Volume 93, Issue 14

Wednesday, September 22, 1999


Blue Streak gives reason to curse aloud

Sky ascends to zenith heights

Blurton rebounds from broken Heart

Guy smiley pulls all the strings

Blurton rebounds from broken Heart

Photo by Pete Gaffney
I WISH I WAS BACK IN MY APARTMENT WATCHING PAINT DRY. Ex-Change Of Heart frontman Ian Blurton (third from left) is back with his new band, Blurtonia. They're more fun than this live. We promise.

By Mark Pytlik
Gazette Staff

This is not the picture of rock stardom. It's mid-afternoon and Ian Blurton is standing outside a Beaver Lumber somewhere near Napanee, Ont.. He's hunched over his cell phone, trying determinedly to conduct a phone interview over recurring static.

But the wry 33 year-old doesn't mind, a notion supported by the fact he's been in a band for over half his life. Blurton spent 15 years as the frontman for the now defunct Change Of Heart – a band who were predominantly known for their incredible work ethic. Now his indomitable spirit has carried over to his latest project, a new band quirkily titled Blurtonia.

Part of the impetus for forming Blurtonia was the desire to take things to back to a decidedly indie ethic. After over 12 years of touring as independent artists, it was a major label deal with Virgin Canada which helped break Change Of Heart in two. Does Blurton, who is regarded as Canada's penultimate indie spokesperson, feel guilty about signing to a major label?

"It's not really guilt," he opines. "It's more like when I think back about it I feel a 'I can't believe I did that' sort of thing."

It's interesting to note that Change Of Heart actually broke up after a show in London. Was there anything specific about our lovely city which drove the band over the edge?

"It was fucking Call the Office," Blurton jokes before laughing. "No, we hadn't written a new song in over a year. If I'm gonna be in a band I want to get something out of it in terms of writing and performing new material."

Was the break up amicable? "More or less," he shrugs hesitantly. "I mean, two of the guys in the band are still my best friends, so it sort of had to be amicable."

Change the topic to newer ventures and Blurton's tone changes noticeably. "Blurtonia's mainly about having fun," he enthuses. "As soon as that stops then who knows what could happen."

Of course, there's no need to talk about future plans when it's clear Blurtonia have quite a bit of gas left in their tanks. Interestingly, Change Of Heart's daunting experiences with the media machine haven't phased Blurton's marketing strategies. He doesn't seem to draw any distinction between label independence and press exposure. In fact, Blurton is happy to oblige almost any media request. "When the album came out, we had features in every major newspaper in Toronto. We were media whores!"

And who better than a self-confessed media whore to comment on the current state of Canadian music? "I think it's fantastic," Blurton raves. "I think we're finally back to where we were about five years ago." Was there a low point somewhere in between that five point gap? "V.I.P!" Blurton wails. "They're just so fucking unsexy."

And this, ladies and gentleman, is why the man is so well-respected.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999