By Aniko Forgo
Special to The Morning Star
Paperboy is a band from Vernon. It is composed of singer-guitarist Luke Mortenson and drummer Cameron Lutz, with new bass player Neil Graham now in the mix.
Paperboy has released two albums so far, First Week on the Job and The News.
Q: Is there a story behind the name Paperboy?
A: Luke: “We kind of stole it, well kind of. We used to play with a band from Kelowna back in the day called Fields of Green and one of their songs was called Paperboy. I loved the idea of how simple that image could be. There was limitless potential in how we could play with idea of that character.
Q: How has being in a band helped you grow as an artist?
A: Luke: “Immensely! It’s taught me a lot about interacting with people, both the band and the crowd. I’ve been playing with Cam for close to six years now and we’ve developed almost a telepathy between the two of us. He knows what I’m going to do before I do it and vice versa.”
Cameron: “Big time! It gives me a reason to practise. It has taught me how to engage an audience. But most of all, it has taught me to loosen up and just have fun… More people comment on how much fun Luke and I have than how well I can do a double-stroke roll or how quickly I can do a fill!”
Q: What inspired the song El Scorpiones?
A: Luke: “The song was really just this short little story about two characters; one being fed up with the other. It wasn’t till we worked with (videographer/photographer) Lee Watkins, who filmed the music video, that I really learned what the song was about. Lee pitched the idea of it being a love story between a luchador and his partner. Sometimes it takes another person for me to really see what I was doing.”
Cameron: “I just do what Luke tells me.”
Q: What do you think it is that draws people into your music?
A: Luke: “I think, if we draw people in at all, it’s that we try to keep it fun all the time. We try to approach each show as something unique. We’re really big on dressing up and entertaining the crowd, but at the bottom of it, I got to be having a ball when that guitar is in my hands.”
Cameron: “We like to have fun. We want everyone in the audience to enjoy what we do as much as we do. Plus, a lot of people like to see what we’ll do next, what our next outfit will be or what our next show theme is.”
Q: How did you enjoy making the music video for El Scorpiones?
A: Luke: “I loved it, from the moment we stepped foot on the set I was hooked. The idea of wedding music with visuals is something I’d always thought. We shot it all in one day (13 hours) and had a bunch of friends come and be as rowdy as they could. Really Lee Watkins is the mastermind behind it all.”
Cameron: “It was so rewarding! We got to see our own interpretation of our music and it’s just really cool that we had that chance. Also, having received the (Telus/Public Records) grant has been really beneficial for us in terms of credibility. Many people heard about us because of the promotion Telus or Public Records did. It was also a ton of fun to hang out with all of our friends for the day, dressed up ridiculously and having a good time.”
Q: Do you remember Paperboy’s first concert? What was it like?
A: Luke: “It was Halloween! I was so nervous. We’d been a band for about a month and I’d never been a lead singer before so it was a totally new experience for me. I think we even blew a breaker in the middle of our first song. I don’t know if it was a sign of things to come?”
Cameron: “We played at Alexander’s for Halloween. The biggest thing that stands out to me is we had been together all of a month and had a ton of energy. Then the first note of the first song we blew the breakers and everything shut down, so that took the wind out of our sails for a few minutes. After that, though, it was actually a great set.”
Q: If you could only use one word to describe the new album what would it be?
A: Luke: “soul”
Q: Do you feel that there is enough or a lack of music venues in Vernon?
A: Luke: “I’d say there aren’t enough venues that promote all-age shows. There is a good number of bands even in Vernon (Naked Ghosts, Amistad, The Perspective Shakey Deal) that are all under 19 with very few places to play. It feels like there is this stigma for under-age youth that they are only looking for places to drink or use substances and cause trouble. But in all my experience playing gigs with them, they just want a place to make music.”
Q: What has been the most important show that Paperboy has ever played and why?
A: Luke: “It sounds kind of cheesy but every show is important to me. It’s an opportunity to show people what we’re all about. I try not to get caught up in converting people into Facebook likes, or wondering how many CDs we’ll sell. My favourite part of a gig is getting to talk to people at the show. I’m always curious about what music they are listening to.”
Cameron: “What he said.”
Q: When you’re writing a song, does the beat or the lyrics come to you first?
A: Luke: “It usually starts with a word or sentence. Something that sets a tone or mood for me, then I kind of sketch out a song and follow it where it wants to go. It’s never a set method. Sometimes I just write little scraps of tunes or melodies and then show them to Cam and we develop the idea together. Songs are kind of like living things, we’re always rearranging or rewriting songs to keep them interesting.”
Paperboy headlines the last ever show at the closing Talkin’ Donkey coffee house this Saturday. Opening is Naked Ghosts and Hunger Hush. The show begins at 6 p.m. Cover is $10 at the door ($7 for students with valid ID.)
Aniko Forgo is a Grade 12 Kalamalka Secondary School student who has conducted a series of Q&As with local musicians.