Dizzy Mystics is a psychedelic rock band based out of Winnipeg. Its members, Kyle Halldorson (lead vocals), Alexandre Joyal (guitar), Aaron Bacon (bass), and Jeff Laird (drums), promise rock enthusiasts a hearty blend of psychedelic, progressive, and 70’s metal. The band, currently on an Ontario wide tour, will be playing at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto on December 5 to promote their upcoming debut album Wanderlost, which is set to be released in the new year. The Medium spoke with lead singer Halldorson to discuss the band’s journey.
The Medium: How did Dizzy Mystics come about?
Kyle Halldorson: Dizzy Mystics was a concept that I kind of created on my own after the band that I was in dissolved and I had a whole bunch of songs written, intending for the band to play. I didn’t really want to be in a solo project, rather I wanted to write democratically. I sat with these songs for a long time where multiple instrumentation was written for them. So, I just went ahead and recorded an album by myself and fished in the perfect players after, with a good sounding demo. It’s been almost three years now, since we started to rehearse and learn all the songs.
TM: How has your sound evolved since then?
KH: The songs were already written before we met up. Naturally, they morphed into different little nuances and souped-up sections compared to the album. As people learnt the parts that I wrote, their take and playing style has been incorporated into the sound. In that sense, the live sound is a little bit different to the album sound. We haven’t started writing together extensively yet, so it’s difficult to say in which direction we’re going to go…but moving forward, you’ll definitely hear more of every aspect.
TM: Tell me about your upcoming album Wanderlost.
KH: Pretty much, everything is on there. There are some old ideas and some recent ones as well from 2015. The oldest would be parts I’ve had kicking around since 2009 or 2010. It’s a mish mash of a whole bunch of different ideas. Its loosely based on the concept of being lost in oneself; sonically trans versing through a plethora of genres and elements including hard and progressive rock, metal and folk, jazz fusion and grunge.
TM: What do you do when you’re not in the studio working?
KH: We’re rehearsing like crazy! We’re about to go on our second little tour of the Toronto area, starting this Friday. Right now, we’re just scratching the surface into the whole musician lifestyle. We all have lives and day jobs, but we’re dedicating every waking hour, outside of essential work, to the band. Its pretty much impossible, unless you’ve broken through, made songs on a commercial, and paid off your house dues. I do music stuff outside the band and work for the city of Winnipeg. Touring is not yet a big part of our lives.
TM: How was touring for the first time? Were there any aspects that stood out?
KH: Basically, how easy and fun it was. You hear so many horror stories, but that’s from people who go on long multiple tours over several months—we only did it for a week. I can picture it being fun and productive even if it was more than a week. In the end, everything was positive. There were certain things beyond your control, like monkey wrenches thrown into your plan that makes putting on a successful show harder. It’s the ultimate test, those things essential to pull out the best in you.
TM: Are there any artists that you really enjoy listening to right now?
KH: New music? My favorite new artists are White Denim, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala, Hiatus Coyote. Tame Impala definitely influenced me a lot… I guess I love their melodies. I know we’re a heavier rock than them at this point, but melodic wise, I’m inspired by the euphoria and the ‘universe within you feeling’ their music invokes.
TM: How would you describe the music scene in Winnipeg?
KH: It’s tons and stacks of talented-passionate artists. I don’t know if it’s the winters that create genius writing, but some winters force you to hibernate and focus on your craft and emerge with a bunch of crazy music. ‘There’s something in the water in Winnipeg’—I heard it outside when we were touring. I might be biased but it’s something about being in the middle of nowhere and the intense conditions and the do it yourself mentality that’s forced upon you as it’s not a huge promotional town like Toronto.
TM: What’s your creative process like? How do you get into that musician’s mindset?
KH: Don’t force yourself to be around the instrument too much. If I’m noodling around, some cool things come up. I step away from the guitar, go about my work day and some ideas and riffs just pop into my mind which I note down on my phone.
TM: What’s your go-to guitar?
KH: I have an Ibanez SZ 520. Funny enough, I never knew that exact spec until I had to do an insurance report. Apparently, it’s a rare guitar model—looks like a Paul Reed Smith so I took to it.
TM: Where does Dizzy Mystics see itself in five years?
KH: I want it to be a self-sustaining way of making a living. I want to do it full time, solely cater to it. Winnipeg is a beautiful place and I call it home. I have loved ones here and get inspiration from the city. However, you can’t really judge what you’re going to do until it occurs to you, so I’d be open to branching out, maybe moving.