Jonathan Fluevog is one of the most respected musical engineers and producers in Canada through his studio, Vogville Recording, and he has worked with a range of international artists like k-os, Jet Black Stare, Matthew Good, Ashlee Simpson, and Hanson. Outside of musical recording, Fluevog is expanding the reach of Vogville through festivals and multimedia projects. Earlier this year, he created Vogville's Day & Night Festival, which was a showcase for emerging Vancouver bands to act as shared headliners on one stage.
His latest project is called Vogville Presents, a monthly video series that premiered on September 6th on Vogville.com. He gave CraveOnline the inside scoop on the first band he featured (The Matinee), why he didn't go into the family business, and who he looks up to the most.
CraveOnline: Tell us about Vogville Presents, your video series.
Jonathan Fluevog: The web series came about through a bunch of different circumstances – I was managing a band called The Light Machine and I noticed that every band was doing rock videos. There are millions of rock videos and they're not doing much for these bands – people aren't getting a sense of who these bands are. What I wanted to do was portray a band and give people an opportunity to know the stories behind a band rather than what they see in a video where they're running in a field or something. Without that it's just another band, which isn't interesting when people are bombarded with music – so many people aren't interested in new music because there's so much of it. I wanted to do something different so I came up with a video series that showcases the people and stories behind the bands, and not just show you their music but the artists
CraveOnline: Who do you look up to musically?
Jonathan Fluevog: All the usuals: Depeche Mode, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Iron Maiden – they were different. You got a sense that these are people and that they don't play by the same rules, but not in a bad way – more because they're individuals. With music being so expendable you don't get to know the people behind the band.
CraveOnline: Tell me about The Matinee, the first band you're featuring. Why them?
Jonathan Fluevog: I own a recording studio and we have a lot of seriously great talent that comes in, but The Matinee struck me as honest about who they are and with their music. They're hardworking individuals – they've toured back and forth across Canada tons of times but they don't have a top-ten single. They're not widely known so this is a great opportunity for people to get to know a band who is hardworking. They're not a bunch of kids with stars in their eyes and a backpack of dreams – they're actually taking the bull by the horns, and that's something that frustrates me: bands who wait for people to do things for them. They blew me away with their work ethic – they're sustainable. So many bands are "flavours of the month" but The Matinee will be around for a long time.
CraveOnline: Why didn't you go into fashion like your dad?
Jonathan Fluevog: I could have gone into the family business [his father is John Fluevog, who's an internationally-known shoe designer] but I never went into it because doing my own thing and being in charge of my own destiny meant a whole lot more than it being handed to me. That's not what I wanted. I want to take the hard road in life and do my own thing and at the end I'll own it and it will be a part of me.
CraveOnline: Tell me a bit about the Vogville's Day & Night Festival. It launched this year right?
Jonathan Fluevog: Yep – 12 Vancouver bands in one day in one venue. The first-half was open to all ages and the second-half to 19+. It was a huge success. Few people have the gumption to put their necks out there and have unknown bands play and have people show up and watch but they did. We have so much talent coming into the studios – it's about showcasing this talent and helping them move forward.
CraveOnline: Who do you look up to both personally and professionally?
Jonathan Fluevog: My dad 100%. My dad is somebody who has always been very creative with his business, even more than business savvy. He never had that much money until a few years ago – he has always done things on his own terms. If someone was bullying him and tying him into a corner, he'd say, "No, I don't accept that." He's very forthright with people – if he sees something that's off he'll tell you something is off. And that's very rare in business.