Second Dan is ready to re-emerge after the past year holed up in the studio working on their new album, "Angeline". These new recordings should cement the band in the echelons of New York City's scene, building on the success of their debut album "Bringing Down Goliath".
The new songs have been chiseled out of experience, and left to grow. Inspired by the basements of Chicago and the streets of New Orleans, and recorded in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York.
On "Goliath" the band first showed off its ability to write tunes that will capture you. The album garnered the praise of rock critics in 2008 and won the band fans from New York to Melbourne, Australia. Leadoff single, “Running Out of Feelings”, received substantial airplay on college and independent radio stations nationwide. “Run v. Hide” wouldn’t be out of place alongside Radiohead’s “The Bends”, and “The Elephant Fell To Earth” reminds of the best of The Kinks.
The songs won the the band attention of MTV with three songs from the album appearing on the hit MTV shows “The Hills” and “Life of Ryan”.
The band has a reputation for its fiery live shows, and the time working in the studio has them excited to get back out playing live. On the stage is where Second Dan truly shines. Whether plugging in and blasting their loyal audience at sold-out shows at the Lower East Side’s Mercury Lounge or playing in an acoustic setting at frequent raucous showcases at the Rockwood Music Hall, this band never disappoints.
How do you describe your music to people, Dan?
if Jeff Tweedy and Noel Gallagher met in a bar in Australia in the late 90s and started a band ...
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I always loved music and played piano from a young age. Growing up I thought everybody loved music as much as I did, and spent their time reading about the Beatles and Dylan. It was only when I became a teenager that I realised maybe I liked music more than the other kids. I played keyboards in bands all through High School. when I went traveling at 18 and discovered it was tough to put a piano in a backpack, I bought a crappy guitar and taught myself how to play that. I found songwriting on the guitar much easier than the piano. Writing music became meditative for me. I would lock myself in the downstairs bathroom - which had the best acoustics - and spend all night coming up with melodies and rhymes. I still never get tired of writing songs.
Although, to be honest, I originally got into music to impress girls ...
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Other than playing and writing music, sharing a summer afternoon with good friends and a bottle of wine somewhere near the ocean
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
The business side of music has changed so much since I started playing in indie bands. The digital revolution has empowered musicians to run their own career without necessarily needing a major label, but this also means that artists need to become more adept at non-musical things like keeping up with social media. I was discussing this last night with an iconic New York musician and he said "no one has any time to practice anymore!"
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I am still a kid. Trying to delay growing up for a little while longer.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
The music community in New York is amazing. I live in the East Village, and spend a lot of time at the Rockwood Music Hall. That place has attracted a community of artists that all help and feed off each other. It's great to be around so many quality musicians and artists - it inspires you to write better songs and improve your live performances.
My bandmates - Adam Lerner (guitar) and Sonny Ratcliff (drums) - have also opened my ears to new music, particularly American bands that I didn't listen to before I got to the States. They also give me a hard time for the fake American accent I use when I get into taxis ... so I am working on developing that as well.
What other artists out there do you love?
I love the classics - Dylan, Lennon, McCartney, Gainsbourg, Waits, Bowie. My two favourite bands that are still around are Radiohead and Wilco.
My first indie love was an Australian band called You Am I. They are like the Australian version of The Replacements, criminally under-appreciated by the mainstream but probably wanted it that way.
What does your future hold?
passion, honesty, and increasing competence.