So I did my first drum cover.

 

Believe it or not, this was the first take. I hadn’t played it since the days of Aberdeen. About 4 years ago.
“Stranger to Change” is a special track for me. I was heavily influenced by Mother Mother and their Eureka album in the writing process of this tune in particular. That whole EP was written in what now feels like an entirely different body from who I am now. However, music shapes itself around the environment you’re in and the song now signifies a renewed vision, a renewed passion for music and my undying “dreamer” attitude towards everything I do. You may hear some direct rips from my loves, MM, and that fill into the second versing structure borrows a piece and an idea I thought of 5 minutes before tracking and wrote in studio from Minus the Bear‘s “Summer Angel“. See if you can hear it.
Anyway, this track was a lot of fun to write with hip hop infused back beats and a ton of fun to play live, with extended intro and bridge pieces… I’m just glad I was able to capture it on the new Taye ProX and Soultone Cymbals. On that note, I get into it for the drum gear heads, so stick around for the chat after the track too. I’ve got some cool stuff going on for configuration.

We recorded this track with the always amazing Josh Rob Gwilliam way back in 2013, went through a lot of growth with the project and am happy to say I have become the player I am now by going through those sometimes rough growing pains. 

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To all the musicians just getting into it; if you take any piece away from this all, just keep playing. Bands will come and go and come again – it’s important for you to always keep playing.

This track is special. It’s still getting airplay.

Not bad for a terrible band from Calgary, right boys? Please enjoy responsibly.

Please Share.

Til next time, stay sweet.

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Attention all drummers!

Try this one out before your next rehearsal and unglue your shitty forearms.

Here’s what to do.

1. Grab a LAX ball, or a tennis ball to start cause this can get NASTY.

2. Hang you wrist off of a counter or over your snare.

3. Roll the ball over your forearm, up close to the elbow.

4. Find the spot that sings like Shakira and hold it!

5. Make a fist. Try not to cry. 👶

6. Relax, open your fist and repeat all the way down closer to the wrist.

HIYA! Take that, wrist pain.

I’ve got some more books to help you on the road with exercise and nutrition if you’re the career-minded musician. First three to comment below and tag their band get a FREE e-copy. 🤘

🎶 by The Heist – “Let it Go”

Go check out my YouTube channel, subscribe for a weekly dose of awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeP8bF4NNmv_HqkcHfrtNgA

‘Til next time, stay sweet.

He Brandt’d it this time.

“Have fun storming the castle” he messaged me earlier today. And in one weeks time, I will.

Tuesday I will have secured a spot on the Board, and either way I will continue to push my health and wellness agenda upon the music community.

We have so much to gain. In light of the recent tragedies in our musical community, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a dire need for solutions to the growing problems associated with musician health and wellness. Things like chronic pain, high stress, poor nutritional habits, and a growing need of physical and emotional therapy plague our industry like every bad Nickelback single of the early millennium. We need to find ways to subsidize products and services to fit the budget of our membership; those musicians and industry that can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a massage therapist, chiropractor, nutrition coach or personal trainer.

What if we had the ability to go on the road with bands or host lifestyle workshops in places like OCL or NMC? What if there was a mobile medical service we had access to on tour? Could we create digital content like video documentaries and podcasts that bring to light the realities of the life of a full-fledged musician to others? We would only help raise awareness of this message, right?

I do believe we can. It’s my dream to bridge the gap between health and wellness and the music industry. I’m like the RUN DMC meets Aerosmith version of “Walk this Way”. And we can breakdown that wall of the stereotypical “rock star lifestyle”. We can change the landscape of the industry forever.

Because I will connect Alberta Music and it’s members to professional health and wellness service providers, our membership will have the tools to truly “next level that shit” and become the greatest version of themselves.

Now’s our chance to lay the foundation of which all other industry organizations envy. We have to start treating ourselves like professionals and investing into our development on a deeper level. With attention to personal growth, self-care and a healthy and active lifestyle, we will inspire amazing lives. With that, we’ll in turn inspire amazing art.

Thanks for listening, stay sweet.

M

If my platform resonates with you, please throw your name down below in a comment and tell me. The health movement in the music industry knows no boundaries. It’s up to us as to how we approach change.

I’m back!

Hey everyone! If you’ve never taken a breather, I highly recommend it. Be it from social media, the phone and emails or just from the daily hustle and grind – it all adds up and sometimes it’s nice to just recharge and breathe.

I spent May doing just that. I’m refocused, energized and have realigned my vision, got a few projects really rockin’ and rollin’ and most importantly, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.
I find that I have more energy than ever! I’m waking up with the sun every day, going for a jog with Dar or doing some yoga in my living room and then heading in to either volunteer at Ronald McDonald House or down to INLIV to work with an all-star personal training team to inspire some amazing lives! I even bike almost 200 kilometres every week for fun!
I can’t say it was all me. I owe a lot of it to resetting my mindset and that only really started to kick in about 6 months ago when I started getting coached through the same system I teach my coaching clients, Precision Nutrition’s Pro-Coach.

Between volunteering, creating, coaching, catching live music events around town, hosting two shows; one on TV and the other, my very own radio show (now available on iTunes!), entertaining (or more like being entertained by) my pup Darwin, it seems like there should be a lot fewer hours in my day, right? It’s all in how you manage your time, I s’pose.
I’ve attached some links for you to take a peek at some of the things I’ve been up to. I hope you enjoy it, share it and remember the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or out of control – take a step back and breathe. Reach out if you would like some help or even just an ear to vent to.

SoundScape

Check out the TV show I host, SoundScape YYCTanner James plays some tunes, talks about the upcoming release of his debut novel and chats with me about the changing landscape of Calgary’s music scene and how he’s thriving as an artist in the wake of the gunslingers and oil barons of the wild, wild west. It’s a real doozy. Tune in.

PPLSKLZ RADIO

The first episode is out! Be sure to tune in on that commute to work or over lunch break for your hour-long dose of local music-fused with real discussion on proactive healthcare for musicians and music lovers. Chalked full of value, this episode includes the first part of a new gender series “What Is A Man” I’m unrolling this month, some great local artists including Jo-Jo O’ and the Woods and The Heirlooms and tips and tricks to help keep you moving and feeling great! Check it out below.

The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle

Now available on amazon.ca, get your copy of my book in either old school paperback or fresh, like the kids these days – e-book. Order your copy today!

Thanks for reading, until next time… stay sweet!

 

These last few weeks have been insanity in all the right ways.

We are on the brink of changing the landscape of the music industry forever. We are leading a health initiative to ensure musicians, singer-songwriters, producers, artists, stage crew – everyone involved in the music business can have access to customized, proactive healthcare at an affordable price. If you’re a professional in the music industry, please fill this out.

Last week, I sat down with Rob McLeod, motivational speaker, Frisbee Ambassador and 6x World Record holder. We’re great pals, and we both enjoy thought provoking conversation… so needless to say, we had A LOT of content. I was able to break things up into two very cool parts, and the first one can be found here:

I’ll release the second part of my conversation with Rob on Monday morning. Stay tuned for that…

Here’s my thought provoking question for the week – it comes from the common theme I have been subject to this whole week – Do you believe that some people have a programmable “settle” button where they reach a certain level of comfort in life, or would you argue that each individual’s level of satisfaction just differs? The reason I ask is that I’m just never quite content with where I am at. I would like to know if that’s just a normal human trait, or if there really is something that allows some individuals the ability to actually be quite happy with where they are. I’d call it a “settle” button, but not in a negative sense. Please, discuss.

The phase “Right hand on my heart” comes not only from a favourite song of mine by a group from Georgia by the name of The Whigs, but it also means much more.

Within the next two weeks, my drive to success and never be content is going to be one of the driving factors in my health initiative in the music industry changing the landscape for musicians and music professionals forever. It’s been a dream of mine to have the influence and total firepower behind me to actually do something and help others in the music community live healthier lives and not have to worry about the costs associated. This is a dream. Right hand on my heart. And I swear to you I will do it. I don’t know when, but we will do this.

Thanks for reading. And again, if you’re a musician click this link and give me some feedback on what matters most to you and your personal health. https://goo.gl/forms/GWEmZbOTgPuJ0HrH2

It was signed, Denny Morrison.

Canadian legend of an Olympic Athlete. In a sport I was a former competitor in, no where near the level of expertise as Morrison, but still… I did that. So his words were impactful.

I’ve actually always be called a “dreamer”, and as I quickly approach my 30’s this Thursday, I embrace those words now. I used to be resentful and abrasive citing “whatever, I am not…” Like a child…

Well, one of those things remain the same. I am a child. Children love the playground. I’ve since learned through all the hardships my 20’s threw at me from moving around for school, getting injured and having to come home from university due to lack of funds, to finishing school after a rough breakup with the girl I thought I was going to marry, to a really quick rebound-relationship and even quicker engagement and eventually marriage that only lasted 3 years, having that huge surprise and pending friends circle completely collapse…  three career switches, lots of new, lots of crazy… three dogs, three universities, half a dozen bands, a book, two startups, over dozen homes and I feel like there’s not too much I haven’t seen. And that was only one decade. We greatly underestimate what we can do in ten years…

So here’s my thing. Dream big. Always dream. Don’t listen to the “realists”. They’re generally just folks that are comfortable in what they know. Security. That’s fine, but if you’re inspired by change and inspired to move others beyond their greatest fears, and to really give back and at the same time give in to what you really want… you need to get out of your own way and really invest in dreaming big. You can and you will find a way!

Go get it.

Here’s my talk on just that.

Enjoy and please share with someone you know that is stuck on the edge and just needs that little kick to jump.

Yeah. That’s a vanilla milkshake, cheeseburger and onion rings. Yeah. I’m a trainer, Holistic lifestyle coach and nutrition coach. I’m also a human being.

Even Superman has his kryptonite.

I have been overly stressed, borderline depressed and have found myself often questioning my purpose as I scroll through Facebook or build creative content for social media marketing at 3:45am… like actually. That’s been my life over the past 2 weeks. Not pretty.

Does this sound like you? Are you okay with it. It’s okay if you are. But if it isn’t where you wanna be, you need to identify it, OWN it and find a way out of your slump. Here’s a guide to how I’m going to do it. Starting today. Not tomorrow. Right the f*ck now. 

1. Set Goals!

Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Start with these areas:

Personal: What do you want to be? More fit? Learn an instrument, or another language. Set a TANGIBLE goal; something that you can measure. Then pursue it with mini goals EVERY SINGLE DAY! And slap your wrist if you don’t hit it. If you only say you’re an 8/10, you’re giving yourself permission to give up before you even start. Stop that. That’s bullshit. 10/10. If you’re not there yet, find something that you are 10/10 on. It’s the behaviours, not the outcome that’ll get you to success. I’ll say it again: BEHAVIOURS, not outcomes are the path to success. 

Financial: How much money do you want to have at a certain point? More importantly, why? You might be surprised with your answers…

Career: Where do you want to be in your career? Rising to the top of the company? Owning your own thing (like me!)? Find a new path? Go back to school? So many options. Options we tend not to think about… I challenge you to start thinking.

There’s definitely more areas you can build goals in, butninfind these three key to develop your overarching “why” statement. That being, why are you here? 

Without a meaningful purpose to wake up every day, you have no desire to make money to pay bills and get the things in life that mean most tonyiu. For some, that’s family time. Ever think about doing something as a career that frees up more time instead of fills up your bank account? It’s just a thought, but how many dollar bills have you ever seen play with your nephew, making goofy spaghetti faces at each other over holiday dinner (yeah, I eat spaghetti for holidays sometimes… I love mom’s spaghetti!)? Food -ahem- for thought…

2. Schedule! 

Start with this. Set an alarm for everyday. Same time. Work day or not. Aim to be in bed by 11 and up by 7. Why? Your commitment to doing things that are outside of what’s comfortable will transfer into all other aspects of your life. You’ll be thankful. And productive. And into a routine. Also, make sure you wake up softly, not one of those crazy-ass alarms. We will dive into the next step of scheduling next week. For now, get a sleep schedule. Sleep is key.

3. Tell people!

Okay, so now you have some identifiable and tangible goals – A.S.S Goals, I like to say… (Click here to see why I think SMART goals are dumb…) and you’re setting intention of getting up and prioritizing things…. tell people! The simple act of social accountability will help you out yourself on the block for delivering that 10/10. Why? Well, when busy asks you how your coursework on that new programming certification or how learning to do a handstand is going, you’ll probably have a better answer. You can expect people that care (and maybe those that you didn’t think would…) to ask you about how you’re doing on goals you told them about. It’s human nature. We (generally) care about each other. Sometimes it’s because we need others to fulfill our own self-doubt by showing and inspiring us… but I digress… tell the world!

Here’s me:

1. Goals

Personal: 

1. Learn to be fluent in German by January 1, 2018

2. Learn to do a handstand by my 30th birthday, March 2, 2017

3. Get back down to 10% body fat around 185lbs by January 1, 2017

Financial: 

1. Pay off revolving debt by January 1, 2018

Career:

1. Expand my affluence as a leader of health & wellness amongst the music industry and speak at Canadian Music Week, by 2018. 

2. Have two published books out by January 1, 2018

3. Speak at a TED event by January 1, 2020

2. Schedule

I have my iPhone bedtime setting on for bed at 10:30, wake at 7:00. Everyday. 

3. Social Accountability 

And now that I’ve written this all down and rid myself of the 8/10 rule, I am 100% committed to achieving these goals I have set for myself over the course of the next nearly 4 years. I will accomplish them by setting myself mini-behavioural goals along the way, as proper BEHAVIOUR is key to finding success. 

Write it down and if you are comfy with it tell me and the rest of the readership what you’re going to do in the comments.

Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. Stay sweet, folks.

SCHWARTZ