INTERVIEWS

Cosmic Rock

 

 

Always had a love and respect for my bro Al Yeti Bones keeping up the rock in the Canadian scene. Coming down the line from the Great White North to the Carolina woodlands I had a catch up and great interesting talk with Al Yeti today. Keeping it easy on a chilled out sunday, we talked about his band' s new record, his life pursuits and news, a little about the japanese art of Reiki and his future plans. Always inspiring to see Al Yeti on the move with his plans and projects and good to connect. Dig this talk with Al Yeti Bones and hitch a ride with Gypsy Chief Goliath on the long and winding road. - G

 

1.Hey Al howre you bro? How have you been? Good to catch up with you today.

The Yeti: Likewise, thanks for taking the time, and my apologies on the delay. Things have been really crazy as of late, life in general… you know how it goes.

 

2.Yeah totally, no worries man. You guys have a new album on the way. Whats the new bro?

The Yeti: Yea we recorded a new album, it’s called Masters of Space & Time, it’s out February 22nd, 2019 through Kozmik Artifactz. I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The shows have been amazing, and we’ve been working hard to make 2019 a productive year for us with music.

 

3.What inspired your songwriting on the record?

The Yeti: I think it’s always been relatively the same stuff. I recycle a lot. I used to write so much, that piles of books get accumulated and then whenever we come up with a new song, I’ll jump through the old lyric books and see what’s up. Sometimes things get reused, as a previous song from my past, may not have been used or gone anywhere, so I just lift a cool part off that, that I think people need to hear. Or pull some relevance into it, by adding a bit more context from today’s perceptions. Not to say I don’t write anything new anymore, because I do. I just don’t have the time anymore to sit and put myself in that mental space to write things on my mind right now. I’ll write a line here and there, and incorporate that into an older set of lyrics that I still identify with. There are so many never before used lyrics in my books that I just never bothered with, so I go back and revisit, as it’s a quick and easy way to not hurt my brain space and save that for work, and family lol!!!

 

4.In what way is the new one different than the earlier work?

The Yeti: I think the new one is a little more fearless. In terms of identity and evolution. I tend to listen to a great deal of genres, and some styles that are truly surprising to hear. Ideally really wanted to do something this time around, that is a little unexpected with tinges of the expected, but additional sides to pull in from, would be pop music, southern rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock too… I think our last two records were almost like a part 1 & part 2, if you think about the way we approached them. They were very similar processes. We’d write some songs, go into the studio track them, and try and get the best takes possible etc… This time around, we started the tracking process this time around and our city of Windsor got hit with a big flood city-wide damage, and that slowed things down a bit. But mainly the guys all came in at different times and tracked their parts and we’d come in week after week, maybe change some things, experiment and think about evolution and how can we get the best possible outcome. I was incorporating hooks and little harmonies all over the place, as this one is a bit more adventurous then previous records. It’s definitely the best thus far.

 

5.Aside from your new record, you’ve been writing a book on the music industry?

The Yeti: Yes I have. Still to be named, but I’m close. Essentially it’s just a book that kind of gives a realistic, almost pessimistic view on the industry and struggles we’ve faced. How we overcome setbacks, and what mistakes not to make, and the reality of unavoidable mishaps that will happen along the way. It’s a journey. There’s definitely things a band can do to minimize the lack of errors, but it’s all apart of the process… How to increase the buzz, how to book your own tour, how to build your brand on a DIY level, how to increase sales, the different deals I’ve made over the years, and I include a lot of emails, templates and answers to a lot of questions people have had for me over the years, as well as understanding the level of success I’ve reached may not have panned out the way I wanted it to over a span of 20+ years doing it, but through family and career, and balance including music and all those challenges, it’s about how I’ve been able to come to terms with happiness and truly be grateful for what I am continuously allotted to do through music, and how much being a father and a husband has changed me.

 

6.Tell us about your pursuit of new health and life, you’re into the Keto diet?

The Yeti: I’ve been Keto for about 7 months now. It’s actually a more of a modified low carb diet. I’ve just eliminated all breads, sugars, starches, most alcohol and introduced way more healthy fats and moderate protein and I’ll keep carb intake minimal and usually it’s from incidentals from eating vegetables, or mixed berries or something like that. But if a food is low to no carbs or sugars, usually that’s what I eat. In the 6 or 7 months I’ve been doing this, I’ve dropped 50 lbs, and feel more clarity than ever. In fact the weight loss has really become secondary. My inflammation is healed, I have no aches and pains, no headaches, and no insulin spikes. Lots of health nuts try to tell me that Keto is worrisome, because they think it’s one thing, yet it’s actually another. Some still believe that we need to feed our bodies a level of sugar to keep brain function proper and liver function, yet our organs produce enough glucose for what the body needs regardless. What I’m trying to get at, is, most people are extremists, one way or the other but don’t even realize it. When someone warns you about the Keto diet, and says “I’m concerned because you may not be eating enough sugar and carbs, you can do damage to your organs.” Well, by eating mindlessly and not understanding the overspill of bullshit you’re putting into your body, you’re doing far more damage to it then regulating what you’re actually putting in. Fatty liver disease doesn’t come from eating fat. It comes from eating a lot of processed shit, alcohol and sugars. We’ve been told this for so many years, because the cereal companies really wanted to put eggs and bacon out of business. I’m not a massive activist for Keto lifestyle… I’m just a guy who noticed that whenever I trained really hard, and ate well, but chose to not deprive myself from the awesome things in life (snacks!!!) I noticed I never lost weight. In fact I always gained. So if I had to lose, I had to be miserable and extremely disciplined and moody, but what was happening was I was fighting against myself and its gratification centre of the brain. An impossible fight for me to win. To eat 5-6 meals a day, is just stupid to me, because it never gets rid of cravings, and that’s what was the concern to me.So I took a scientific approach and read as much SCIENCE as I possibly could. And what I had learned was, if I can limit the amount of carbs and sugars I put into my body, I could almost turn that switch off in my brain. After a few weeks of low carb, I had zero cravings. Nothing… My brain in fact, really was most satisfied with nutrient dense foods rather than empty carbs. Anything that the body processes down to glucose is what I tend to stay away from. Moderate protein, and high healthy fats are what I’m focused on, leafy vegetables as well. No apples, no bananas, stuff like that are so high in fructose that it’ll keep that switch on in your brain to begin the cravings for sweets. It’s best for me to cut it all out completely, and take sugar in from incidentals cause your body doesn’t really need that much, as the liver is quite amazing on its own and is meant to do amazing things without the help of spiking extra in there. Plus all my grandparents had diabetes and the Keto diet has healed and cured people with Type 2, and it’s gotten people off all their meds. Showed me the crap we eat is killing us, and it’s a combination of everything. Eating a healthy balance was the worst thing I could have done as it was keeping all food groups and processed foods in my kitchen and in our meals. Again, this is personal lifestyle choice, and it’s been very good to me. It’s hard eating out, but that’s great on saving money, since I tend to not eat out anymore. It’s forced me to be a better cook, and find substitutes for things, but I’ve eliminated it all. It’s great. For me. Once again, my body responds different to sugars then say, a 90 lbs female marathon running fitness trainer that works out 6x a week. To me that is a lot of maximum effort for something that will probably be more detrimental to my health. We’re all different, so we’ll all have to find what truly works for each of us. Because we have different blood types, because we have different genes, different body frames, we’re all different sizes, and ages, our metabolisms do not work and function the same exact way just because we’re all human. They are extremely tailored to how we have lived, and how we adapt. So for me I changed things, and my body appreciated it.

 

 

7.Sounds good bro. Yeah everybody finds the path of what is best for them, the variations are interesting and I am looking into it too. I heard you have been studying the Japanese energy/healing art of Reiki. I’m familiar with it too. Are you studying Dr.Usui’s work and what’s the experience been like so far?

The Yeti: I don’t know much about Reiki, I just know that I sit on a table and have it done to me, and it is the most at ease I’ve ever felt in my life, and when I’m stressed out, or pent up, I get a Reiki session done, I’m absolutely clear. My thoughts, my discipline, my mentality, and physically I feel lifted. I’m in the moment, and the moment is so clear to me. If I have thoughts running wild through my head, I can now turn them off, and only deal with the things I have control over. Reiki is very real, yet it’s still considered to be a pseudo-science. Massage therapy once was too though. Reiki will one day be covered by benefits. It just will. There is enough evidence that it has changed people’s lives. It changed mine. I could never have had the initial willpower to do Keto, without Reiki. Some think I have gone to an extreme, but the fact is I have been living to such extremes for a very long time, that this finally feels normal to me. I meditate, I read, I take time for self development now, all the while pursuing the things in life that mean the most to me. It’s about getting centred. And thinking about that “centre” on a daily basis. Before I’m about to overreact in a stressful way, I physically think it, and go in the other direction mentally. And I can do that now. I have a lot of thanks to give the Reiki practice. It’s been around for thousands of years, there’s something to it.

 

8.That's great bro. Has the new path with Reiki, diet, writing new music enriched your life and in what way?

The Yeti: Without noticing all the correlations I think it’s just made me a better version of myself. The other night, we were playing a show and someone looked me in the eyes and asked if I was ok, when I said yes, they answered with a stare, eyes half opened as if they wanted to say I’m lying, and added “are you sure? You seem off?” Just to be clear, I’m not off. I’ve been fucking off for over 15 years. I’m goddamn on. I’m so on now. It turns out, cutting my booze intake to nearly a fraction of what it used to be, can make you seem like a party pooper at the bar. Lol. Watching people have a good time is enjoyment to me, but I don’t have to be the life of the party anymore, until I get on stage. All of this, has helped me be better for my family. That’s the main goal.

 

9.I can dig it man sounds like a good perspective. You’re into a new career path?

The Yeti: Yes. A lot has changed for me. I’ve always wanted to help people game change their lives.. I’ve always been good at converting transferrable skills to real assets for a company that needed a breath of fresh air in terms of inclusion of someone to their team that can bring a fresh perspective. I work in the recruitment and business development field.

 

10.I know youre big into wrestling, MMA and etc. What has been interesting for you lately?

The Yeti: Lately, it’s been the indie wrestling scene, and WWE/NXT as well. I’m loving that Ronda Rousey has come over to wrestling, Matt Riddle is there too, Jack Swagger has gone to MMA, I think it’s all really cool… With regards to MMA, I’m not paying attention as much as I used to though. I feel the UFC has become the WWE of the MMA world. And I don’t mean the parallels of “oh yea it’s a total circus”. No, what I mean, is the UFC has become this inferior product compared to the past. People always say, “oh WWE sucks now, nothing compares to the Attitude era!” That’s how people want to remember WWE. They don’t want to remember it for the product today. To me, that’s just unfair. So personally rather than watching UFC now, and paying for a product or spending time seeking it out online, I’m finding I’m not enjoying it the way I used to, back in the days of Chuck and Randy, and all the super dream fights from Pride guys and UFC guys that never happened…. People who watch WWE now and still think it sucks, are casual. I try not to judge the product too harshly comparing to the past, as I know it’ll never stack up, because that was a time and place for me. If I was to properly compare it, the wrestlers of today are in far better shape, greater athletes, and the matches are far more difficult to pull off now. UFC same can be said. It’s a nostalgia thing. And I’m good with both products, I just prefer pro wrestling these days. Always have I guess. Important to note, I try not to paint the UFC in the same light I just painted the comparison of old and new with WWE, but I think it’s a personal preference. Bellator to me is the WCW of wrestling, and at one time they were really putting on a great product. I think that time for Bellator is now.

 

11.How are things in the music scene there in your area?

The Yeti: The scene is strong my friend. Windsor consistently for us is the greatest city on earth to play. Everyone is just lovely. And the bands here are rad as hell, and a lot is going on. Canada on a whole has always been a great scene, it’s just trying to keep relevant as long as you can so that the new promoters that come up through the ranks keep in the know and understand the history and who everyone is….That’s always been tough. I’m looking forward to going out this year on support of our new album though. We’re pushing this year for Europe as well. Perhaps a few festivals and then that’s it.

 

12.What are some of your favorite films?

The Yeti: favourite films right now … hmm… they change so much… Supertroopers 2 is hilarious. I love those guys. What’s funny to me is, it’s reverse stereotyping. I love it. You see, because when I spent a lot of time in the U.S with Nimbus, there was never a shortage of Canadian jokes to be made there. Usually at my expense since, well….I was the only Canadian. But in Supertroopers 2, the Canadians are being made out to be these bullies, American hating, hockey fighting, bastards that probably brew moose piss IPA. And the Americans (the Broken lizard guys) are all extremely passive and just want to try and get along but all the while instilling their values on us, like we’re their little brothers and have no say. I just found it to be very funny and awesome. It was nice to see. I read something somewhere, that if we are in a group of people, and meet someone new, then that person leaves, and the group of people all ask each other what they thought about that new person, its’ almost impossible to come to a consensus. No single thought will be alike when discussing how each of them felt. We all tend to find something wrong, and it usually will be different from person to person. The reason that is, is because when we get asked to think of something they didn’t like in someone, the most common thing that gets said are the things we despise and secretly hope no one notices within ourselves. So you start seeing all the ugliness come out. I’m not sure if Supertroopers 2 played into that theory, but it sure was ridiculous, and I loved it. lol

 

13.Favorite books in recent years?

The Yeti: Right now I’m on about 4 books at once. I’m reading The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey, an Atkins/Keto book by a group of Doctors changing the medical field for the better, also reading Kitchen Confidential by Andrew Bourdain which is incredible, but so hard to not hear him narrating it in my brain while reading…And I’m also currently reading a book on Elon Musk.

 

 

14.What is one life skill you encourage everyone to cultivate?

 

The Yeti: I think to re-develop a child like curiousness. I think that’s a skill that we lose when we grow up and stress enters our lives. As we become older and more narcissistic and perhaps obsessed and indulgent into the things we want to do, we can get sort of lost in all that, and think we know it all. Yet, having a curious attitude like a kid, and asking questions with no fear, can really help us all understand much more then we think we already do.

 

15.Yeah man, stay curious honest and bright eyed about life. How do you feel about the music scene in the social media era?

The Yeti: music scene is awesome I think.. More stuff happening now that levels out the playing field. More bands today that don’t have record labels are succeeding then ever before. More bands today are doing well on their own.. That’s really cool to see. One thing that I’ve identified in myself music-wise that I don’t think I’ll ever really enjoy is, the modern folk pop. It’s mainstream, catchy, vibey, vulnerable songs, where the singer sounds like he’s almost in tears, and he’s hurting and has so much pain in his voice, and using folk instrumentation, and then the tunes become super mega huge when they show up on a break up scene in some Hollywood movie… I don’t know… it all sounds the same to me. The Lumineers, to me sound like Vance Joy, Vance sounds like Mumford and Sons, and it just got convoluted and similar really quick. As for social media, I hate it. I seriously am not into it anymore. Too much opinions out there. Too many people calling other people out, and it’s really become a mess. We’re a society being divided by our political and social beliefs. Everyone is aware out there, and division has never felt greater. Not saying I’d rather be naïve or ignorant to it all, it’s just we are so distracted by the headlines and what else is happening today in the media that we are forgetting how important it is to just connect in person with people. No one answers there phones anymore, only text, no one wants to go out, they’d rather drink a glass of wine at home scrolling through facebook. I ask myself this, if we were all to be impersonated by our kids, like, if someone had asked our kids, “how would you portray mommy or daddy if you had to do an impression?” and if the answer is seriously, scrolling on a phone, which I could imagine is a lot of kids’ impressions of their parents, because that is what they see, then I believe we are failing them and ourselves and doing a complete disservice to the human race. We need to be more aware, and being on social media is pulling us out of self awareness. Living in the now and keeping ourselves monitored on how much time we spent on social media is a good idea.

 

16.Man that is for real bro, I think about those things too. Any new shows coming up with GCG?

The Yeti: March 2ndin Waterloo, March 8thin Niagara Falls, and March 16thin Windsor (album release) and then summer tour. Mainly rehearsing now.

 

17.Do you feel the non musical interests have affected the way you see music?

The Yeti: absolutely. I’m no longer putting everything I have into it, as I see my abilities being able to succeed outside of music if I only put as much into that as I did in music.

 

 

18.Thanks bro always good to speak with you, any news or last words for your fans today?

The Yeti: thanks brother. Nothing to say, I think I’ve talked too much already! Cheers!

 

Right on Al, always cool to catch up. Look forward to all the cool projects coming along. Glad to see youre doing so well bro. Keep up the rock G