It's been awhile since we heard from Lewis, the enigmatic 'Canadian singer/songwriter/record-collector's-wet-dream who has spent the last year trickling out music and difficult to confirm biographical tidbits despite remaining mostly silent. Instead, he's been a lightning rod for music journalists (yes, including us) to put on their detective caps and search for their very own sugar man.
Maxim, of all places, is the latest to delve deep into his very-likely-apocryphal backstory (including, this time, a little bit of light Wall Street fraud), but the men's mag gets something the other publications don't: Lewis (a.k.a. Randall Wulff)'s first ever on-the-record media interview.
The interview with the 61-year-old Wulff at his favourite Vancouver coffee shop is slotted as the final section of a lengthy investigative profile and, naturally, doesn't reveal much. But, this being Lewis, even his underplayed asides are tantalizing:
When we ask him about L’Amour, he waves away our questions. “Oh, that was a long time ago, a long time,” he says. We ask him about growing up in Canada, and he remembers how he used to play hockey dressed all in white, even taping up his skates with white tape, a style that his teammates found unsettling. “They all wouldn’t go near me; they thought I was so strange,” he says. The white scarf he sported in those days bore his great-grandmother’s last name: Lewis.
That explains the recording name. As for how he disappeared from Los Angeles during his most prolific streak (much of which is still surfacing):
“I went up to Calgary to take care of my father,” he says. “Very sad to leave that city.” According to his nephew, Wulff’s father had become wheelchair-bound after crashing his motorcycle in the mid-’80s. “I had to take care of my father, and I tried to bring girlfriends with me. But it was tough. There’s nothing to do in Calgary! Nothing like New York.”
And, finally, he hints that there could be new material on the way:
As for his life now, Lewis says he lives with his girlfriend and his cat. “I play music all night,” he says. “That’s what I care about.” We ask whether he plans on releasing any new material. Maybe in a few months, he says.
So, hardly an in-depth Q&A on his motives and artistic choices, but some Lewis news nonetheless. We'll take it. Head to Maxim to read the whole beast of an article.