Building a business is difficult in any industry, but building one in music poses a unique set of challenges. Musicians and music industry pros are expected to have a strategy while also being ready to jump on new opportunities, they must travel incessantly, and are rarely excused from work when sick or struggling with mental health. Doing all this while trying to remain creative, running the business end, and working a day job to support it can suck the passion and the life out of the people involved. In this Health & Wellness session, we’ll be chatting with a busy, self-managed, band who has toured all over the world, to discuss realistic ways to balance work, life, and the music itself.
A band with big ideas, Yes We Mystic uses a performance artist's instincts to create intense, cinematic art rock. Praised as “art pop transformers” and charged with a “fearless creative energy”, Yes We Mystic has in recent years become a steadily growing force on the international indie scene. Their debut album, Forgiver, was produced by Jace Lasek (Patrick Watson, Wolf Parade, Land of Talk) and released in Canada and Germany in 2016 to critical acclaim. Known for their fiery, impassioned live sets, Yes We Mystic supported the album with extensive touring in ten countries, including shows at SXSW, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn, M for Montreal, NXNE, and Orange Blossom Special (itself a career highlight). They are currently amidst the creation of their follow-up record.
Get to know them better with our little Q+A…
Q: If you could choose any act to hit the road with, who would it be?
A: The National, Bon Iver, and Sharon Van Etten would be the top three right now, but if/when Freddie Mercury's hologram ghost starts going on tour it'd be nice to at least get on the long list for that. I think Hans Zimmer would also be a nice fit.
Q: If you were characters in a movie or TV show, what would it be and which character would each of you be?
A: Space Jam. Adam is Michael Jordan, Keegan is Bugs Bunny, Jodi is Tweety Bird, Eric is Daffy Duck, and Jordon is Bill Murray (as himself).
Q: If you were to create a slogan for your band, what would it be? (Example: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, we all die.)
A: Yes We Mystic: making it work (insert shrug emoji here)
Q: What is the most rewarding thing you have done as a band?
A: Getting to play a show in front of 3000 Germans in Beverungen was pretty amazing. We also recently had the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the 'Canadarado' cultural exchange mission in Denver, where we met and collaborated with a diverse group of talented, super nice folks from all over Canada and Colorado. We made lifetime friends, saw incredible performances, and took part in some exciting and important discussions.
Q: What is the thing you find the most difficult as a band?
A: Scheduling is a difficult thing any group. It's tough to remember and respect that we still all have day jobs and passions outside of the band. Getting everyone onto the same page of commitment was a saga at the beginning, and a few years ago when we switched practicing one night to two nights a week, picking the two nights to set aside was like a month-long process.