Oscar Lalor has been surfing and performing along the Surf Coast for over 10 years. His smooth guitar and vocal style takes influence from a range of many different artists – a few include; Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer. In 2013 he featured in an exhibition of surfers at the Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay. Oscar recently performed at the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival, opening night of the Bells Beach Surf Film Festival and supported The Graveltones in Airey’s Inlet last year.
Surfing and music are a big part of his life: “I first stood up on a surfboard at seven years old at Wye River, and since then I really got into surfing, living by the coast in Apollo Bay. Then around 11 years old I started to heavily get involved with the boardrider events in Apollo Bay and in Torquay as well as a few Victorian state surfing rounds. When I was 17 I won the U/18 Vic Longboard title and placed 2nd in the U/18 in the Noosa Festival of Surfing – which at the time was a massive achievement for me. Since then I haven’t been as focused so much on improving my surfing and instead have it as a nice thing to do every now and again. There’s nothing like cruising down the face of a big clean wave, cowabunga man!
When I was 10 I started learning guitar, and by age 11 I had stairway to heaven under my fingers. I decided at the time that I wanted to be a lead guitarist after being inspired by people like Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. I think I had a natural ability to pick out certain guitar parts from listening to music. A very rewarding experience for me, after lots of hours spent learning and honing my instrument, was when I was about 17 at school our class performed several classic Pink Floyd numbers including ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’. The whole guitar intro to that song was my part, I really like that song and I really like Dave Gilmour’s guitar playing in a lot of their music but still when I listen to that song it’s a very haunting and beautiful guitar part.
Surfing gives me something to release and not worry about anything but what you are doing in the moment of catching a wave – I think playing music is the same. Learning music is different, that’s hard work. Learning a new manoeuvre in surfing can be hard work too, but you know it’s like anything.
I’m a believer in the time and effort you spend doing something eventually it pays off and you can enjoy doing what you like doing at a higher level and at a much higher level of enjoyment! I don’t think surfing has influenced my music in a way, but if I wanted to write a ‘surfy’ song I could do so knowing what kind of sounds, chords and the type of melody that would suit that kind of thing.”
If you want to check out Oscar’s music go to his Facebook page or soundcloud.com Keep an eye out for his debut CD ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE or give him a wave when he is out at Torquay Point catching a few waves.
Written by John Foss