Keith SkrastinsDavid: This is David Andrew Wiebe Interviews and Music Business Podcast, episode number ten for April 30, 2010. Joining me today is photographer Keith Skrastins. How are you today, Keith?

Keith Skrastins: I’m fine. How are you?

David: I’m doing all right. I’m a little under the weather today, but I’m feeling better now.

Keith: Stay away from me. [laughs]

David: [laughs] Well, I don’t have a cold or anything. It’s just the sudden weather change caused a migraine, you know.

Keith: Oh. Okay. I was feeling horrible, yesterday, with that, too.

David: Oh, you were?

Keith: Yeah. As long as you’re not sick. I only get sick once a year. Let’s hope that you’re not my annual sickness.

David: Yeah.

Keith: Just hanging out with you sick is awesome.

David: Too bad.

Keith: Sick in a good way. Sick in a good way. Like, aww that dog, he’s so sick. I like to start off by saying that I gave David Andrew Wiebe his nickname.

David: That’s right.

Keith: Digital Audio Workstation. The DAW. We call him the DAW because he is The DAW. I will let him take over the interview now. [laughs]

David: All right. Cool, man. Well, Keith is a photographer and graphic designer extraordinaire.

Keith: Thank you.

David: He’s a big supporter of the local indie scene and even tried his hand at publishing an indie music magazine.

Keith: Ugh.

David: But these days here spending more time behind a camera. Is that right?

Keith: Yes. I’m focusing more on the art of indie photography. I feel that I can portray the indie scene, the musicians, and the scene players within the scene better by using my strong points as an asset to the scene on whole. That’s why I do the photography.

Before it was just the magazine. We were having fun. We’re getting a field. We were doing jack of all trades here and there doing the magazine. Then, finally, a real epiphany, a real light bulb in the head saying, ‘I should just stick to the photography and help out that way.’ So, yeah.

David: So that transition has been a healthy one?

Keith: Yeah, really. I feel like the weight of world has been lifted off my shoulders. So, yeah.

David: Excellent.

Keith: Yeah, totally.

David: So you spent a lot of time photographing the indie scene. Talk about some of your more memorable experiences.

Keith: It was a warm, warm-, no not warm, it was stifling hot. A stifling hot July night. There was this band called, Frankie McQueen. They were playing at the Rusty Cage and it used to be Fuel 90.3. Now, it’s Amp 90.3. It was their rock star contest. It was the finals. They were up against Stony Mary, The Shagbots, Forty and Flagship, Wax Poets, and thenFrankie McQueen.

The place was so crowded that night, that when Frankie McQueen was playing, I was pretty much stuck on the stage with them. The whole set. I remember some of the really epic parts of their songs. I was photographing them. I see this crowd of like 500 to 1,000 people. They’re all there to just rock out. To be on stage and capturing these guys winning $200,000 was just something that was really, really, really, I felt the importance of it.

A week before that was Vulcan Fest. That was just a day of just amazing fun. Some of my best photographs have gone from there. Vulcan Fest is this festival where all these Calgary indie bans, pretty much Calgary’s Woodstock, come to the middle of this canola field near Vulcan. It’s this green space by a barn and a house. The back area behind the barn is where we set up a stage and had a crowd. The turn out was pretty good and it was just a fun day. We had so much fun. Some of my best photographs got captured there. My Last Supper 2009 picture got captured there, which is two people playing beer pong. It reminded me of the painting, The Last Supper, when I edited it.

I remember following the Nix Dicksons down to Left Bridge with the first magazine that I was working with, The Nix Dicksons are a fun, fun group to be around, but when you travel with them it’s even more fun. I’ve traveled with them to Vulcan as well and it’s just a really neat experience. We were pretty much up for 20 hours straight in a 25 hour period. We went from Calgary to Left Bridge, Left Bridge to Calgary within 30 hours. It was just a whirlwind tour. It was amazing. It was so much fun.

I really like the fact that when I get to share an experience with one of the bands. You can learn more about them personally and why the music is what the music is when you do, do that. Like even with you, hanging out with you, David, I know what your music is about because I know you on a personal level, on a personal note.

David: Right.

Keith: And that makes the music all the more special. It makes it much more special.

David: Vulcan Fest is relatively new? Isn’t it?

Keith: It was last year.

David: Right.

Keith: Last year. I did some graphic work for them this year. They were pretty excited about that. They loved the photos that I did last year. I loved taking them. It was just amazing. One of the musicians from Our Hearts are Big and his dad created Vulcan Fest.

At first it was the day progressed a little slowly. People were just steadily coming in, steadily coming in. By the end of the night, it was freezing cold and it was awesome. There was just tons of people. We had a good time. People were camping out. It was the closest to Woodstock that the Calgary scene could get, chronologically and feel-wise. It was pretty neat. It was pretty, pretty neat.

David: It’s looking like it’ll be an annual thing?

Keith: Yeah. This year is even better. They have a really good line up coming up. I’m really super stoked. I have a few ideas photographically for the festival. We’ll be breaking those ideas out later.

David: Right.

Keith: They’re still in development. I’m still working on them. Yeah. It’s a pretty new festival, but I think that it could gain some steam. Capturing more tension from other people. Last year, people just said, ‘Oh, it’s just a festival, whatever’ type thing. The ones that did take part last year are really diehard in the scene. Let’s hope that this turns into an annual thing and more.

There are more events than just the Vulcan Fest that are happening. Last year was Tron Fest. It was this huge house party. Moot [Huckle] held it. He holds lots of events in Calgary. He’s really active within the scene and getting things done. Tron Fest was one of the first ones that really happened. They had a pretty neat band. It was this backyard party. There was everything from port-a-potties to taco stands to beer gardens. It was really neat.

Later in the summer, he held a thing called The Artist Collective. He got artists and bands to come into the community hall and play. Then in November, he had the Artist Collective, the one that you attended and took part in by getting your photograph taking when I did the “Invincible”series. He took an art gallery and had people hanging in art life. He had artists hanging their works on the wall in art life and then in the other room we had bands playing. That was pretty neat.

What we have to do as a scene is step out of the box and not just make a show a show, but add other components to the show to have other demographics come to that. You may have your band lovers, but you have the art lovers. You put art with the bands, the art lovers are going to come see the art and the bands, as well. We need to do more diverse type of shows. That’s what Moot is doing, which is a really good thing.

David: Right. So it sounds like one of the more fun parts is getting to know different people in the scene?

Keith: It is.

David: Cool.

Keith: Just the way that I met you is just such a weird experience. I got to Elijah’s because Emily and Elijah would invite me over for dinner. They would say bring your camera. We could have fun when we jam and stuff. You come over and start jamming. Then, I take my favorite picture that I’ve ever taken. We should even put that picture up so that the podcast viewers can see. I’ll send that to you.

David: That’s a good idea.

Keith: It’s one of my favorite pictures that I’ve ever taken in my whole life. It’s a picture of Elijah’s head blurred in the foreground on the far right corner. In the center, Emily is standing up and David is sitting down on the ground in front of the coffee table. Emily is playing with David’s hair. They’re fully in focus, but in the background. That is one of the most feeling pictures I’ve ever seen. It was really, really good. That was the first night you and I met. Then it just snowballed from there. Stoked on that.

David: It’s a really neat photo. I have to brag on you because you are probably the only photographer that’s been able to capture me in the way that I would like.

Keith: Thank you. That’s pretty deep. I like that.

David: High compliments.

Keith: Props.

David: Aside from photographing different shows, what would you say has been your favorite concert?

Keith: I really liked Noel Johnson’s first CD release party. What was the name of that album? It was the first CD I know of. I’m pretty sure it was his first CD. It was held at the Dog and Duck. That was one of my favorite concerts because that was one of the first shows that I ever really got to photograph.

We went and interviewed Noel down in the basement for Indie Calgary. I photographed Noel as the interview was going on. Then we went upstairs and heard Electric Monk play. Met the Lions for the first time. Then heard Noel play. That was a really neat night.

Then another time was the first night that we met Frankie McQueen and the Shagbots. That was at the old Brickyard, which is now Vinyl. It was pretty neat because I see the younger guys. They’re like 18 to 20 something. I said, ‘Wow, these guys are pretty young! I wonder how they’re going to play.’ The minute I heard Frankie McQueen play I just fell in love with him. They’re just an awesome band. They were just amazing. That night was a real networking night. That night we met 49 and Flagship. We met Matt Blay. We met Tyler Deer from Sound and Panic. We met all these bands that I’m now associated with or friends with. We met that night. It’s not a matter of which show was the best or who played the best or who was your favorite. It’s the memory that’s attached to that. My favorite memories are like the Nix Dickson’s song, Working on the Weekend. That started getting coined to be my song because I was always at every show photographing and I was working on the weekend. That’s the truth, though. You start on a Wednesday night show. Get home at like 1 a.m. then you go to the Thursday night shows. Then you go to bed, then you wake up in the afternoon. Then, slowly as you get to Sunday. You start waking up later and later and later and coming home earlier, earlier, and earlier in the morning.

There were some days in the summertime, like Stampede, when we were really hitting the pavement hard. We were waking up at 10:00 a.m. then going and editing until evening or working on stuff ’til evening, then staying out until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. It’s a rough life to live. It’s fun.

David: No kidding.

Keith: I’m glad I didn’t do my partying in my early 20’s and I’m doing it in my late 20’s instead.

David: I guess it’s like being on tour for a band, right?

Keith: Yeah. I guess so.

David: Talk about your experiences being a creative entrepreneur.

Keith: Creative entrepreneur, yes. I am one and it took some time to get there. The problem with today’s society is as soon as we pick something up we automatically say that we are that title. You could never paint a painting in your life and buy a canvas and then you automatically call yourself a painter. We live in such an instantaneous society that we have to do that. There are people sticking their hand in camera boxes and before they can even crack the bubble wrap, they go, ‘I’m a photographer!’ Here, we go into business here.

What is difficult about being a creative entrepreneur is you have to prove yourself to be better than the pseudo ones. The ones who say they are, but really aren’t.

David: Right, right.

Keith: I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life mainly. My first business I had when I was 18 or 19 years old and I was cleaning airplanes. That was an interesting business. Then, I moved into film making. I like the whole idea of it. Then, while film making I found photography.

I honed my craft before I actually jumped into the creative entrepreneurship. What I did was I took my time, found my niche market. I’m not your wedding photographer. I’m not a family photographer. I’m not your family portrait kind of thing. I am in the nitty gritty. I’ve got to be in the art scene. I got to be documenting things. To be honest with you, my dream job would be a combat photographer.

David: Hmm.

Keith: Sounds stupid, but there would be nothing in the world like strapping on a flak jacket, putting on an Army helmet, and jumping out of a helicopter with a squad of troops with your camera in hand. That is my dream job.

David: That’s pretty neat.

Keith: Some of my favorite photographs and photographers are combat photographers. As for the business of it. You have to find what you’re good at. Not only find what craft you’re good at, but find what subject matter you’re good at, as well. I could have easily been photographing coffee cups for the next five years and saying, ‘Yeah! I’m a good coffee cup photographer!’ But, I took the chance and starting going to shows and photographing bands.

David: Right.

Keith: People were very receptive to my work. They liked my work. I got to roll with it. Yeah. Are we going good, today? Are we going good?

David: No, this is great! This is great!

Keith: Good, good.

David: So you’ve had a good chance to be in and around the Calgary scene. Are there any other scenes that struck you as being interesting or you might want to visit some day?

Keith: Going to Time Machine and visit the 1990’s Seattle scene. Calgary has the possibility of that. Or a late 1960’s London counter culture. We could do it. We just got to stay strong and have the whole unity through information. As long as we stay informed with each other and bonded and not fighting against each other. We could easily achieve that. There are a few people paving that way.

David: I agree with you.

Keith: Yeah, there are.

David: I think this is struggle for most artists, but do you find it difficult to balance your time, in terms of creative work and other daily responsibilities?

Keith: [laughs] My place is a mess. I have no girlfriend, but I am looking. I was almost late for this thing because I was working on an album cover. I even called you, “David, I’m sorry. I’m going to be five minutes late. I’ve been working five days on this album cover.’ The sad thing is my priorities are the art over life. [laughs] Not really art over life, but you know what I mean. I’m very dedicated to what I do and how I do it. It sometimes it can be perceived as it conflicts with my daily going ons. I work out of home. I still manage to get up, go to my computer, turn my computer on, review my emails, get dressed, go to the coffee shop down the street, grab my Americano for day, or the evening, or the morning, and then come back, reply to those emails, and start on the daily work.

As long I can break my day up by going out different places and doing different things. I’ll even make note when the computer is driving me nuts or the camera is driving me nuts, I will put it down and go to my parents’ place to visit my dogs.

David: That makes sense.

Keith: Not even to see them or anything. Just to see my dogs. I need a break from that. I know that my parents place doesn’t have Photoshop or Canon software or anything Mac or Apple or anything. Just strictly internet and solitaire. Unless I wanted to edit photos on Microsoft Paint. But, I’m way past that. The pixel brush or whatever. It’s good.

David: I know what that’s like to want to keep my house in better shape than it is.

Keith: You’ve seen my place.

David: Yeah, you do what you can.

Keith: Hiroshima, right?

David: [laughs]

Keith: There are little dust bunnies with signs saying ‘In need of aid!’

David: [laughs]

Keith: No, I’m just joking. My house isn’t that bad. I’m more cluttered than anything. I’m not a hoarder, but I like to collect stuff. I have vintage cameras. I collect those little ceramic Chinese golden cats. I have one right now, but I’m looking to buy more. I have bamboo arrangements. I have dry twig arrangements. My place is very eclectic, isn’t it?

David: Yes.

Keith: It has a mixture of everything from Soviet propaganda art to local show posters.

David: Right.

Keith: It’s pretty neat. Yeah.

David: Talk about your love of photography. What really makes you tick about taking pictures?

Keith: First off, I have July 1984’s of National Geographic. The picture of the Afghan woman with the green eyes. I have the actual National Geographic first edition issue framed on my wall at my place. That’s one of the reasons why I became a photographer.

Back when I was cleaning airplanes when the British liberated Basra, Iraq. There is a picture in the National Post of this British woman solider waking down this narrow, probably four foot alleyway. She’s surrounded by Iraqi men holding roses to her. I was like man, ‘If I could capture stuff like that. That would just be epic. That would just be amazing if I could capture stuff like that.

I’ve always had a love of film. My friend Scott and I wrote this script. We created this film called A Year in October. We called it A Year in October because we shot two days in October and it took us a year to make. That’s what happens when we don’t know how to work Adobe Premium Pro when you first start out then you have to figure it out.

David: Don’t I know the frustration of that.

Keith: [laughs] No, no, no! Not fade out! Not fade out! We’re making this film about three characters, two males and a female. The female was girlfriend to the one male and sister to the other male. The two males were like best friends. It took place in the Soviet Union. They were part of a rebel group, part of a rebellion. The two males got drafted into the army. We started off in an apartment when the secret police came to get them. Then we moved on to the battlefield where we simulated the Soviet planes of Russia by using Nose Hill Park. We went to the one part of Nose Hill Park where you can’t see any city at all. It just looked all prairie. Pretty much, what we did was a 360 of the camera. We shot each scene by turning the camera a bit. We had a different degree of location. It’s like early in the morning. We’re standing outside on the set. It’s freezing cold. It’s October. It’s a cold, October morning. Scott, one of the actors and the other actress, were standing in the frame of the professional, motion picture grade camera that we had. I looked into the eyepiece then I looked away then I looked around and said ‘Man, this a lot of time and money for one piece of art.’ It’s been many months into it and this just cost us so much time. It’s cost us. Then I looked into the eyepiece again and I saw the three people again and I said, ‘That’d make a good photograph.’ From now on, I’ll be a photographer.

So I did that. Then, after that project was done I picked up my dad’s 35mm camera with a 50mm F 2.8, which is a horrible aperture for that size of a lens, then Black’s processing included film. I just started loading the camera, spending the film, loading the camera, spending the film. I was doing it all by trial and error. Then I got Black’s prints. You could burn the negatives onto a CD. I was putting the CD that the Black’s gave me, the CD of my photos, and putting them into this ten year old laptop with bootleg version CS2 of Photoshop. I learned how to edit off that.

Then, I moved up to a bigger computer, a gamer computer. Then a better camera and all this stuff. I’ve liked to think that I’ve really earned where I’ve become. I’ve earned the love of photography. I’ve had a lot of bad rolls. I’ve had a lot of bad shoots. I’ve had a lot of good shoots, too. A lot of good rolls, but it’s just that I’ve always taken-I was highly criticized when I started out. Highly criticized. I managed to take those criticisms and build on them and work with them.

David: Makes sense.

Keith: My love of photography comes from capturing the moment. It’s not the aesthetic that I’m concerned about. The aesthetic is only 25% or 50% of the image. It is the feel, the mood, the emotion that you’re evoking when showing that image.

There’s this one image, one of my favorite photographs taken by Leonard. It was a picture of four Israeli soldiers during the Yom Kippur war. It was on the left, there was a male solider and a female soldier laughing. They’re talking to each other laughing. It’s in this vast area. It’s a little more close up. On the right side, there’s a female solider with her hand interlocked with another male solider and they’re looking off to a different side. The story behind this photo was that during that time, women Israeli soldiers were not allowed to go into battle. The two women were saying goodbye to the male soldiers, their boyfriends behind they went into battle. They’d stay behind at the base or whatever. That picture is one of my favorite pictures ever taken.

It’s things like that, moments like that, that I’d like to capture. Capturing that beer pong picture, The Last Supper, that was just amazing. Capturing your moment, that was amazing. What other photographs do I have that are awesome? There’s this one of Scottie, Scottie Charles of Frankie McQueen. He’s just standing there looking off into the crowd. It is such a powerful image.

David: That’s cool.

Keith: Then some of my portraits that I’ve done for the Invincible series, those are amazing, as well. I really captured the person’s essence, the person’s spirit when doing that. I have no favorite out of the whole series because they’re all my favorites. They’re all my babies.

David: What would you say is your connection with music? How does it influence your art?

Keith: My connection with music? I’ve always been a fan of music. Someone asked me a similar question and I said to the person, ‘I can’t sing. I can’t write. I can’t play. So, I’ll photograph it.” Right there. That’s the shortest answer I’ll give.

David: Cool. What are some of your favorite musicians to listen to?

Keith: Indie or in general?

David: I guess in general. Yeah, any.

Keith: Oasis. Nothing Like the Gallagher Brothers. Nothing like them. They’re awesome. I have a guilty pleasure of early 2K, early 2000s UK disco. For some reason it just sounds so glitzy and glamorous. I don’t know. It’s really neat. Some of my favorite albums are Definitely Maybe Oasis and Fleetwood Mac Rumors. I like almost everything. For a while there, when I started doing the indie thing, I was just listening to all indie, but now I’ve taken a step back and started listening to everything again. I’m trying to think. I like a lot of the older stuff. Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nix. I love INXS. I just love INXS.

David: Yeah, they’re a fun band.

Keith: But mainly, they’re love songs, like Beautiful Girl and Never Tear us Apart. Those are really good songs. I like Cigaroas. Cigaroas is an amazing band. REM. Radiohead. Stuff like that. Radiohead is good. Oh yeah, how could I forget the ’90s. I’m like the hugest nut of the 90’s.

[inaudible 27:47] Sprocket, Better than Ezra, Bush, all the 90’s bands. Yeah. I just love them. The ’90s was such a romantic time. It was such a romantic time. We finished the Cold War. The Cold War was over. We were in somewhat of a recession, trying to get out because of that. There were a lot of pissed off kids picking up guitars. The same thing is happening now with this recession, I mind you. And I’ve talked to a bunch of musicians as well saying that.

I like this band called Washed Out. They’re newer. I like them a lot.

Local bands, I like them all for different reasons. I have a different attachment to them. I don’t even say that this is my best friend or that’s my best friend. I have friends. I have bands, as well.

David: Right.

Keith: So yeah. Totally.

David: Cool.

Keith: Yeah.

David: So being a photographer, you use social networking tools like Facebook a fair bit. What would you say is the advantage of that?

Keith: Shameless self promotion. If your name gets mentioned on anything, you just URL it and post it on Facebook and say I was mentioned in one part of the this article. Look at me! Look at me!

David: [laughs]

Keith: It’s great. I don’t know how they did it back then. Word spread harder a little back then. Word spreads faster now. For example, I was totally shocked and amazed when I decided to create a Skrastins Photographic Fan Page on Facebook. I started it on a Friday and I said ‘Okay, guys. By the end of the weekend, let’s go for a goal of 100 fans.’

By Sunday evening I had 300 fans. By Monday morning I had 315. I just couldn’t believe that that many people were fans of my work. People wouldn’t have been able to see my work without social networking websites. I utilize them. I think that they are the new way of promotion. Back in the day you had to pay for your promotion. You had to put an ad in Fast Forward magazine for this much money. But now, all you have to do is make a Facebook page or make a Facebook group to promote your event or band and then you’re there. I think that there are some pitfalls to it and there are some bonuses as well. That’s with everything. Social networking sites are very useful.

David: What would you say is the downside of social media?

Keith: Downside? Too much exposure. Too much exposure. I know that my grandfather, my dad’s dad, probably be just shaking his head right now, saying, ‘You shouldn’t say so much about yourself, Keith.’ So you shouldn’t say so much about yourself. He’d probably be watching me doing this right now shaking his head. He’s a very quiet, private man.

David: Right. Okay.

Keith: I think too much exposure and too many people knowing who you are. That could be a bad thing as well. But we live in this whole world where everyone wants to be famous. And now, with all of these social networking sites, we have the ability to almost become famous. We’re one step away from famous. Remember that Newman guy or that Star Wars kid with broomstick. That. Did he kill himself? I heard that he killed himself?

David: Really?

Keith: Yeah, I think the Star Wars kid killed himself?

David: I didn’t hear about that.

Keith: Yeah. That’s just weird. I heard that and I was like wow. That’s morbidly.

David: No kidding.

Keith: That’s a pitfall right there. You may say or do something that you don’t like or someone doesn’t like. It may not look good on you. I said, the other day, I made a wall post, saying that I’m the downfall, I don’t mean this wholeheartedly, I was just saying this as like a ‘food for thought’ kind of thing. The downfall of photography was the introduction of the affordable DSLR. Anyone can stick their hand in the camera box and say that they’re a photographer.

David: Yeah.

Keith: I’m not saying that it is the downfall of photography, per se, I’m just saying the whole idea of working toward building your craft and allowing yourself to evolve as an artist, not to instantly say I am one. You know what I mean?

David: We do find that in the recording industry a fair bit as well. Because you have money you set up a studio.

Keith: Dude, I’ve got Garage Band so you better watch out, okay!

David: [laughs] Uh, oh.

Keith: [laughs] Better watch out!

David: I’ve got some competition, now. Everyone knows all my tracks are Garage Band.

Keith: And do you know what, it’ll be K-A-W. KAW. Kilowatt Audio Workstation.

David: Oh, no!

Keith: Or Keith Audio Workstation. Right there. [laughs] Well, this has gone by good. I’ve almost finished my whole Americano. Let’s keep going. I’ve got some energy now, let’s go!

David: Very good. So your Facebook page, you have 300 fans, you said?

Keith: I think it’s like 350.

David: That’s pretty impressive.

Keith: 350 in less than a week. As of today.

David: I’m still sitting at 40.

Keith: Really? Well I got to link you to mine, then.

David: Yeah.

Keith: My personal fan page, Keith Skrastins, only has 42.

David: Right. Okay.

Keith: So it looks like they like the art, not the guy.

David: You may have a point there.

Keith: I got to update it. I got to update it.

David: Whether it is any type of art you kind of have to market it as some kind of brand. That seems to work better.

Keith: People say that I’m good at branding. I’ve like to know what it is I’ve done to brand myself so well. I’ve just showed and preached what I do. I’ve allowed my work to show for it. I’ve allowed people to- I speak the truth when I’m speaking about what I care about and love. And maybe that’s my branding: the honesty.

David: Consistency is always a huge part of it, I find. It’s one of those elements.

What sort of services do you offer musicians? Let’s talk a bit about that.

Keith: Aww, man. I have a package for show photos, jam photos, press promo photos, and album art photos. I do all of that. I don’t do much graphic but on the odd occasion, I will do graphic. I mainly like to stick to photographic. Whatever photo needs the band needs, I’m there. If they need me to take a photo of them playing their show, I’ll do it. If they need me to take a photo of them loading their truck up with gear, for fun, I’ll photograph it. I’ll do poster promo photos and stuff like that. I’m into the promo photos. I like the promo pose. Press kit photos. I’ve shown up on few press kits actually for a lot of bands. I really like the fact that they use my work to present themselves to other forums of the industry, whether it be radio stations or venues. Using my artwork to portray them. To show them. That says a lot. If they’re willing to take my artwork that I made of them and give it to someone else and say, ‘Here’. That says a lot. That really says a lot.

David: Yeah.

Keith: Yeah. Anything photographic you want, I will do. Any amount of time as well. I take the time to do it. You and I have been having an ongoing photo-shoot for the last year.

David: That’s true.

Keith: Or is it two years?

David: Possibly two years.

Keith: Okay. Yeah. We’ve had an ongoing photo-shoot for that long. It’s just good to see the bands grow. It’s good to see the bands grow. My whole thing on this is that, as well for the scene, what we gotta do, what I’ve noticed in this scene as well, more than anything is, we’re not pushing each other away saying ‘No I want to get up to the front. I want to get up to the front,’ type thing. We’re working together to get up to the front together. Almost like this whole package that we get to the door. I hate to say mainstream music, but like the world stage, or the national or international state, we’re all standing together. We’re not just one band saying, ‘Okay. Come on, guys. Come with me.’

David: Yeah.

Keith: That’s a good thing. Calgary people get noticed eventually. Vancouver has had a turn. Montreal, Toronto had its turn. Even Halifax and St. John’s are having their turn right now.

David: Even Winnipeg for that matter.

Keith: Even Winnipeg. Yeah. I forgot about that one. Pretty soon we’ll have our turn.

David: Yeah.

Keith: Yeah.

David: What would you say are some challenges of being a photographer? Especially in this scene.

Keith: Being everywhere at once. [laughs] One of the challenges of being a photographer in this scene, standing out against the rest. Standing out against the rest. You have to really promote yourself. Some may call it ego. Some may call it pretention. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, people aren’t going to believe what you’re doing either. You have to have belief. Self belief, not ego, in what you do. Then, you will stand out against the rest and then you’ll be able to have that moment. You won’t have that many problems or stumbling blocks.

David: That’s good.

Keith: The only really stumbling block is making yourself noticed like that. I’m producing quality work at the same time. Anyone in the digital age can produce quantity. I could fire off 500 photographs, no problem. But when I fire off 50 of them and keep 5 of them, then yeah. That’s what I do. Some people are surprised when they see the viewing disk that I send to the them. They’re like, “there’s only like 80 on here.” Yeah. That’s all we needed. We got what we wanted. I didn’t have to fire off another 100 of them, 800 of them, we got one. I’m noticing this old Mac tower. That’s awesome.

David: Yeah, the G3.

Keith: I love it. I love it.

David: I guess that was our server for a while.

Keith: It even has a floppy disk on it. That’s insane.

David: Still got the floppy. [laughs]

Power Mac G3

The Power Mac G3 circa 2014.

Keith: Nice. Sorry about that. I got side tracked there. Any other questions?

David: That’s all good. Well, I think that pretty well wraps it up for today. Do you have any final remarks?

Keith: Final remarks? Okay. I don’t know. You’ll put all the links and stuff to my Facebook stuff?

David: Well, that was actually my next question. If there are any other people out there that want to reach you, how could they get in touch?

Keith: Okay. You can reach me at

David: Great. I’ll try to get all the links and everything in the show notes so you can see Keith’s work.

Keith: Enjoy photography. Enjoy art. If you take photos, that’s awesome. If you don’t, if you just enjoy them, just enjoy art. Enjoy art. Maybe one day David and I will talk on here again about how I became an artist. An artist on a whole. Let’s hope for that. Live life and [inaudible 30:05]. Enjoy it. Thank you guys. Cheers.

David: Yeah, thanks a lot for being on the podcast.

Keith: Cheers, buddy.

David: All right. You just heard my interview with photographer, Keith Skrastins. I just wanted to send out a special thanks to Keith for being on the podcast. Your insights are much appreciated. Again, I was feeling a little less than 100% that day, as I mentioned earlier in the episode, that’s why I couldn’t pronounce photography. I’m feeling a lot better now so things are going good.

Make sure to leave some comments on the show notes. I’m going to try to get all the links up there. This is how you get there, you go to and then click on the podcast button and that’ll bring you to the podcast blog, which has a whole bunch more information about the podcast.

I’ve been thinking about moving this to a biweekly format, but considering how busy I am, I think, I’m just thinking out loud right now. Well, just keep on trucking. You know. Keep on releasing more episodes and we’ll see, possibly in the future, if it’s looking plausible to release new podcasts biweekly.

And I must apologize, this podcast was intended for April but it’s coming out in May because I had to edit it and haven’t had time to get around to that for a few days here. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Make sure you tune in next time. Thanks.

You’ve been listening to the David Andrew Wiebe Interviews and Music Business podcasts broadcasting from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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