Hello Ormiston. You’ve just released your debut, 8-track, album “Hammer Down” on Lisbon Lux Records. It’s a strong body of work and coincides well with summer. What inspired you to write, record, and release an album? And what influenced the album title?
The Album title is inspired by one of my idols from childhood. Skateboarder Jim Greco, who would “put the hammer down” speaking of jaw dropping tricks being done on a skateboard. “Hammer Down” is definitely a record that breathes the summer season, heatwaves and humid nights. The inspiration was very natural, it’s just a sound that has always been around me.
If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I’m a massive fan of everything “French Touch”, from Phoenix to Lewis Of Man, its just a style that was always a part of my musical culture since being a child and seeing the “One More Time” video. There’s something about that style of music that felt mysterious, the production of Justice is good example, how the hell did they come up with that sound!? A subtle touch of funk/disco mangled up with electronic production, it’s still real and raw but with a different skin.
We dig the album and also enjoyed the single releases leading up to its full release. You always have striking artwork and a strong artist image in your press shots. Has much thought gone into this, or has it happened naturally? Furthermore, what is the process behind creating, and selecting, the artwork to go with each release?
I’m so happy how all this came out. I think it came naturally, I was lucky enough to find excellent photographers, videographers and Gaspard who made the artwork. I had a blast collaborating with everyone of these artists who contributed a lot to this project. The artwork for “Rebel” and “Step From The Limelight” were so amazing, me and my team felt so confident to have Gaspard make the official artwork for the record. It took a few sketches for that one though, he probably hated me for a minute hahahaha.
Is there an underlying message, or theme, that the album has? What ideas went into the songs (and the album as a whole)?
Definitely a search from freedom with this whole pandemic that been going on for a little while now. At first when Canada was hit the virus, everything went into full shutdown, which for me was kind of “freeing”. My daily routine had completely collapsed, I felt like a young teenager on the verge of summer vacations, just wanting to hang out with your friends and get in trouble for no good reason! That was a cool thing in a way, it really motivated me and inspired me to use all that free time to create. I really felt inspired with the fact that the streets were empty and that the world was going into a complete political meltdown. It wasn’t pretty that’s for sure!
What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
We played our first live show with this project last week. I’m accompanied by 3 musicians, it was an absolute blast! I’m extremely happy to be doing more shows, it gives the songs a different vibe which is wicked. I’d love to play a series of festival, that would be a massive dream!
If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
The Rolling Stones, there the best rock n roll band of all time and I would be playing in front of thousands of people!
What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
“Sports”, “Myd”, and “Men I Trust”! I can’t get enough of them!
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Photo Credit: Stacy Lee