look so great. Last but not least thank you to the family I’ve made here, you’re passion and drive is so incredibly inspiring, your conviction is genuine and your talent is unparalleled. I can’t wait to catch up with all of you in the future and reminisce about this project.

For now, I’m going to enjoy this last little bit of nature and close my laptop for a bit, love you all, bye <3 – Sam

How to “Vanwich”

If I can leave you with one tidbit of knowledge this week it would definitely be how to perfect the art of the “Vanwich.”

A common problem at camp is developing a case of the “post showcase munchies.” After a couple days the granola bars/pretzels you brought with you just doesn’t suffice.

THUS, the Vanwich.

Step 1:

Scout your options. As you walk into the buffet line – compile a mental screenshot of the ingredients you have to work with. Analyze/rework these combinations in your imagination back at your table.

Step 2:

After you’ve finished your meal, now is the time to strike. Bread is a desired commodity around these parts so make sure you don’t wait too long or you’ll be left with two crust pieces which is not conducive to the crafting of a perfect Vanwich.


Step 3:

Meat first. No condiments. This is a common mistake. Since this delectable treat will be sitting in your van for hours without refrigeration – you don’t want butter or mayo or anything or it’ll end up smelling like JJ Shiplett’s boots.

Step 4: accessorize. Much like a good fashion seminar by Kate Matthews, you need to “dress” your Vanwich so to speak. Pro tip – BACON BITS.

Step 5: take your new lover by the hand (no plates) and walk down to your van. Open your van, put the Vanwich down on the least disgusting section you can find (the peak binder is a good option).

Step 6: party, dance, get hungry, then make everyone else envious when you show up after the showcase break with a savoury Vanwich.

Blogging Day 2 (Bootcamp Day 6)

Finally there is time to do some blogging!

I’m listening to Van Damsel do their soundcheck right now as I type this.  I feel sorry for the bands that had to wait until the last day to play.  There’s so much anticipation built up by this point and everyone is so exhausted.  Van Damsel will close down the whole bootcamp and I think they’re a good fit for that – super upbeat, fun, and poppy!

We have our vocal coaching with Tamara Beatty this afternoon.  Tamara is one of the vocal consultants on the show The Voice! It’s insane the caliber of industry members that PPP brings to bootcamp.  I feel if we can strengthen our vocals we can really start to step things up as a band.

There are some KILLER singers here.  My favourites are Todd and Craig from the Calgary band Northern Beauties.  Craig’s harmonies are amazing and their presence together is so charming.

When we first found out we got into Peak my first thought was how excited I am to go zip lining! There were lots of pictures/videos of people doing it last year and it looks like a TON of fun! Tomorrow we have so much free time and the zip line is open so I finally get to go.  Hopefully it’ll be nice weather too so I can enjoy the lake as well.  It’s going to feel weird having so much free time tomorrow – so I guess this means today is the last official day.

The best part of today so far was Natasha Duprey’s keynote on Music Supervising.  Her whole power point presentation was filled with photos like this:

Screenshot 2015-09-01 13.47.31

It was amazing 🙂

Over and out!


Good lessons

I wrote this on day 3, and just posting today on Day 5:

Day 3 of Bootcamp and I’m tired yet inspired. I’ve had to push myself many times to stay attentive and open, and almost every time i’ve been pleased with the results. There’s a common thread that i’m picking up through all of these workshops, performances, and conversations with new friends. The music business has no standard formula for success, there is not some golden bit of information that will make you successful. Instead, there are hundreds of moving parts that all need to be worked a little bit at a time, with consistency and intent. Maybe it’s the reality of “no shortcuts” being further cemented into my stupid head, or maybe it’s a fresh perspective, but whatever it is, I’m feeling motivated and intrigued, thanks Peak! Pumped to record some music tonight with Russ Broom and the Peak master JP Maurice!


Holy Moly.

Wow, what a week so far. We finally played our showcase last night and I must say, I felt very great about it. I’ll admit I was super nervous, but I sat down on my amp before the curtain went up and looked around the stage to see my buds that were there supporting me and my music. I can’t even count the number of times Ive looked to my left and seen Tyson Maiko. We have been playing together since I was a teenager! I felt calm knowing my buds were there.

We did our best to fit a little magic in our 20 minute set, we laid our souls down the best way we know how. From the heart, Real and and kinda Dirty! hahaha

We hit the studio last night with producer genius Shawn Cole and My songwriting partner Mike Edel and again mined a little Gold. I went to sleep feeling satisfied about the work we accomplished.

This morning I had a sweet little Skype with my boy and his Mother, He kept feeding me toast via the screen and had a good laugh while doing it. He may or may not know this but I’m doing this for him. I want him to know his pops is out here following his dreams, following the path that has been set out for me.

Being away is a big part of what I do, Its not always pretty and it doesn’t always make sense to me, but this camp has given me the knowledge and inspiration to do this properly from here on out.

Thank you friends.

P.S cabin C, Keep it down, there is old people asleep across the hall!!!!


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