Dream Affair is a fresh-faced threesome from Brooklyn whose name suits them perfectly. Let it sink in: Dream Affair… Sounds like an ’80s soap opera about nocturnal adultery, doesn’t it? It’s cold, it’s heartless and it belongs squarely in the dark industrial landscapes of, say, the Killing Joke, Asylum Party, Death in June and Weimar Gesang discographies. Spooky-ass vibes, but in a fun, abandoned amusement park kind of way.
I caught up with frontman Hayden Payne as they were getting ready to leave Brooklyn for a couple shows up here in the Great White North. On their last tour, they tried to cross the Canadian border without proper work permits, and Hayden barely made it through after a shaky interrogation session with suspicious border guards. Fingers crossed they make it in hassle-free and on time for their Friday show at Katacombes.
Gregory Pike: I heard that you once had a pretty dodgy experience at the Canadian border. Have you run into any other issues while on tour?
Hayden Payne: Well, I accidently put the wrong gas cap on Bryan’s car once. The different gas cap didn’t seal the tank properly and a bunch of air got in there and it corroded everything. He had to get all the spark plugs replaced. Never put the gas cap on top of the pump. You’ll get it mixed up with someone else’s. The one I took was from a Mercedes-Benz. So, someone’s nice car got messed up!
GP: That’s rough. But at least that hasn’t deterred you from coming back to Canada.
HP: Yeah. We’re getting on the road with Tiers on Friday. I’m stoked to play with so many good bands this time around, like Automelodi and Police des moeurs. Right now, we’re getting together new material for those shows.
GP: What’s the typical process when creating new material? Is it one person writing or more of a collaboration?
HP: It varies. Sometimes we’ll come up with a song together. Other times, we write songs alone and then bring them to the table. We all put in our own ideas, and we never take the same approach twice.
GP: What do you think about Montreal?
HP: We love Montreal. I wish I could live there. We played a small loft-like place, the Silver Door. It was great. People danced and it was packed, especially for a Tuesday night. Also, the food there is great, the rent is cheap and it seems like Canada supports the arts more than the States.
GP: What gives you that impression?
HP: I know from talking to Xavier from Automelodi and Matthew Samways from Electric Voice Records that Canada is much more willing to give grants to musicians, even if they’re underground. You just have to apply for them. The overhead for an artist is also much lower than it is the U.S. In the U.S., I don’t think these opportunities even exist for a musician like myself.
GP: What kinds of differences do you see between Canada and the U.S. in terms of bands and their audiences?
HP: People buy T-shirts. People buy records. People come to the shows to see the bands, not just to be seen. However, that doesn’t apply for all of the U.S. I think I’m talking more about around where I’m from.
GP: Well, one thing’s for sure: it’s definitely cheaper to live in Montreal than in Brooklyn. Want to guess my rent?
HP: $500? And you don’t have to pay for health insurance. ■
Dream Affair headline Permanent Wave Vol. 6, with Tiers, Automelodi and Police des moeurs at Katacombes (1635 St-Laurent) on Friday, March 1, 9 p.m., $8