by Zoë LeBrun
Yes We Mystic’s jam space lives in downtown Winnipeg, and is where the band has been practicing, writing, and recording music going on five years. Upon walking into this space, I was overcome with a feeling of positive energy (1). After coming in from the cold outside, the small and cozy space was flooded with natural light and reflected on the vibrant yellows on the multiple collage artworks (2) from their 5th anniversary show, done by artist Urban Ink, arranged around the room, giving the whole room a warm vibe. Davis Plett, guitarist and lead vocalist of the band showed me around the space to some of the band’s favourite pieces they’ve collected over the years.
One of these spectacular items was a large surreal image in a frame which was lit from behind while simultaneously producing the sound of a bubbling stream and bird calls (3). While these noises didn’t exactly match the scene being depicted in the picture, which was of three pterodactyls soaring through the air and a brontosaurus wading in a lake by a waterfall in a sort of Jurassic Park situation, there’s no doubt that its presence contributes to the exciting atmosphere in the room.
Another interesting thing about the space was the Doctor Who memorabilia sprinkled throughout the room. This included a string of TARDIS lights (4) framing a tall shelf where the band stores various tools and pedal boxes, and a statue of a Dalek (5) which overlooked the area from the opposite end of the room. It turns out that a good portion of the band are die-hard fans of the show and even have viewing parties to watch it on occasion! Items that reference TV shows, movies, bands, and pop culture in general are always fun and almost comforting to see, because if you’re familiar with them you know that you are in a space where people share common interests and knowledge as you.
And of course, one of the most fascinating aspects of any jam space, the musical equipment around the room was quite the sight to see as well. While all of it was awesome, there were a few especially unique pieces that you might not ordinarily see in your average jam space. One of these items was Plett’s first ever keyboard (6) and another was a bucket (7) that usually contains various percussive instruments, both of which have managed to make it into some of the band’s recent tracks! There was also an abundance of pedals around the room, and one of the pedal boards found in the area had a hilarious decoration of an old man’s face (8), which added a lot of character to it.
This space, tucked away in a small building by the Goodwill, is full of memories for the band and provides a safe and cozy place for them to experiment with, write, and record their music. Not to mention it seems like Yes We Mystic’s jam space reflects their approach to music in general quite well; not only is it quirky and cinematic, but it’s layered and dense in a way that can only be created in one way: by living in and loving a space wholeheartedly over a number of years.