Five months ago, we were given the biggest opportunity of our musical journey: a place in the PEAK Performance Project Top 20. Tomorrow, November 5 at 3:15pm, we’ll find out whether we’ve placed in the Top 5, or (hopefully) even the coveted Top 3. I won’t pretend that tomorrow’s outcome means little to us. Trust me, by this time tomorrow we will be either extremely elated (I hope!) or quietly disappointed (I not-so hope.). And why not? It’s been one hell of a journey and we all feel so damn proud of how far we’ve come since June!
No matter what happens we will be grateful just to have had the chance to participate, but giving ourselves license to be invested in the outcome also seems like the fair thing to do. The outcome won’t be a deal maker/breaker. It can’t. Because really, we need to see the PPP as one more stepping stone along our path, as it is for all 20 finalists, including the 15 who won’t get a cheque. But it is an awfully big stone that we’ve been carrying for nearly half a year. So yes, let’s be allowed to care about how we do, even if it’s just for one day!
Phewf. Now that that’s out of the way, tonight I’m reflecting on everything we’ve gained regardless of the outcome, because some of this stuff is far more lasting than the 18-month prize period.
Richer for the Journey
First off, we have to give mad propz to the peeps who make this thing happen. Honestly, to Music BC, 102.7 the PEAK, Nimbus, Quinn Best and his production crew, the faculty, EVERYONE: y’all have put together one HELL of a program! The PEAK has been an eye-opener, ego-crusher, confidence-booster, door opener and capacity-builder all at once! I give a special thank you to Bob D’Eith as the man who brings this vision to life. Bob’s authenticity and passion are lost on no one, and I definitely look forward to working with him more in the coming years.
Also, mad propz to the class of ’13 for being such a sexy, funky and ridiculously talented group of homeboys/girls. Every one of you has earned a shot at top spot, and I have so enjoyed learning about you, your art, your hearts and what makes you tick.
We’ve formed some beauty-full relationships through this program, starting with the 19 other fabulous artists, but also extending into producers, media, industry pros and more. Folks like Lydia Hol and producer Winston Hauschild, who we were thrown in the washer with and came out the other side with a pretty kick-ass original song! Folks like Alex “Condor” Aligizakis, who mixed that song down and became the dude we hope to make our next album with! And of course how could we not mention our #YYJBromance with the Dougal boys? Friendships formed over long drives and the BC Ferries Pac-Buff are not easily broken. #truth
We’ve learned the value of true fans. For us that begins with our home base in Victoria. Yeah, I mean you #TeamYYJ. When we came back from our PPP Showcase show to play Rifflandia, it felt like a homecoming! Sure, it was a packed, noisy, sweaty, sticky room, but to us it felt like the warm embrace of a kindred lover Honestly, I can’t describe how amazing a feeling it is to know that we don’t have to prove ourselves here because you already believe in us! That feeling gives us the strength and confidence to want to play more shows in BC and beyond, until we have that same feeling whenever we play in Vancouver, then in BC, and then Western Canada, and then Canada, and then…. well yes, that’s where the dreaming begins.
But taking a step back to Victoria again, we honestly couldn’t have got to this point without some of our true fans and peers in the community: the Zone @ 91.3 (Jon, Dylan, Tindy and the rest of the crew), Alan and Teresa from Vic42, Daniel Pender and the Seen, and so many more. These are relationships that have brought us so, SO much and will last long after the PEAK ends. THANK YOU for believing in who we are and what we do!
Eye to the Horizon
Finally, being in the PPP has given us such a clear sight-line on our path forward. A strong finish will definitely make this path seem that much more attainable, but it’s still one we can follow regardless of how we place.
We’re ready to make a world-class album: As a songwriter, it’s always been a goal of mine to write and record a full-length album, and I have never felt so ready as with this group around me. Some of our most popular live songs are ones we have yet to record. Nearly all the songs for the next album are written, and I am so excited about the prospect of creating a beautiful new body of music that we can feel proud to share and perform.
We’re eager to hit the road: touring can be one of the toughest logistical things to work out for a late-twenties/early-thirties band like Towers and Trees (with all our ‘real’ jobs and even ‘realer’ debts). But dang it are we eager to get out and play some shows! Our live show is one of our biggest strengths, so taking it on the road is an obvious next growth opportunity, and one we’re really excited about!
We’re excited to grow: This year has been all about growth. Growing our fan base, diving headfirst into firsts (festivals, music videos, etc.), becoming better musicians, artists and entrepreneurs. All of this is only making us more excited to keep growing.
We believe: I don’t say this lightly, because I have stubbornly refused for most of my adults years to get stars in my eyes or dream big about ‘making it’ as a musician. So when I say “we believe,” that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that right now in this project we believe in each other as musicians; we believe in the music we’re creating and why we’re creating it. It’s a beautifully simple thing, and one I’m sure that will be tested through time, so I think it’s important to celebrate the times when it’s alive and well. This is one of those times. The future is bright indeed.
… and now we play the waiting game