Posted On 16 Jul 2019
Pleasure Craft is the musical endeavor of Toronto based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Sam Lewis. Originally from Saltspring Island B.C., Lewis spent his adolescence training to become a pilot, but after a year living alone in Malaysia at 18, he changed course and moved to Toronto to study jazz trumpet.
In 2017 Lewis released his debut single, Everybody Wants Some under the moniker Pleasure Craft and a year later released his follow-up, EP1.
Pleasure Craft’s new track “Work It Out” is formed from a mix of electronic and acoustic elements featuring 80s sounds and dynamic vocal performances.
Learn more about Pleasure Craft in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
It’s my day off so I’m feeling good! About to go see a friends show downtown.
Now that we are half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been chaotic so far. Just played a big single release show at Lee’s Palace which took a lot of organizing and preparation but we pulled it of I’m looking forward to releasing the rest of this EP, it’s frustrating when I wrote the songs a year ago and no one has heard all of them yet, I’m excited to get it out and start on a new project.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
I remember getting my first iPod nano and taking it to a friends place, he loaded his whole Lime Wire library onto it and that music definitely shaped my taste a little. My family always had music on in the house and I was allowed to buy a few of my own CD’s as a kid. I think I was introduced to an extremely diverse set of music when I was young and that has helped me stay open- minded with writing today. I wanted to be a musician when I was very young, like 7-8, but it took years to actually commit to it and gain the confidence to realize it was a real possibility.
How did you come up with your artist name? Why did you decide to go by something other then your own name?
I met someone who had a Pleasure Craft Operating License and thought it was a funny band name.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I wanted to be a pilot as a teenager but failed the entrance exam to the course, so now I’m here. I’m still a huge geek about all that stuff but I’m glad I ended up where I am.
My anxiety was pretty bad when I was making it and the process was very cathartic, the demo only took a couple days to finish. The energy of the song comes from suppressed emotion which in retrospect was probably causing that anxiety. I think so many people, especially men, struggle to express vulnerability and it causes some big problems. That’s what the lyrics are about, it’s my favourite song to perform live by far.
How does this new song compare to your debut EP, EP1 and your debut single “Everybody Wants Some”?
It’s easily the darkest song I’ve made. I was a little worried that the Pleasure Craft sound is changing too quickly. The people who love Everybody Wants Some probably aren’t going to be stoked by Work It Out. But I don’t feel like I have a choice, this is just what I need to make right now.
Do you plan to release more new music soon and a full collection of new songs?
Yeah, Work It Out is part of my second EP which is coming out in September
Where can people see you perform next? Do you plan to tour at all this summer or later this year? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
Yeah we’re playing The Drake Underground on September 27th which is going to be fun. Each show is different but we had a great time at Lee’s in June, the other bands (Fleece, Bernice, Deanna Petcoff) were amazing and I have a band of really talented people playing with me.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
I started making beats on garage band when I was 11-12, I’m 24 now. Thankfully my taste has developed a bit since then, and it will keep changing as I experience more.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career?
I try not to take social media too seriously, nobody really cares about you as much as you think they do. I enjoy talking to people and getting feedback directly from people who follow me, it’s much more fulfilling than streaming numbers or ticket sales.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
My recent music is heavily influenced by David Byrne and The Talking Heads. I really enjoy producing and making stuff for other artists so I guess I’d collaborate with anyone who is open minded and trying to experiment.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I’d like to do a really well made live concert video at a great venue. I think the live show is one of Pleasure Craft’s strong points and I’d like to share that with more people.
Where would you absolutely love to hear one of your songs? On a TV show, in a movie or elsewhere?
In a phone commercial so I can get paid.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I’d be happy if it makes some people feel alright for a few minutes while they listen to it, thats all it is for me.