Love as a battlefield

Danniel Oickle goes to war with his latest project

Danniel Oickle is the first to admit his work is not for everyone. The Bytown multi-disciplinary artist’s near constant output of music, poetry, and visual art has fans and detractors in equal numbers. But if the blistering commentary that tends to follow him wherever he goes has any effect, you’d never know it by talking to him.

“I’d rather make people’s tongues wag than have them ignore my work,” he says.” Years ago, I was upset about some backlash I was getting and called my brother. He congratulated me, saying I was finally important enough for people to hate.”

Like much of his work, Oickle’s current album, Blitzkrieg!,is a mélange of styles, blending dance-pop, industrial, blues, and doo-wop. The project had its beginnings two years ago while he was touring with The Corruption of Flesh. Stumbling on the sheet music for a song he’d written at 17 called “To My Love,” he began playing around on the piano.

“It was like discovering an old Polaroid or extra money in your jeans’ pocket,” he says. “Suddenly, memories of youthful love, one-night-stands, and broken hearts flooded back.”

The track became his encore number at live shows and the starting point for the new disc.

Love is an ever-present theme in Oickle’s work; nearly every interview question brings some mention of his husband. But despite being happily hitched, he has no interest in cheery ballads. The album’s title isn’t just a reference to the musical time period he’s dabbling in. It’s an assertion that “love is an act of war.”

“In the queer community, the right to love is its own battle,” he says. “Our love isn’t just an interpersonal act of war, but a declaration against the homogenous hetero-sexist ideals of love. By simply loving each other in our own personal ways, we are waging silent war against cultural expectations.”

Blitzkrieg! album launch
Thurs, Dec 12, 9pm
Mercury Lounge, Ottawa
56 ByWard Market Square

Chris Dupuis

Chris Dupuis is a writer and curator originally from Toronto.

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