THE RAD APARTMENT SERIES W/ GORDIE JOHNSON FROM BIG SUGAR
If you are a music enthusiast, reminding yourself to put “Sugar in my Coffee” isn’t the only small detail of your morning routine.
Last month, Gordie Johnson appeared at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto for a tribute concert to the late Garry Lowe, which was one of his “roomies” in the band, Big Sugar. He was accompanied by other big names such as The Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene and more. This was the perfect time for Rad and Raw to speak with the intellectual musician on a few topics that break a reality shoe of what the music industry appears to be….in
Growing up in a country that produces great talent, it’s hard not to take a deep breath in with all that surrounds you, for Gordie that includes both positive and negative. “Music is a language, a form of communication. You can even become influenced by stuff you don’t like.”
Of course with a few pinches and growing pains, there isn’t one big sweeping conclusion Gordie would come to, in terms of learning what you didn’t expect in the industry. He said to him it’s business like any other business and a bit of a wild west shoot up.
Speaking of learning, as time goes on we have to seek to embrace how music evolves so quickly, and in Gordie’s eyes, we should be content with the paradigmatic of sound. “I reassure my kids there has been horrible music in every decade and the same with every era has had great classics” continued Gordie. “ I take heart in knowing there is always good stuff coming around the corner.”
You could say the number one question one would be curious about is, at what point does one master their craft, especially seeking advice someone who is very successful, but in terms of building the end of the highway, there isn’t one. “For a musician, I think that is a misconception. It’s not like someone puts a reef around your neck with a diploma and says you made it. It’s a work in progress constantly. I know musicians in their 70’s and 80’s who still work at it and work on it. Their style can still change in 10 years. It’s a living dynamic.”
When we asked Gordie what would be in is songwriting safety pack, he explained how before it would have been a notebook and some sharp pencils. Though as we know technology has changed, Gordie now tends to seek out an Ipad, but there is one unusual puzzle piece that we haven’t heard a musician bring up before and it’s called “Barlett’s Quotations”. “If you are writing a song that has star’s in the sky, you could look up quotes from the last 4,000 years of human writing” stated Gordie. “You can always find some twist to put on it. That has been my great secret weapon.
One thing I noticed about Gordie is how passionate he speaks or the ace in his voice about small details that make him so unique past little quirks about an instrument he has picked up or a certain space he thrives in. Rad + Raw takes pride in finding little gems in each artist we speak to. “I have a left-handed approach but write with my right hand” a faint Gordie appeared. “I know it sounds insignificant but left-handed people approach things differently.”
If a moment in time presented Gordie to be just a waiter at a coffee shop or a bartender at a pub, his reassurance about the law of attraction was small but a huge statement, especially since life, grasps at pure intentions when it comes to the milk and honey. “I never gaged music on if I was successful or not. I suppose you become successful because you would be doing it for free anyway and attack it with a passion that is not financially motivated.”
To see the man behind the interview live, make sure you keep up with Big Sugar’s site link HERE to view their upcoming tour dates that might just be in your city.