Guitarist Levi Soloudre and bassist Enver Hampton played together for years in Volcanoless in Canada, and have now joined together with other Saskatoon musicians, drummer Tallus Scott, who has been a part of several different local bands, and frontman Kay the Aquanaut, a well known hip-hop artist, to form the new group Reform Party.
Bassist Enver Hampton sat down with the Sheaf to talk about the birth of Reform Party, their new video release on Ominocity.com and future plans for the band.
The Sheaf: You have all come from very different musical backgrounds. How did Reform Party end up coming together?
Enver Hampton: Tallus has played in a bunch of different bands over the years, so I know him through the music scene, and Kay has a background playing hip hop in the city. We got together in March 2011 to play Kayʼs album release party to play as his backing band. In the rehearsal I donʼt think we realized how cool it was, but after the show Kay said to me, “Weʼd be stupid if we didnʼt keep doing this.” We started playing through some old riffs that Levi and I had, which were a lot heavier and a little more angular. Kay started rapping and singing over it, and it worked out nicely. It came together to be what Reform is right now.
Sheaf: What aspects from previous projects have come to inﬂuence Reform Party?
EH: When we initially got together we were going to be playing hip-hop music. Levi and I brought in some heavier riffs that we had on the back burner, and it worked out that Tallus was already a drummer accustomed to playing a heavier style of music. Kay still raps over the music primarily, but heʼs trying all sorts of things. When the four of us get together we really encourage and challenge each other to do different things. Not even intentionally. Itʼs just the energy that is created when we play together. It starts in one place and ends up somewhere completely different when we start jamming. This is deﬁnitely the coolest project that Iʼve been a part of.
Sheaf: What it was like recording your new video for “Matador” together? Who was the masked man reading in the corner?
EH: Weʼd never made a video together before, and it ended up being really good. We got together with a friend of ours, Josh Palmer, who did all the live sound. There was a gentlemen who Kay had worked with on a music video who offered to work on something with us and we ended up recording six songs. We really just wanted to capture the essence of what we do live, but not on a stage. Just us hanging out in the jam space. Thatʼs pretty much, aside from the dude in the corner, what we look like when we practice. The masked guy is an anomaly. He’s a friend of ours, but his identity is a secret.
Sheaf: How has the local music scene changed since you started playing music?
EH: The Bassment closed and I feel that it was so important to this cityʼs music scene. It was the licensed, all ages venue that anyone could rent out. There really isnʼt a place like that anymore. Thereʼs still an underground punk and hardcore scene, but it doesnʼt really have a home. Levi and I grew up going to shows at the Bassment and checking out metal bands, punk bands, rock bands, anything that would roll through there. It had a cheap cover, teenagers could go there, and people who were of age could go there and hang out. Now the underage fan base canʼt make it out to most shows.
Sheaf: Do you have any plans for touring this summer?
EH: Yes, absolutely. This summer is going to be a big one. Our tour dates are tentative, but we want to head to Eastern Canada and the Eastern seaboard of the States. Iʼd really like to drive through and stop to play in the States if at all possible. Driving through Canada, itʼs eight hours from Saskatoon to Winnipeg, another nine hours from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, another nine hours from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie. People from other countries think weʼre insane, touring this country.
Sheaf: Does the name Reform Party have anything to do with Preston Manningʼs conservative party in the 1990s?
EH: (Laughs) It doesnʼt, no.
Sheaf: Am I correct in assuming itʼs more about growing and bringing about change?
EH: Yeah, and having a good time doing it. It was either that or Brad Pittsburgh. Those were two of the best names that we had. Thank goodness it wasnʼt Brad Pittsburgh.
Photo: Kaid Ashton