A&E » Music

Eighteen months, two albums

Whistler's Lazy Ghost is a hard-working band that plays psychedelic mood grooves



Sitting outside Blenz, Evan Camm strips off to show me his tattoo.

The four members of Whistler band Lazy Ghost have lava lamps inked somewhere on their bodies.

Taking a look at it, the artist did a good job. Groovy, even.

"We're obsessed with lava lamps. We always bring them onstage or jam with them. The tattoos are a little joke that we have. Mine was made by (artist) Dave Petko," Camm says.

Is the name Lazy Ghost connected somehow?

"I don't even remember where the name comes from. We were kicking around some sounds at the time that were slowing and grooving, couch-style guitar riffs, real mellow. It came out of that," he adds.

Those can be clues to the band's musical style.

"We describe ourselves as playing psychedelic mood grooves; very much live-performance-based stuff. Mellow, psychedelic rock with nice singing and melodies and guitar playing," he explains.

Along with Camm on drums and vocals, Lazy Ghost is Kyle Leeming on rhythm guitar and vocals, Matt Stobo on bass and vocals, and newcomer Jeremy Royal.

Camm and Stobo have been casually playing together for years, though not in the same band, in the Ottawa music scene.

"We had been in bands in cities for so long that you get kind of diluted by the sheer number of bands, and how music is on every night. You have to wade through it and make a splash," Camm says.

The band has proved they are neither lazy nor ghostly, solidly hitting the ground running in a musical sense. In under two years, Camm hopes to have two albums of original music out, recorded at his Whistler home studio.

"We met, we wrote and recorded our first album (Waves, Waves, Waves, Waves) in October 2016. It did fairly well, and we gigged around, we dealt with member changes, and now the second album is pretty much ready to go and record," Camm says.

"Kyle and I mainly write the songs, build the skeleton. Then the other guys come and put on the meat. Waves, Waves, Waves, Waves was about how things come in waves — waves of pressure; it definitely was not surfing.

"The lyrics are abstract and I don't like to explain them. Some people have taken some pretty weird meanings from what I write and that is fine. I want to see what happens."

The next album does not yet have a name, but is due out this fall.

"It will have a lot more singing, more focus on harmonies and melodies. We lost a great guitar player when he left, a big musical element. So we compensate on this album with vocal layers that I think will be really impactful," Camm says.

"There will still be a huge guitar element, but more experimental."

I observe that Whistler isn't always easy for bands wanting to play original music, and Camm agrees.

"It can be hard to do here. The live-music scene in Whistler is a lot of cover bands, with a small faction doing the original thing. We've been gigging outside of Whistler a lot, in Vancouver and Victoria," he says.

"Being a band these days means everything is digital. Sometimes you put up a live video and that gets the most traction. Facebook and websites are what gets passed around."

Lazy Ghost is playing at Function Junction's Block Party on Sunday, Aug. 27, on Millar Creek Road. Music starts at 11 a.m., with Lazy Ghost hitting the Gateway stage from 1 to 3 p.m.

The band also performs at Dusty's on Friday, Sept. 1 at 8:30 p.m., and is playing at the Rifflandia Music Festival in Victoria on Sept. 15, where the guys will be performing a showcase for Music BC.

"We're really looking forward to Dusty's. It's the first time we've ever played there. Half the money from the door will be going to the B.C. wildfire fund. Whatever is left over will go towards recording the album in the city," Camm says.

"And we're really pumped to be playing the showcase."

For more information, including a chance to hear the music, visit www.lazyghostband.com.