Thursday, May 17, 2012

From my recent newsletter

Fear of humiliating failure aside, I'm trying to prevent myself from becoming a lesbian-coiffed aging rocker by writing music for "classical," "fine arts," and/or "serious" contexts such as amazing creepy zombie-esque Japanese modern dance forms!

In April, I held a performance of such a piece, ICHNEUMONIDAE, as a trio (guitar, violin, and dance/percussion). I like to think of that performance as sort of like a flag along the road of commitment to a larger-scale and more intensive work. So, the time has now come to try to expand this piece for a larger ensemble and actually make some killer media (album, film, yes!!!) out of it that people can enjoy at home. Ergo, a Kickstarter campaign to try to get this thing going...!

I would so so so greatly appreciate it if you could take a look at the project page and consider donating to support the production of this movie. I'm super-excited to finally take this first step into the realm of combining intrinsic visual elements with my music, something I have always wanted to do.

It took me a while to decide which one of my running projects to try to fund this way. I've got a whole bunch of things on my plate, such as a handful of solo songs, as well as new Kayo Dot stuff (in the style of Gamma Knife and hoping to do a real studio recording, what!) But, I decided to do Ichneumonidae here because it seems like the MOST difficult to fund through other means. Just to be candid for a minute here, you know there is a whole scene of musicians who apply for and receive grants/commissions to do stuff like this. I tried to get into that world a bit over the past couple of years and have had no luck with it whatsoever. Can't get anything funded through those means. Really, that sort of thing makes a guy start to get pretty dark on himself, to be succinct. And labels don't want to fund Ichneumonidae, it's unmarketable. Anyway, you guys are the listeners. You're the people that actually want to put this stuff on your iPods and have it come at you during a rainy train ride, instead of keeping it on a shelf in an archive of all the classy shit your organization helped produce and only pulls out of storage when it comes time to apply for more funding. So if you're interested in hearing/seeing it, please consider donating to the kickstarter campaign, that's the only way it'll happen!

Yeah, I know it seems like summer is kickstarter season and everyone's doing it. I felt a little bit weird about launching this at this exact moment just because two of my closest friends have also just launched their own kickstarter campaigns for their own incredible music. Just want you to know that we are not competitive. You can check their projects out at the following links, and also please consider donating. Their music needs to be out in the world and it gets my highest recommendation.

Tim Byrnes/Hazel-Rah:

Jeremiah Cymerman:

And, this one:

In other news, the Kayo Dot west coast tour has been moved to August 16-September 1. We have some if it booked already but are still looking for dates. If you can help, please get in touch!

And - our most recent album GAMMA KNIFE is having its vinyl and CD release and is available for preorder at

And - I've just put almost ALL of my recorded output up for streaming, buying, downloading, whatever, at - check it!!!!

Thanks for reading. Your support means everything,
much love
Toby Driver

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Hot on the hooves of everyone else's mailing list messages comes my very own mailing list message! March is mailing list month, after all. It comes in like a postal truck in DC at Christmas and goes out like a delicious bhuna gosht. Anyhow, on to the news.

Just yesterday (Feb 28) was the official release date of the CD & LP by a new band I'm in, called VAURA. We in the band have agreed that VAURA is like Van Halen meets The Police meets Queensryche meets Dysrhythmia meets Kayo Dot meets Religious to Damn meets Weakling meets Krull (the movie) meets Ukelele (the instrument), and a few other things that I can't really remember right now. In any case, I'm in this band with Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Gorguts), Josh Strawn (Blacklist, Religious to Damn), and Charlie Schmid (Religious to Damn). People have been psyched about the album so far, and can I tell you, goddamn, it's nice to be in a band that people actually want to listen to! The album, "Selenelion," was released by WIERD Records, and is available to buy at their store... I recommend the colored vinyl for its delicious resemblance to black raspberry hard candy and its superior sound quality.

Nextly, and speaking of Kevin Hufnagel, he was kind enough to hook me up with a show this coming Sunday, March 4, at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, opening for Eugene S. Robinson (Ox Bow, etc) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis). I'm going to be playing solo keyboard and singing at this show, and it'll be my first actual SOLO performance ever! So, I hope you can come and witness the spectacle. You can think of me as a gothier, smaller Kevin Hufnagel who doesn't play guitar or ukelele. Eugene and Scott are large, tough, and manly, so rest assured my set will pretty much be the polar opposite of theirs. I'll be like the pickle, if you ate the pickle before the rest of your meal (why would you do that, though??)

Later in April is gonna be CHIPPYFEST at the Stone, curated by the meticulous Heung-Heung Chin. It's so much later, in fact, that I may email you guys about this again. I'm going to be playing three times within two days, once with Vaura (unplugged!), once with Stern (the new live musical band rendering of Chuck Stern's perverted fantasies), and once more as a super awesome special premiere of something totally new:

A new trio for myself (on voice), Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3 violinist), and Michelle Morinaga, who's choreographing what's essentially going to be like an ultra-slow-moving half-butoh, half-percussion piece. Consider the instrumentation to be voice, violin, percussion, visuals, and manipulations of ambient reverb? If that makes sense? We don't have a title yet, but the piece is going to be about parasites. It should be really weird (and good!) - April 21st, see The Stone's website for the full calendar with times, etc.

KAYO DOT spring tour! This is still in the works. Sorry we don't have more information at this time... but soon! If you're interested in hosting (for May/June) please send me an email.

And - If you missed it last time, KAYO DOT released our new album, GAMMA KNIFE, via at the beginning of January. If you haven't gotten it yet, please head over to the bandcamp page and check it out and buy it if you like it! It's cheap (5 bucks!) and every single purchase helps. The CD and vinyl version are coming in April via Antithetic Records. I'll email you guys again when we have photos and pre-order info. Here are some comments that people have been making about GAMMA KNIFE:

"It's good, but it's no maudlin of the Well" - Internet guy #1

"It's back to the band's roots, reminding me of maudlin of the Well at times!" - Internet guy #2

"It's the most maudlin-ish Toby Driver has sounded in years" - Internet guy #3

"For the first time since maudlin of the Well, Kayo Dot sounds relevant again" - Internet guy #4

"Toby's screaming again. Is that Jason Byron I hear?" - Internet guy #5

"Blight of River Systems is amazing" - Internet guy #6

Those guys will all be happy to hear that the Finnish label Blood Music is re-releasing the old out-of-print MOTW CDs, BATH and LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP, plus also issuing PART THE SECOND on CD for the first time ever. Those CDs go on sale tomorrow (March 1st)!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MOTW CDs are going to press / repress

Some text from the label, Blood Music outta Finland


There will be 300 copies of each, if they sell well, then we will also press "My Fruit Psychobells"

Bonus tracks on the 2 re-issues, and 100 signed copies.

Discs will go up for pre-order on March 1st (Thursday) and release date is April 13th."