Hitting the road with a brand new set of compelling tunes, singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg Drummond performs at The Hideout on July 9th.
Drummond, whose tour covers about 22 dates throughout western Canada, says his music is geared towards lifting people up and connecting them through his live performances.
Recently, he has also committed time to causes including the United Way, C.E.F.’s Clean Water Project and Haiti relief. In 2013, Drummond was commissioned to write and perform the official song for the ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater Party,’ an annual event that contributes all of its proceeds to the Children’s Wish Foundation as well.
Drummond is known for his deep voice and style of songwriting that combines infectious melodies with stories of a slightly darker tone. His music is often classified within the indie folk/rock genre, but also has influences of alternative and southern rock.
“Music is something that I always had a passion for,” he explained. He took up guitar at about age 11 and went on through his teens and early 20s to play with several garage bands and other collaborations. But it wasn’t until his late 20s he began to seriously pursue music as his primary focus. Having garnered a bit of life experience along the way helped cement the decision, he said.
“I knew I wanted to take on my own project, and I had some life experiences by then to write about.”
After releasing his first album in 2011, Drummond has gained recognition throughout Canada and received growing support from the Vancouver community.
Born and raised in Port Moody, he has drawn a lot of inspiration from moments on the road and the beauty of local places like Rocky Point and Buntzen Lake. “I really think that nature inspires a lot of creativity,” he explained. “I don’t think as humans we spend enough time in it of feel grounded in our lives to really embrace it and travel and enjoy it.”
Inspiration can spring at unexpected moments, too. Like the middle of the night – that’s when Drummond will grab a notepad or his iPhone and record the idea. “I’ll get a little hook, wake up and write something down.”
In 2013, he began working with Sovereign Music Management to provide management support with booking, marketing strategy, general administration and grant writing.
With this support, Drummond was fortunate enough to land funding from Factor Canada and Drive was born. He’s spent the past four years writing, producing and engineering this album in over six locations including his bedroom closet (so as to not annoy the neighbours), a family cabin and professional spaces like Echoplant Sound and Monarch Sounds.
Drive is a stunning indie folk/rock album that establishes his evolution as a songwriter. He tackles a variety of subjects including sleepless nights, drinking alone, finding love, soul searching and pushing forward in the face of ongoing challenges.
There’s much to enjoy here, from the immediately compelling title track which opens the disc to the brisk Our Time is Now and the richly-textured Singing a Song. Lily is also just downright irresistible with its catchy rhythms rooted in acoustic richness.
Rounding out the project is Worse for Wear – a stripped-down, gentle tune that again showcases Drummond’s ability to match his voice to whatever sensibilities a given tune is getting across.
Drummond describes the time in the studio as a collaborative one that included the exploration of different sounds, thus lending to the eclecticism of the final product.
For the tour, he’ll be joined by four other musicians. “It’s something I had to learn as a front man – that it’s not just about playing the shows and the songs; it’s about captivating a crowd and establishing a stage presence.”
Ultimately, Drummond hopes his listeners find something they relate to in his story and that they will feel understood by his new songs.
“I hope they can relate to something; to one song or one moment on the album. If they could listen to it the whole way through and take something away from it, that would make me happy. I hope they feel inspired or enlivened because of it.”
Meanwhile, there is no doubt he’s on the right path. “I like to see where the songs take me. A lot of them are written on the road, and there’s a lot of momentum in them. So it’s interesting for me – and if I can really captivate one person in an audience and make them feel something, or they build their own story out of my own song, then my job is done,” he said. “I really feel fulfilled from that.”