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The Artist Life
The Artist Life


The Artist Life are moving up

The Artist Life have Jay and Silent Bob in their corner. Can anything stop them now!

By Scott Wood

The Artist Life lead singer, Ian Blackwood, describes his band’s sound as “if Rancid and Blink 182 had a bastard child.” And this is a great description: the band is a great mix of raw power and sheer goofiness. When I pressed him for more details on how they band was conceived the night Blink and Rancid got it on, Ian refused to say who was the mother and who was the father, but he would admit that it wouldn’t go down missionary or doggystyle, but some mess with a lot of drugs and alcohol involved.

I opened my slightly drunken mouth to the wrong drugged-out dude and seconds later he's was inches from my face ready to go.

The Artist Life guys started out releasing their debut album for free on their website—where you can probably still go to grab it and classic tracks like “Piss Test.”

Now they are on Canadian juggernaut label Underground Operations, home of bands like MuchMusic superstars Protest the Hero—so they finally have the muscle behind them to push things to the next level. I had TAL on my show, the interview show, this summer, where we covered all the basics.

After this, things have really taken off for the band. (Ian was game enough to answer these follow up questions for the interview show and earshot! online right after he had returned from his honeymoon.) Since we last talked, the guys the have shot a video.

Yeah, ok. Big deal. But, get this: the video was directed by (and stars) Jay from infamous cinematic duo Jay and Silent Bob! Yeah. I know.

So, I emailed Ian.

Here’s what he had to say about all things The Artist Life!

Scott: Ian, the big news is you scored Jason Mewes (”Jay” from Jay and Silent Bob) to direct your video. How did this happen?

Ian: I think he lost a bet or something…? Haha! Adam Kreeft from U.O.B.A. (our booking agent who also books Jay for speaking engagements) and Katie Clark from Underground Operations were thinking of who our next director could be for our song “Let’s Start A Riot.” Katie and Adam had known about Jay’s recent come back to films and how he’d like to get into directing. They dropped him a line and after sending him a lifetime supply of RedBull, he said “Yes, I’d love to write a treatment!” VideoFact jumped on board and next thing you know we’re in prison suits running around the Harbor of Toronto.
This video is his directorial debut. What did he do to make you feel cool since this was his virgin voyage behind the camera?

The words “virgin” and “Jay Mewes” sound hilarious beside each other by the way. Honestly, Jay is just a cool cat to begin with. He never lost his cool on set. He was always telling jokes and making people laugh to the point of almost pissing themselves. But the thing that he did that probably made us feel the coolest was when we showed up to a bar and they had a sectioned roped off for him and bottles of Grey Goose waiting. He said “Here you go dudes, I’ll just have the RedBulls.” Vodka and The Artist Life were pretty cool that night.

Jason Mewes is such a 90’s icon and he has lived life on the edge (drug rehab)… can you tell us one crazy story he told you from back in the day and then match it with a TAL story?

Jay’s stories will surpass any of The Artist Life’s stories, but I’ll give it a shot… Jay told us this one story when he was in the middle of his heroin addiction he went to shoot up in a bathroom in L.A. and he dropped his little mini water holder. By the time he opened the stall door to grab it, it was too late and people had started coming in one by one. So he went to plan “b” because he had no water to cook his heroin he took his syringe and sucked up the toilet water and started to cook away. I think it was a week later he was in the Hospital with Endocarditis!

The Artist Life, on the other hand, we were almost killed by a bunch of train hoppers one night on tour last spring. I opened my slightly drunken mouth to the wrong drugged-out dude and seconds later he’s was inches from my face ready to go. But sure enough one of the members of the opening bands was a correctional officer so he had the guy down before I could take my guitar off.  Drugged out dudes sketchy train-hopping friends didn’t like that and a full out riot started. It was skate punks vs. the train hoppers and their dogs. Place got pretty ugly but we got out without a scratch. It was pretty gnarly.

If each guy in TAL could be a 90’s icon, which one would it be? And who is your favorite 90’s girl?
Dean would probably be a mix of David Schwimmer and Tom Cruise (more 80’s I guess), because both those guys are brilliant but also are incredible at playing “The Mess” character.

Chuck is your typical cool dude like Clooney, or Pitt. Looks good in a suit.

And Jake is like the tattooed and cool version of Bill Gates. I think one day we’ll all be paying taxes to him. The Jake tax.

90’s girl… I keep wanting to say Alicia Silverstone.

Now that the video is done, how/where can we see this video?

All this and you just got married! Congrats! How did you convince your lovely girl to enter the frenzied life that is The Artist Life?

Yes I did indeed, and thank you! I promised her gold bars and the purchase of an entire Country renamed after her... Was that too much?

What's are a couple of bachelor items that she insists must go?

Are you kidding me? She has way more stuff then I do... My blow up doll. Mary. Bye bye Mary.

Tune in to the interview show with host Scott Wood for more interviews with your favorite indie acts. Find us at (Vancouver, BC, Mondays @4:30pm), (Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Fridays @11pm-12am), (Guelph, ON, Tuesdays @3pm) and (Winnipeg Winnipeg’s Hit Free Radio, Tuesdays @8am). You can also listen to and download both new and old shows at

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