First/Last-Jay Arner

October 10, 2013

“For years, Vancouver multi-instrumentalist Jay Arner has teamed up with others to translate the sounds in his head. He’s fronted an indie rock band, played synthesizers and samplers in a pop duo, manned the drums for a piano-punk songwriter, and held down the bass in a eight-member collective. Along the way, he’s also become a sought-after producer and remix artist, working out of the legendary Hive studios and recording acts like Mount Eerie, Apollo Ghosts, Rose Melberg, No Gold and many more. Now, finally, he is going it alone. Every sound you hear on his eponymous debut album — due out this summer through Mint Records — was self-recorded by Arner in his 72-square-foot practice space using a precariously perched desktop computer and his home recording gear. The sum of his many talents, these 10 songs sizzle with DIY energy and encompass the scope of the songwriter’s diverse resume.”

Check Jay on Facebook, BandCamp, Tumblr and Twitter. Jay hits up Pittsburgh this Saturday, performing at The Shop for his first ever U.S. tour in support of his debut self-titled album via Mint Records. I want to thank him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • I think it was “Master of Puppets” by Metallica on CD.
  • Your last album bought?
  • “Sugarglider” 12″ by Renny Wilson.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • “Low” by David Bowie or “Wowee Zowee” by Pavement.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • “Til The Casket Drops” by Clipse. I loved their preceding album but this one is just really average. It’s got a few good songs but it could have been so much better.
  • First concert attended?
  • Metallica when I was like 13. Guess I really liked Metallica. :/ I should mention (for balance?) the first concert I went to without my parents was Fugazi, around age 16. I have respect for Fugazi but I haven’t thought about their music really ever since then. Metallica and their non-stop blundering continue to entertain me. Go figure!
  • Last concert?
  • The Ketamines at Pop Montreal last week. Excellent!!! They changed the lyrics of ‘You Can’t Serve Two Masters’ to ‘You Can’t Serve Jay Arner.’ Very flattering.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Hard to say, but Apollo Ghosts at the Push Festival in Vancouver in January 2012. It was just really great watching my friends play increasingly bigger and better shows. After the show I drunkenly escorted a skunk stranded on a bridge, walking alongside it so it was safe from cars. Runner up to best show is Kool Keith in Bellingham, Washington in the mid-2000s.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • That’s tough. I’ll say Stone Temple Pilots at GM Place in Vancouver, late 2000s. My friends’ band Sloan (not included in the “least favourite”) were opening for them so it was a free novelty show. Stone Temple Pilots were tiny and sounded like a CD. Their music is fine (they played like 30 hits in a row!) but it was really alienating. Far away grunge men.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I have no Pittsburgh experiences. But I have actually heard that it’s a really cool city so I’m looking forward to visiting. There’s also another Jay Arner from around there that I’d like to meet and hopefully we don’t “Timecop” each other.
  • Thanks, Jay. I appreciate the suggested links, man. Who knew watching Jean-Claude Van Damme with The Ketamines blasting actually works!