FEBRUARY 2022 INTERVIEW with founder/owner & agent of JMA Talent Agency and drummer of ECMA nominated band Sonic Detour, Jeff Andrusyk.
FEBRUARY 2022 INTERVIEW
I am thrilled to sit down with founder/owner/agent of JMA Talent Agency and drummer of ECMA nominated band Sonic Detour, Jeff Andrusyk. Welcome Jeff, to The Wire Megazine, which is 1 of Canada’s longest-running entertainment tabloids since 1989, celebrating 32 years of reporting inside the music scene.
DEB: Q. 1. Growing up in Ontario Jeff, would you say you came from a musical family background?
JEFF: “Actually, I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick and I’m a very proud Maritimer. It would be an understatement to say I come from a musical background. My grandmother was a music teacher, my father is a professional bass player and Berklee grad, and my aunt and uncle were well-known booking agents. Oddly enough, my parents met each other at a concert that my aunt and uncle had booked. They were representing his band at the time. So, I’m the product of a groupie? I think it was inevitable that I was going to pursue a career in the music business.”
DEB: Q. 2. You are the founder, owner, President, and head Agent of JMA Talent Agency, share with us how JMA came to fruition? As well, what advice were you personally given about the ins and outs of the music industry when you first started out so young?
JEFF: “JMA Talent was born in November 2011 when I was 25. I got my first start in the business in 2005 at age 19 working for LiveTourArtists as an assistant agent. It was very intimidating at first, as it was a bullpen of fierce agents that worked their guts out 12 hours a day, making nonstop phone calls and emails. Some of them went on to bigger careers in Nashville and Los Angeles working with international stars and household names. I was very fortunate to learn from some of the best agents in North America. One of the best pieces of advice I learned was the correlation between a romantic relationship and an artist/agent relationship. If you don’t show them love and attention, they will find someone else to be with. That really stuck with me over the years.”
DEB: Q. 3. You have grown JMA Talent immensely over the last 11 years which has become 1 of Canada’s fastest-growing, recognized, and culturally revered booking institutions that is a highly sought after full-service booking and consulting company, that represents the creme de la creme of artists & JMA extensively networks with contacts across North America where you sport impressively thick industry experience where you carefully choose & develop artists with a collaborative approach making JMA one of the premier entertainment agencies worldwide. JMA represents JUNO Awarded performers in a vast array of genres ranging from Comedy, Family Entertainers, Blues/Roots, to Folk, Celtic, Rock n Roll, and even Sports entertainment. The roster is impressive with the likes of Valdy, Susan Aglukark, Crowbar, Harlequin, Helix, Lee Aaron, Prism, Rik Emmett, Sharon and Bram, Splash n Boots, Mudmen, right up to legendary Ed The Sock, Kenny vs Spenny, and Legends of Wrestling, just to name but a few. Who would you say is your veteran of the roster?
JEFF: “That’s a subjective question. If I was basing it solely on career longevity, I would give that title to Sharon & Bram, and Valdy. They have been a staple in the Canadian/International scene for well over 40 years.“
DEB: Q. 4. Had you begun to see or feel a major shift in the music industry PRIOR to Covid-19?
JEFF: “Yes absolutely. The biggest shift has come from social media. Youtube was still in its infancy when I started in the industry and that has become the #1 source for music in the world today. Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, etc, – these platforms have propelled unknown artists and bands into megastars seemingly overnight. You can’t be a band or even a business without social media today.“
DEB: Q. 5. Momentum strong in 2019 into 2020, who would have known that the world of music would come crashing to a halt globally thanks to the worldwide pandemic in 2020. Contrary to popular belief, making it in the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck, as it requires talent, strategy, dedication, and determination based on your vision and goals. What is the 1st step for JMA once the worldwide industry opens up & settles into a ‘new normal’ music scene with concerts safely being able to resume?
JEFF: “We want to pick up where we left off, continue to build tours, and make memories for concert goers. Adapting to the “new normal” will have its fair share of obstacles. People are starving for entertainment and we are open to new, innovative ways to provide that service.”
DEB: Q. 6. CONGRATS Jeff on becoming the drummer for a musical force called Sonic detour out of Saint John, that blends aggression of metal with the energy of nu-metal and the rawness of punk rock. I understand that SD was formed during the beginning of this worldwide crisis & that it has already gathered quite the interest thanks to their non-stop work ethic. Never idle since its inception in 2020, not letting the pandemic or restrictions limit what a brand NEW band can do who just happens to express an overabundant amount of determination, drive, and passion for its unique creations, where I heard y’all even recorded the self-titled debut EP in the studio 1 member at a time do to pandemic restrictions, now that’s drive & patience!! Sonic detour is one tight act that has a richly textured sound filled with complexity and this self-titled EP combines a back to the future feel blending in ancient with futuristic flavors, kind of reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sonic detour has proven that nothing can stop your dream from becoming reality, not even a deadly virus. In such a short time span, your band has accomplished many great things that NEW bands could only dream of and thanks to the downtime of the lockdowns SD managed to write, record, and release a successful 7 song EP that is spinning on major radio, y’all have garnered your 1st East Coast Music (ECM) Award nomination prior to Covid, and have released an official 7 videos (1 for every song on the EP). Contrary to popular belief, making it in the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck, as it requires talent, strategy, dedication, and determination based on your vision and goals and your act has proven successfully, just that. Outside of your 7 released videos, what are some other ways you have interacted with your fans throughout this new world of COVID -19?
JEFF: “We love to interact with our fans on a daily basis through Social Media. Since live shows are a rarity, we have organized live stream concerts, Q & A sessions with the band on Facebook and Instagram, and held contests for prizes and giveaways. We’re always conjuring up new and innovative solutions to build our fanbase despite not being able to tour.“
DEB: Q. 7. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Does Sonic detour’s music touch on social or political issues? Take your fans on a stroll through your self-titled debut album, Sonic detour, and share how your creative songwriting and video creation process came to be on these stellar 7 masterpieces?
JEFF: “I’m flattered you referred to our songs as masterpieces! Thank you. Our music is non-political and we tend to stay on the side of humanity. Yes we dive into social issues and things that we live and breathe every day, but we don’t want to use a hot topic to gain relevance, rather, we create music that we feel. If someone else gets a feeling from it, that’s all we want, really. Sometimes a drum beat births a new song or other times one of our guitarists will bring a new riff to band practice. The video creation process has varied with each song (and budget). We’ve been fortunate to have several directors and different creative forces involved on the visual side.“
DEB: Q. 8. From a JMA Talent Booking Agency point of view and from an artist’s perspective, what does success mean to you with respect to these similar yet different careers?
JEFF: “Touring / Live Concerts is the backbone of JMA Talent’s business model and an essential part of growing your fanbase as an Artist. This is the key to success for managing a booking agency and developing a successful band. Without live shows, neither an artist nor an agency can flourish.”
DEB: Q. 9. What is next on the horizon for both JMA Talent and the band Sonic detour?
JEFF: “You can expect brand new music from Sonic Detour this spring along with some live shows planned for March 2022 in Saint John and Moncton, New Brunswick. 2022 is shaping up to be the return of live music and JMA Talent is very much looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues and Artists.“
CHECK OUT Sonic Detour‘s newest and 7th video for A Gentleman So Supreme from their video release series. They had this to say to their fans on Facebook, “Well we hit 25k on our YouTube channel with this one so we figured we’d give it to ya straight on here.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Q-Xkfe58Q
JEFF & SONIC DETOUR, Thanks so much for taking time from your extremely busy career schedules to sit down for this interview Jeff. Be well, stay safe, and keep the musical faith. Fans can visit your in-depth social platforms below to stay in tune with Sonic Detour who blends the aggression of metal, the energy of nu-metal, and the sour rawness of punk rock. Their self-titled debut EP, full of jagged guitar riffs and infectious hooks, stretches the limits of the genre while navigating seamlessly through songs that can be unapologetically ferocious, brazenly provocative, and sometimes even heartfelt. Sonic Detour is Jeff Andrusyk (drums), Jason Crowley (bass), Marcus Marcial (lead guitar), Goose Jenkly (vocals), and Nikki Cook on guitar with his high energy, added vocals, and contagious emotion, has transformed SD into a high octane driving force. Also, check out their cool merch and even inquiry how to book this addictive sound, you are just 1 click away.
SONIC DETOUR BOOKINGS: http://Contact Inquiry firstname.lastname@example.org
JMA Talent is now booking for the 2021/22 season. Stay tuned for new show announcements with Canada’s fastest-growing booking agency, JMA Talent. Click on over to see the extensively brilliant roster of outstanding artists and their future JMA concert information. Plus contact details regarding booking inquiries are also available there too, you are just 1 click away. http://jmatalent.com https://www.facebook.com/jmatalent or contact the office at 647 – 847 – 4177 ext 221 or reach out to JEFF ANDRUSYK the President/AGENT of JMA directly: Cell: 416 – 797 – 9729 Fax: 866 – 840 – 0434 or Email: email@example.com