Jason Hayward
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Jason Hayward

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Spinoza Gambit – RPM challenge the triple threat"

The RPM challenge is a yearly creative challenge for musicians. The concept is that an entire album must be written, rehearsed and recorded only in the month of February. The 28 day challenge (29 this year) was started by Portsmouth NH alternative newspaper The Wire in 2006. There are no incentives or prizes awarded. The purpose is strictly a non competitive creative challenge designed to foster and promote growth for musicians and local music scenes. Over 1800 bands registered this year through the official website www.rpmchallenge.com. St. John’s Jason Paul Howard (aka Spinoza Gambit) was one of them. Jayson completed not one, not two, but three full albums this February! Thank goodness for leap years! The Scene’s Vinoth Kumar had a chance to sit down with Jayson and speak about the experience.

So Jason, First of all introduce yourself?

Hi I am Jason Paul Hayward. I am a Multi instrumentalist musician based in N.L. I am a composer, keyboard player, bass player,vocalist and am currently into electronic music and wind ensembles. I competed in the RPM challenge with my quartets Robot Scout and we recorded 3 albums in a month.

Your band has an interesting name Robot Scout. How did it become your band name?

Well we wouldn’t really like to call ourselves a band. We are more of a quartet. It’s not a single person’s music. We practice at our friend/spiritual leader , Chris Driedzic’s music studio. There are no specific composers but we share ideas, we collaborate to create spontaneous ideas and our goal is to create good music. That’s pretty much our secret to success too.
The name was an interesting idea, we are basically an electronic band so we derived the name Robot to connect with the idea of electronics and we are a group of people always seeking musical inspiration, thus the name Scout.

I am not a music prodigy but I know playing a piece on an instrument takes a day for a guy like me, Its amazing you recorded not only one but 3 albums in one month, how did you manage to do it?

I’ll have to say the four things. Patience, sleeplessness, drive and motivation. I’ve worked on various projects. My first album was Wayward & Upward and I am also working on a project called Spinoza Gambit. I write songs as a hobby and I when I heard about the RPM challenge, I basically wanted to challenge myself into writing a lot of scores and that’s how I ended up there.

Tell us more about the rpm challenge.

I worked with my quartets and we went through a lot of sleepless nights and basically put in our best. We gave ideas to each other, decide which tunes would suit us. It was a lot of teamwork and innovation. Chris helped us a great deal with the postproduction audio editing and again I would say it’s a group success other than a single person’s achievement.

In your blog, you mentioned that there was a flood in your basement. Now we a have snowstorm in spring in St Johns? You think it’s a disadvantage being in NL.

Well working in NL has its advantages and disadvantages. Geographically NL musicians are disadvantaged. Newfoundland is isolated from the rest of Canada especially in terms of accessibility. So for example, if we get a concert even in Halifax, its expensive in-terms of transportation and if the notice period is too short, we might not be able to make it for the show. We also have a small population and we are keeping ourselves updated about the music scene in Canada only through technological means. The musicians on the mainland have an advantage over us interms of connectivity and accessibility. On the other hand, because we are isolated, we have a strong music culture here. With our weather and isolation, music infact keeps us Newfoundlanders sane. Maybe that is why we have one of the highest numbers of RPM challenge contestants in Canada.

Who is your inspiration?

Well my musical heroes go from classical musicians from Beethoven and Bach to modern - St. John's Scene

"Unusual musical coupling gives birth to smooth show"

Ashelin performs with The Jason Hayward Band at The Ship on Jan. 14

By Brad Dunne

An evening downtown in the middle of January can best be remedied by two things: hotdogs fresh off a vendor’s grill, or better yet, the company of others at a bar. Accordingly, on this particular Saturday night, Jan. 14, The Ship is obligingly hosting Ashelin with openers The Jason Hayward Band.

A group popular for traditional Irish and Newfoundland music, Ashelin may seem unsuited to have Hayward—alternative jazz-pop—open for them. Still, the combination sounds promising, and it’s tough to say no to the gregarious crowd that has gathered inside The Ship.

The Jason Hayward Band consists of Jason Hayward on piano and vocals, Chris Davis on bass, Charlie Barfoot on guitar, and Chris Driedzic on drums. Their sound predominately emphasizes bright chords and melodies. However, with an accomplished and talented group of musicians, Hayward easily explores varying pockets of sounds.

Unsurprisingly, this is where the band is most successful. A relatively newly formed group, The Jason Hayward Band smacks of band searching for their fingerprint. Their compositions certainly hit the right notes if you’re looking for a smooth, sparkling tone. But their identities really shine through once they open up and discover more angular tones in their extended jams.

After Hayward’s set, a cheerful and energetic crowd has accumulated at The Ship, and is primed for more music. As Ashelin amass their considerable load of instruments and paraphernalia onto the stage, the bar plays tracks from The Gorillaz’s Demon Days, serving pint after pint of Guinness and Smithwick’s.

Ashelin is a band of five sisters—Cassey, Joesie, Kaliyn, Shaelin, and Thea. On top of possessing a set of brilliant voices, each sister is a multi-instrumentalist, so the stage is indeed cluttered.

Before hearing them, Ashelin and Hayward seem an odd couple, but in their original material and more interpretive versions of traditional material, Ashelin’s pop sensibilities become evident.

The sisters effortlessly endear themselves to the crowd with their personable banter on the mic. The audience is theirs before the set even starts.

It is impossible to watch Ashelin and not be infected with their joy for music and performing. Their vocal harmonies dance over rich sheets of sound weaved by skillful instrumentation. Already a successful and decorated band, the young Ashelin have a bright future.

After a lengthy performance, perforated by a short break, the show is over. Warmed by dancing and cheering, the crowd shuffles out of The Ship and into the frosty early morning of St. John’s. - The Muse


Untitled album (due for release in two months)



Jason Hayward has lived in Asia, Europe, and North America, and he even spent some time working on a cruise ship. Everywhere he goes, he takes his music with him.
Although he explores music from various sides (electronic, classical, jazz, etc.), he hopes to reach out to a wider audience with these songs.
His main themes are contemplative stories about where we're all going, with some melancholy thoughts mixed in with celebrations of life.