Singer-songwriter Hayden, now back in the limelight with his album Us Alone, was more amused than surprised when he learned a Wikipedia entry about him was reporting his death.
The Toronto-based musician says he shuts down the "business side" of life when he is writing songs and he often neglects his website and blog. His last album, The Place Where We Lived, was released 2009.
"A fan contacted me and said 'Your Wiki entry says that you are dead.' I recall looking at it for the first time in a year-and-a-half and seeing that posting and seeing that it had been there for months and no one had noticed," Hayden told CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
The performer said he laughed when he read the entry, before asking a friend to change it.
By that point, he'd written most of the songs for Us Alone and knew it was time to step return to the public spotlight.
"Luckily, I’ve always had this idea that I want to make the record that I’m going to feel comfortable with. It’s often a struggle. It often takes way longer that I think and I have this ability, while I’m doing it, to shut off the world," Hayden told Q's Jian Ghomeshi.
Album looks at new life, career so far
Us Alone is an introspective collection that examines Hayden's new roles as a husband and father, as well as looking back on his career as a musician.
After emerging from the Toronto alternative scene in the mid-1990s, he was the subject of a bidding war by major labels following the release of his 1995 album Everything I Long For. The record deal he signed gave him complete creative control of his work and freed him of the need to perform live to make a living.
Hayden admits he doesn’t take easily to many aspects of being a popular artist, including talking to the press and touring constantly, though he says he's ready to tour now to support Us Alone.
"Now, I have the ability to realize that it was incredible what happened and it allowed me to make six records the way I wanted to make them and in the time that I wanted to make them," he said.
One of his new songs, Almost Everything, explores his career as an artist. Hayden says he was of two minds whether to write about his own life as he's not comfortable revealing much about himself in conversation.
Music has "always been a way for me to dig deeper and express myself," he said.