Vancouver's Jay Arner has just stirred up a new synthesis in the remix premiere of, “Lady Pain”, a choice helping of indie disco nouveau from Mint Records labelmate Renny Wilson. Taken off of Wilson's recent album Sugarglider, Arner scans the track for the most understated corners and moments with new approaches and tricks from the beat reassignments to the reassortment and keyboard recalibrations.
Where we first meet the lo-fidelity beat trips on Renny's original chorus introduction, Jay hears larger rhythms at work and realigns the track with newly fused electronic dance percussion programs. The wide array of multilinear key progressions work on various levels with multidirectional effects that brings the Edmonton sound closer to the Vancouver beat. With Jay's own self-titled scheduled for release June 25, his remix expresses the electric connection to the evocative where Renny's original restraint is overhauled from mere underscored emotion and brought to the surface with consolations for the lady pains. Stay tuned for our discussion with Jay and Renny after their following remix debut.
Upon our first listen to Jay Arner's remix, we inquired for further details on his approach, the catharsis of infectious pop intimacy, and his recent single “Don't Remind Me” from his upcoming self-titled.
What was your approach to applying your own pop touches in your reworking of Renny Wilson's “Lady Pain”?
I got the vocal from Renny, I put a krautrock beat on it, was unhappy, put a house drumbeat on it, was unhappy, combined the two drumbeats, and that kind of worked. I have a few analog synthesizers at home and I just kept piling on the arpeggiators. I did the mixdown live, moving the faders up and down with a mouse for that slow and awkward mix sound.
Afterwards I sped the whole thing up for no reason. What I'm saying is I didn't over-think it.
Are there any pertinent stories behind “Don't Remind Me” that you can stand to be reminded of?
The line about West Van kids is there to make fun of a few of my friends that grew up there. West Vancouver is sort of a wealthy area. I will take their wine.
Also I stole a line from this song:
What is the secret to turning incidents of potential regret, and personal intimacy into electric and infectious power pop?
I guess catharsis is the secret. You can take shitty events or weird feelings or whatever and externalize them.
Favorite power pop artist(s)?
I don't know if I listen to anything that is power pop. Guided by Voices? Nirvana?
Favorite power pop album?
Under the Bushes Under the Stars by Guided by Voices
Favorite power pop album that not enough people have discovered/and/or are talking about?
Mount Benson by Apollo Ghosts
Does Vancouver have a power pop scene?
The music scene here– at least the one I know– grew from noisy punk rock and experimental music, shows in makeshift venues like the Emergency Room and Hoko's (a sushi restaurant), and the Music Waste festival. It's pretty much one big group of people, and the ones that write poppier songs (eg the aforementioned Apollo Ghosts) do that. The show I'm going to tomorrow has a piano-playing wildman, a quasi-afrobeat/Ennio Morricone band with horns, a loud hardcore band, and a 80s-ish really melodic pop band, and it's at a house, and it's all the same music scene. When I think of power pop I think of dudes really into Big Star. I don't know where those dudes hang out.
How do you utilize the recording of a forthcoming self-titled album and the art of performance to confront shyness?
I don't really think about it. I've been making music and playing shows for long enough that it's just this weird aspect of my life. I'm normally pretty quiet, but every once in a while I get in front of people and shout at them and maybe they look at me. I'm in an electronic band as well, and for some long stretches of music I do almost nothing, and I've been getting into standing still and looking at the audience. Role reversal. And I record by myself so there is no shyness cure there.
Other cures for shyness?
Cures for “Lady Pain”?
After popping one for the pain, we caught up with Renny Wilson to hear his thoughts on the remix, fashion tips, tour advice, recipe insights and more.
How do you feel about Jay Arner's remix of “Lady Pain”, melding his
power pop persuasions mixed with your heart-sick-keyboard-slick indie
It's very cool! My version of the song is sorta the odd track out on the record, thematically. Perhaps Jay's version is more appropriate on my record than my version is!
Cures for 'lady-pains' for both men and women experiencing them?
An exorcism? As my song lady pain is more referring to succubus creature named “Lady Pain” as opposed to just having “lady pains.”
Best ways to avoid “Lady Pain?”
Talking about “lady pains,” If everyone avoided relationships we A. wouldn't be here, but B. we'd all be a lot more productive and happy. People should avoid love, and smart phones. Fucking smart phones! I just got a smart phone last week after I woke up to my old phone covered in vomit and broken… I'm just getting into smart phone culture, but my band members have been almost entirely mesmerized by their devices this whole trip thus far. The fact that 3 out of 5 members have broken up with their significant others during this very tour might explain the excessive use. Smart phones and relationships combined causes a vicious cycle, AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
Tips for singer-songwriters getting weird on the dance floor?
Install a ballet studio sized mirror in your living room and watch the way you move. Watch James Brown YouTubes and have a healthy lifestyle; hit the gym and go swimming. This will help you be agile enough to last through an entire set. Don't eat meat, move to a city that makes you happy, one that you can spend a lot of time outdoors and jog and do all that shit. Take real dance classes, tap, urban…watch more James Brown videos, this time buy the actual DVDs off of Amazon.com. I'm in Seattle right now, I guess that's where Amazon is from, found out last night. Anyways, I don't do any of that stuff, minus the James Brown YouTube, but it would help anyone who wanted to get crazy up in the discotheque.
The best way to rock a Canadian tuxedo?
Well, finding a matching top and bottom is the dream. I don't have any matching combos, but I did buy one for my bandmate Mitch recently. A GWG, that's the Great Western Garment company. True Canadian tuxedo, made in Edmonton, where I'm from. Fun fact, Levi's bought out GWG in the early 80's and a lot of the Levi's sold in North America from the 80's to the early 2000's were made in Edmonton. I think the GWG factory is a bottle depot now.
What denim brands work best for a Canadian tux?
All the standards. Levi, Lee, Wrangler… GWG is a cool one to me, I have a cool GWG “Kings” model jacket from the 70's. I'd rock a Kirkland tux, I just found out Costco is also from Washington (in Kirkland?!?!?!) I'm a fucking backwoods Canadian hick, it's embarrassing. I do have a few pairs or Kirkland jeans though, that I like very much.
Fashion tips for the image conscious at home?
I don't like sweatpants, or casual clothes. Working in my undies makes me depressed also. Those Kirkland jeans I mentioned are pretty loose fitting and comfortable, I often call them my house pants, but I'll wear them out.
Fashion tips for the image conscious at work?
All work places should have a uniform! At my workplace we have denim Fridays (you wear a blue collar denim shirt.) This has nothing to do with my own personal denim legacy.
Fashion tips for the image conscious on stage?
People who spend a lot of money on their wardrobe need help, but I always find it funny when those people wear an excessive amount of their wardrobe onto the stage. Your shitty two thousand dollar designer jacket looks extra shitty when it's preventing you from strumming your instrument. We get it, you are bad with money, and it was a little chilly out tonight, but please, PLEASE, take that off before you go on stage, YOU'RE NOT IN MAROON 5!
Fashion tips for the image conscious on tour
I packed pretty light, and aside from my 3 piece jean-cedo, I've been wearing one or two outfits. Think Tom Hanks in '89.
Best synth companion for the stage?
Mitch, my keyboard guy? I got a Juno 60, this is the first string of shows we've used it on and it's stellar.
Worst synth companion for the stage?
Not a synth, but using a computer for backing tracks has always been a let down. I almost don't use them anymore, this is the first string of dates that I haven't and it's been quite liberating. We can whip out a Carole King cover at ANY MOMENT!
Best cheap synth for the road?
Yamaha DX7? I don't have one but they are compact and versatile. I have a SY77 (the DX7s big bro) at home but it's a colossal bitch.
Worst cheap synth for the road?
A FREE SOFT SYNTH PLUGIN ON YOUR LAPTOP! Just kidding, I don't care.
Best on-the-road-grub for tour pit stops?
Bon's in Van? Many McBreaks so far also. YUM. Small town McDons are always tricked out also.
Worst on-the-road-grub for tour pit stops?
Anywhere you spend over 5 bucks.
We keep hearing about your epic nachos. Can you divulge any recipe secrets?
Nachos?!?!? Where'd you hear that? These days I've been really into making pulled pork in my slow cooker. Shit is damn GOOOOOOOD, made some with some malt liquor and pureed onion garlic n ginger last week.
Renny Wilson's Sugarglider album is available now, while Jay Arner's self-titled will be available June 25 from Mint Records.