Warning: Story contains graphic language

While oil and gas jobs are often lusted after and hard to come by, Baran Faber gave it all up to follow his creative passion with the Bassbus and now he is finally living a fulfilled life.

Born and raised in Lloydminster, Alta., Faber says growing up there was like being trapped in a lonely, isolated bubble.

“I was never exposed to culture until I left the city. I always say that leaving Lloydminster was the best thing I ever did,” Faber says.

Faber couldn’t wait to escape and as soon as he turned 18, he left for Calgary. Once there Faber attended DeVry University, where he studied computer science. He says earning a degree is one of the things he has always strived to do.

BassBus2Baran Faber poses beside a bus they use to advertise and transport things. This is not the actual BassBus. (Photo by Carlie Belbin)

“I was never really a fan of school, but I just wanted to get that piece of paper. That was my goal,” Faber says.

Once Faber graduated, he found success right away. He was hired on as a field technician with Nabors Drilling.

The stresses of the job

After four years of dedication, Faber was able to move up quickly in the company. He eventually progressed to a field superintendent position where he ran a crew of men across Canada.

“It was a really cool job that really pushed me a lot. I learned how to manage people, as well as work on my toes, and troubleshoot,” Faber says.

While Faber was appreciative of all of the lessons he was able to learn at the job, it was taking its toll on him. It was especially tough on Faber because he was always on the road traveling place to place. He rarely got to see his friends or family, but every time he had a chance to go home he was so excited to see them and share stories.

“I was on call 24/7, usually living out of a suitcase, 16 days on the road, living at home 3-4 days,” he says. “For the first year I didn’t even have a home because I was on the road so much.”

Faber decided he had enough and took action to make a change.

“I remember just sitting there on the floor at Fort St. John in the middle of nowhere, like -50 C weather in the middle of winter and being like ‘I’m done,’” Faber says. “The next day I got into my truck and I started driving home. I wasn’t even done my shift.”

Finding his balance

Faber was seriously lacking that “work life balance” he had always wanted. He was fortunate enough to have accomplished so much at such a young age, although he longed for something more to life.

“Life was too easy. It was like I had done all the things that society tells you to do and I was still in my early twenties,” Faber says. “I got this great job and I make good money, but I knew there was something else. It wasn’t satisfying my creative itch that was living inside of me.”

That “something else” had begun to take shape when Faber started to attend music festivals with his friends. His friends had been going to festivals for a few years and when Faber had all this extra time, they were happy to show him a new way of life.

Faber’s good friend and co-worker, Jaime Hilland, believes that Faber is most himself in a festival environment surrounded by people like him.

“He likes to see them in that form too, he likes to see them when they are idealized in that truer form of themselves and so that allows him to kind of also be in that state where he knows it is a good space of doing so,” says Hilland.

This idea of people getting together to celebrate art, music, culture, and style was all new to him. These were things he was never exposed to in the bubble that he grew up in.

“It’s the most amazing collision of talent, amazing people, arts, and music and it’s just super impressive what comes together at a music festival,” says Faber. “How much passion and energy goes into it.”

The creation of the BassBus

The group of friends had bought a bus at random one year with no idea what to do with it. They just had it. As soon as they returned from Shambhala, inspired from the festival, they got to work on their project and a year later the BassBus was born.

Today, they have turned the BassBuss into a career. It is used for a number of things including festival transportation, artist hospitality, and many events of their own which they profit from.

BassBus1Baran Faber is sitting at a table in the sunroom of his home. He is fortunate enough to work from home. (Photo by Carlie Belbin)

“It was a year of non-stop work, a lot of unknowns and just figuring it out and going for it. We did whatever it took just to make it happen.”

Making the switch

When Faber came to the realization that he was no longer living a fulfilled life, he quit his job and began to focus more on the bus project with his friends.

“In my head I was thinking ‘Fuck I hope this bus works out.’”

Faber describes the project as, “the blank canvas… [It] was [a] fresh start.”

It was exactly what Faber needed, and with the completion of the BassBus project, he was finally able to live his life by his own terms.

“At times it’s insanely stressful and crazy because you don’t know what the next day holds, but at the same time it’s completely rewarding because you get to create your own ideas watch them come to life. I think that’s it.”

The best moments, Hilland explains, are when they pull off an amazing event.

“When we just look at each other and we know we did it,” says Hilland. “That’s probably the best moment.”

Now Faber is able to enjoy his days to the fullest by spending them doing the things he loves in the comfort of his own home.

“I get to work in my home, with with my dog sleeping on the couch, build my own schedule and come up with crazy ideas.”


The editor responsible for this is Bigoa Machar and can be reached at bmachar@cjournal.ca

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