Almost 10 years ago, I got lost in the Nashville suburbs driving with my boyfriend. We were listening to Psychocandy. I sat in the passenger seat, commenting about the album casually, not really caring that I had no idea where we were. My boyfriend declared that he couldn’t handle the “noise” and needed to turn it off. The feedback disrupted his ability to navigate. If we weren’t going to break up again (at least at that moment), I needed to mind the road.
After I relented and turned off the stereo, he asked, “How can Dan sleep through this?”
I don’t think either of us knew the answer to that question, but this Q&A might clear up a few things. Dan likes noise, and he makes it very well. It’s beautiful, scary, and sometimes even a bit funny. Let’s get to know him.
How old were you when you started to play guitar?
I was 14 years old when I first started playing guitar, through the inspiration of The Cardigans.
What are you listening to right now?
Right now I’m listening to Dionne Warwick, Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and field recordings my girlfriend has been sending me from China.
I know you have an extensive record collection. What is your most prized record?
Most prized record is Sister by Sonic Youth. It was a gift from a friend when Dad died.
What non-musical things inspire you?
Kissing, ASMR, imaginary montages and tableaux, love, absurdity of routines and forgotten and created meanings.
What have you used to create music that might surprise people? I remember when I was in college, I was lucky I didn’t use a hairdryer that frequently because that made it into one of your projects. Since then, I think you’ve broadened your sound sampling.
That suction cup sound when you pull your eyelid away from your eyeball and it flops back.
Why noise and experimental right now?
It’s what I have always done from the time I’ve picked up anything that makes a sound. Making more conventional songwriting always stems from my ongoing sound collage and noise experiments.
How would you describe a noise show and scene to a noob? Each performer plays for maybe like 10-20 minutes, and there are like five artist on the bill. Maybe a room full of twenty people on average watching and crossing their arms. Beer drinking. Cigarette Smoking. Lots of men.
Do you see yourself making or performing any more straightforward verse–chorus–verse music any time soon?
Yeah, probably every couple months I write a full structured, conventional song. Performing? Maybe not anytime soon. I prefer to play live with a band.
If you could have any instrument, what would it be?
Maybe a vibraphone or pedal steel.
What do you think pop music need right now?
I think it’s pretty self sufficient.
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