… of the Towers and Trees,

They hit up Sneaky Dee’s,

Now they wait in the YYC.

Connecting to the coast,

To the west they love the most,

The Westjet girl was s’posed,

To bring my coffee: darkest roast

Davey, Davey, Davey, can’t you see

Sometimes your D’s just hypnotize me.

Alright… a little context now, right?

Little did I know when I booked the earliest flight home to Calgary, I’d have the opportunity to sit with a couple of new best buds of Towers and Trees, the Dave’s. AKA: Double Dee’s.

I bought the dude that had the aisle seat with these two guys off with a copy of my book. (Turns out his name is Wes, and he loved the book. Works with heavy equipment and is always sore. Loves music. Wanted it autographed, so of course I was pumped to hear that. )

Point being, do well. It’s important to do good, but it’s more important to do well.

Be kind to everyone you interact with. I’m flying back in to TO in a couple weeks because of that exact mentality. Good hangs always win.

More to come in the next few days… just stay tuned. And try to keep up, it’s insane in my life these days. Good kinda insane.

Catch y’all soon!

Xo

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Hey folks, it’s been a minute. I know. Lots has gone on out here in Toronto, as I hear up for my panel on Thursday. So much excite. So much still to get done.

This city is beautiful. There’s something to be said about fitting in vs. belonging. One of my favourites, Simon Sinek dug up an article written by one David Mead that speaks to that eloquently right here: Fitting in vs. Belonging

I have had a bit of a time trying to stay mindful and in full practice of my habits and behaviours, but wowza! It’s tough in the road. I want to be better at just reading my lessons and staying in touch with my athletes, but it’s rather difficult living out of a suitcase. Pleasant reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing in the first place. I can only imagine the difficulty for an artist who’s not trained in this stuff.

I ran a 10km with my new friend and fellow panelist, Andre. That was certainly a bright point as far as fitness on the road went. Just under an hour too. There’s been a silly amount of walking (north of 10km every day…) but I just started running with Dre at his condo and once we started talking…

Goes to show the value of social support. And that’s where I’ll leave it today. If you’re immersed in an environment that doesn’t fully support your behaviour, your goals, your drive… the likelihood of you reaching your goals significantly falls. Keep that in mind when you receive a response that isn’t what you’d like from your tribe. It may be time to expand that tribe.

Cheers from TO,

XO

Okay Canadian Music Week 2017, where do I start.

A year ago I met a man by the name of Alan Cross and a mother man by the name of Jim Norris. These two gentleman must have felt the passion in my bones. They directed me to the right people, promoted and supported this mission of mine; bringing health and wellness awareness to the music industry.

Part 1. Legacy Initiated.

Jump forward to April 18 – The start of the rest of my life. Life changing in that we’re bettering the landscape of the music industry with regards to proactive healthcare services being offered at an affordable rate for musicians and industry professionals. It started with a full feature in Canadian Musician magazine, a whole lot of press from Alan Cross’ Journal of Musical Things and now we are here. I wrote the book on how to survive the industry with key tips in movement, nutrition and mindset… and have garnered the title of Canadian Music Industry’s “goto” for all things proactive health care.

We at INLIV have the ability to differentiate Calgary as a Music City through the health and medical services we offer. Calgary is home to the national Music Centre, and INLIV – Proactive Full-Circle Healthcare for the Canadian Music Industry.. Check us out here – www.inliv.com

If you happen to play music – professionally, weekend warrior, laptop beats creator… it doesn’t matter – I would really appreciate your input on my music industry specific health survey. If you’re a stage hand, crew, roadie, producer, artist manager, anyone in the industry. I want to hear from you. With your feedback I will be able to design appropriate exercise and nutrition programming including “e-fitness” (virtual training, Skype session training etc…) and focus our attention on the most important issues regarding health and wellness in this alternative lifestyle. Depression? Diet? Injuries? What’s got you down? Tell us here and be entered to win an e-fitness bundle!

Part 2. Raditude

So yes. Canadian Music Week – you we’re rad. Met a lot of heroes – turned friends. Had a ton of great music pumping in my earholes all week. Some notables are listed here:

36? – Alt/indie rock at it’s finest, from Calgary, AB. Think Mother Mother synths and arrangement meets Coltrane’s mastery of composition. But then add a shit fuck tonne of attitude like – I don’t even know.. it’s indescribable… there’s personality, there’s weirdness, there’s wizards of music… and boom! You have 36? www.whatis36.com

GUAS – What. The. Fuck. I’ve never seen 4 strings go in a 35  minute set. Nor have I seen a resonant kick drum head blow up. Ever. Then I watched this mishmash; lady-fronted- duck-dynasty 4 piece from North Carolina. Insanity. Wolfmother/Incubus/No Doubt. Blues-fused hard rockers with as much attitude as talent. Off the charts. Family rock n’ roll, with one helluva badass front girl, Ray. Don’t take this date home to mom. www.grownupavengerstuff.com

Where Fires Are – Holy shit rock and roll from the UK. Leeds, particularly. These dudes blend post grunge with melodic rock in a Fallout Boy meets Minus the Bear, meets Silverchair meets Incubus kind of way. Pianos, guitars, complex rhythms, catchy melodies. The works. These guys are great. Look out. Plus they’re some of the coolest humans I met all festival. www.wherefiresare.com

FOONYAP – Calgary’s Asian Bjork. ‘Nuff said. Check her out. I had goosebumps all performance long. Amazingly powerful music on a different level. www.foonyap.com

Ascot Royals – I actually think these guys have the pieces to be the next big Canadian rock band. Similar in styles to Idle Sons, High Holy Days and Arkells, their incredibly positive message and can’t-get-out-of=your head melodies and sing along stylings are pure heroine to any music listener. The dudes are also just great guys. Met a lot of great humans this trip. First time I saw them was on Tom Jackson’s Live Performance Makeover. It takes balls to do tat in front of an audience. They came out good. But after an hour with Tom. Woah. It’d be cool to see them keep on with that. Split between a Canadian rhythm section and an melody factory from the UK, these dudes blend elements of pop, alternative rock into some crafty harmonies and bangin’ leads. I’m excited to hear where this Brantford based 5 piece does in the next few years. GOOD OL’ CANADIAN KIDS! Well, sorta… www.ascotroyals.com 

Part 3. Next Steps

As a community of likeminded creatives, we need to rally together and support each other. That starts with taking care of yourself, so let’s get you a copy of my book

Order “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle” And Get a SnapBack and Earbuds too!

Let’s then get going on getting out to one another’s shows, sharing events and music we dig to help expose (tweet me @SoundScapeYYC for some TV exposure in the Calgary market…)

Then we can start to take care of our health and wellness, get into training and exercise that supports our performance, build the empire and establish Calgary as a true, Music City.

Time starts now. Let’s do this.

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You don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. 

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox

Attention Musicians: Learn how to sleep on the road here

How do you maintain some sort of consistency to your sleep patterns while you tour from gig to gig across this beautiful nation? I dive into it with Mike Sands, professional session and touring musician on his recent tour with Calgarian blues rocker, Matt Blais. Check the video here: https://youtu.be/HKeCNnPxpmE

While the advice from Mr. Sands provides a bit of comic relief, this topic has been a hot button issue for as long as I have been a touring musician. I have listed my top three pro tricks in order to allow for the most restful sleep to battle the long days, low budget and less than optimal living conditions! Here we go.

Bring your pillow – this will not only help you maintain some sort of familiarity with your lifestyle but it’ll also save your neck. If you don’t have room in the van, make a pillow out of some pants or shirts. To keep your head and neck aligned should be the focus here so you don’t wake up with a crazy kink in the neck for the duration of the tour.

Stay with friends or look into couch surfing – most people know touring musicians don’t make a heck of a lot of money and if you have a well-planned tour you can usually get by in each town/city with the cost effective and generally pretty comfortable couch surfing experience if you don’t happen to have any friends or family in that city

Build a bed – If you’re stuck sleeping on the floor, lay down clothes or sleeping bags or some sort of padding to give you a bit of a makeshift mattress. This will help your body from going numb through the night (speaking from experience). It should also help to keep a bit of body heat instead of releasing into the cold hard floor.

Try it out, see what you think and add any other things you’ve come across in your touring career!

Again, please check out the video here and please subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay in the loop.

 

Thanks for reading, happy touring!

You don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. 

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox

 

 

Well it has been quite some time between posts for me and I’d like to apologize. Busy is good though, right?

Here’s the scoop

  1. I’m on The Sweet’s EP! In a totally unexpected turn of events we had the opportunity to re-record one of our tunes “The Beast” with Pat Pallardy of Public Lunch Studios for our upcoming fall debut EP titled “Wild” on Tuesday. We laid down the drums in a little under an hour and also got the bass taken care of. So when Mitch and Claudia get back in town from a little vacation in Cuba, they can lay guitars and vocals down and we’re all good in the hood. If you want to get to know what you can expect from the EP, check out the video from the single, “Wild” here! It’s going to be a rad summer of touring and writing and then a big release in the fall. So. Much. Excite. Please feel free to Like us on Facebook too to stay in the sweetest loop!
  2. I’m going to CMW! That’s right, Canadian Music Week! I am actually spearheading a really interesting initiative that will study life on the road of the Canadian rockers Matt Blais and the Heartbeat. Matt is a beauty, one of my closest friends and a true warrior of the music scene. To be a part of his gang is an absolute privilege. I’m documenting Matt’s tour to CMW in Toronto as part of my study of the relationship between the road life of a rock band and the lifestyle that goes with the territory. I will also be implementing strategies to keep health and performance in the forefront despite the challenges the road poses. As I said, I’m going under the guise of a music journalist of sorts, looking to video and interview and get an up close and personal look into the (sometimes dark) lifestyle of working Canadian musicians. Why? Well, I am a musician myself, and since working very hard to gain the title of “The Music Industry’s Health and Performance Coach” I want to build awareness amongst the community that there is another way. We don’t have to abuse substances or abandon our health and nutrition. In the words of the great poet Ludacris, [we can still] have a good time and enjoy [our] Jack. But I want to introduce health in order to promote longevity. There’s some serious talent out there amongst Alberta’s independent music scene, it’d be a shame if the world couldn’t hear it.
  3. I’m running a 21- Fitness Challenge and only have about 6 spots not spoken for. Want in? Click here! Guaranteed results, but unfortunately as this is semi-private programming you either need to live in the Calgary, AB region or have a bomb-diggity teleportation device on hand. We need to talk if you have the latter. I wanna bucket list a Led Zeppelin concert, pre “In Through The Out Door”. Did you hear they’re finally moving forward with that lawsuit now…? Crazy!

If you’d like to stay in the know on the offers I do have for online programming or just get some sweet info on how to safely exercise and understand things like your 1 rep max, please visit here!

Alright, that’s it for now. Get up and make the most of your Friday. I’m going for a nice ride.

‘Til next time!

#TeamSchwartz

My soul would be dead if I didn’t have that sultry temptress still slippin’ creativity in my drink of life each and every day like she’s trying to pick me up and take me home. I’ve caved, and thankfully so.

It is cliche, but it is the truth. Things seem to compound in the worst of times. It is for us to how we choose to handle them though. My band, The Sweets really helped me through today. We had a solid, focused rehearsal and after you read this blog, you’ll see why that was needed. My friends and family are therapeutic for me and especially this band, one I believe in so much – it was great to be around their beautiful souls tonight.

Then I just happened to catch an old friend, Lindsay Ell perform a perfect -in-the-moment-video for the world. Again, something so beautiful after my day today. Catch the video and please support Lindsay if you dig it. She’s another incredible human being.

Earlier today too I found myself reading about Ian Fletcher Thornley on his latest release, a solo debut (finally) made everything click as we come up to the anniversary of one of my most eventful – no – THE most eventful year of my life. Turns out Ian has shared a similar experience in his life. I was wondering why the album was almost a direct quote of my past year….

Music ties to memory and speaks in a way that encompasses all parts of our lives. Think about it. You have a favourite party anthem, a mellow tune or two when you’re all chill and cool… you have a song that reminds you of your first love, maybe your second and third too… and there’s songs that represent the darkest times in your life. For every one of those examples I can list the songs that tie to that memory. It’s amazing. And it’s likely a reason I have been engulfed so deeply in crafting music since i realized I was able to do so. I’m forever thankful I can communicate that way. It’s truly an art form I wouldn’t trade for the world as I see how much emotion it can incite in one’s soul. It’s the one language we all speak, regardless of our borders. This is the track that stuck with me from Mr. Thornley today. It’s called “Feel”

That said, I’m more motivated than ever. I am going through a very tough time with the finalization of my divorce. Not the situation itself, but the happy memories and the WTF kind of showstopper way it all came crashing down.. I’m still reeling from that. It’s most definitely a positive source of healing just to be able to write and compose songs and be therapeutic, and I’m on a much better course of life. It’s just still an emotional time of year.

Couple that with the recent news of a dear friend, Karsten my buddy I met through the Teen Mentorship Program. Unfortunately K, seems to be losing his battle against cancer and he’s already beat it once. He’s only 17 and that’s just not right. Please go and support in anyway you can.. http://www.karstenkickscancer.ca – even just looking at his Facebook page, you’ll understand why this has hit me so hard. Karsten is such a beautiful soul and just genuinely loves life. Please folks, don’t take life for granted. Not even for a moment. Take care of your health, your family and your friends. Some of us, like Karsten aren’t given a choice. I know damn well if it were all up to him he’d be playing for the Roughnecks in a couple years. The important lessons I’ve learned from him is to treasure life, let the folks that you love know that and always, always, always seek to be a positive influence in the room. There’s no time for negativity. Oh, and Colt 45 is a great song… he taught me that because he’s such a gangsta! (That song will be immortalized as our jam, brosef.)

Like I said, I am more than committed to change in my own life because of all of this and the vehicle I now have to express that is through speaking and communicating. Oftentimes that will involve music in one way or another, but I have been given the gift of diction and writing and communication so I am going to embark on fully utilizing my skills I have been gifted with. Expect more lectures, presentations and talks. I’m an Ambassador of Health and Wellness for the Mind, Body and Soul.

I will finish writing my book, dedicated to Karsten win or lose. It’s a mindset theory/biography based on the triumphs and pitfalls I’ve faced over the time I started my journey of skating. Had I not started that journey I’d have never been given the opportunity to meet K. Things aren’t great now, but I’m so happy I have had the chance to learn from him. I know it will be a hot read because there’s a bunch of hard-lined reality. Not like my challenges in picking up something new and trying to excel at it are bigger or crazier than anyone else’s, or that Karsten is the only kid having to fight cancer, or that when trusted relationships in your life pull the parachute and abandon you just like you never existed – no no. I’m not writing about this journey for that reason. It’s to provide an angle of hope. Hope for that even in the face of “failure” one can rise above and create success regardless of limitation. Furthermore, understanding that failure is necessary in order to really appreciate success. That’s a bit more of a synopsis than I was planing to give, but give me the year to wrap my head around how I want to present it and then I will see you on my book tour maybe in a workshop or lecture about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude to create your own success in the world of mindset economics.

I will continue to work on my guitar and craft my stories for sharing as it is the most powerful outlet for me to express my life.

I will continue to spread the positive message of pursuing whatever you dream up as hard and committed as you can. More than just interest. Interest gives you a safety net of only pursuing it when it’s convenient. Actually committing means you’re going to do whatever it takes to get to that level. Remember, you need to start the journey.

And I digress…

Music. Truly the one thing that has both been a creative outlet and source of nostalgia through the good, the bad and the ugly. I figure, “why stop now?”

Please stay tuned.

-Photo credit Sean Schwartz Photography