Calvin On Craft, Music, Art, Life, and Hair

Calvin On Craft, Music, Art, Life, and Hair

Calvin is a man who wears many hats. Besides cutting hair for over three decades, he's also an artist who has dabbled in various mediums. We speak with Calvin from the comforts of his studio to share some of his thoughts and insights on craft, music, art, life, and hair.

On Craft


GOAT: Fill in the blanks: there is *blank* in whatever I do. 

Calvin: Intent.


Has it always been that way? 

No, I don't intend on being accident-prone and hurting myself regularly, but that's what happens a lot. So I do get injured, but that's not necessarily part of the plan. I'm covering my bases. 


Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist. 

I had intended on going down to the University of Lethbridge and taking my Bachelor of Music. Being from a middle-class, maybe a lower middle-class kind of family, there wasn’t an excess of funds, so I was very practical in that sense.

So my music took a bit of a second seat. I kept up some private lessons and that kind of thing, but I mean, music is forever. I think I wouldn't mind performing or playing even. Like in the basement, frankly, for that matter.

I think hair is how I'm gonna make a living. I don't think I’d ever stop doing hair unless I become physically unable to. Because it's an ongoing thing for everybody. Regardless of how much you have on the top of your head. Eventually, something is gonna have to be done. And it's a way to connect with people. I'm a bit of an introvert and I'm okay with my own company. So something that gets me out of the house and talking to people is a damn good thing.

It's all about people. Everything that we just talked about. It's all about people. And how you interrelate. How you communicate. 


Some people can describe themselves well, and some people will kind of ramble on. Do you think there’s a center of that Venn diagram?

It's a different sort of tool. One of them is reductive and one of them is additive. I would like to think my soul is just on autopilot, hopefully, because that'd be handy. I'm gonna have to update the settings once in a while, but that's good. 

What I did was work with wood, which is another reductive thing. I'm thinking of going into metal, which is another additive thing. As it might, the pendulum might be just a swing that's gonna have to happen. Hopefully, I can juggle 'em all, or not, I don't know. We'll see how that goes. 

On Music & Art


So, what got you interested in getting into music in the first place? 

I would say my mother because she put me in violin lessons when I was three and persisted until I excelled somewhat, all the way through. So it took a little while. I was really horrible at the violin, but by maybe four they had me try the piano and I seemed to be better with that. My mom was adamant about us being in music lessons. My brother was quite good at the violin and he stayed doing that, but I had to try a few before I could do alright.


Do you remember the time when music was something that went from being imposed to something that you wanted to pursue? 

Oh, for sure a ton. Wow. That’s a long time of being imposed. My mom played these records on our giant stereo player that was the size of a coffin. George Beverly Shea, I remember, was one of the records and he sang hymns. But imagine if you had it at the wrong speed. Like the slower speed, except that's what the real speed sounded like. So every note was really drawn out. It just made you want to hurry them. So not only did I get sermons via the entertainment; it was torture. 

As soon as I could verbalize or move on my own, I did. It didn't take me long to come up with an opinion about stuff. That can be a good thing and a bad thing.


Do you see it as a form of rebellion immediately or as a form of creative expression?   

I would say it's more of a creative expression. I remember feeling like I wanted it to be up to me. And then when things start falling off the list of the things that need to go, it's already up to you. It was the best. 


You mentioned that when you started using music as a way of expression, it was because you could take control over something. Do you approach music the same way you do with art? 

Yes and no, because it has to be a bit like a team sport with music if you want any kind of harmony, literally and figuratively. But that's music. We're always better as combinations of ourselves I think. Nobody's an island, let's be honest. Least of all me, that's for sure. I think music is… it represents almost who you are.


When was the last time you felt strongly about a piece of art or music? 

Yesterday. There's no shortage of strong feelings toward music or art. It's such an important thing for humanity. You don't have to teach people to want to express themselves. That's just gonna happen. I haven't really invested any time in anything else. 


What are three music albums that you’d recommend right now?

James Alexander Bright and the Flying Mojito Brothers, Mirage in the Mojave Desert. It's an EP with six, seven songs on it. No skips. I was just in Costa Rica recently and it's really good for walking on the beach. It sounds like people are having fun. A bit of Tove Lo. And Röyksopp, the three albums that they just came out with. I always really like them. They're really good music to kind of work to. There are some lyrics and stuff involved, but it doesn't overtake your brain.

On Life


How have you maintained that childlike curiosity all these years? 

The more you know, the less you know. I probably think I used to want to specialize, but now I’d like to know a little bit about everything.


You can invite three people over for dinner, dead or alive. Who would they be and what are you talking about? 

David Sedaris. That's a fun one for sure. Just because, oh my God, laughing is the medicine. That's a good time as long as, you know, obviously he's comfortable. I don't want to have a gun to anybody's head. 

Peggy Guggenheim, I think, would be a really good, fun one. She and David might have a bit of a sword fight, but we'll see. 

It has to be a musician. Young Clancy. He's a modern musician. kind of a hip-hop soul, but he's a white guy with red ginger hair and freckles, and I'd say a bit of a troubled soul. I think that kind of balance would be nice. Kind of like everybody else is gonna have to sort of shut the fuck up probably. But maybe it's only a dinner party for four.

Do you consider yourself more of a dreamer or a realist?

I’m neither a dreamer nor a realist. Gray area, hard line. Black and white. 50-50. I think it's one or the other and sometimes at the same time, most of the time. 


Contact us here or call us at 403-407-1222 to book an appointment with Calvin. 


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