March 2018 Seeing Shows by Deb Draper

This review is one of my favorite pieces for several reasons, mostly because I get to compare
2 extremely intelligent artists that sculpt in completely different, yet, similar ways.  2
totally different careers, 2 identical hearts with the same ambitions.  I am referring to, Sound
Technician Engineer Jake Disman & Hair Stylist to The Stars, Greg May of Greg May Hair
Architects.  Did you know that both Jake &  Greg’s careers are often referred to that of a 
scientist?  If you are able to watch them in action, you will notice resemblances to
Einstein. 'Einstein’s insight comes, as it does for these 2 creators  
&  most artists, from intuition &  inspiration.  As Einstein once stated,
"All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge."
Both men work long hours creating for the same reasons, the love of making others happy!  
Both men have come to intimately understand their works of precision within their given 
trades.  Their knowledge & experience issued with practical applications projecting perfection.  \
Both are known as the best in their fields not just in Toronto but around the globe.  In careers that boost their
clients self-esteem, create magic & make you look at the top of your game.  
Both are unique phenomenons having honorably worked with 1,000s of the world’s top names in the
Entertainment industry, yet, remain so humble.  These creative giants both have gained extensive
education by the innovators of their crafts, graduating up the ladder of success quickly since 1992
& continually expanding their passion for people and wear their hearts on their sleeves.  
Greg May had this to say,
have patience, perseverance, constant learning & you need to genuinely love what you do.  Don’t get into this industry for the money get into the industry because you have a passion for it.  
If you do that, the money will come. If you want to last, make sure you keep the passion fires burning,
keep learning & never stop creating.”  
Witnessing both my peers in action, you can strongly see how each create using this mantra.  
Both just celebrated 25 years in their careers and I wish them many happy memories
moving forward.   “As the great John Paul Dejoria (Co-Founder of Paul Mitchell) said:
“Success unshared is failure.”   Pass it on!

 Never stop blowing our minds & turning heads.

John Ward & Heather Brette-Roper of Route69 Productions filled the Rockpile with another great selection of rock n rollers, nothing short of brilliant. 

Kickin the night into high gear was a deep collaboration of musical minds known as Trigger Sindrome.  Richard Ducroix, Doug Bennie and Greg Samms 3 piece hard rockin' indie act from the GTA hit the Rockpile stage for the 1st time & refreshed anxious appetites while blowing our minds with their 70s, 80s & 90s flavored original alternative rock.  Their songs DAMM, Symptom, I Am, Back in Your Face, Groovin, In The End and the crowd's favorite Trigger Sindrome's Pleasure Naut, were heavily laced with influences of Seattle's Nirvana meets Alice In Chains meets T.A.D,   This trio appears January 26th at 8 pm in Oshawa at the Atria with Searching For Daybreak (SFD) and My Affected Reality.  Once again, they return to the Rockpile on Pop Cherry's Feb. 9th show 
as part of another stellar presentation by Route69 Productions. 

 HOWZAT performed an electrifying 1st-time Rockpile show, all the way from Forest City, London, ON.  This tight sounding & high energy 4 piece original rock act, got us in the rock n roll frame of mind & got us 'To Stand Up' close to the stage as they unleashed the 'HAZE' of their savy hit 'STORM' from their 2016 Debut EP ROUGH CUTZ, making for 'A House of Love' (another Howzat smoking hot single).  Kevin Rudy lead vocals, Greigg Fraser on Guitar, David Buland on Bass & Dale Penny on Drums created 
  a sexy show leaving us sprinkled with their addictive 2017 'Luv Dust.'.  
Catch their show Feb. 9th at Duffy's Tavern 
The Rockpile on April 27th, 2018.
Stay in tune at

Crowds from far & wide weathered the December 22nd winter storm, to catch an up-close glimpse of the fantastic 5 piece ACDC Tribute MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE.  By now The Rockpile was packed as they engaged us with a sound-alike showcase of explosive versions of TNT, Jailbreak, It's A Long Way To The Top, The Jack, all from the Bon Scott era.  They engaged their audience into their set & gave the fans good ole Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap on their ride down the Highway to Hell, thoroughly revving up the room for headliners, Nicklebach.   Maximum Overdrive boys are lighting the stage ablaze this Feb. 2nd at The Rockpile as part of The 
KISS TRIBUTE show, The Return of Rock and Roll Over on Feb.2nd.  Stay in tune with 
Maximum Overdrive at   
I was so excited to catch the first few pieces at the beginning of Tribute Nickelbach.  Wow, these extremely gifted artists truly presented bang on versions of 'Rockstar' & 'How You Remind Me' which featured bandmates from Bon Jovi Forever & Songs Remain the Same & Buckethead from GNFNR.  Their performance is one not to miss, but, hurry, catch Canada's Premier Nickelback Tribute-NICKELBACH in a city nearest you, keep up to date at as they play 
Newmarket's Big Daddy's on April 14th.

on your up and coming celebration of love.  
Come share their love at their Buck n Doe on Feb.18th @ the Rockpile, 
where they first met.  <3
Rsvp and purchase your $25 tickets by contacting (647) 468 7769



A day in the life of Audio Engineer, Toronto's 

Jake Disman.

Photo credit: Lou Roppoli

Did you know that alternatively, the term "audio engineer" can refer to a scientist? When I watch Jake Disman in action, I am reminded of Einstein, as they both have things in common. Einstein and Jake's insight comes, as it does for most artists, from intuition and inspiration. As Einstein once stated, "All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge." Einstein has attributed his scientific insight and intuition mainly to music and the arts. "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music, live my daydreams in music and I see my life in terms of music, I get most joy in life out of music," Einstein commented. 

Jake is someone who has come to intimately understand the workings of a given technology along with its idiosyncrasies.  His knowledge & experience is used in a practical application of the technology toward a perfect musical outcome. Jake Disman is known in the music industry circles as 1 of the best Sound Tech entities.  Audio is not as simple as it looks.  Jake, is a unique and interesting natural phenomenon who is never idle.  During his night owl shifts, you can usually find him on stage or mastering in the sound booth (his office if you will). He arranges gear, assembles, operates the technical equipment & lights used for a fantastic show, performs sound checks to make you at the top of your game, he records, amplifies & enhances any live concert or special event.  Jake is a not just a soundman, he is an audio engineer, he is a digital lightman & dubbing effects specialist, mixer/master & multimedia recording, technician.  As well, he is a seasoned musician, how's that for added measure!

I had the pleasure to ask Jake my usual, here goes.

Good afternoon my friend. Jake, it is a pleasure getting to know & understand your fantastic career thru our interview here today, I am sure your fans will concur, you are stellar.

Q: DEB: Jake, how long have you resided in the metropolis of Toronto?

A: JAKE: I was born in Toronto (York Hospital at Jane & Finch, August 24th, 1970). Though I was born in Canada, I was the first person in my family born here. Even my older sister was born in Czechoslovakia, & I spoke Czech before I learned to speak English. This is due to my parents escaping Czechoslovakia in 1968 after the Soviet tanks had rolled in, ending Prague Spring.

Your parents were very courageous & inspiring, now I see where you get that from.

Q: DEB: Jake, how do you juggle, organize & prioritize on the Audio Engineer Job?
A: JAKE: 1st priority is always to stop that thing that’s about to blow.  Next, is why is that thing not making any noise at all, & make it make (the right) noise.  I guess the most important thing after that is, can the artists hear the noise they are trying to make?  If I am doing lights as well, then my next concern would be, can other people see the people making the noise?
Photo Credit:  Phoenix Camerah
I have noticed you deep in thought on the job not just at Rockpile but, downtown Toronto running sound at outside Festivals and clubs.
Q: DEB: Run us thru a typical day (in your office) at a club?
A: JAKE: Typical day in my house gig goes something like: I show up as the bands are loading in, I help them figure out where on stage they should optimally place their gear, anywhere to put dead cases.  After they have got all their gear setup, I go & mic the stage, then pin the cables to the snake, that sends the signals to the mixing board.  The main act then starts sending band members or their techs on stage, one by one, starting with the drummer.  I do sound check for each of the musicians, & then they play a song (or 6, depending on the type of gig) to make sure that everyone is comfortable with their stage sound, and that they are giving me the good signal to mix together.  For most shows, the next & last sound check, being the opening act.  Go thru the same procedure as above.  Depending on the show though, sometimes, many or even all the acts will check, which can make for a long afternoon.  Then I make sure that the venue looks like a venue, turning out many of the work lights, & playing genre-appropriate music, helping to set the mood of the room as the patrons start to enter when the doors are open to the public.  At a predetermined time, the 1st act will start, depending ont he gig, it will often be my responsibility to make sure that the act knows when they are getting close to the end of their time, to help keep the schedule on track.  Then it’s basically later, rinse & repeat for as many bands as are on the bill.  

A (2) JAKE: A typical day on tour, goes a little different. We pull up to the venue early (between noon and 1, (at least for the last couple of tours)and go scope out the venue. Getting the hands to come out as we open the trailer and unload all of the gear into the venue. Myself and a couple of backline techs on our crew will then construct the backline amps and drum kit, etc. I mic everything up and house tech runs the lines according to the input list that I give him. The back line tech starts giving me sounds from the stage, as we make sure that all of the lines work, and I get a rough start on the sound of each channel before the band members show up for sound check (which was 4pm sharp for my last few runs). The band would do 3 maybe 4 songs and then they would be done. I save my mix (if digital soundboard) or take pictures of the soundboard and make notes (if analog). At that point I would go back on stage, and with the other crew we'd “spike the stage” or make thin tape marks at the edges of any piece of gear that was going to be moved out of the way for the opening acts, then move the stuff and give the stage over to the house crew so they can take care of the local bands. Only then do we break for a meal. Between then and when the doors open is typically “me” time, where I would go take a little look around whatever city I happened to be in at the time. I'd usually be back right before the first band was scheduled to start, just to make sure that the locals will be keeping to the schedule. When the direct support is done (sometimes I am paid to mix more acts on a tour than just the headliner, sometimes not). Then I go to the stage with the reset of the crew and get the bands stuff back to as close as possible to how it was at the end of the sound check. At the appropriate time (when i get word that the band is good to go) I start the intro music, and go like hell, hoping nothing breaks! At the end of the set I go back to the stage, and we take everything apart and with the local crews' help (hopefully) we reload everything back to the trailer. Once the lock goes on the trailer door, we go onto the tour bus to have our first beer of the day, as it pulls off towards the next show.

Working with the world's top names in the music industry you are blessed.
Q: DEB: Who would you say was the most memorable artist you were the sound engineer for?
A: JAKE: It's impossible for me to pick one memorable artist out of the many 1,000's of gigs I have enjoyed mixing.

Q: DEB: Jake, how long have you been a creative force in this music biz?
A:   JAKE:   I started off in music playing in punk/thrash bands when I was pretty young, playing my first show Dec 26th, 1986 as the guitarist for Pig Tumbler and we were opening for Bunch of Fucking Goofs!  I had a note from my mom, saying that I had my parents permission to be in a bar, even though I was only 16. I went down hours earlier than the rest of the band, because I wanted to make sure J was going to be allowed to be there, and  if there was an issue, I wanted to have time for my mom to come down (at that time it was legal to be in a bar with your legal guardian if you were under 19) but, not only did the bartender laugh at that, he got me hammered and I ended up puking a little off the side of the stage, right in the middle of my first ever live guitar solo, but, I didn't miss a note!  That impressed the older punks, lol !  I went to TREBAS in 1992, primarily because I wanted to engineer my own music, and have complete control over the process, but it turned out that I was particularly suited to the profession and graduated top of my school (Summa Cum Laude) and was already business partners with one of my teachers before I finished the course!  I did start getting frustrated by the tracking process in the studio and tried my hand at doing live sound and I guess the rest is history.
Photo Submitted.
Q: DEB: What an impressive list of musical masters, Icons, and Legends you have had the honor to have perfected sound for?
A: JAKE: That is a tough one to answer, as it depends on who you consider an “icon”?  I mean I have done sound for bands like Dark Funeral, Sick Of It All, Macabre, Mayhem and many others that are likely very obscure names to most, but in the extreme music scene, every one of those names is truly legendary.  Having been brought in specially to mix bands like DRI when they were at Velvet Underground last year, was literally a “bucket list band” for me to mix, a band I have loved for more than 3o years.  I've been very honored to get those calls.  Then there are bands that I have toured with, some several times, that also wouldn't ring a bell to most people.  But these shows all across the world are very well attended and the fanfare rapidly dedicated like: Cryptopsy, Candiria, Poison. The Well, Origin, God Forbid, Angel Dust, Cattle Decaptivation, Nevermore, The Agonist and Opeth, among others.  I went to China with Agonist and it was simply other-worldly!  Huge crowds at an open-air festival, with so many people waving huge banners and flags, singing along nearly perfectly with lines they almost assuredly have no idea the meaning of, or when in Brazil, with Nevermore, running into lifelong fans, who were just so thankful to have their longtime heroes in finally in front of them.  I've also been fortunate enough to do sound for other legends like Pat Travers, Uli John Roth, multiple tours with Michael Schenker and so much more.

Q: DEB: Any advice you can share with others in your field that are just starting out, especially in large cities and largest high traffic venues?
A: JAKE: My advice to others interested in this line of work is, it's not about you, so don't be a dick! (unless it’s called for, and there are certainly those times).  I have to admit that I haven't always followed that advice, though it’s something I strive for every gig.  A little decency goes a long way.  Also don't be afraid to talk to the band if you need them to do something.  Many musicians understand that the sound person is trying to help them, but have a suggestion ready, and compromise when necessary.  Other than that, try to keep in mind on doing sound, it can feel like herding cats and Mythbusters proved that it is possible to polish a turd, so don't give up!!

In conclusion, it’s once in a musical lifetime you spot that rare friendly gem, that hard-working, passionate, intelligent, dedicated and creative soundman that loves his chosen profession; loves his artists as well as his audience. Keep making the magic happen Jake, 
never stop blowing our minds.

Annual CBC Searchlight is just DAYS away. Will you be the next Canadian talent discovered?

What you are waiting for, your time is NOW!  

Searchlight has returned for 2018! in search of Canada’s next undiscovered talent,
covering all genres..  Will it be you?  
Just ask

* 2015 Wire Award Nominees Dio or Dimitri Tadin of Clear Stone. In 2014, they place TOP 10
in their hometown of Hamilton -

* As well, check out the BIG NEWS on 2013 Wire Megazine Awarded RISING STAR Sophia
Radisch.  Sophia was recognized as the TOP 20 under 20 out of over 2,000 entrants in the 2016
CBC Searchlight

It could be you if you have an original song.  

Searchlight 2018 prize package will provide you with incredible opportunities to take your
career to the next level of songwriting, marketing, networking and live performance.  
Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018  at midnight, ending Feb 6th, 2018 at 2:59 PM and the
Winner will be announced March 19, 2018.  Don’t forget to share your entry and get other to
vote for you, so when sharing your music to social media relms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,
don’t forget to tag it #Searchlight2018, but don’t worry if you don’t have a big social reach.
The judges will be listening for great songs throughout.  Feel free to tag CBC in any of your 
social media, Twitter: @CBCMusic, Instagram: @CBC_Music, Facebook: CBC Music.  
More than 3,000 bands register annually for a chance at being discovered.
You’ll be able to sign up using the new Searchlight entry form,
which will be easier to use & found here on
To Enter you will need to sign up/create or log in with your Searchlight or Artist Account.  
You will be required to upload an MP3 of your best original song (one song only) that is
less than 10MB in size, include your artist BIO, photo(s) and other required info on CBC’s
online registration form found at and when naming your MP3 for
submission, use this naming convention: Searchlight-bandname-songname-date
Even if you have a record deal, you can enter, but, your label must consent to CBC
Searchlight rules and regulations in order for your act to do so.  Onus is on you to ensure
you are not breaking any copyright laws by entering.
From opening day of the submission period on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to the grand-prize winner
announcement on Monday, March 19, here are all the days to circle on your calendar.
  • The submission period: All entrants can register for Searchlight 2018 by uploading a
  • song starting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 12:01 a.m. ET. Submissions close on
  • Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 2:59 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, February 13 – Round one contest opens
  • Round 1: Voting and judging begins on all eligible songs on
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. ET
  • Round 1 ends on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Thursday, March 1 – Round two finals open
  • Round 2: Voting and judging begins on the top 100 on
  • Thursday, March 1, at 3 p.m. ET
  • Round 2 ends on Wednesday, March 7, at 2:59 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, March 8 –  Round three opens
  • Round 3: Judging for the top 10 on Thurs, Mar 8, 3 p.m. ET.
  • Round 3 ends on Wednesday, March 14, at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Final: the grand prize winner announced Monday, Mar 19, 11 a.m. ET

Check this it out:
1. Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience
The Searchlight-winning artist or band will get a prestigious placement in
the 2018 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class, Canada’s premiere artist development
program. You’ll have your song and career assessed in a week-long mentorship program
led by some of Canada’s music industry leaders. The week will culminate with a live
performance at an industry showcase in downtown Toronto.
The winning artist or band will take everything they’ve learned in the Juno Master Class
straight to the 2019 Juno Awards, where they will perform at JunoFest and attend all the
Juno festivities! This prize package includes travel, accommodations, registration, and per
diems for up to four people.
sIn full, this prize includes:
Travel for up to four people to participate in an intensive mentorship week in Toronto in
October 2018 hosted by Canada’s Music Incubator at Coalition Music, where the winner
will have workshops with industry leaders and Canadian artists.
A performance spot at a music industry showcase in Toronto.
A trip to the 2019 Juno Awards (dates TBA) including: transportation, accommodation,
and Juno Weekend packages for each artist, which includes tickets to the Juno welcome reception, the Juno gala dinner and the 2019 Juno Awards broadcast.
Performance slot at JunoFest, a two-day music festival during Juno Week.
You’ll appear in mini-docs to run on
The opportunity for a chance to play the ultimate showcase at the 2019 Juno gala dinner
& Juno Awards.
2. A residency at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.  The winning artist or
band will receive a week-long residency and full access to the recording facilities at the
National Music Centre’s new building, Studio Bell, in Calgary. Be part of a truly
one-of-a-kind recording experience after you’ve perfected your songs in the
Juno Master Class.
You’ll be invited to experiment, perform and record at Studio Bell with access to more
than 300 historic musical instruments spanning 450 years of music innovation and
technology.  National  
In full, this prize includes:

An all-access pass to the National Music Centre’s recording facilities for up to 10 hours
a day, including an engineer, tech assistant and access to the Centre’s incredible
instrument collection.
Accommodations for up to four people
Travel for up to four people.
This residency must be initiated by Dec. 3, 2018.
3. CBC Music Festival performance.  The winning artist or band will also have the chance
to take everything they’ve learned and bring it to thousands of music fans at the CBC
Music Festival in Toronto, held at Echo Beach on Saturday, May 26, 2018     
In full, this prize includes:
Onstage performance.
Double accommodations for up to four band members.
Ground transportation.
Performance fee      Check out the full prize information here.
Q: Who decides if my song goes through? A: Searchlight 2018 will be a combination of
audience voting and votes from our celebrity judges, a cross-section of the best that the
Canadian music industry has to offer.  In the opening rounds, audience votes and CBC
Music producers will be judging your song. In the National Top Ten Round, our celebrity
judges will decide the ultimate winner.. This year’s judges will be announced soon.

Q: So I entered Searchlight, where does my music go from here?  A: Our radio
producers will be sharing your music with CBC Radio 1 stations across Canada, as
well as with, Radio 2 and 3, CBC TV programs, and CBC digital. From there,
our celebrity judges,CBC Music producers, and music industry professionals across Canada
will be listening to your music as well.

Q: Do I lose rights to my song?  A: No, the song will always be yours. By entering,
you agree to rules and regulations though, which allows the CBC to use your song for broadcast
and editorial purposes.

YOUR TIME IS NOW!  Good luck to all the entrants, let’s see some familiar Ontario names this year!  GO TO CBC RIGHT NOW and get ready to unleash to Canada, your extreme talents!