Volume 92, Issue 44

Friday, November 20, 1998

go north


Hayden getting closer to what he longs for

By Shawn Despres
Gazette Staff

"Girl of my dreams, things are as bad as they seem." This lyric hardly applies to Hayden anymore.

Having been on tour since April, Hayden has played much of Canada and the United States, along with some dates in Japan.

"I'm having a lot of fun. That's the number one thing in my criteria for a tour, it has to be fun," says Hayden, on the phone from Kingston. For example, at one show in Japan, Hayden and tour opener Mamory Tanabe performed a half English, half Japanese version of "Bad As They Seem."

For this tour, Hayden has assembled his first touring band consisting of friends from the now-defunct bands Change of Heart and Poledo. "It is amazing. Coming off of four years of me touring by myself and being the only one on stage every night, it has been a blast," he says.

After releasing a couple of cassettes and a 7" single, Hayden released his debut album Everything I Long For. This album topped the indie charts for over eight months and has sold over 40,000 copies – which is no small feat for an independent artist. This attracted a lot of major label interest and in 1996, Hayden signed to Geffen Records' subsidiary label, Outpost.

This past May, he released his major label debut, The Closer I Get. The album was recorded in four different cities all over North America, with four different producers. "I don't know if I would do it like that again, but I think it added little flavours which might not have happened if I was at one place at one moment in my life," he reflects.

As far as the time it took to complete the album, Hayden says Outpost didn't really mind. "Well they cared, but I think they wanted me to be happy with it. I mean, they wanted to be happy with it too. There wasn't a huge amount of pressure. Any pressure that I felt was kind of my own."

After being signed to Outpost, he experienced a shift from low-key indie artist to the media's burning spotlight. While he was written about in major American music magazines, preconceived notions dimmed the lighting and the hype passed.

"The magazines that thought thatIwas going to be a certain thing saw that maybe I wasn't what they thought, so they moved on to someone else. Which was cool because I don't really like seeing my face when I open magazines in airports and hospitals. It makes me feel uncomfortable," says the up-coming low-key artist, who will maintain his own philosophy amidst the high-pressured music industry.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998