Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.
Story Coaching with Erin Rodgers
We all tell stories in our daily lives. Some are just the mundane answers to the question "How was your day?" But others are the stories we use to try to entertain or convince people of something. Whether it's a sales person presenting a product or an artist doing an interview, there's a story to convey and the best way to tell it is with authenticity. But not everyone is comfortable sharing their story and, in some cases, they don't think they even know what the story is.
|Mar 13, 2023|
The Science of Sneakers with Gordon Valiant
Gordon Valiant is a bio-mechanics engineer and 30+ year veteran at Nike where he helped develop ground breaking athletic footwear. In this episode of The Creationists, Gordon talks about what goes into the research and development of new products and shares some of his experience as a part of the team that helped build the Nike Shox, a unique shock absorber first introduced in 2000.
|Nov 16, 2022|
Rock Journalism with Tim Sommer
Tim Sommer has had a remarkable life in the music industry. He became a rock journalist at the age of 16 writing for Trouser Press and then as the New York correspondent for Sounds Magazine in the UK. He was the first American to interview U2 and Henry Rollins called him out in print for a negative review Tim once wrote. He hosted an influential hard core punk radio show on WNYU and then learned how to play bass and became a recording artist in the art rock band Hugo Largo, working with Michael Stipe and Brian Eno. He’s worked at MTV and in the mid-90s he became, because of his background, perhaps the most unlikely of A&R people to sign Hootie & the Blowfish.
With the release of Only Wanna Be With You, The Inside Story of Hootie & the Blowfish, Tim can now add author to his resume. His background and relationship with the band made him uniquely qualified to write this book. Here is some of what I learned after reading the book: before they ever had a record deal, Hootie & the Blowfish were making close to one million dollars a year as a cover band; if they could be any other band in the world, they would be REM; once signed to Atlantic they were victimized by label politics; their 25th Anniversary tour in 2019 was more lucrative than when the band was in their heyday; and Darius Rucker finally speaks out about his experience as a black man in America. This music biography is unlike any other I’ve ever read before as Tim is able to write from the perspective of an outsider as well as an insider and a music historian. After reading his book, I told Tim that it could have been subtitled, How To Make It In The Music Business and Not Die Trying.
The first time I heard the name Hootie & the Blowfish was over a dinner I shared with Tim in Toronto a few months before the release of the band's major label debut. He had recently signed them to Atlantic Records and he explained that almost no one at the label believed in Hootie and then he laid out how the plan for how the record was going to break - and it did, big time, just like he said. If you’re interested in insider stories, you’ll really dig this one and stick around for Tim's thoughts on the responsibility of music journalism - lessons he learned from his own experiences.
|Jul 27, 2022|
Do What You Love, Love What You Do with Tim Pierce
There’s that old saying “Do what you love, love what you.” When Tim Pierce moved to LA from Arizona, he hoped to make a living as a professional musician not knowing the path that lay ahead. It took a decade of hard work but he eventually became one of the town’s most in demand session guitarists playing on records by a wide range of superstars including Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan among countless others. Tim is now enjoying a much simpler life as a YouTube creator, sharing his knowledge with anyone interested in learning how to play guitar at every level.
There’s another old cliche, “It’s a small world” and that’s what I found when I signed up for Tim’s online guitar course. It turned out that Tim played on many of the records I promoted in my time at Warner Music so I reached out to him to say that and we ended up connecting on the phone. Over the course of our conversation we realized that, back in the early 80s, when I started my career working for manager Bill Aucoin in New York, Tim came to our Christmas party at the invitation of John Waite who happened to be an Aucoin client at the time. See, small world. In this episode Tim and I talk about how he turned his passion for guitar into a lifelong career.
You can find hundreds of Tim’s entertaining and informative videos by searching him out on YouTube. You can also sign up at timpierce.com for a free trial of his online Master Class series that includes close to 1000 videos for guitarists of every level including beginners.
I hope that enjoy this episode of the creationists. If you’re a first timer, please check out our library of previous episodes. I’m sure that you’ll find something you like. You also might want to subscribe to receive future episodes as soon as they’re released. If you’re so inclined please rate and review the episode, it helps us find new listeners this way and don’t forget to share the pod with your friends.
The Creationists is mastered in post production by Paul Farrant
The Creationists was created by Steve Waxman.
|Jun 15, 2022|
Living a True North Life with Bernie Finkelstein
I think that it's probably fair to say that Bernie Finkelstein is one of the architects of the Canadian music industry. He's well known as the founder of True North Records and for managing people like Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, and Dan Hill, among many others, but what's the lesser known story is how he started his career managing the Paupers with a $74 loan for his father.
|Apr 05, 2022|
Imperfectly Kind with Julie Adam
One of the reasons that I started The Creationists podcast was in hopes of inspiring listeners to explore their own creativity. Over the past two years, I think that we've all come across friends and acquaintances who have finally taken the plunge, to do things that they always wanted to do but always made the excuse to not pursue. One of the biggest obstacles to get over is time. If Julie Adam had used the excuse of lack of time, it would have been understandable after all Julie is the president of News & Entertainment for Rogers Sports & media, one of the two largest broadcasters in Canada. But Julie didn't let time stand in the way of writing her book Imperfectly Kind.
I've known Julie Adam a very long time. She's come a long way from her days as an radio station intern, working her way to the very top of her profession. She is held in the highest regard in the broadcast industry and as long as I've known her, Julie has always conducted business with a smile on her face. When I heard that she had written a book, I quickly downloaded the preview and after reading the introduction I knew, right away, that she would be an inspiring guest on the pod.
Imperfectly Kind is definitely a must read for anyone who manages people. Frankly, if you report to someone you think isn't kind, you might want to think about gifting them Julie's book. Imperfectly Kind is available digitally on Kobo and Kindle. Physical copies are available through Indigo in Canada and Barnes and Noble in the US or you can link through julieadam.ca
|Jan 25, 2022|
Sub Pop Records with Jonathan Poneman
I've worked in the music business for over half my life. One of the great privileges is to hear an amazing unknown artist and then have the opportunity to introduce them to the world. So I can only imagine what Jonathan Poneman was feeling the first time he heard Nirvana.
Before Nirvana literally changed the fortune of Sub Pop Records, Jonathan and his partner, Bruce Pavitt, were rolling right along putting out records by Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Green River who featured future members of Pearl Jam. Eventually, the label and its artists created a musical and cultural revolution.
In 2013 Jonathan started talking to the press about how he discovered that he had contracted Parkinson's Disease. It's obvious that Parkinson's never slowed him down or curbed his enthusiasm for music as Sub Pop continues to find and release the music of great indie artists. You can check out the current roster and their latest releases at subpop.com. While you're there, sign up for their newsletter and get the latest Sub Pop news delivered right to your inbox.
|Jan 12, 2022|
Creating Live Sound with Doug McClement
Over the course of his 45 year career, Doug McClement has established himself and his company, LiveWire, as the go to for capturing live audio on location for broadcast or recordings. He’s had a number of dream gigs over the years but in 2010 when the Winter Olympics were awarded to Vancouver, he thought that his ultimate dream of working the games was about to come true.
In Canada, when you want to capture live sound you don’t say “call LiveWire” you say “call Doug McClement”. Doug is one of the good guys in the industry and he did eventually get to work the Olympics a few years later but the story of how he got there is truly fascinating so I started our interview at the very beginning.
Before we started recording our conversation, Doug caught me up on some of what his upcoming schedule looked like. Like everyone else in the industry, the 20 months of COVID lockdown pretty much shut down his business but now that events are starting up again, he barely has time to breathe. In addition to his broadcast work, Doug is running the sound studio at the newly reopened El Mocambo club in Toronto where he is capturing live recordings multiple nights a week providing content to artists of every genre and level of success. Remember, The next time you’re watching an award show coming from Canada, you're probably listening to the work of Doug McClement.
|Nov 24, 2021|
Chronicling the Life of Massey Hall with David McPherson
Toronto’s Massey Hall joins Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall as one of the world's classic concert venues. But as author David McPherson discovered while researching the history of Massey, the hall has hosted plenty of events over the years in addition to iconic concerts it has been associated with.
In 2018, Massey Hall closed its doors for a long overdue massive restoration which promises to bring the hall into the 21st century and at the same time retain its charm and restore some of its hidden beauty. Around the same time, David McPherson and his publisher Dundurn Press met with Massey Hall’s management team to propose a comprehensive book chronicling its 125 year history.
Whether you’ve only been to Massey Hall once or you’ve enjoyed dozens of nights in the venue, the experience is one that you’ll never forget. I have so many of my own fond memories such as seeing Elvis Costello there in 1978 or LL Cool J bringing in the first full production hip hop I ever saw. I sang (poorly albeit) with Brian Wilson in one of the tiny backstage dressing rooms and I saw AC/DC for the first time in 1979. As a matter of fact, a photo I took of singer Bon Scott that night is included in David’s book.
The plan is for the lights to turn back on at Massey Hall this November. Naturally the first live show will be with Gordon Lightfoot. When the total renovation is finally finished, in addition to a refurbished concert hall, there will be an expansion next door called the Allied Music Centre which will include a state of the art recording studio, a nite club, a performance theatre and collaborative workspaces for artists. In the meantime, David McPherson’s book chronicling the history of Massey Hall is in stores in early November and is available for pre-order now HERE.
|Oct 20, 2021|
Creating Triple Bogey Beer with Geoff Tait
In the early 2000's, Geoff Tait was running his fashion forward golf apparel company Quagmire. The business was flying and Geoff was hanging out at the Masters with golf icons Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and partying with Kanye, Jay Z and John Legend. And then it all came crashing down.
Like any good entrepreneur, Geoff picked himself up, dusted off the disappointment and found a new venture to dive into. This interview is about that journey. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid golfer. I had the good fortune to watch the growth of Geoff’s Quagmire brand and I remember the early days when he first introduced Triple Bogey as a beer for golfers. Recently I was on the course and one of my playing partners asked the cart girl specifically for a Triple Bogey. That’s when I thought that, though I don’t drink myself, you might like to hear the story of how Geoff went about creating a beer.
If you want to find out more about Triple Bogey and their products, head over to triplebogey.com. In addition to information about their drinks, you’ll find a listing of all of the locations they are being sold. I’m told on good authority that the taste is great.
|Sep 29, 2021|
Still Life with Kurt Swinghammer
In the late 1980s and early 90s, Kurt Swinghammer’s artwork became synonymous with the city Toronto as well as the Canadian hip hop scene. Art critics dubbed it neo-primitive and his abstract work could be found on radio station logos, business signs and in music videos. His bold improvised artwork eventually became ubiquitous and a go to stile in the advertising world.
Kurt Swinghammer has had an extraordinary creative career that has encompassed both the visual arts and music. The artwork he first gained recognition for took visual clues from folk art from around the world and Saturday morning cartoons of the sixties. Over the past decade he has developed a more mannered graphic of painting that began with his Red Canoe series.
Kurt was kind enough to invite me to interview him in his downtown Toronto studio which is where we sat surrounded by paint splattered easels and original works of art, paintings of melting icebergs, canoes floating by forests, a psychedelic portrait of Scotty, the mascot from the Canadian Tire hardware store, a painting from his Red Canoe series and his latest work of wood carvings hung on the wall. Over the course of our wide ranging interview Kurt shared stories of his sister taking his cardboard sculpture of a telephone to school for show and tell when Kurt was 4. He also shares the story of selling his first work when he was 15 and why art and music became his salvations.
|Sep 14, 2021|
Reinvention with Rik Emmett
As a member of the Canadian rock trio Triumph, Rik Emmett has sold millions of records and toured the world performing for millions more. Since leaving Triumph in 1988, Rik has enjoyed a successful solo recording career and, until recently, spent two decades as a faculty member at Humber College in his hometown of Toronto where he taught Songwriting, Music Business, Creative Development and Directed Studies. Writing has always been a part of Rik's life whether as a songwriter or as a regular contributor to Guitar Player Magazine. In 2001 he self published Bric-A-Brac, a book of short stories, poems and unreleased lyrics but now he has taken a unique approach to writing a memoir as a book of poetry called Reinvention.
With 56 poems collected in seven sections, Reinvention shares stories from Rik’s life as well as his thoughts on religion, politics and the general state of society today. The book also features tributes to a number of important people in his life which is where we started our interview with Rik reading the poem about his grandfather titled 11,11,11,12.
|Sep 01, 2021|
One Billion Streams with Josh A
How did his music get to one billion streams?
This might be the first time you’ve heard of Josh A. If so you might be shocked when I tell you that his music has been streamed close to one billion times since he first started posting tracks on SoundCloud and YouTube in 2015. Diving into his work in order to battle his inner demons has been an all consuming process for Josh who, at 25, has already released an astonishing 16 full length albums including his latest, Lonely Vibes. A large part of Josh’s success stems from the personal nature of his lyrics which provides a voice for his fans to relate to with their vulnerable tales of self-doubt and lost hope.
|Aug 24, 2021|
World Creativity and Innovation Day with Marci Segal
Marci Segal was the first Canadian graduate of the International Center for Studies in Creativity program at the state university in Buffalo. She has the distinction of being the first creativity specialist hired on staff at an international advertising agency as well as being a creativity consultant at NASA, Bosch, Ricoh and CIBC among many others. She has been featured in Fast Company, Best Health and Strategy magazines and, in 2001, Marci and some colleagues established a day to acknowledge the important contributions creativity and innovation make in our lives. In 2017, the United Nations officially designated April 21st as World Creativity and Innovation Day and it is now observed in over 90 countries around the world.
|Jul 13, 2021|
Creating The Liquor Vicar with Vince Ditrich
Anyone who knows Vince Ditrich probably knows him as the merry mirthmaking drummer of Canada’s wildly popular Celtic rock band Spirit of The West. With the days of long haul touring behind him, Vince has settled into a much quieter life on the West Coast. As you’ll see in our interview, Vince has always had an interest in writing and has kept up the practise with his blog Random Note Generator. But it was the encouragement from some friends that led to Vince creating wannabe rocker Tony Vicar who lived an ordinary life in the imaginary BC town of Tyee Lagoon until something magical happened that turned his life and his world upside down.
|Jul 06, 2021|
Creating a Mockumentary with Justin McAleece
If you been listening to The Creationists for a while, you know that I like to ask my guests about the inspiration for their creations. Sometimes it's a lightning bolt of imagination that gets a creation started, but sometimes it comes out of the tedium of a slow work day.
Indie filmmaker Justin McAleece and his friends began developing the mockumentary Brick Madness while they worked as hired techs on another film. Brick Madness takes place during a scandalous LEGO competition, but we can’t say LEGO, so forget I said that. What started as a joke concept to distract them from a slow day of filming, turned into a 10 year passion project. In this episode of the Creationists, Justin shares the odyssey that Brick Madness took from its birth during downtime on a film set to its premiere in his hometown of Fresno, California.
|Jun 29, 2021|
Creating a Performance with Eric Samuels
Though I’ve known Eric Samuels for several years, I never really knew the many roads he’s travelled to get to where he is today. When I first met Eric he was one of Canada’s leading radio programmers. I thought he was a little buttoned up the way he was always quoting market research as the reason not to play a record I was promoting at the time. As a result, finding out that he had tried his hand at being a stand up comedian shocked me. Of course, I knew he loved music but I had no idea that he was also a musician. And years after he had suddenly left the music business, I was startled to find out that he had not only pursued a career as a mentalist but had become among the finest in his field. Even magicians Penn and Teller loved his act when he performed on their popular TV show, Fool Us. I had so many questions for Eric, but I first wanted to see if he could explain the difference between a magician, an illusionist and a mentalist.
|Jun 22, 2021|
Kitchen Tips with Roger Mooking (Bonus Episode)
In the previous episode of The Creationists, I talked to celebrity chef Roger Mooking about his passion for music and cooking and how he was able to make a success of two careers. As the main cook in our household, I thought I would take advantage of having Roger on the line to ask for a few cooking tips. In this bonus episode, Roger shares some simple truths about spicing up your kitchen.
|Jun 15, 2021|
Creative Cooking with Roger Mooking
Not much in life beats the combination of music and food and both have been passions at the centre of Roger Mooking’s life.
I first met Roger Mooking when he was a member of Bass is Bass and I worked at Warner Music Canada. Bass is Base was the hot independent hip hop group at the time and were being courted by all of the major labels. We didn’t sign the band but they did go on to enjoy a successful run of records before eventually splitting up with each member of the trio following alternative paths. I eventually worked on a solo music project with Roger but by then he had already become a star as a celebrity chef on the Food Network. The two of us sat down for a conversation about his career and the intersection of food and music in his life and we started at the beginning.
If you want to know more about Roger, his music, restaurants, television shows and cook books, visit rogermooking.com
|Jun 08, 2021|
Creating Ingenuity with Taryn Bailey
Imagine if you worked with a team for several years on creating a thing and then that thing couldn’t even be tested properly until almost a year after it was completed. And now, imagine that you can’t even see if your creation works in real time because it’s on another freakin planet! Well, that is exactly the experience of my guest Taryn Bailey, a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Taryn is a part of the team that built Ingenuity, the helicopter that proved that controlled flight on another planet is possible.
I’m a child of the sixties and joined the NASA junior space program as a kid. I meticulously clipped and saved every newspaper story about the Gemini program and watched every second of Apollo. Do you realize that it only took nine months from the launch of Apollo 7 in October 1968 to the moon landing in July 1969. That’s a crewed mission every two months to achieve what many thought was an impossible dream. To put things into proper perspective, it took 7 months to put the Perseverance rover on Mars. Ingenuity hitched a ride on the belly of the rover so when the team finally had their helicopter on the ground and ready for its first flight, they were definitely on pins and needles waiting for the data to tell them whether 7 years and 85 million dollars of development had paid off.
|Jun 01, 2021|
Creativity and the Brain with Anthony Brandt
Up until now, I’ve interviewed a variety of guests about their creative process and the road they travelled to get to where they are. As a change of pace, I thought that it would be interesting to explore our brain’s relationship to creativity.
In their book The Runaway Species, neuroscientist David Eagleman and composer Anthony Brandt explore what makes human creativity unique among the animals of earth and how our greatest creators always borrow from the past to move creation forward.
The Runaway Species was born out of an extended lunch at Rice University in Houston where Anthony is a professor of composition and David is an alumni. In my conversation with Anthony Brandt we talk about a bunch of creativity concepts as well as the story behind how he and David came to co-author the book.
I hope that you enjoyed this episode of The Creationists. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to follow us on your favourite podcast platform and new episodes will be delivered to you as soon as they go live. And, if you have any friends that might be interested in some of what we’re covering, please let them know that we exist.
The Creationists is mastered in post production by Paul Farrant.
|May 25, 2021|
Creating The Rock 'N' Roll Archaeology Project with Christian Swain
This is the final episode of Season Three of The Creationists and since this season featured a series of music related interviews, I thought it only appropriate to include an interview with Christian Swain who, along with his longtime friend Richard Evans created The Rock and Roll Archeology Project, a podcast that is an in-depth look at rock and roll as well as the culture and technology that influenced it from 1945 to 1995.
|Feb 17, 2021|
Creating Marc Bolan Killed In Crash with Ira Robbins (Part Two)
In part two of my interview with Ira Robbins, we talk about the creation of his latest book, Marc Bolan Killed In Crash.
Good fiction is like an abstract painting. The story is born out of the imagination of the writer, and I'm always curious about the inspiration behind that story. Marc Bolan Killed In Crash is the coming of age story of teenager Laila Russell, and her discovery of rock and roll, as well as your introduction into London's glam rock scene. So to satisfy my curiosity about the story's origin. I asked Ira about the book's inspiration.
|Feb 10, 2021|
Creating Trouser Press with Ira Robbins (Part One)
I’ve been a music fan for most of my life but I didn’t really get into rock music until the mid seventies and the seventies were a great time to be a rock fan. You not only had your favourite bands but you also had your favourite magazine and there were so many to choose from. There was Circus and Creem and Hit Parader and Rock Scene and Rolling Stone, of course. And, if you were a little more intellectual, you might read Crawdaddy or find an article in Mother Jones or even spend a little extra money on something from the UK like the NME. And, as you read each article, you got to know and become a fan of writers like Sylvie Simmons, David Fricke, Lisa Robinson and, of course, the late, great Lester Bangs. These were the names of the people that turned us onto the music that became indelible in our lives.
Add to that list the name Ira Robbins who, in 1974, along with friends Dave Schulps and Karen Rose created Trouser Press as a fanzine that they sold by hand outside of concerts in New York City. Trouser Press eventually found its way onto magazine racks and, finally, in 1978 into my hands when I saw Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick on the cover. What I found fascinating about Trouser Press was that reading the magazine always felt like the kinds of conversations me and my friends had on the weekends as we played our new favourite records for one another.
|Feb 10, 2021|
Creating the Honey Jam with Ebonnie Rowe
Honey Jam began its life as a concert to celebrate the launch of a magazine issue. Now, 25 years later, Honey Jam provides opportunities for female artists to get invaluable access to mentors and performance coaches, as well as the chance to showcase their talents for industry insiders. In the beginning, though, there was no way that Ebonnie Rowe could have dreamed that Honey Jam would still be around a quarter of a century later.
Long before starting Honey Jam, Ebonnie was studying at the University of Toronto when a tragic event led her to reassessing her life, which then put her on a path to help affect others in a positive way.
|Feb 03, 2021|
Creating Tri-Slide Guitar with Shaun Verreault
Wide Mouth Mason singer and guitarist Shaun Verreault has long been recognized as one of Canada’s finest blues rock guitarists. His long spidery fingers allow him to play incredible fiery riffs with casual ease. The exploration of the guitar’s possibilities has been his lifelong pursuit but even his closest friends weren’t prepared for Shaun putting aside everything he knew about playing guitar and covering his fingers with metal tubes.
Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Wide Mouth Mason was born in 1995 with Shaun being joined by friends Safwan Javed on drums and Earl Pereira on bass. Within two years the band had a gold-certified major label debut, played the Montreux Jazz Festival and were touring the world with the likes of AC/DC, ZZ Top and the Rolling Stones. Around the time of the band’s second album, Shaun began to incorporate bottleneck slide guitar into his sound and eventually fell down a creative rabbit hole that has led to the tri-slide guitar he can be seen playing on Facebook and Instagram and featured on the groups latest album, I Wanna Go With You. So, naturally the place to start is with the most obvious question “Shaun, how did you end up with three slides on your fingers?”
|Jan 27, 2021|
Creating The Polaris Music Prize with Steve Jordan
When Steve Jordan first introduced the concept of the Polaris Prize to the Canadian music industry, the idea was generally welcomed, though the artistic community was still a little sceptical going into the first show in 2006. Despite the scepticism, the Polaris Music Prize has flourished into and internationally recognized award.
Steve Jordan is what they call a music man. He started his career working at a Top 40 radio station in Kingston Ontario before moving to Toronto to multitask at the independent label Kinetic Records doing radio promotion, publicity and A&R and then taking his A&R shingle to Warner Music and then True North Records. Steve is now the senior director of CBC music. In the early 2000s though, Steve had an idea for a different way to shine a light on the Canadian music scene.
|Jan 20, 2021|
Creating Six Shooter Records with Shauna de Cartier
When Shauna de Cartier wanted to start Six Shooter Records, she found that it was going to be difficult to secure funding from outside sources. She didn’t have the track record to secure government grants and banks weren’t interested in lending her the money. And, when she approached the major labels, she found very little interest there too. So she had to find another way to get her artists in the studio and her label off the ground.
When I first contacted Shauna, my plan was to do a story about creating a record label but by the time we were finished talking, I realized that she had so much more to share. Whether it was figuring out how to be a manager, run a record label or mount a music festival, Shauna de Cartier never let obstacles get in her way. Six Shooter is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and they’ve become one of Canada’s most successful independent labels and Shauna has become a vocal advocate for women in the music industry.
|Jan 13, 2021|
Creating Indie Week Canada with Darryl Hurs
In 2002 Darryl Hurs created Indie Week Canada, which has since become an annual event held each Fall in Toronto filled with music showcases by and a conference for independent artists. In the years since its inception Darryl has also helped mount similar events internationally. When Indie Week was first established though, Darryl needed to be able to articulate to sponsors what set his event apart from other similar conferences.
My interview with Darryl took place while this year's conference was still in the planning phase. By almost any measure, the event was a huge success. The final count had over 1000 participants from 40 countries who were able to network and attend seminars featuring a wide range of industry experts and special guests.
2020 was a year like no other and every industry has had to adapt to new ways of doing business. Given social distancing, artist showcases were probably not going to happen but Darryl felt that it was important to the artistic community to at least find a way to mount the indie week conference.
Please follow The Creationists podcast on Facebook and Instagram and, if you are so inclined, please leave us a nice little comment on your favourite podcast platform.
|Jan 06, 2021|
Creating Carmine Street Guitars with Ron Mann
Over the past 40 years, Ron Mann has produced and directed a dozen films focused on Canadian and American culture. His wide ranging subjects include comic books, jazz, beat poets, the war on marijuana, environmental activism and film director Robert Altman. In 2018 he turned the camera lens on Carmine Street Guitars, Rick Kelly’s cramped music shop in Greenwich Village. The result is a critically acclaimed film that documents a week in the life of the store and the characters that walk in and out the front door including long time customers and some brand new strangers.
Rick Kelly has been building and selling guitars out of his current location on Carmine Street since 1990. What makes Rick and Carmine Street Guitars so compelling is Rick’s search throughout New York City for reclaimed wood from the Big Apple’s historical buildings which he then turns into custom instruments. The film doesn’t smash you over the head with a lot of action but is, instead, sort of like a sweet lullaby. As a film buff I was curious as to how Ron approaches the task of making a documentary and as a guitar nerd I wanted to ask him about how he came to discover Carmine Street Guitars.
In addition to directing films through his own Sphinx Productions, Ron Mann also puts the focus on otherwise ignored work though his distribution company Films We Like. You can check out all of their titles, including Carmine Street Guitars by logging in to filmswelike.com.
|Dec 23, 2020|
Creating Sign O' The Times with Susan Rogers
Prince fans will instantly recognize the name Susan Rogers. She is the stalwart engineer that worked beside Prince during the commercial peak of his career from Purple Rain through to Sign O’ The Times.
By the time Susan had come to work with Prince he was already being referred to as a musical wunderkind thanks to five critically acclaimed albums including 1999, which had just become his first record to enjoy total and complete crossover from R&B to Pop, peaking at number 9 on the Billboard Top 200. The first project she worked on was his commercial blockbuster, Purple Rain. But, despite critical acclaim, chart topping albums and universal admiration from his musical peers, Prince had not yet felt that he had made a statement album. That all changed in 1987 with the release of Sign O’ The Times.
|Dec 16, 2020|
Creating Songs with Gordon Lightfoot
Rush's Geddy Lee called Gordon Lightfoot a timeless songwriter. Robbie Robertson of The band calls Gordon Canada’s national treasure. His longtime friend, Bob Dylan, inducted Lightfoot into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame calling him one of his favourite songwriters and has often been quoted saying that when he hears a Gordon Lightfoot song, he wishes it would go on forever.
Early Morning Rain, The Canadian Railroad Trilogy, Carefree Highway, Sundown, If You Could Read My Mind, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The list goes on and on and on. Gordon Lightfoot is Canada's greatest songwriter. Period. His professional career began over 6o years ago and he's influenced countless popular artists over the years and he’s still at it. In 2020 he released Solo, his twenty-first album and he’s hoping to get back out on tour as soon as the COVID pandemic is taken care of. I reached Gordon over the phone to see if I could get some insight into his songwriting process and given how long he’s been at it, I thought that the most obvious first question was "Is songwriting still fun for you?"
Steve Waxman: How do you determine that?
If you want to find out more about the life of Gordon Lightfoot, I highly recommend Nicholas Jennings excellent biography simply called Lightfoot. There is also a great documentary film called Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind. For updated news and tour information, check out gordonlightfoot.com
|Dec 09, 2020|
Creating They Just Seem A Little Weird with Doug Brod
Pretty much anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me about my favourite bands knows that my Mount Rushmore of seventies rock are KISS, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Starz. So imagine my surprise when I discovered a new book called They Just Seem A Little Weird that discusses the influence these four bands have had on rock and roll. I mean KISS, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, okay, but I didn’t think that anyone who wrote about seventies rock would have included Starz.
I don’t know about you, but I love reading books about music, it’s influence on popular culture and the bands that changed our lives. As a former editor of Spin Magazine, I would have thought that Doug Brod would be an unlikely candidate to write a book arguing on behalf of bands like these. Of course I soon found out how wrong I was to make that presumption.
Steve Waxman: How did this whole idea of writing about these four bands begin for you?
Doug Brod: I've always been a fan of KISS, Cheap Trick and Aerosmith and I came kind of late to the party with Starz. I didn't really get to know too much about them until they did a bunch of reunion shows in the early 2000s, in New Jersey and in Manhattan and that's when I started getting into them. But I was always thinking of a book idea. I wanted to write a book, I wanted to write a music book. And it dawned on me that members of all four of the bands played on Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album. You had Joe Perry guesting on guitar, you had Rick Nielsen on guitar, and Richie Ranno from Starz also played guitar on the album. And I thought that that would be a really cool, jumping off point to sort of investigate how these four bands interacted. How they converged. What they shared during the 70s and beyond.
|Dec 09, 2020|
Creating The Artwork of RUSH with Hugh Syme
Some of the artwork discussed in this episode can be seen on The Creationists Podcast on Facebook and Instagram.
Over the course of a career that has now spanned 45 years, Hugh has been nominated for 19 JUNO Awards (winning 4) and much of his work has been featured in volumes of coffee table books that highlight many of the world’s best album covers. But, it’s his relationship with Canadian rockers Rush that solidified Hugh’s reputation. He has designed every Rush album cover since 1975’s Caress of Steel. Hugh and I spent some time going over many of his career highlights and we began at the beginning…
Steve Waxman: How did your relationship with Rush begin?
Hugh Syme: I was in a band on the same label and with the same management as Rush and Max Webster and the Larry Gowan project was on at the same time, I think. And, I was doing covers for Max and Ian Thomas, my band, and I was called into the principal's office. Ray Daniels was the manager and he called me in and asked me if I’d like to do a Rush cover. And I remember distinctly thinking ‘Well, they’re not Genesis or King Crimson or anything but, yeah, why not. I’ll give them a shot,’ not realizing that 42 years later Neil Peart would coin the phrase “serving a life sentence” which became the subtitle of my eventual book called The Art of Rush. It was some kind of unwitting commitment that turned into a beautiful friendship and musical friendship, artistic collaboration and a lengthy, loyal alliance.
Steve Waxman: Well, let’s talk about that. It started with Caress of Steel. What is the collaboration process like and was it a collaboration from the very beginning?
|Sep 30, 2020|
Creating a house with Gisela Schmoll
Photos and video of the project discussed in this episode can be found at The Creationists podcast on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you remember the Palm Pilot? That often copied piece of tech was designed at Gisela’s drafting table. After several years as a junior designer she shifted lanes and started studying architecture and has been building a strong portfolio and reputation ever since. For the past few years she’s been working with home owner Ed Stellar to design an L-shaped home that incorporates the landscape of his property in the California Hills.
Steve Waxman: Alright, I want to start with talking about the Stellar house by asking what was the brief that you got from the client to start this whole process?
Gisela Schmoll: Basically, I got a list of spaces that he wanted. And then we also discussed the relationships of all the spaces to each other and how he planned to use the house. This client was pretty green. He didn't really understand architecture at all. So I had to, I had to kind of tease things out of him.
You know, the things that were most important to him. One of the other things he talked about is capitalizing on the view, cause it's perched up on a little hill and it has a fantastic view. So he wanted views from every single room in the house. And he also wanted to be able to go outside from every single room of this house.
But essentially that was the brief.
Read the entire transcript at imstevewaxman.com
|Sep 16, 2020|
Creating a TEDx Talk with Greg Hemmings
One of the things I wanted to explore in this series of interviews was how to create a TEDx Talk. Coincidently, one day I got an email pitch from Greg Hemmings, a filmmaker in Saint John New Brunswick. As I researched Greg I discovered that not only does he weave social consciousness into his work but he’s also created not one, but three TEDx Talks.
Greg Hemmings: It’s interesting because I never thought that I would become a public speaker. You know, that’s just not something you grow up thinking that you’re going to do. But, as I was growing my business, Hemmings House PIctures, we started producing a lot of interesting documentaries that had a lot of social impact baked in to them. And, when you’re doing filmmaking that has some kind of impact on the community there’s a good chance that the community is going to pay attention and the media might cover you in a little different light. And I started to see a trend of the more interesting things we put out that had a positive impact on the community, the more attention we were given. It turned into one of those things where universities and community colleges would call me and ask me to speak to the classes about storytelling. And that gave me a good bit of confidence about, well, I see all of these other entrepreneurs doing TED Talks and sharing stages at large conferences and as long as I’m speaking about something I know and am passionate about I have no fear of getting on stage. As you know, I’m a musician and have spent many hours on stage playing music in front of people so there’s no issue there. But, after a couple of years of saying “yes” to whatever came my way, I started putting my eyes on the TEDx scene because I’m a huge fan of TED. And you realize that TEDx is a theater into the large TED Conference and most local communities have a TEDx experience. So, when the University of New Brunswick had a TEDx I immediately jumped up and said ‘Hey, if you guys are ever looking for speakers I’d love to participate. And they asked me to come do a little bit of a try-out and right after that they said ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ Since then I’ve done three TEDx’s as well as all of the public speaking I’ve had the privilege of doing at conferences and workshops.
|Sep 02, 2020|
Creating Paper Art with Miss Cloudy
Photos and other content related to this episode can be seen on The Creationists podcast on Facebook and Instagram.
Pauline Loctin: First, I will say that there is no difference because what I do is origami but people think that origami is something that is very precise like animals. Most of the time when I say I do origami, people don’t understand that it can be that but origami is a very large artform and there are a lot of different kinds of origami. It’s not just the animals. You can do so much different stuff with folding paper. It’s a large practice in Japan. What I do is tessellation. You learn how to repeat a pattern. So the pattern is folding paper. So it’s a technique of repetition out of paper.
Steve Waxman: How did you learn this?
Pauline Loctin: I read and book and then after that, I just practiced. So, I really taught myself how to do it. It was a lot of trying and failing and trying and failing. So, it was all about that.
Steve Waxman: When did this start?
Pauline Loctin: It’s going to be 6 years next week. It all began six years ago just because I was tired of my job. I was a freelance web strategist. I was on my computer all day and I was just tired of it. So, because I’m a really creative person, I was just creating stuff at home and at some point it begins to grow. People just started to ask me to do stuff for them. At first it was only friends and after that, it was bigger and bigger.
|Aug 19, 2020|
Creating digital paintings with Alice Zilberberg
When I first reached out to Toronto based artist Alice Zilberberg, I thought that this would be a conversation about photography. I soon learned that what Alice does is so much more.
The list of awards Alice Zilberberg has received for her artwork is remarkable for someone so young. She most recently received first place in the International Photography Awards for her surreal portraits of wild animals in the series she calls "Meditations." One of the stars of the series and the place I wanted to start our conversation is a striking portrait of a bison. What I discovered is that Alice is not merely a photographer and a bison is not a buffalo.
Steve Waxman: I call turtles and tortoises the same things. I'm one of those cruel people.
Alice Zilberberg: It's not just you, it's everyone. They mix up the animals in the technical term. Secondly, the North American bison is nicknamed a buffalo, but it's more technical term is bison.
To see the entire transcript, visit imstevewaxman.com
|Aug 05, 2020|
Creative Advertising with Terry O'Reilly
Thanks to his massively popular CBC program, Under The Influence, Terry O’Reilly has become one of Canada's most recognizable ad men. He has been a director and copywriter and has run his own multi award-winning agency as well as having written the books The Age of Persuasion and This I Know. And, his Under The Influence podcast has over 30 million downloads. What I’m trying to tell you is that when it comes to advertising, Terry O’Reilly knows what he’s talking about.
The Creationists is a podcast about creativity wherever it might be found. Advertisements are one of the most visible forms of creativity in our everyday lives. So, I reached out to Terry to take us through the creative process of developing an ad campaign. We started with one of the most successful of his career, the campaign that helped the NHL’s Hockey Hall of Fame launch their interactive games exhibit.
Terry O’Reilly: Well, that’s a very multi-layered question. I think not handing the agency and real strategic material to work with. It all begins and ends with whatever the product or service is that is being advertised and not handing the agency anything interesting to work with. But I think the bigger sin is really not wanting creativity. Not wanting bold ideas. And expressing that in the meeting. The best clients I ever had were the ones that said “Give me a big idea. Make my palms sweat.” And those were the clients, in fact, that we did that with. We came back with big ideas. They recognized them. They approved them. The bad clients think that creativity is quirky and wonky and that creativity gets in the way of the message. These are the clients that think that all you have to do is clearly state your proposition, put it in a commercial, put it out there, people will absorb it and run out to buy something. Which never happens.
Creative people make the assumption that no one listens to advertising. If you make that your starting point then you’ll make something interesting because creativity gets a foot in the door. And if someone is enamoured with the creativity of a commercial they might be willing to sit through that commercial and then we can get to the selling proposition. So creativity is amplification. Without creativity, it’s like giving a speech to a stadium without a microphone. Only the first couple of rows will hear you. But, if you add creativity to the message, it’s like being amplified throughout the entire stadium and you have a much greater chance of getting most of that audience to listen to you.
Steve Waxman: So then, what is the biggest mistake agencies make?
To read the full transcript, please visit imstevewaxman.com
|Jul 22, 2020|
Creating NOW Magazine with Michael Hollett
For close to 40 years, Toronto’s Now Magazine has been one of North America's preeminent and successful cultural guides. But it wasn't always that way. 18 months after launching Now Magazine was struggling and founders Michael Hollett and Alice Klein were hoping to find new investors to keep the doors open. One of the potential investors was City TV’s Moses Znaimer who pulled Michael aside one night at a party and said that he might be happier if you didn't accept a second round of money from investors.
Of all the people that I've interviewed so far, Michael Hollett is the one person most likely born into his profession. So, it only made sense to begin our conversation talking about his family's background in publishing.
Michael Hollett: I've been thinking about this stuff lately because it's a reflective time. And the first Christmas present I ever got was a Toronto Star metal delivery truck - a shipping truck.The first Christmas party I ever went to was at the Toronto Press Club. My grandfather was an editor at the Telegram. And my father was a writer, photographer and cartoonist at the Star. My mother freelanced at all of those papers and Maclean's. And my grandmother, my mother's mother, was also a freelancer. My parents met at a newspaper in Hamilton. And when I go to the Exhibition, I don't know if you know this but there's a building, a beautiful building to me called the Press Building. And my grandfather, conflict rules were a little different back then, also did P.R. for the Ex in the summers. I would visit him in the Press Building and there was a little balcony and I would stand there with him looking out over the Ex thinking this newspaper business is all right.
Steve Waxman: (laughing) So, were you conceived on a stack of Toronto Stars?
Michael Hollett: (laughing) Just about, man. Just about.
|Jul 08, 2020|
The Group of Seven guitar project with Linda Manzer
In 2017, the McMichael Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario debuted a unique exhibition. Known as the home of Canada’s renown Group of Seven paintings, the McMichael gallery hosted the first showing of The Group of Seven Guitar project featuring seven early Canadian guitar builders paying tribute to the original Group of Seven painters. The project was originally conceived and initiated by Linda Manzer who was featured in an earlier episode of The Creationists.
Following a year long showing at the McMichael gallery, the group of seven guitar project moved to Canada House in London, England where it received rave reviews. You can find much more information about the project at https://wrenguitarworks.com/G7
|Mar 09, 2020|
Creating ethical fashion with Hilary MacMillan
When I first reached out to Toronto based designer Hillary MacMillan, my plan was to ask her how she went about creating a fashion line, which we eventually did talk about. But what impressed me even more was how important it was for Hillary to weave her own social consciousness into her work.
|Mar 02, 2020|
Creating art in public spaces with David Pearl
Welcome to the Creationist, a podcast about people who create.
When David and I started discussing where to conduct our interview. His suggestion was on the site of one of his most public works of art, the 407 subway station north of Toronto. There he created an oval skylight that threw a kaleidoscope of colors onto the subway platform and the train's pulling in and out of the station. He was eventually asked to add colorful sided escalators in a massive multi-colored glass mural that dominates the station's main foyer.
|Feb 24, 2020|
Building Pat Metheny’s guitars with Linda Manzer
Linda Manzer is a Canadian luthier who has built custom instruments for hundreds of musicians around the world including Carlos Santana, Bruce Cockburn and Gordon Lightfoot. Her most notable association though is with Pat Metheny who has commissioned over 20 guitars from Linda including the unique (bizarre) 42 string Pikasso guitar.
|Feb 17, 2020|
Writing hockey books with Kevin Shea
You know that old saying that we all have a book inside of us? Well, it turns out that hockey historian Kevin Shea has has seventeen books inside of him with two more on the way. In episode 3 of The Creationists podcast, Kevin reveals how a story about Bozo the Clown helped to turn his passion for hockey into an unexpected second career as an author.
In 1999, Kevin Shea was a die-hard Toronto Maple Leaf fan who turned an unusual Christmas gift into his first book deal. In this episode of The Creationists, Kevin discusses the process of piecing together his research and interviews with authoritative voices to tell compelling stories about the characters that laid the foundation for the history of hockey and how he got Wayne Gretzky to write the forward to his first book?
To see more materials related to each episode of The Creationists, follow @thecreationistspodcast on Instagram or "Like" The Creation podcast on Facebook.
|Feb 10, 2020|
Songwriting with Jim Cuddy
Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy is one of Canada's most celebrated and successful songwriters. In this episode, Jim talks about the process of songwriting in general and more specifically about "5 Days In May" from Blue Rodeo's album Five Days In July.
|Jan 21, 2020|
Designing a golf course with Ian Andrew
Episode 2 of The Creationists podcast features an interview with world-renown golf course architect and restoration specialist Ian Andrew. In this episode, Ian discusses the process of designing a golf course and how it incorporates fine art, strategic planning and environmental considerations. Ian has long been an authoritative voice in the golf industry whose opinions have been deemed controversial from time to time and here he talks about why so many modern golf courses are disappointing.
Ian Andrew began working as a golf course architect in 1989. In the early 1990's he became frustrated by the number of historically important courses being modernized. He began to promote the idea of preservation and eventually the need for restoration of some of the most historically important courses in Canada. The project that would change his career was the restoration of Stanley Thompson's masterpiece St. George's Golf & Country Club in Toronto, long considered one of the finest golf courses in the world. It was so well received that it would lead to a series of significant restorations in Canada and the United States. Ian was also a member of the team that built the golf course used in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. In this episode of The Creationists, Ian reveals which golf course in the world he wishes he had designed.
To see more materials related to each episode of The Creationists, follow @thecreationistspodcast on Instagram or "Like" The Creation podcast on Facebook.
|Jan 21, 2020|
The Creationists is a podcast about people who create. Each episode features an interview with a different creator talking about their creative process and the adversity they face in achieving their goals.
|Jan 21, 2020|