SPOTLIGHT: JP MAURICE

What does JP do in his spare time?

I think sometimes I am aware that I don’t have enough balance in my life. Music is my main preoccupation. I probably should have a little more balance. I used to play a lot of sports and was a big athlete-type in high school. I was really into soccer and rugby in junior high school. I played baseball pretty competitively until I was 17. I was a pitcher, and actually finished my career with a two week trip to Cuba playing ball.

So basically music has taken control of your life?

Basically, yeah. Remember how I described myself as lazy before? I don’t want to run, I just want to watch hockey on TV nowadays.

Speaking of hockey, I know you are a Vancouver Canucks fan. What did you think of the Stanley Cup Finals this year?

Well, I am a Canucks fan. Once my team is out, I tend to not really care. I mean, I watch it but I don’t really care about it. Besides, it was the Canuck’s two most hated teams playing for the cup, so not too exciting for me.

Me neither! You grew up on Vancouver Island. Thoughts?

I just recently left Victoria last fall. I mean, Victoria has a city feel and I lived around the city, so I never really was raised in some of the more rural parts. My parents now live on Salt Spring Island so they are being introduced to a more relaxed lifestyle. I guess I’ve only really noticed since I left Victoria that life there is very insular and the city itself is kind of obsessed with itself. Basically, it is the hottest girl in town and it knows it. It exists in its own little universe.

When did you first get involved with music? Any particular artist that inspired you along the way?

Ever since I could talk, my parents would listen to the Beatles and the Beach Boy albums in the car and I would sing along. There are photos of me when I was three with a guitar pretending to be a rock star. (laughter) I mean, I was fortunate that I went to an elementary school that was very fine arts focused. I did a lot of choir and piano lessons, but I remember when the Beatles anthology came out. I think I was in grade 6; that was the moment when I was like, “I want to do that.” Then the movie Almost Famous came out and I was like, “I want to do that! I don’t want to wake up at 8am in the morning and play sports anymore I want to do that!”

We’re glad you made that decision! What would you say music is to you?

It is everything to me. It is all I really want to do. I want to be doing something musical, 12 hours a day: that is when I feel happy. Being in a studio for 14 hours a day, touring, playing a show, that is my passion and reason for being.

I love the process of writing music. There is a fulfillment of writing a song, recording it, and watching it come to be. In fact, I love it so much I have also started doing production for other people as well.

Last year in addition to my new album, I did Broken Down Suitcase who I’ll be going to Europe with this fall. I also did Willhorse and Dougal Bain McLean who are both in the PPP [Peak Performance Project] this year. I’m currently finishing an EP for a Dom Fricot side project, as well as starting a full length for a Canadiana singer-songwriter from Saskatoon who goes by the name Fisticuffs, as well as an EP for Carly Walde from the Peak 102.7, who I’m co-producing with Tom Dobranski from the Zolas.