If you've seen any of the recent videos on our social accounts, you might have noticed some unique music tracks that differ from the below-average royalty-free music that businesses typically have access to.
Maybe you haven't noticed, and that's okay - you'll know now. Hardpressed has its very own signature sounds, a total of 5 different tracks, that were created for us by Will Quiring.
We sent him some interview questions so that you could get an inside look at the life of a full-time musician, and read a little about the creative process behind creating these tracks.
Will is working as a composer for TV/Film/Ads with a company out of Vancouver called Track Tailors. He's been with them for about a year and a half now and he tells us it's been incredible to be able to make music almost every day in so many different genres. He also recently started a new music venture with a band called Parkland.
"Working from home is pretty nice also after years on the road. That said, Close Talker is still a part of my life and although we've taken a bit of a hiatus due to the pandemic, we'll be back at it soon with new music on the horizon."
What are your favourite items from Hardpressed that you own?
I think I’ve been wearing Hardpressed clothes since 2013? I remember Steve (owner & founder) had done the first print of shirts for our band Close Talker and said we could come in and grab a couple shirts on the house. The 4 of us probably wore those shirts for the next couple of years at almost every show. Right now, I typically wear the Hardpressed toque and recently picked up the Carhartt WIP Salinac Shirt that I’ve been wearing on a daily basis.
What did the creative process look like for creating the Hardpressed tracks?
I had chatted with Steve a little bit about the direction beforehand and we were trying to replicate certain surf songs from the 70s mixed in with some spaghetti western influences. I was immediately on board as I’d never really done anything in that genre before and was excited to try out a different style of guitar playing. He made a playlist of a few songs and from there, I tried to create some sketches that I could work off of. I ended up writing 8 or 9 and then quickly gravitated to the 4 or 5 that I liked the most while still making sure there was some variety between them so they didn’t all sound too similar. It's fun to work off someone else's interests because it forces you to get rid of your tendencies and try new ways of creating.
When did you start playing and making music?
I think I started playing music around age 7 or 8 when my mom put me in piano lessons. I hated it so much and only wanted to play guitar, so eventually, she folded and bought me an electric guitar and an amp. Honestly, I regret it now because I wish I was a lot better at the piano. I was in my first band in grade 10. We were called 'Major Flinch' and sounded like a youth-group band playing songs by The Fray. Not the best combination but that's why they call it growing pains. Eventually, I matured out of that stage and started Close Talker in the summer of 2012.
Which musician would you choose to collaborate with, if you could choose anyone?
I've been listening to a lot of classical and ambient music lately, so I would say Nils Frahm. His compositions and tones are something I'm always striving to replicate, and I think I would learn a lot about his writing and production if I could ever collaborate with him.
Which musicians are your biggest inspirations?
This probably changes daily, but I'm currently obsessed with the new Dijon record and have been getting a lot of inspiration from it. From the songwriting to the production, to just the overall attitude, I feel like the record is a culmination of everything I love about music. It feels so free and honest.
What has been your favourite/most fun music project that you’ve worked on?
Still to this day, it has to be when Close Talker recorded our second record. It was May of 2014 and we spent the entire month in Montreal. It was a time in my life when everything was new and exciting and I was still just a wide-eyed kid from Saskatoon. The idea of playing music full-time was starting to become a reality and I was on cloud nine because of it. I was with some of my best friends in a city I'd never been to before, recording a record in one of the coolest studios in Canada. It feels like a dream now and something the band and I still talk about often.
What do you do when you come up against a creative block?
Because I am writing music on a daily basis, I find that I don't always have time to deal with creative blocks properly. I usually just power through and try to make things work, but looking back, resetting & recharging might actually help my productivity in the long run. I am inspired by a lot of things, whether it's something in nature, a painting, or even a film, I feel like it's easy for me to find inspiration. But because I work all day in a dark basement, it's harder to take the time to go experience those things. I need to do a better job of that.
Where's your favourite place to experience the music scene in Saskatoon?
Maybe it’s nostalgia, but for me, it still has to be Amigos. Some of my favourite shows I’ve experienced have taken place there and the memories I’ve made in that room hold too much weight to choose any other place.
Hardpressed values individuals that make the Prairies a remarkable place to live. We work to uplift and showcase the talent that is rooted right here in Saskatchewan. We're so grateful for the tracks Will tailored just for us & look forward to having more additions to the Hardpressed X Will Quiring soundtrack in the future. Stay tuned.
For more on Will, check out: Parkland's Instagram & their first single North of the Border on Spotify and Apple Music.