Meet the Band: Lakeman

The Okanagan’s own Lakeman talk about their unique live sets and perform a new song

The Lakeman cometh.

The genre-defying, long-form instrumental project formed in the fall of 2014 out of the jams of Josh Pym, Warryn Berry, Robert McLaren and Josh Bissonnette.

Watch: Meet the Band with new song Powers Creek by Lakeman

The friends and bandmates played together in different forms and while preparing for an upcoming show Lakeman took its true shape by ditching any sort of vocals or lyrics.

“We tried it for awhile and everyone was singing all at once pretty much. There was just so much going on and then we had a show opportunity so we were like, let’s scrap them and do it instrumental,” Berry said.

The format clicked and it stuck, with many Lakeman songs clocking in over 10 minutes.

“Not having a bunch of banter in between songs or anything gives you this opportunity to sonically explore and build these relationships between pieces,” McLaren said.

Their current setup also plays down a common fear within the band.

“We’re terrified of speaking publicly. We just wanted to make a set where we didn’t have idle chatter between songs. So that’s actually kind of why we don’t talk between songs,” McLaren laughed.

Their latest work formed out of individual pieces brought forward by band members, which they work together to find connections and create transitions, building one cohesive movement. It’s hard to tell if a song ever actually ends while watching Lakeman live. Music continues to play throughout their set, even if band members are switching instruments or making technical changes.

“We don’t really like to have silence in the set. So we try to keep noise going all the time. We also get bored with the instruments that we play, so we like to switch them all up constantly,” Bissonnette said.

It can change the dynamic of a song, and sometimes keep the writing process fresh, with the multi-instrumentalists bringing new and ever-changing sounds while playing a figurative game of musical chairs.

“You change with how you play with people and with a normal band where it’s like, you’re the drummer, you’re the guitar player, you can rely on certain things. That challenge in itself is what is kind of adventourous about it for us,” McLaren said.

It brings in a lot of aesthetically different ways to make music to the palette as well, whether that’s McLaren singing into a violin or using an orchestral bow on an electric bass.

“We each give each other the ability to bounce around on whatever we want to try. It works out well,” Bissonnette said.

The writing process is a fluid one as McLaren put it they “swim through the dirge together.”

“It’s like trying to write really intuitively, things just kind of happen and we follow them,” Pym said.

Lakeman’s songs can range into the 30-plus minute mark, and in tune with their unique style they don’t plan on putting out their work in any traditional way.

“I think we have this problem with being satisfied with what we do and then by the time we’re showing it to everybody we kind of want to move on,” Pym said.

They are looking at an unconventional release for their latest work. Facing an ever-changing multimedia landscape, Lakeman is looking to explore a release which would highlight the visual elements of their music.

“Our motto has been that the LP is the tombstone of the local band. From all of our personal experiences,” Pym laughed.

Lakeman play Kelowna at Fernando’s Pub on March 17 and Muninn’s Post March 24. They come to The Whole in Penticton on March 25. To check out more by Lakeman visit www. lakeman.bandcamp.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Speedboat reportedly sinking near Manhattan Point in Kelowna

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Plans submitted for third hotel across from Kelowna International Airport

YLW passengers in need of accommodations could be getting another option

Vehicle fire occurred outside of fire departments’ coverage areas

Neither Summerland nor Peachland detachments attended incident at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

COLUMN: Pre-clearance changes at Canadian airports

Some believe these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Pumphouse project puts North Okanagan taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read