‘jester’ Robert Dayton takes society out to the woodshed with EP Someone is out to Kill Me
‘It turned out that this was the perfect place for the project.’ Photo by Robert Dayton /PNG Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.
Article content If such a title exits, Robert Dayton is a multi disciplinary jester.
From wildly oddball musical projects ranging from the conceptual mayhem of July Fourth Toilet to the zany no fi grooves of Canned Hamm and retro glitter of Hallmark, his musical outings have always been a combination of comedic release and stealthy intellectualism. His pen and ink humorous heartbreak collection, The Empty Bed, was published by Impulse(b) and the University of Waterloo MFA is now working on a history of Canadian glam rock.
His writings and illustrations have appeared in publications across the country and beyond. It comes as no surprise that he had relocated to Los Angeles and was busy breaking into Tinseltown’s busy underground. In many ways, Dayton’s art has always been a bit beyond this country. holds dear. due to the pandemic, Dayton has been woodshedding with frequent collaborator, and equally atypical artist, Stephen Hamm. The results of this work is the two EPs Someone is out to Kill Me and My ______ Is Full. With music and production from Hamm and lyrics and vocals from Dayton, songs such as Algorithms of the Night are pandemic themed and reflect the way isolation can kink the creative mind.
Postmedia talked to Dayton about his solo debuts coming at the time that they did, when artistic response to the pandemic is needed more than ever.
Q: Is it odd for you to be back in Surrey making music in a bubble? You have traditionally been an artist who favours public exhibition and performance?
A: After getting the MFA, I went back to Toronto again and it had all really changed with renovictions, closed doors and so forth. was really going OK. Then it all ended when the prime minister went on TV and said.
Q: Did leaving that community you were getting into and coming back to a place you left once already contribute to putting out your first solo material?
A: Look, you don’t get to do cool stuff like hang out with a muppet for an hour here, but I have my great contacts in a great community here, too. The key thing is always to find a group of artists in a place that is affordable to live, so you can create work and get it out to people. It turned out that this was the perfect place for the project. Maybe the next one will be Saskatoon.
Q: Your two pandemic related projects appear to veer from the fairly paranoid material and title of Someone is out to Kill Me to the slightly less frantic My ____ Is Full. Was that part of the concept?
A: Obviously, a song such as Algorithms Of the Night reflects that we are looking at screens all the time and the reason we aren’t hearing from dear old so and so and what they are up to is because they aren’t coming up in the feed. It’s taken as normal, but is it? I have been watching a lot of horror movies across many different platforms and it struck me that it could serve as a metaphor for this liminal existence we are all presently experiencing. It was good to finally find some inspiration to lock onto because honestly I had zero for a long time.
Q: Given that you are working with Hamm who was the other half of hermes belt replica men
Canned Hamm, how is this a solo project and not another duo release.