Published Jun 17, 2013On June 25, Mint Records will release the self-titled solo debut from Vancouver man-about-town Jay Arner. The album, which can be streamed here courtesy of Exclaim.ca, was a long time coming from the artist, who has played in Vancouver acts like International Falls, Fine Mist and the Poison Dart for the better part of the last decade.
Speaking with Exclaim!, Arner attempts to explain why it took him so long to finally go solo. "I don't know," he admits. "Maybe a lack of confidence — I didn't want to take full credit in case something went wrong. I'm older now and more or less over teen-style self-hate. I'm a cool solo artist guy now."
He adds, "Being a solo artist is inherently ridiculous, but I don't care about sheltering my ego anymore. Being in Fine Mist and dancing around onstage pressing buttons and drinking white wine taught me — eventually — to give less of a shit about what people think of you.... 'Going solo' is such a great rock trope I had to do it and see if I could make it not terrible. And my lifelong admiration of David Bowie is no secret."
Though he's decided to use his own name for the project, Arner did spend some time thinking about different band names. "I've had bands with strange names and ambiguous images on the record cover," he says. "This thing is just me doing everything and my weird face is on the cover and I like how firm that is conceptually. Anyway there are so many bands and bands names now it's hard to make a good one — so many are meaningless. A real name is meaningless in a purer way."
It's fitting, then, that Arner's self-titled debut also acts as a perfect summation of the sort of artist he wants to be. "The album is a pretty good document of who I am — the side that I interpret through music at least," he says. "Maybe I'd like [the listener] to gain a sense of Jay-ness, understanding that there's this person that feels certain ways, and that the listener and I probably have things in common."
In addition to the new release, Arner recently rolled out a massive Canadian tour. Check out the extensive itinerary below and, of course, stream the album here.
6/18 Kelowna, BC – Fernandos
6/19 Lethbridge, AB – The Owl #
6/21 Calgary, AB – The Palomino (Sled Island) $
6/29 Vancouver, BC – They Live (Record Release Party) #
7/16 Vancouver, BC – The Railway Club * %
7/17 Chilliwack, BC – District Public House * %
7/18 Calgary, AB - Broken City *
7/19 Edmonton, AB – Wunderbar $
7/20 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos *
7/21 Winnipeg, MB – Rose & Bee *
7/22 Thunder Bay, ON – The Apollo
7/24 Peterborough, ON – The Spill
7/25 Toronto, ON – The Silver Dollar
7/26 Oshawa, ON – The Hub
7/27 Montreal, QC – Le Cagibi
7/29 Quebec City, QC – L'Agitee
7/31 Moncton, NB – Plan B
8/1 Halifax, NS – Khyber
8/3 New York, NY – Coco66
8/4 New York, NY – The Cake Shop
8/6 Ottawa, ON – Raw Sugar Café
8/7 London, ON – APK
8/8 Windsor, ON – Phog Lounge
8/9 Chicago, IL – Township
8/12 Winnipeg, MB – Pop Crimes House
8/13 Winnipeg, MB – O'Hanlons
8/14 Lethbridge, AB – The Owl
8/15 Kelowna, BC – Habitat
8/16 Vancouver, BC – Pat's
* with Cult Babies
# with Tough Age
% with Movieland
$ with Renny Wilson