Artificial Lift is a 3 piece energetic rock band situated in Lloydminster, SK. They began playing together in 2013 as a jam band under the moniker: Biggs Hosan. They are a mix of Progressive Rock, Blues, Metal. The 5-track “Ominous EP” was released in 2014 and takes listeners into a sound-scape consisting of huge rock guitars, pulsating rhythm sections, and lyrics forged from experiences of living in the Canadian Mid-West. On July 16th the band released their full-length debut album Wasted Days.
Bio: The band consists of three members. Deric Sheppard holds the rhythm down on drums and vocals, Trent Paterson sets the vibe on the bass guitar, and I keep it rockin’ on guitar and vocals. We have known each other for years, each playing in our own separate projects — none of them materialized much success, however. Sheppard was the drummer for Harridan, Paterson was the drummer for Ascesis and I played bass for Ascesis as well as guitar for Climhazzard. All of our previous bands had a common jam space in an old upstairs office in down town Lloydminster called ‘The Loft’. After some time apart from our respective bands we started jamming together, each switching between instruments, and eventually formed what is now Artificial Lift.
Genre: Fitting Artificial Lift into a genre has always been an interesting thing for us. We draw influences from so many different genres and styles. Classic Rock, Blues, and Metal surface every now and then but the one common element is plain old Hard Rock. We like to keep our music pulsating to the beat of our human hearts.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements: Our early songs were mostly concept-based and heavily influenced by the elements of time, the universe, and what it means to be human. As we became more familiar with each other’s mindsets we began incorporating personal stories based on our shared experiences. I usually bring a guitar riff to the table and through experimental jamming, as well as recording in our home studio, the songs come together fairly quick. Periodically, Paterson will pull off a tasty bass line and every now and then a single line of lyrics is all it takes to start the snowball effect.
Lyrics, themes and concepts: We are very conscious of our surroundings locally and globally. There are so many pivotal events happening around the world daily and it is almost impossible to decipher them before they are catalogued into history — forgotten — until repeated again. Many of our songs focus on this style of content and we will continue this way into the future. On our album Wasted Days there are also a few tracks that show the lighter side of life; growing up in a small town, living your dreams, and just having a general good time.
Ideas about the album: I am quite happy with the product. Sound engineer, Terry Paholek, brings some of his own magic into the production of our latest works and it has far exceeded our expectations. I knew we had some solid songs, riff, and lyrics, but Terry really knew how to bring all the elements together to produce a solid album. However, this is just the beginning for us. Each trip to the studio challenges us musically, intellectually, and spiritually. The shared human experience is what keeps this fun and exciting for us and this is something we wish to portray to our fans.
Reception: The reception has been quite surprising. Only months after leaving studio we were fortunate to receive some radio play in a few cities across Saskatchewan and Alberta as well as several opportunities to perform with bigger acts such as Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason, and Dallas Smith. The Internet is also a crazy playground that continues to amaze me.
Preference; live or studio: Considering our first major tour is still in the works I would have to say that our time in the studio has been more stimulating and rewarding for us. Getting out on the open road is a whole different beast but we are more than ready to share our music with all people from across planet earth.
Next step; live or studio: We have been gigging quite regularly in and around our home-town of Lloydminster. There are not a ton of opportunities, as it is a fairly small town, so we have adapted by successfully booking, planning and promoting our own shows. Our summer schedule is starting to fill up fast and we are especially looking forward to playing on 2 different summer festivals within our province. As the summer is sure to keep us busy enough travelling and gigging we will not forget to make time to work on new material. The goal is to head back into The Physics Lab next October to record another album slated for early-2016. We like to keep our options open as you never know what opportunity is around the next turn. There are no international tour plans at the moment but we hope to be catching a flight over after our second full length album is released!
Future plans: Full-on world domination… joking aside, we plan on continually pushing ourselves to the limits of our musical ability and keeping things fresh for our fans. It has always been my dream to play in Europe and with a little hard work and some luck maybe we can make that happen sooner than later! I have always imagined the beer tasting better overseas for some reason…
Composers: I do the majority of the composition, lyrics, and arrangement but the song is never finished until everyone in the band has had their say. Even when we deem the songs complete and record them in the studio, they find their own way to evolve over time.
Inspirations: We draw influence from bands such as Rush, Avenged Sevenfold, Opeth, Foo Fighters and really anything that gets you off the couch and rocking! That being said, we also draw influence from everyday musicians we meet while gigging and jamming — because even though people regularly put super-bands up on a pedestal, it’s the random dude rocking a beat-up acoustic guitar in a dingy alley-way that sends chills down your spine and inspires you to be more creative.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: It’s a 51/49 trade-off. The music wins only because we are the ones that must be truly happy with it at the end of the day — it comes from our souls. But without the audience none of this would be possible… and smiles on fans faces is really what makes this ‘music thing’ satisfying!
Greatest Accomplishment: Our greatest accomplishment thus far has been opening for Canadian rock icons Big Sugar & Wide Mouth Mason. Getting to meet Gordie Johnson was too surreal as he is a deadly guitar player and an all around nice person. It is always a pleasure to meet someone you look up to and realize, “Hey! That guy isn’t a stuck-up, rock-star diva… he is a hell of a good dude!”