Some artists adopt onstage personae or wear costumes simply to add an extra layer of dramatic flair. For Jeff Tuyay, the creative force behind the eccentric pop project Dim Wit, wearing a lab coat and a wig when they play live has a far more practical purpose.
“I used to have major stage fright,” Tuyay says. “After shows, I’d kind of run away and leave my shit on stage. The original drummer Tyler [Verigin] was like, ‘Why don’t we put on costumes? Maybe we’ll be more comfortable.’ Within the second or third iteration, it kind of stuck.”
Though Tuyay’s stage fright has subsided, the mad doctor look remains—and it’s befitting for a project that takes a kaleidoscopic approach to pop and punk motifs. The songs on Dim Wit’s three releases to date rarely stay in one place, often ping-ponging from understated to frantic to winsome over the course of three minutes.
Tuyay doesn’t want Dim Wit to remain in one mode. After recording two albums with Verigin, they recorded last year’s Self-Titled on their own, adopting a more electronic sound that has an almost carnivalesque vibe. But no matter how Dim Wit evolves, Tuyay insists that the wig will remain.
“I used to have this one that was half-devil, half-angel, which was nice,” they laugh. “I feel like that’s a polarity in Dim Wit that’s silly and sweet but also kind of dark and sad.”