‘Maybes’ is a powerful testament to optimism in the face of uncertainty and turmoil, with the song emerging from such a period in Drac Hammond’s life in 2019 as he joined Sticky Fingers on tour in Europe, replacing their then-injured drummer at the eleventh hour.
In his words: ‘it was written somewhere on the road between Berlin and Barcelona. I was filling in for Beaker Best and was thrown into the tour with about a week’s notice, which meant I had to essentially learn the drum components for 24 songs by ear on the plane over”.
Once he joined the rest of the band in Europe, Drac found himself having to adjust to the intricacies of intense touring with a new band – one that wasn’t “in great shape” – an experience that he noted was “something like going on holiday with your best friend’s family as a kid and watching their parents fight, not really knowing what to do or where to place yourself in the moment”.
For Drac, the moment for self-expression came to him backstage before a show – “Seamus was playing a progression to warm up and I just started singing along to it. I recorded it as a voice memo and worked on the lyrics over the next couple of days – basically just what was happening around me at the time”.
“For instance, I had a falling out with the lighting director – who was being a kook – and dealt with it in my own way by writing the line in the first verse, “my situation is shallow, people trying to take me down with their bows and their arrows”. Being flown out last minute and then finding myself in this absolute circus informed “I’m in the last brick to build the station, and I failed my evaluation”, and the tour was supposed to be sober but if you read into “they said my course was set for the ocean, on a ship full of tricks and potions”, I’m sure you can connect the dots”.
Once returning home to Sydney, a serendipitous turn of events lead to the song actually being recorded. Whilst the band was still on tour, a screen-recording of the moment in which the song was originally improvised was posted to Reddit, as keen fans attempted to find the recorded version on Spotify. Three months later, a fan – determined to find the song – sent the video to Drac, prompting him to retrieve his reworked lyrics and record the song that very day.
The song was recorded in a home studio Drac jokingly refers to as “the shoebox” and was self-produced with co-production from long-time collaborator Reyne House (credits). Additional instrumentation was also provided by guitarist Jack Moffit from The Preatures, with the arrangement emerging as fortuitously as the rest of the song. In Drac’s words, “Seamus was going to play it but he was too hung over to leave Maroubra. Fortunately, Jack Moffitt lived across the street so I just walked over and found him sitting in the sun and reading a book on his balcony. I literally just yelled up at him, and off we went”.
For Drac Hammond, the release closely follows recent success as co-writer and performer on Dope Lemon’s smash single, ‘Rose Pink Cadillac’, where he provided instrumentation in the form of drums, bass and guitar. It likewise closely follows the success of his second single, ‘User’ (released July 2) which saw the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist garner support in the form of Spotify playlisting (New Music Friday, Broad Chords & Fresh Finds AUNZ), a RAGE music video feature and coverage on Clipped.TV.
Everything about ‘Maybes’ was serendipitous – from Drac’s last minute addition to a tour, to its origin from a pre-show warmup, to its rediscovery by a fan, to the way in which a guitarist was roped in to record it – and the song’s relentless cheer mirrors the story of its genesis. It’s hard to argue when Drac suggests that the song takes his imagination ‘‘a bunch of white people with perms in comically large parachute pants and brand new Reeboks dancing in a circle, pausing every now and then to look over their shoulders at people behind them while making a facial expression that says “Wow! Isn’t this just fantastic?’.
The Universe seemingly had a plan for ‘Maybes’ and the wild and unpredictable story is not yet over, with its release on Friday September 17 merely marking the next chapter.
Drac Hammond is the solo moniker of Elliott Hammond – a songwriter, producer, touring artist and multi-instrumental session musician best known for his work as frontman of veteran Australian rockers, ‘The Delta Riggs’.
Elliott is nothing if not versatile – having co-written for Dope Lemon, toured as a member of Wolfmother and Sticky Fingers, and recorded instrumentation for a range of artists across a range of genres, including Angus & Julia Stone, Brian McFadden, All Day, Kita Alexander, Hayley Mary, FPOS, and more.
Drac Hammond emerged as a consequence of COVID-19, as Elliott’s plans with ‘The Delta Riggs’ were put on hold. Stuck inside with nothing but idle equipment, Elliott passed the time by experimenting with a ‘super lo-fi style of bedroom recording’ and found ‘a fresh voice within it’. This resulted in the recording of over twenty originals in a six month period, as Elliott explored his far-reaching musical influences and career experiences to build a musical universe that was truly his own. The only rule – he says – is that there are no rules: “it’s very much an anti-structure situation. If there is a hint of an agenda or expectation, I’ll abandon the whole thing and go to the pub”.
Since the release of their debut project in 2010, ‘The Delta Riggs’ have earned their reputation as legends and veterans of modern Australian rock’n’roll. Renowned for their high octane live performances, a similar fearlessness pervades their recorded discography as the group have developed a catalogue of music that is a testament to their wide range of influences and emphasis on experimentation.
In doing so, ‘The Delta Riggs’ have traversed genres seamlessly – moving from the classic rock sounds of their debut album ‘Hex.Lover.Killer’ to incorporating elements of hip-hop and funk with acclaim in their sophomore full-length ‘Dipz Zebazios’, which earned the privilege of being a Triple J Feature Album of the Week in 2014. Where other bands may have leveraged this career momentum by “playing it safe”, ‘The Delta Riggs’ doubled down on their desire to push themselves sonically – releasing the disco-infused ‘Active Galactic’ in 2016 and it’s reggae reinvention ‘Active Galactic: Higher Than Before” in 2020, featuring the then-undiscovered Trinidadian rapper, ‘Gold Fang’ (of “Classic” by F-POS).
On stage, ‘The Delta Riggs’ have done it all – supporting industry behemoths The Foo Fighters, Kasabian and Billy Idol (among others) and playing Australia’s most prestigious festivals: Splendour in the Grass, Groovin’ the Moo and Bluesfest.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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