Sophia Topper
Staff Reporter

How did three high school band geeks end up opening for Theory of a Deadman?  McMaster band Daydrunk’s origin story is one of auspicious coincidences and last minute frenzies. Jordan Hallin, a fourth-year philosophy student, who plays guitar and vocals, is also the resident story-spinner. Last winter he happened upon an MSU “Last Band Standing” poster and thought, “This is something I’ve always wanted to do, so why not throw this crazy thing together?”

With just days before the Feb. 1 deadline, Hallin recruited his acquaintance Marty Vandenberk, a third-year sociology student. The group needed a third member because the competition prioritized larger bands. Luckily Marty’s housemate, Rhett Amin, a bass player, was just next door. They called out, “Hey Rhett, you’re gonna be in a band with us,” and he obliged. The first time they practiced together was while recording their audition.

Amin’s bass is a defining part of Daydrunk’s sound. The bass often takes on elements of the melody and as Hallin said, “Rhett does things on the bass that consistently surprise me.” The early rush of success for the band has had a large influence, explained Amin. He said, “We have way more shows than we have practices, we have to listen to each other.” This unity exists offstage as well; said Hallin, “We’re the best of friends.”

Their opportunity to open for Theory of a Deadman came about in much the same way as the band got together. Hallin discovered the Whiskey Rocks contest three days before it closed, and sprang into action. Vandenberk said, “Jordan came to our house one day and said, we’re going to do this. Jordan always comes to us with these crazy ideas, and our first reaction is ‘you want to do what?’”

They filmed their music video in just one day, and Amin and Hallin spent six hours editing their footage. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder on anything,” Hallin said.

Ironically, the Whiskey Rocks contest, run by the LCBO, would not allow them to use the name Daydrunk, because they said that it promotes irresponsible drinking. Their fans on Facebook suggested switching the name to Dray drunk, which was viagra alternative accepted by the contest coordinators.

That wasn’t the only snag they ran into. Going from coffeehouse nights at Mac’s Bridges Cafe to the London Music Hall was a big change, but the band took their mistakes, such as hitting microphones, as learning opportunities. “We got to experience things going wrong and everything turning out all fine,” said Vandenberk. The band also shared their appreciation for the friends and family that came out to support them. “What they really don’t understand,” explained Hallin, “is how much it means and how much it helps us.”

Daydrunk was overjoyed by the success of their set. Hallin, who was still wearing his performer’s wristband during our interview, describes the experience as “unbelievable.” “We’ve had the experience of playing on a sound system that can deafen small children, how often can you do that?” said Vandenberk. Theory of a Deadman, who was once their childhood hero, came up to them afterwards and   congratulated them on their performance.

They plan to build off this success by putting out more music in the next two months, and hope to release a full album by next summer. Daydrunk also has ideas for a benefit concert for the music program Vandenberk worked for in high school. Hallin said he hopes his shows “always have a cause…using your music to spread music to more people, what’s the downside?”


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