Allow us to introduce the duo: Blue Jay Walker, the guitarist and lead vocalist, has earned the moniker of “Working Class Grifterstm” through his journey from being a vagrant to becoming a “legitimate” businessperson. Joining him is Ixc, a trans activist turned MLM leader, who contributes bass and harmony vocals. Together, as Walker and Wylde, an acclaimed folk punk duo from Montreal, Canada, they have poured their efforts into crafting their highly anticipated second LP, titled “Corporate Sponsored Sunday School,” which encompasses a diverse range of influences and genres. The album makes its debut today, and we are delighted to provide you with an exclusive glimpse into its creation process and the themes explored in its lyrics.
With “Corporate Sponsored Sunday School,” Walker and Wylde embark on a transformative musical odyssey that challenges the foundations of Western society while still holding onto a glimmer of hope. The album employs a range of techniques to satirize and explore stories within the context of Western civilization, offering a unique perspective from two artists navigating the struggles of life through their art.
Over the past two years, Walker and Wylde have immersed themselves fully in the world of music and art, gaining firsthand experience of the struggles inherent in maintaining artistic integrity amidst financial demands and societal pressures. The album’s title, “Corporate Sponsored Sunday School,” is a sharp critique of the neo-liberalistic worship of consumerism, presenting the album as a satirical Bible for this modern faith. It includes sketches and songs that cleverly spoof and expose the cultural phenomenon.
Throughout the album, the songs follow a consistent trajectory, weaving tales from different character perspectives while occasionally offering self-reflective moments. The opening track, “Life of the cursed P4,” beckons listeners to join the band on an arduous journey toward an unattainable corporeal success, ultimately leading to their own demise. In “Devil Come,” a character willingly sacrifices body and soul in pursuit of fame, singing the poignant lines, “Make me famous, let me die.”
Each song in the album continues along this trajectory, critiquing alt-right influencers, CEOs, and corporate values, while occasionally peeling back the curtain to reveal genuine thoughts and emotions. “Let’s Go For Another Ride (Song for Jay)” celebrates the power of community and finding solace in friendships amidst the struggles portrayed in the music. “Take it all” candidly explores the despair and entrapment experienced in a society that oppresses its inhabitants. Meanwhile, “Waterline” serves as a lamentation for rising water levels and environmental pollution.
Walker and Wylde also showcase empathy for those trapped within the same consumerist cycle that they themselves find challenging to escape. Songs like “Apple Tree” and “Let’s Make a Deal” delve into the lives of characters who, although flawed, navigate their circumstances as best they can. These songs highlight the characters’ pleas for freedom and their willingness to take risks to gain control over their lives.
Amidst their critical observations, Walker and Wylde maintain an unwavering belief in hope and the power of fighting for change. The album culminates with two powerful tracks that directly confront these themes. The penultimate song emphasizes the cyclical nature of wandering and the perpetuation of societal patterns.
However, the final song unites a resounding chorus, harmonizing the lyrics, “I don’t think I need a reason to believe it all makes sense.” In this closing moment, Walker and Wylde defy the need to find purpose solely in consumerism or in some grand spiritual ideology. They remind listeners that the true beauty of life lies in the simple fact that we are alive. Ultimately, amidst personal struggles and societal angst, the album radiates hope for change and a brighter future.
We sat down with the band to give us some more insights about this unique offering and tease some of their plans for the rest of the year.
How do you hope your listeners will respond to the message?
We hope that listeners will have an experience that the music has attempted to dictate. It sometimes enters dark places that are challenging to confront, but it ends with the spark of hope and life. We hope that our music will be received in the same way, where the listeners will walk away hopeful.
When Ixc wrote the template for the last song on the album (See Another Sunrise) they said that they wanted to write a song where people who were struggling with mental illness, or suicidal thoughts would find solace. They wanted to create a song that struggling people without hope would discover hope anew.
That’s how we want people to experience the album. Confront reality, but walk away with hope.
What kind of impact do you hope your music will have on your listeners, both in terms of their personal lives and the wider society we live in?
We hope the music will encourage people to fight for change. A lot of the album makes fun of the absurdity of reality, or it confronts the bleakness of our world. But we don’t believe that this is unable to change– the punk ethos, in our opinion, is that no fight is insurmountable.
We want society at large, through our listeners, to experience the message of this album by fighting for their neighbours and living a life that fights for the betterment of our society, towards a more equitable and charitable world where LGBTQ people can live without fear, where Racism is abolished, and where the rich don’t lord wealth over us all.
We know our album can’t cause that change, but we believe that even the smallest fight can lead to a greater change in our society.
What societal issues do you think are most important to address through your music, and how do you hope to create change through your art?
Our biggest concern is classism. We can very clearly see the way that the rich lord wealth and power over us all, and how the rich use identity politics to divide and conquer our societies.
We can watch plainly as billionaires invest in media companies to control the minds of individuals across society. Their power and wealth is used to divide people who are of equal standing, all of us struggling to survive in this society. They convince people of values that are false, and that benefit no one.
Our album deeply dives into divisions within society and the power of the rich over us all, and it does it through satire, through sincerity, and through anger. We hope that this allows people to confront these issues with greater ease, due to the levity we prefer to bring to our music.
Give us some more details on your upcoming plans for the rest of 2023.
2023 is about making Walker and Wylde a permanent mainstay of the punk industry. We desire to be part of this world for the next long time, and so we’re working on establishing ourselves within the punk scenes in our geographical region. We will be playing a lot of shows in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Boston and New York this year to become better friends with the amazing local punk scenes that are flourishing here. North East of North America is an incredible hot bed of creativity, and we’re excited to get to make friends and know people from the area better.
We also are working with an independent progressive magazine called The Rover in Montreal on a documentary highlighting the effect of damming in the native communities of Quebec.
Finally, we’ll be working hard to financially establish ourselves for the near future. It’s imperative that we have a good financial underpinning, otherwise we will not be able to continue on being independent like this forever. So this year we plan to prepare for the future in a tangible financial sense.