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Estevan musician Jesse Gibson pursues passion with the band Long Live the Glory

Jesse Gibson: "I've always felt like I belonged to the music industry."

ESTEVAN — For Jesse Gibson, his musical journey began just shortly after he learned how to walk and talk.

Now a high school and School of Rock Regina graduate, Gibson and the band Long Live the Glory, which he plays for, are getting more and more popular across the province and beyond its borders after performing at such platforms as Shake the Lake Regina, Rocking Fields Minnedosa and Dauphin Country Fest.

They have also played rock and blues gigs at Regina's Bushwakkers Brew Pub and many performances in Estevan, including opening for the Harreson James Band at the latest Street Dance, playing at the Whiskers and Wine Gala, etc.

The Mercury and talked to Gibson about his music career and future plans.

Gibson grew up in a family with a large farming background in the Lampman area. The roots of his music career lay in his family as well, as his musical choices were inspired by his grandfather's dream to become a musician, and they came possible with the help of the family.

"My mom knew a little bit of piano. My grandfather actually played. It was his dream to be a musician, and my mom passed it on down to me. She put me in piano lessons when I was three and pushed me all the way through. We've done all the music festivals, we've done the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) for piano. I'm in my Grade 8 now. I couldn't have done it without her," Gibson said.

"It wasn't like she pushed me to be a performer or anything like that, I always just wanted to perform. This has really always been me, and my parents have been supporting it the best they can, and they've done an amazing job."

Gibson started piano lessons with Music for Young Children and said he always felt that music was a big part of who he is.

"I've always felt like I belonged to the music industry," Gibson shared. "I've great memories for the piano. I'm still great friends with the people that I was in lessons with. And then music festivals really helped with my stage performance. Getting on stage now is not a whole lot different than going up and playing by yourself in front of a crowd and being adjudicated."

He noted that his love for rock music comes from his early years as well.

"I grew up listening to Elvis and Kiss. I remember two-year-old me listening to Detroit Rock City on repeat," Gibson recalled with a laugh.

At eight, still doing piano, he started drumming. The second instrument came into his life almost by accident. 

"We were at a family reunion, and the family decided that they would do a talent show. There was a drum kit at the venue, so I messed around on it, and people said that I was really good. I had never touched a drum kit in my life before," Gibson recalled. "The talent show went pretty well. It was just out of nowhere. And it took a lot of convincing for my parents, but they had a family friend that taught drum lessons. So I did lessons for a few years."

At 11, the third instrument – the guitar – came into his life.

"My brother got a guitar for Christmas with a game called Rocksmith, which was like Guitar Hero, but with an actual guitar. He wasn't a huge fan of it, so I picked it up a little while after he moved out, tried Rocksmith, learned the basics, but I couldn't get anything more."

The drive to get better with his guitar and singing skills took Gibson to the School of Rock Regina. The program helped him improve, allowed him to meet other players, get lessons with actual musicians and also led to many larger gigs. That's also where he got the experience that he now puts to work with his band Long Live the Glory, which also formed through the School of Rock.

"It made a huge difference," Gibson said about the school.

"You can take lessons on guitar, drums, vocals, anything in a rock band. And there are seasons, when they pick a genre of music, and all their students learn these songs and perform them as a concert. My very first season would have been modern rock, so we learned songs by Smash Mouth and Blink 182 and then we went to perform them live for an actual audience, which was about five years ago now and I was about 12-13 when I first started, which was a very big jump."

Gibson noted that the weekly program allowed him to have experiences that not only helped develop his skills but also grow confidence in performing and introduced him to the real gigging world.

"It was very crucial in my musical development," Gibson said.

Coming from Dilke, Estevan, Imperial and Regina, Long Live the Glory met in 2018 and has been rehearsing and performing together ever since. Today, the band consists of Gibson, lead vocals and keys; Jaxon Hicks, guitar and vocals; Harry Mooney, bass, Cohen Jones, guitar and vocals; and Marshall Brooks, drums.

"We played together for five years," Gibson said. "We grew with each other, we were all learning ... The guys are amazing players and I'm so proud of those guys. They've come so far."

Their last two gigs with the School of Rock Regina are I Love Regina Day, which was on Aug. 19, and Gibson's fourth performance at the Shake the Lake this weekend.

Not only does the band play most major rock covers, but they also write and play their own music.

"We did one season with the School of Rock that was about songwriting, we wrote a bunch of songs from there. And then some of them we play depending on the gig if they fit. And we have a lot of solo songs that we've written that we just share with the band," Gibson said.

"When we're with the band, songwriting goes really smoothly. The last song we wrote, we were getting ready to play blues at Bushwakkers, and we were about five minutes short on material. So Harry whipped out a baseline, I sang over it, we threw the guitars in, and drums are easy to fill in. And that was it. It was done in about half an hour."

He noted they have about five original songs each. One of Gibson's songs was professionally recorded in Regina, and some other pieces were recorded in his garage. He said they are working towards recording and releasing some songs, but they don't want to rush it.

"We're very conscious of our demographic and how we can market our stuff. So, we take that into account. If the band isn't getting a lot of recognition, we probably won't release a song right away until we can get more of a crowd," Gibson explained.

"We try to go with the flow, we want to grow our social media presence a bit more, and then we're going to start releasing stuff."

He noted they upload all their gigs onto YouTube and get some recognition not only across the province and in Canada but globally, and they plan to keep growing their audience.

The new school year will see two of them going to the universities. Gibson is starting his bachelor of commerce through the Edwards School of Business with the University of Saskatchewan. They plan to get their name out there more during this time, write more songs and get more gigs.

"I'm very excited to reach out to some places in Saskatoon. Lots of great venues," Gibson said, adding that he also plans to be back to Estevan a lot and the band will be available for local gigs.

The latest news about their concerts and music can be found on social media platforms and YouTube through Jesse Gibson Music and Long Live the Glory pages.

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