Hey! What inspired you to name your new single “Cobras,” and how does this title reflect the song’s message or theme?

A: Well Cobras are cool right? Ya, besides it being a cool name for a tune, more viscerally the song is about connecting to our heart space when things are falling apart. It is about remembering that when we operate from the heart we are vibrating at our highest frequency.  In the physical practice of yoga, the cobra posture involves lifting your chest when laying on the ground, like a cobra snake. It is a backbend and whenever we are practicing back bending, we are opening our chest and therefore opening the heart space. The song reminds us to connect to this quality of operating from our heart in order to connect to the ubiquitous abundance around us.  

Considering “Cobras” represents a significant sonic departure from your earlier work, can you share more about your journey from indie, folk, singer-songwriter genres to your current indie-psych direction?

A: Sure, independent music is fantastic. I didn’t start writing tunes to be put into a genre or fit in with what everyone else is doing. For me it’s about documenting my own artistic development. From a writing and production standpoint the tunes on my first album ‘Cherished’ were a direct representation of my roots in song writing; grabbing an acoustic guitar and putting some chords and words together to build a song. Cobras and some of the other songs on the second album are meant to reflect my development and expansion in terms of writing and production and to capture my broad musical influence. Cobras really is the jumping off point that is meant to convey to the audience a sense of ‘wow, where is this going?’ Because I have been capturing songs for the past 20 years I have a unique perspective to look back at how the craft has developed over time. I won’t give away where it goes from here, but I’m most excited about what I am recording now, it’s been fun!

“Cobras” was written in an abandoned warehouse on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. How did this unique setting influence the songwriting process and the overall tone of the track?

A: When I think back to that time it was really a great time to be living on the east side of Vancouver in the Strathcona neighbourhood. My partner and I had this great loft space owned by a famous photographer and then somehow the warehouse space came about as well.  I could ride my bike there in 5 minutes and have like 10,000 square feet of open concrete space to ride my skateboard around and record music.  It was incredible! We called it the Cave.  For me living and working in an open space removes some of the limitations we may feel. Walls and rooms are like compartmentalized structures that can influence your brain; do this, colour within the lines, stay in your lane. When we remove those an opportunity for expansion reveals itself and we become a little more free. That’s what writing Cobras was like.  I was in this giant space, and the rules for composition were lifted.

The song is described as a metaphor for the ability to open our hearts. Could you delve deeper into this metaphor and explain how it is manifested in the lyrics and composition of “Cobras”?

A: Sure. As I mentioned above the posture of a cobra in traditional yoga practice opens the heart space. The lyrics describe the narrators desire to be present but struggle to remain in that space of awareness. Ultimately, we are reminded that the light bends towards us when we are deliberately encouraging a heart space connection. The composition of the song involves two distinct swells of distorted electric guitar run through a circuit bent synthesizer. It starts small and then peaks, descends again and then swells and falls one more time. It is meant to represent the cycle of primary respiration which is different than breathing which is our secondary respiration. Primary respiration refers to a pulse that the planet and all living beings experience every 90 seconds or so, it has to do with the movement of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid in the brain. You can hear, in the second half of the song during the second swell of movements, the chants of OM underlining all the other vocal expressions. Ultimately the effort is meant to return the listener to the heart space to emulate the highest vibratory frequency.

With “Cobras” being the 18th song you’ve released in two years, and the sixth single off your sophomore album ‘Elements of’, how do you maintain such a prolific output? What’s your creative process like?

A: Having amassed a large catalogue of unreleased work over the past almost 20 years, it’s a little easier. A lot of the writing is done, and the main ideas captured so revisiting the songs presents a fresh perspective. I can pick and choose which tracks I want to bring forward. My creative process is very seasonal. I usually write and record music during the colder fall and winter months and then really want to put things down over the summer, maybe just capturing ideas as they come on my voice memos. However, the past two years have been busy following a release schedule, releasing a song every six weeks or so. It’s a lot and it’s hard not to pay attention to the results and stay inspired on the process.

This track marks the farthest sonic expansion from your debut album “Cherished.” What challenges and discoveries did you encounter while exploring new musical territories with “Cobras”?

A: hmmm. I’m not sure how to answer that? I don’t really see music and art as challenging. The discovery portion is everything and when I’m absorbed in the process of receiving an idea my only job is to be present enough to receive it and give it the attention that it deserves. Again, I was in the right place and time to receive Cobras, the way it wanted to be expressed. I was honored to be a custodian of the idea.

Given the experimental nature of “Cobras,” how do you anticipate your long-time fans will react to this shift in musical direction? Have you received any feedback so far?

A: I’m not really sure. I think for the people that know me best they’re like oh ya that is cool.  The feedback that I have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

As you continue to explore and expand your sound, where do you see your music heading in the next few years? Are there any specific genres or influences you’re eager to experiment with?

A: For sure, I’m really into psychedelic sounds that are coming out of Japan and Australia. Bands like Kikagaku Moyo, Glass Beams and Khurangbin are super amazing sonically and texturally. Women, Ryan Bourne, and Chad VanGaalen (all from Calgary) also present a really inspiring perspective for me as well.   

Collaboration often plays a significant role in an artist’s development. Are there any artists or producers you dream of working with as you continue to grow and evolve your sound?

A: Definitely my pals in Calgary. (I call them my pals but have only met them briefly). Chad and Ryan for sure. Oh, also I would really like to hang out with Rick Rubin at some point. I think we would vibe on philosophy, eastern thought, and yoga.

Finally, with ‘Elements of’ set to release on April 4, 2024, what can listeners expect from the rest of the album in terms of musical exploration and thematic content compared to “Cobras”?

A: Well, Cobras is the farthest-reaching track in terms of experimentation. The rest of the album bridges genres of indie rock, alternative and indie folk. This project is the Empire Strikes back of the Star Wars trilogy. It’s meant to prepare the listener for a departure from the old into the new, it reveals some deep dark secrets and leaves the audience with existential philosophical questions that only time, and experience may reveal.