By: Heather Young
Calgary, AB based rock band, Son of Ray is a 5-piece band that has caught the attention of music fans, and have performed a big Canada Day show in front of hundreds and also shared a bill with Daniel Wesley. The band is hard at work on a full band album, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any news on that, and if you’re able to check out a live show, it is highly recommended.
I had the chance to ask Rob Lagace a series of questions, so keep reading to find out more about Son of Ray!
Tell me about your song writing process, where do you get most of your inspiration for writing?
Usually I’ll be sitting around strumming my guitar and eventually something will start to take shape. Most times I’ll stumble across a cool riff or pattern of chords and then begin mumbling a melody to it which will often leads to a some kind of hook line or idea. On the lucky days it can fall right on my lap and I just start writing based on that hook line and I could have a song done within a couple hours. For the most part though, I’ll get something started and then play with it for days, weeks, or even longer. I’m inspired by many things, my experiences, the people I meet, the places I go, the music I listen to, the books I read, the world around me. Music is very spiritual for me so it really all comes from a place deep within, a voice or an energy that speaks to me and through me.
You recently released your first full length album entitled “Keepin’ It Real”, what has been the most challenging part of completing this project?
The most challenging part was being satisfied with the final recordings. Too often in the studio you have to settle for something you know you could do better, unfortunately in my case time and money cause limitations and eventually you have to let go and move on.
Your sound has a ton of different genres tucked into each song, what is your biggest musical influence?
That’s really tough to answer. I love music so much and have spent so much time soaked in it that I can’t really say I have one genre that I listen to more than others. I love real music with real passion. I grew up watching my family play ragtime and country blues so that is a big influence, but I also love hip hop, blues, reggae, folk, the list goes on and on. I guess I am influenced by music that comes from and speaks to the soul.
If you had to describe your music in three or four words what would you choose?
Groovy, Gritty, Soulful, Awesome
What made you decide to get into the music business?
I love music. If I’m not playing or performing my own music I’m listening to records, reading autobiographies, going to shows, watching documentaries, etc. It is what I feel I am supposed to be doing, my calling if you will.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make a career out of music?
Stay true to yourself and do it for the joy it brings. If you do for any other reason you are in for a rough ride.
I see there are a few dates still listed on your website but other than that what is next for you?
We have a few shows coming up here soon and we will continue to add more to the schedule but our focus right now is on recording a killer new album. The songs are mostly written, it is a matter of working them out together as band. The last album was more of a solo project with the help of some friends where this one will be a full band project. The goal is to release the next album early 2016 and the hit the road to support it in the spring and summer.
Here at Canadian Beats we like to include a just for fun portion to help your fans get to know you better, ready?
What kinds of things could we find you doing on your days off?
When I’m free I’m usually hanging out with my wife and dog or watching hockey. I love listening to my records and chilling in the backyard, in the winter you can find me at the rink up the road shooting pucks.
What kinds of songs can we find on your own personal playlist?
I’ve got a huge vinyl collection of both new and old that I love listening to. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Father John Misty and Sturgill Simpson but I always go back to Springsteen, Dylan, The Dead, The Band, The Blues, Bob Marley, I also really enjoy anything that Jim James is a part of. My playlist is long and all over the map.
What was the first/best concert you ever attended?
The first “big” concert I ever went to was The Tragically Hip at The Aud in Buffalo when I was about 10 years old. I actually won the tickets through a draw at a Home show. I had to recycle a can of Coke to fill out a ballot. The next day my teacher heard my name announced on her lunch break and when I got home from school the message was on our answering machine. My parents were cool enough to let me and a friend go that night and it was amazing. I’ll never forget the smell in the air when the lights went down and the band started.
What are three things non music related that you just can’t live without?
My wife, my dog, and hockey.
If you could collaborate with any Canadian artist or group who would you choose and why?
There are plenty that I would love to collaborate with but the first that comes to mind is Robbie Robertson. I have always loved The Band. I would just want to sit around and talk music with him. I feel like he would have some great insights to share.
And last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank You ! Whether you are already a fan or a future fan of the band, we LOVE you and we will see you soon.
I’m Heather Young. I am 29 years old and from Calgary. I’m the mother of a 6 year old boy and I work with children as a developmental assistant. I have always had a passion for writing and music so working for Canadian Beats is right up my alley. I love every genre of music as long as it catches my attention, it’s on my playlist, from rap to country. When I’m not working or writing I love to spend time outside with my son playing games or going for walks.