me and em are out here at rockridge canyon playing tunes talkin shop makin pals… morning of day three. there’s a big lake with some super dense water, a sick pool, basically spanks natural habitat.
yesterday i went for a dip while leeroy stagger was fishing.
we caught a flight to kamloops a day early to hang out and jam with Van Damsel, who we’re paired with for a songwriting challenge. they drove us out here in their bus! our song is somewhere between paradise by the dashboard light, and baby it’s cold outside. we don’t hit the studio until sunday and monday with Jeff Dawson, and im pretty excited to get in there. i never do co-writes, and i havent worked with anyone other than josh gwilliam for a real long time. real long time. he’s out here at camp too, i saw a pic of him recording some mountain snare and i missed him a little.
today is interviews day, we just sat through two sessions-perfecting your pitch and print interviews. the print one was led by Mike Bell, who’s press quotes i have used more than any others. namely because he has such awesome things to say about me, like crowning me “cagary’s reigning rock goddess.” that’s a really good one i use it all the time.
me and em are about to head downstairs to our performance coaching- ive been looking forward to this since meeting earl at orientation last month. earl and kahlil had a lot of cool stuff to say at our adjudication. like, i totally thought ive been getting away with looking above people and not in their eyeballs. thats not the case at all. what a brat.
last night i played some football in the pool with the wisers. and tonight is karaoke. i plan on jumping in the lake at least once today.
i just posted a few days old blog… my 2009 macbook pro that i dumped a guinness on five years ago isn’t holding up so good! time for some new technology in camp spanks. what was kind of cool tho is re-reading what i wrote, what i was looking forward to that day, and what’s happened since.
our studio sessions have started! thats exciting. im calling our studio with jeff dawson the sultan’s tent. it’s all white linens and pillows and glowing blue globes. last night we were there way late laying down beds.
we’ve have lots of visitors in the studio, i don’t know why though.
it’s kind of hard to explain everything we’ve been learning out here. a lot of stuff that will really help grow and strengthen our performance and business. so much to take in. this afternoon we have a songwriting workshop with Ryan Guldemond. its pretty incredible the kind of feedback we’re getting from real people working in the industry right now. and everything we learn from each other as artists participating in this industry right now as well. super great. you know what else is great? karaoke.
you know what else is amazing? i got some awesome news from home today. part of this experience is meeting some challenges- one of them being raising funds and awareness for a charity of your choice. we’re supporting a program i’m involved in, Girls Rock Camp Calgary. we wrapped up our most recent camp a few weeks ago, and this year the girls recorded their original songs with Josh Gwilliam at OCL Studios. CJSW has been super supportive and playing their tracks like crazy. so crazy, in fact…
holy moly. so proud of our girls. right now there are like seven girls at camp out of 24 bands. in the coming years, our girls are going to be taking over. future peak performance project rockers!! keep killing it, you crazy kids. xomiesha.
Welcome to Peak Performance Project day five. My name is Addison and I’m here to give you an update on what The Velveteins have been up to.
On Friday we had an interesting day learning about booking, style and social media which ended with an amazing showcase where Bed of Stars stole the show. We played our showcase on Saturday and on Sunday Ryan from Mother Mother gave a really great talk on songwriting and creativity.
It’s 1:30pm right now and I’m currently listening to Find the Others (BC) do an amazing sound check. They are showcasing tonight along with Transit and our homies Leeroy Stagger and Mike Edel! This morning we had two great workshops. The first focused on getting radio play and was led by David Tysowski. The second was all about having good PR and was led by the infectious Kei Baritugo who has a hilariously colourful vocabulary, the likes of which I’m not allowed to share online.
As for the experience so far I really can’t say enough. The hospitality, professionalism, talent, passion, creativity, food, and love I’ve experienced this week has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what else the next two and a half days have in store.
It all kicked off with BACON! Then we had a keynote with Ryan Guldemond from Mother Mother. He has this amazing gift to totally deconstruct a song and then rearrange it to be something even greater. It was a great lesson in not only songwriting but also a moral one to be selfless about our songs and understand that our music is part of a much bigger thing than ourselves.
After we learned about Grant Writing and Ping Pong! I was finally able to beat Robbie in a streak of luck and have now went up 5-2 in the Peak-Pong-Project. The only trick will be to now avoid playing him for the next 4 days so that I can hold my title.
Lunch left us all with lovely Greek breath. It was worth it. 😉
Then we went on to “How to Avoid the CRA at All Costs” class. It was riveting. But actually. It was awesome.
Recording! Finally. We started recording our song with Find The Others. It’s a fairly simple pop song so it’s not a huge feat to record it in 8 hours… But, nevertheless it was super sweet. I got to record on an original Moog from 1753 and had the honour of smelling Andy’s guitar. That isn’t code for anything. His guitar actually smells so nice and it sounds even better. A Martin acoustic from 1893.
After several slices of COLD ZA’ and Greek Yogurt (a strikingly natural combination…) we were done… sorta…
Another day has passed here at the Peak Bootcamp. Sessions all day and great performances by The Northern Beauties, Smash Boom Pow, The Velveteins, and JP Maurice. It is great to see such diverse performances followed by constructive feedback. I am learning a lot by watching and listening, and stealing little things to throw into my own music.
Now that the schedule is all finished, I have been thrown into an exciting recording session with BC band Joy District. Joy District is made up of brothers Eli and Jordi Hilberry, Lenny Parkin and Keelan Gamble. They are from Vancouver Island, which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in this country. We were challenged to write and produce a song together with the help of Jeff Dawson, a great producer who is known for producing Daniel Powter’s debut album which contained ‘Bad Day.’ I was TEN when that was recorded. CRAZY.
Each year at the bootcamp, bands are given a theme to help guide the creative process. This years theme is ‘Hello, Goodbye.’
Goodbyes always alone Never holding on forever letting go Last splash of a skipping stone So goodbye goodbye, hello hello
This has been a challenging experience because it has pulled me out of my comfort zone, my habitual way of writing songs. As a solo artist, I rely on time to reflect and it becomes a very introspective process. This is the opposite. More peopled involved and in a completely different genre. I’m exciting to see where it goes.
Slowly the days are getting in a slight routine (only to be ripped from you once you have your studio time), full of endless knowledge from the TV/Radio/Print guru’s today who seem to be bottles of never-ending wisdom. Its amazing to be able to soak up so much information from the experts through their own experiences and then still know that you’ve only seem the tip of the ice-burg. There is so much to learn, it makes you feel overwhelmed at times, yet inspired to know that it is all attainable – THANKS PEAKY.
Its been a great string of shows since day one, and all we can say is – GO AND FIND ALL THE BANDS AND LOVE THEM. People are incredible. The music is incredible. This camp is on fire with all the creative sparks just going off around here. Even in just conversation, hearing about these artists life that have brought them to this place to make music, their past experiences, and even everyday life that moulds them to be the artist they are. Its magic guys, and we wish you could just feel the energy here. We are so stoked for the bands to play for the next couple days…
Bring it on Day 4. We are ready and waiting~~
OH, and by the way…Both Alberta and BC have released on the Youtubes, all the ‘Intro’ videos to all the bands here. You should check them out and like all of them, and share all of them. Yes!
First day at camp was super fun, we’ve made friends with a couple of the other kids who all seem to be pretty nice. Our camp councillors are very knowledgable and are adamant about the use of our water bottles. So stay hydrated kids…
Day 2 was amazing, Tamara the singing coach completely flipped my world about vocalism. I originally came into the lesson anticipating to fix some of my bad habits, my expectations we’re quickly changed. We ran through some quick fundamental exercises and then started to dig a little deeper. Tamara noticed something about my singing that hadn’t been brought up before, she was expecting by my lyrics and song writing that I should be more expressive and convictive. She even guess my main personality traits after talking for 10 minutes, Simon can vouch. For the next 20 minutes she kept me singing the same verse from our song Midnights until she felt the raw presence she was looking for. She explained to us what a lot of other superstars possessed, which was a strong aura, energy and draw. I sang my own lyrics with her face to face a foot apart and completely reopened the feeling I had when writing the song. It brought up some old stuff, and we bonded pretty hard. I was a little shook up after and Simon kept saying how he’s never felt that type of energy being expressed while singing our songs. Definitely something I want to recreate for every live performance.
Day 3 consisted of a lot of song writing, I’ve realized that I like the pressure of a time constraint on creativity, but only when I’m in the right environment. No phone, no internet, just a beat and a notepad. Simple and effective. I haven’t been in contact with anyone for 3 days except for my musical peers. I think I like it? Really it’s just been nice to be back to nature. Being next to a body of water is calming.
As far as the seminars went today we covered multiple forms of interviews/ media, all of which were informative and eye opening. I definitely felt the need to redefine myself in words. To be concise and to the point are some of the fundamentals of being an approachable artist. Once you’ve grabbed someones attention in that regard (in a 30 second pitch) you can proceed to dig deeper and get to what you really want to express verbally as an artist. I thought it was cool; the notion that as an artist, you can direct the interview and make it what you want, not necessarily the interviewer.
The live shows every night have been phenomenal, I’ve been taking a lot of mental notes and realized that Simon and I have a lot of work to do on our live game. Either way Evan Konrad’s going to be showing me some cool Ableton tricks so I’m confident we’re not a total lost cause. I won’t get too deep into anything cause everyone has such a uniqueness and so many positive stage traits.
Now I’m sitting in this recording session with Nik Kozub, who’s produced a lot of stuff in the same vein as us, and has also produced for a lot of our friends. Evan Konrad and I are bouncing back lyric ideas, James and Simon are jamming on guitars, Smash Boom Pow is hanging out and Jeff is ripping drums in a bathroom. Also the young homie Jordan from Nimbus is the best most helpful dude ever, shouts out to you Jordan. So until tomorrow, goodnight ya’ll. Love you mom, love you dad – Sam
Alright alright! Third times a charm. Two blog tries on a mobile phone failed out. This time I’ve borrowed Matt Olah’s laptop to make an update happen.
PEAK is an astounding opportunity. Get 24 very talented bands together in the mountains and wait for the magic to happen!
We took two cars to PEAK. Shari and Matt left early. Scott, Jeff and I (RK) went up after Scotty finished work Wednesday evening. Our side of the crew split the drive between two days, crashing at a roadside motel in Salmon Arm. Wakin’ up early we drove straight to Rock Ridge and arrived around noon.
Matt greeted us on his bike.
After signing in we went to the orientation and introduced ourselves. Matt made some jokes and introduced anyone who doesn’t know him to his sense of humour. Lots of laughs (LOL).
In July our assigned BC writing partner CHERSEA flew to YYC so we could do some prepro together. We spent a weekend working on a song. When we arrived at PEAK she was one of the first people we saw. It feels so good to be reunited! We also met our camp producer Shawn. We sat in circle and talked about our gameplan for the track we’ll be recording tonight.
We also did an interview on a boat.
Pretty exhausted from the long drive we found out that we’d be showcasing that night. Drive a long way and then play a show. Anyone who tours knows that game!
At the show we came out guns a-blazing. It was a blast to play in front of a crowd of musicians. Bands listening to bands. What a treat!
After playing we sat on a bench in front of the crowd and the five adjudicators (“not-judges”) gave us some great feedback. One even drew us a cartoon.
With our duty done we hung out until the wee hours with the other bands. Exhausted.
Up at 8 we had brekky in the hall and then it was straight into the rock and roll school keynote and classes.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was when we got to hang out with the performance coaches Earl and Kahlil. They focus in the visual aspect of the stage show and gave us some pointers based on what they’d seen the night before. Their advice is a game changer.
A little kicking and screaming for fun.
Once again we stayed up late and hung out with the other bands.
That brings us to today. A couple of us slept through breakfast to catch up on the zzz’s. The late nights are starting to catch up.
We had more seminars. All of the seminar presenters throughout the week have been giving great lessons.
Naptime. Sleepy rock and rollers.
As a group we sat down with Tamara and she gave us vocal coaching. Invaluable because we recently started polishing our group vocals. We got along like gangbusters!
Right now it’s the intermission between tonight’s showcase. When that’s done we’re off to the studio to start working on our song with CHERSEA and Shawn’s team. It’s gonna be another long, very enjoyable night!
A couple of shoutouts. Robbie Josh Gwilliam has been the engineer on all of our records. He’s out here as a camp producer. We love you Robbie Josh!
Also, we’re bunking in a room with Leeroy Stagger and Jesse Roper. Hey fellas! We come in late and Jeff snores like a dumptruck. Free earplugs for all! We’ll try to be quieter and thank you for your patience. You guys rock!
Finally, as a Calgary band it’s very special to share this experience with our friends in The Wisers, The Northern Beauties and Miesha & The Spanks. They’ve all had a chance to play their showcases and they all gave us the warm fuzzies. The last YYCer Transit is still on deck and we look forward to supporting him. And frankly all of the bands because there is so much talent to enjoy out here. All I can say is awesome.
Thanks PEAK for taking most of these photos and for the experience.