music

Man. Myth. Music.

In search of a sound to suit your soul

I started music late in life. I've always loved film scores but didn’t like pop music until age sixteen, didn’t start playing guitar until age nineteen, and then only played to write songs.




Beginning

Quickly realizing I wanted a career in music, I practiced relentlessly and recorded my first studio album just 18 months after starting. For the next two years I led various groups and wrote hundreds of songs, until one night in the year 2000, I was called on stage to play a song with a band who had stopped in my city on their tour. That song turned into a whole set, turned into a concert, turned into a tour and I was soon asked to join full time. For the next few years we played all over North America in Hawaii, California, New Orleans, Chicago and the unbearably frigid/humid Minnesota, depending what month it is. On a tour of the province of Alberta once, there was a day where we played Calgary in the morning, Red Deer at lunch and Edmonton at night!


Middle

Itching to do my own music instead of work as a hired gun, I left the organization that gave me my start and started the project that would define a decade for me. I wanted to create a concept band and:

This combination would allow me to do everything I wanted under one focus (write, draw, act, compose) rather than continue trying to fit them all into free time. For the next four years I wrote a short story that grew to novel length, illustrated it, and practiced/performed/recorded with my band in preparation for the big release. That day finally came in March 2006 and we launched Jackson Soulfire with a successful party.



-The Jackson Soulfire logo



At this point most bands would tour/perform their new album heavily. We did that, but I also re-entered the studio just a few weeks later to start recording the follow-up album. Early in 2007, with show dates scheduled and a great-sounding new album nearing completion, the band experienced a series of disastrous events in short order. Each of my players had a personal crisis within days of each other and the group crumbled. Devastated, I took it as a sign and withdrew from public performing to finish the album Krysis: State of Emergence, releasing it solely online throughout the summer of 2008.


End

All through that decade I attended the largest church in Western Canada; opportunities existed there that wouldn’t in smaller contexts (like having the opportunity to take a band on tour of Japan in 2003). I had volunteered in the youth department for five years, teaching teenagers how to play instruments and play in bands, and when the live band aspect of Jackson Soulfire ceased, the church asked if I wanted to come on staff. I accepted the job and spent the next five years growing the department, soon managing 70 musicians in 14 bands.


2012 saw the release of two albums, a return to Jackson Soulfire with my favorite offering yet, a ten song collection called Ashes, Embers, and Old Flames, plus I was able to produce an EP of songs written by prominent members of the bands I managed. Eventually I hit the point where I had accomplished all of my goals with the student music department. Restless to write the next chapter, I retired from performance and songwriting and started Hazler Design House.





Jackson Soulfire Discography








Prelude to a Saga (2004)

A 5-song EP to gain more recording/producing experience plus tease the upcoming full release of the Jackson Soulfire project.



Here's the lead-off single, "Leaving it Up to Love"


Hear and download the rest of the album at: reverbnation.com/jacksonsoulfire









Jackson Soulfire: Commission (2006)

The first full release of the concept, the 14 song CD had a digital novel embedded. That was four years before the iPad debuted, and people were still resistant to the idea of reading books from a screen. Those who chose to embrace it reacted positively to the story of a young musician wrestling with a dangerous destiny.



Here's the lead-off single, "Skin Vacation"


Hear and download the rest of the album at: reverbnation.com/jacksonsoulfire









Krysis: State of Emergence (2008)

In 2008 the CD-as-music-medium was officially on life support, so I planned to release Krysis: State of Emergence solely online. To expedite that, instead of writing a novel, I made SOE a rock opera, meaning the story was written into the lyrics. Releasing a new song every Friday on reverbnation.com, I then supported the story with weekly blog entries to introduce new fans to the world of Jackson Soulfire.


Here's the lead-off single, "Rock Tonight"

Hear and download the rest of the album at: reverbnation.com/jacksonsoulfire









Ashes, Embers and Old Flames (2012)

My favorite Jackson Soulfire collection because it marked the first time I made an album completely by myself. I wrote all the songs, played all the instruments and handled all the tech for songs that happened to be my favorite ones in the JS catalogue.


Here's the lead-off single, "Yellow Diamond"

Hear and download the rest of the album at: reverbnation.com/jacksonsoulfire





Fun Facts

  • I love to dance. I once made $100 in 3 minutes dancing for a bunch of drunk ladies. I may or may not have removed my shirt.

  • I learned to dance when I was fifteen by pausing and reversing Michael Jackson videos until the tape wore thin.

  • I'm not afraid to dance on the street if the beat is just right.