Regina, Treaty 4: Whistlin’ Jeff M

photo credit: Zoe Schneider

photo credit: Zoe Schneider

I met Jeff at Gateway last summer and now see him pretty much everywhere I go in Regina, as is the SK way. It was cool to find out more about him. Any cat lover is a friend of mine.

KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?

Right now I do vocals in a hardcore band Failed States. We finally released our second EP entitled Death this winter after floundering around for five years. I also play bass in a psychedelic rock band Snake River and we just recorded an album entitled Songs from the Adjacent Room that will be out in September.

My partner is a visual artist and lately has been inspiring me to create things in this realm. I have been trying my hand with poster design, printing, filming and lighting. It is really handy to have someone with talent around every time my brain thinks Photoshop should be as simple as MS paint. No one has commissioned me to do anything yet, but I do a lot for the bands I am involved with. I’m really excited to put together a music video for Snake River in the style of a cheesy early nineties Japanese karaoke video that has almost nothing to do with the song.

KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?

I own a small roofing company. I really do love my job. I get to be outside all summer long and while people are getting up to go to their job in the dark of winter, I am firing up my woodstove, putting on some tea and relaxing. I also really appreciate not being paid by the hour. How much I make is tied directly to how hard I work. At my job I never follow a clock because I am responsible for the integrity of someone’s home. I can’t just leave work at five oclock. Work finishes when the roof is on and that can be one in the afternoon or eight oclock at night. I also only hire my friends and they generally share my love of loud music and canned pineapple. The only downside to running a company is not being able to leave work behind at the end of the day.

KC: What’s important to you?

Cats and their ability to keep me from self-destructing. Staying weird.

KC: What do you like most/least about Regina?

The thing I like most is the thing that people usually like the least. This city is small enough that everyone knows everyone. It seems you are only one person removed from all the lovely people in this city. I like being able to grab a soda at the Italian Star deli and bullshit with the cashiers because I went and checked out their band on the weekend.

What I like the least is Rider fans and the monolithic waste of tax dollars being erected two blocks from my house .

KC: What is your impression of Saskatoon ?

I love Saskatoon, everyone is friendly and I really like rivers. I have very serious river envy. I also have Shooting Guns envy. Shooting Guns blows my mind every time I see them.

I’m going to tell a story about how I met my Kindred Cities friend Brenda Jackson. A few years ago some pals asked me to serve drinks at their wedding in Saskatoon. On a side note I think they ended up regretting this decision because I had a bit of a heavy hand on the evening in question. While I was busy pouring doubles the Sea Hags were laying out the tunes for the dancefloor. I mustered up the courage to ask them if I could play a song with them and we have been friends ever since. I really enjoy being able to go up to Saskatoon and connect with friends I have not seen in a while. Playing music gives me the opportunity to go up there every few months and party with my pals.

(from the Proust Questionaire) Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could swim better. Every summer I go on a canoe trip with a group of friends and every year someone inevitably almost ends up dying. Whether it is being hit by a tornado in the middle of the night, forgetting a sleeping bag in April or wrapping the sail of our makeshift pirate ship in a tree while navigating a set of rapids, I think learning to swim would increase my life expectancy significantly.

You can find out more about Jeff’s music here: