Doug Hoyer answers our Grayowl Questionnaire

1. Where’d you get your name?

I got my name, Douglas William Hoyer, from my parents. They were nice enough to give it to me. They never called by the name Douglas, it’s always been Doug. I go by Douglas sometimes when I’m writing or serving now though.

2. When did you start making music seriously?

That’s a very good question. Sometimes I wonder if I’m taking it too seriously, or not seriously enough! I put out my first EP under my own name in 2007. It was just a little CD-R. I did one of those a year for three years, then I put out 2 albums under the name Bike Month, and then went back to Doug Hoyer for my more recent output.

3. What are you listening to right now?

I have a morning show on CJSR here in Edmonton, and the benefits of being involved at the station is that I’m always exposed to new music.  For the past year I’ve really enjoyed a lot of afrobeat & “world music” inspired bands, such as Antibalas, and the Souljazz Orchestra from Ottawa (they put out a fantastic album called Solidarity about a year ago). I recently saw a stoner-rock band from Halifax called Crosss and I’ve been loving their LP Obsidian Spectre. I’ve also really been getting into the music of Ilaiyaraaja, who made fantastic soundtracks to countless Indian films. I’m not sure if it’s because the music is responding to visuals, but I find that his music is some of the most imaginative, exciting music I’ve ever heard.

4. What are some of your musical guilty pleasures?

I don’t know if I really believe that any music needs to be labeled as a guilty pleasure. Even if there is an element of it that I might not align with (production, lyrical content, esthetic, etc) I’m sure that if I like it on any level, then that’s worth celebrating or at least understanding. I really do like to analyze songs that I enjoy, and figure out what it is that I like about them.

All that said, I suppose some examples my guilty pleasures would be:

Everything But The Girl – Missing (Todd Terry Remix)

Anything from the Windham Hill Record label (a new age record label from the 80’s. Great stuff, but very cheesy) & Gotye. I saw him a year ago because Chairlift was opening for him, and his live show totally impressed me. I ended up buying his album and I really, really like 70% of it. As an artist that also uses samples to create new songs, new collages I suppose, I ended up finding some kinship in there.

5. Describe your music in one sentence.

Sincerely self-aware analytical Collage Pop.

6. Where do you see yourself in six months?

I see myself coming home from western Canadian tour with an artist that I really respect and admire (no names yet in case it doesn’t happen!) and then continuing to work away at LP #3.

7. What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Wow, what a tough question.  I’m constantly finding myself in situations where I believe that I’m currently at the highlight of my career right now! I’m really proud of my body of work, and I feel that with each project, each album, each video, and every show I am trying to better myself. I’m always trying to learn, have fun and to grow, so I’ve had numerous career highlights along the way, but I feel like right now I’m in a good and exciting place.

8. What is the most unusual compliment/insult you’ve recieved as a musician?

Nothing in particular sticks out in my mind at the moment, but I know I’ve received some back-handed compliments for doing what I do.

9. If you could go on tour with any band, disbanded or together, who would you tour with?

It depends if it’s a band that would make a good bill with me, or if it’s a band that I’d love to see play every night.

I feel like the answer for both could be found in any of these three:

1) Talking Heads/David Byrne 2) Kid Koala 3) They Might Be Giants

note: I would love to say Jen Lekman but honestly that would terrify me since I’m such a big fan.

10. If you could be on the soundtrack for any TV show or movie, which one would you choose?

Funny you should ask; I’ve recently written and performed the theme song for a new TV show coming out in the fall, called “Felt Up!” on BiteTV. They take real people telling really embarrassing stories, and have the puppets reenact them. It’s disgustingly funny, I love it.

11. What do you do for fun?

Lately I’ve been enjoying swimming. It’s such a relaxing thing to do! It helps me plan out my day too, just being in a good place, letting my mind either focus or run free.

I also love movies. There’s a fantastic theatre down the street from where I live called the Metro, which has fantastic programing. Tons of classics, modern, local & international greats, plus they have cult films, and even turkey shoots of things like ‘The Room’, ‘Catwoman’ and Nicholas Cage’s horrible “The Wicker Man”.

Wow, movies & swimming. I kind of sound a bit boring. I suppose the other thing I do for fun is whatever my friends are up to. I have so many artistic friends who have great plays, films & shows going on that keeping up with them can be fun in itself.

12. If you weren’t doing music what would you do?

I’m reading a book by Philip K. Dick called “Ubik”. In it, some people can see the future like a row of honeycombs, and the best optional future will glow and this is the route that they’ll follow. Unfortunately I do not have this power, and I can’t view multiple realities at once, so I’ll never really know what could have been.

That said, I’d likely be a teacher, biologist or a writer. Either way, I’d be jaded.

13. What do you think will be a major trend in the near future?

Non-english pop songs dominating the radio. I look forward to this.

14. What current trend do you think needs to stop?

Child pop stars. I suppose that it isn’t a trend at all, but we’ve seen the path that these children go on, and it rarely ends well.

15. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this survey?

Packing for my trip to Toronto in the morning, going back to reading “Ubik”, or maybe watching Charlie Kaufman’s “Adaptation” before going to bed.

Doug Hoyer is playing tonight in Toronto at Clinton’s! Check out the Facebook event page for more information.  

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