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A folk band in nature, Status/Non-Status is the name of the ongoing musical work of Adam Sturgeon - artist and Anishinaabe community worker and his collaborators. Known for a heavier than heavy sound, SnS have made a name for themselves through relentless touring, intense truth seeking, and a heart on the sleeve musical output.
Folk is a social movement Status/Non-Status have maintained throughout their history. Folk is the voice of change and awareness. With over a dozen years of experience Status/Non-Status have not burgeoned or hyped themselves. They’ve worked; on themselves, on their sound, on finding their identity. 2019’s Warrior Down dealt in the challenges of Status for Sturgeon and family; his grandfather Ralph having enfranchised and forfeited his Indigenous roots; to protect himself and family from the shame and discrimation brought about by Canada’s policy and mistreatment of indigenous people. 2021’s Ep 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years delved further into colonial history and cultural roots; recorded in community collaboration in Guadalajara Mexico. Early 2022’s collaboration with fellow Anishinaabe artist Zoon (2021 Polaris Shortlist - Bleached Waves) under the moniker Ombiigizi (he/she is noisy) was a celebration of sound, family and identity.
Surely Travel allows the band to explore a different side of their practice, and share it with audiences new and old.
Status/Non-Status have collectively spent untold hours gazing out the passenger side windows of a succession of band vans, watching the country go by. That feeling of observing from a moving object, being somehow both in a place and outside of it, looking in, is what the band captures on Surely Travel. The album is a travelogue; a series of snapshots, rooted in history and landscape but relentlessly looking forward, through the windshield, straining to see what might be waiting just around the next bend in the road.
Eschewing the sludgy, heavy sound for which they have, up to this point, been best known, Status/Non-Status explore and develop another side of their work with the release of Surely Travel. This shift has been catalyzed by the songs written for Surely Travel, which are acoustic and feature narrative-driven lyrics. Rare past forays into acoustic performance have been enthusiastically received by Status/Non-Status fans, many of whom have expressed a desire to hear ‘more stuff like that.’
Status/Non-Status exists because of a desire to connect communities, particularly Indigenous communities, through art and healing. Surely Travel, with its narratives about parts of the country many Canadians seldom think about, let alone see, will help the band achieve connection and community engagement in new ways. Previous engagements (2019 Polaris Long-Listed Warrior Down and the highly acclaimed 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years EP saw Adam reliving familial and communal truths in a challenging and revealing way; with Surely Travel, Sturgeon and band invite audiences into the landscapes of their own surroundings and desires and the awareness that they are simple observers to the natural clauses of the road, environment, connections and distances.
Putting forth an Indigenous voice in Canada’s musical culture is an important driving force for Status/Non-Status, which is fronted by an Indigenous artist (Adam Sturgeon). Status/Non-Status also engage in many community outreach projects that involve Indigenous populations across Canada (ex: Inuit of Salluit, QC, Wolastoqiyik of
St. Mary’s and Kingsclear First Nation, NB, and urban Indigenous artists of London, ON via The Rezonance Youth Internship Program).