WALTER SICKERT & THE ARMY OF BROKEN TOYS
Infidelity has its bright side. When their spouses ran off with each other, Walter Sickert and art-scene associate Edrie Edrie found solace in steamcrunk music.
“It’s either become an artist or a serial killer, and I’ve always thought the artist is a better choice,” says singer/guitarist Sickert, who channeled his dark emotions into songs that he shared with Edrie, sowing seeds for the Army of Broken Toys.
“People that joined the band are sort of outsiders in their own field,” Edrie says of the vaudevillian octet, whose members play instruments that include viola, ukulele, clarinet and stand-up bass. For her part, Edrie plays the accordion as well as toys like a boxed glockenspiel and a cymbal-clapping monkey.
A performance troupe called the Bunny Collaborative packs the audience with fire-eaters, human marionettes and burlesque dancers. “I’m constantly onstage going ‘Whoa!’ myself,” Edrie says. “I never know what’s going to happen.”
Sickert, who evokes Dr. John the Night Tripper with his feathered top hat, views the music as a complement to his twisted work as a visual artist: “If you’re going to come out to a show, it should be an art exhibit/carnival rather than people standing around.”
Unsurprisingly, the band’s weekly rehearsals can get as crazy as their shows. “It’s constant chaos,” Edrie says. “Basically it’s like a big family dinner where we end up with music as the dessert.” (—article on Improper Bostonian)
armyoftoys.com / photo by Justin Moore