Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I was born and raised in Stockton, California and currently reside in Placentia of the same state, and yes that is the booming metropolis of Stockton. I started playing in my mid teens about the time bands were forming in high school that wouldn’t have me so I naturally ended up sitting and writing a lot of solo songs which developed to where they are, and I guess where I am, now. About 45 songs later, having played a couple dozen or so gigs across California.
Danny, the new album, tell us where Songs to Wake Up To came from.
The first half is a collection of background ambient tracks that I thought fit well for the name of the album. Its a relaxing bit and a collection I like putting on around the house. The second half... backlog mostly. I needed to get these songs out there. So it began with a set of ten songs recorded all in 2009 and those became the first ten. On low string budgets I decided to release this double length album which transfers at track 11 into some of my favorite tracks thus far, if not the favorite recordings, to become a "this is what I've got right now" collection that I am happy enough to put on iTunes and Amazon as a clearing out to begin furthering new songs.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see? I’m currently working on my 2nd “official” release which is an alternative and modern rock blend. I wanted to get the instrumentals off my shoulders with Songs to Wake Up To and bide time and production interest to forge the quality I think the songs require to get right. Bias aside, if possible, I think I’m writing songs that are catchy and meaningful enough to share and be proud of.
Is that important to you? That sense of pride?
Absolutely, (laughs) Making excuses for your songs constantly is the best way to turn other people and yourself away from what you’re doing. Whatever it is, you have to be the first person to back it as the writer, and I’m feeling really good about the new material.
What is one of the most drastic changes you’ve made about yourself in the last year? I think the transition from college to whatever is supposed to follow has been a change. I’m young but supposed to know better? Is that what happens? I’m supposedly changed since the school printed a piece of paper… anyways, I’ve been working to keep busy but produce more quality as opposed to quantity of forgotten material.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry? Distribution in a sea of overpopulation. Any can and does make music now. Labels are specializing and sub-genre creating, and getting attention has been easier as a writer surprisingly. I wouldn’t even say I have been introduced to the industry, or if anyone really is anymore.
Two Leaves and a Star, what is that song about?
I’ll leave that one to you, it is best to leave perception to the listener because a song can take on further meaning than the writer ever could intend or explain. I will say that a lot of my songs have a simplicity that I appreciate more than other songs that I scrupulously placed specific words.
Return, is that about any time in your life in particular? I think everyone has had a time they wish they could return to. A day when “nothing could stop you”, because “tomorrow will force a pause”.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back? Set backs? Maybe I should move forward a bit first. You know I’m 23 right? I don’t know, watching people come and go is tough when my songs want to be more stable and less questioning of why people go, example = Will You follow? The Question, lots of answers still to come I guess.
What are some things artists need to be careful of? Avoiding distractions and influences. One thing I do have is complete control and creativity. Its fine for people not to like your music, you should change on your own schedule and understand that eventually you’ll find your place, and hopefully I am on my way now.
What would you spend a million dollars on? Stocks, savings, and electronics. Plus some recording gear and hire the Gin Blossoms to play (at) my wedding.
Are they one of your main influences? Without a doubt, along with Green Day, Oasis, Guster, and others, there is not doubt that the bands that you listen to determine in part your goals and memory’s reference points.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself? Play for yourself and play what you like, and be happy with that. I am content right now, no exposure, no money from it, but also am glad to be doing what I am doing for the select people who have given positive feedback and enjoy the sound.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music? The podcast has been great and has outperformed my website. Pulling thousands of listeners worldwide each month, I’m excited to see where people are listening.
Any last comments or statements? On the record and everything? I like cheeseburgers better than steak but I respect vegetarians.
Great. We’ll save that one for the archives.
It is important to be respectful of other views.
Yes, Thanks Danny.