Friday, July 11, 2014

Backstage Pass: My Interview with Big Sugar

Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson performing June 30th in Athabasca, Alberta. 
Last week on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, I pulled into Athabasca, Alberta, about to embark on one of the coolest experiences of my life. 
Two weeks prior to that I received an e-mail from the record label that manages Big Sugar.  It turns out that Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson wanted to sit down and chat food with me and share a recipe with you all.  I pinched myself a couple of times (and okay, lets be honest - I did a dance around my living room and was so excited I couldn't even reply to the e-mail until the next day).  We made plans for me to attend the band's next nearby concert which happened to be a music Festival in Athabasca, Alberta. 
The band during a soundcheck
I arrived with plenty of time to spare so I checked into my hotel which overlooked the river, and also the stage where the band would be performing.  A few minutes after I settled in, I could hear the sounds of Big Sugar's "A Little Bit A All Right" drifting in and a soundcheck taking place, while some serious ninja butterflies did backflips in my stomach.  I quickly finished getting ready and made my way down to the river, completely nervous that I was not only about to interview someone, but that I was about to interview a cool musician who's songs were already among the top played on my iPod. 
A selfie while watching the soundcheck
I made it down to the river just in time to catch the last 20 minutes of the soundcheck, which in itself was pretty surreal.  It felt like a private concert, with only a few people scattered here and there, including a really sweet lady that I chatted with, which I would later find out was actually Gordie's Mother-in-Law! 
The interview itself was taking place as soon as the soundcheck finished so I waited for  Gordie to finish up as a few of the band members started filtering off stage.  I was a little starstruck hanging out with the band - I've never met anyone famous before in my life so it was insane hanging out with them and trying to pretend like it was no big deal.  I had the privilege of chatting with a few of them while I waited. Friendlyness was hanging out, tea in hand and chilling out by river, seemingly taking in the serenity of it all. He was all smiles the entire day, and completely lived up to his name by being incredible cheerful and friendly! I also had a chance to chat with Gary (Lowe) a little bit and he was really kind as well, sitting on the boardwalk also enjoying a hot cup of tea. Mr. Chill stood next to us by the stage and made small talk with me about my day until Gordie came off stage to greet me.
Gordie and I with a batch of cookies I made for the band
(details and recipe coming soon!) 
After Gordie and I made our introductions, we went to find a quite place to sit down and chat.  We ended up sitting on a stage trunk (a trunk that holds the band's gear) just off to the side of the stage, with the river on one side and melodies from the stage drifting down to us on the other.  Gordie's kids ran around, interacting with us during the interview, and clearly excited to be included in all the fun!  The rest of Gordie's family hung out at a nearby picnic table taking in the beautiful day and helping everyone get ready for the show. 
Interviewing Gordie
During the interview Gordie's easygoing personality instantly put me instantly at ease, and all of the nerves I had leading up to the day melted away.  Gordie was incredibly down to earth and just like the rest of his band, super friendly!  The interview itself felt more like a conversation than anything, and after we finished up he invited me over to the picnic bench where his family was, and they dug into the cookies that I brought for them (if you follow me on Instagram you will already know what kind of cookies I made, but if not, stay tuned as I will be posting the recipe later this week). 

Later on that night, while Big Sugar performed I had the opportunity to watch a portion of the show from backstage what was an experience in itself! 

My view while Big Sugar performed
I even got to go right on stage with the band and take pictures for my post.  That in itself was an incredible moment, and will definitely play in the highlight reel of my memory whenever I reflect on this day. 

Me on stage with the band, my hubby took this pic with his iPhone! 
All in all I had an incredible day that I will undoubtably remember for the rest of my life.  I'm really excited to share my conversation with Gordie with you, which will also include giveaways and a recipe from Gordie's personal collection!  Be sure to check back later this week, you're not going to want to miss out!   

Gordie during the interview


  1. So... where is this recipe he was to share? I don't see a link anywhere and no mention of it in the article. Seems a more appriopriate article for facebook, than a recipe blog ergo no recipe and the only food mentioned was your cookies.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! This is actually the very first post I've ever shared that doesn't directly involve a recipe. I figured since it was leading up to some fun foodie posts with Gordie (which will include a recipe from Gordie, a recipe for the cookies mentioned in this post, and an interview all about food), it would be a cool experience to share with my readers.

  2. Jax, I've been soooooo excited for you ever since you shared the news that you were going to be interviewing Gordie. What an incredibly cool experience. And how awesome that they were the ones to reach out to you because they were fans of your blog! I'm glad to hear that they were all super friendly and I can't wait to read the interview. I loved all of these photos!

    1. Thanks Nancy, I really appreciate your comments and am glad you liked the post! It sure was an awesome experience! :)

  3. devonbest@hotmail.comJuly 11, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Thanks, Jacqueline...marvelous work on the write up and I have no doubt the cookies were to die for. Know that I have lived this experience vicariously and can't wait for the rest.

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post and for your lovely comments! I can't wait to share the rest! :)

  4. You were sooo lucky to meet Gordie...I'm jealous!!!


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