@DarylHance is an artist whose music is steeped in the spirit of blues, funk, and rock n roll, fortified with vintage tones, bottom-end, and transcendental messages high on life. @MusicNews360 caught up with Daryl in the process of building a back porch, and meditating on a forthcoming fourth album. We talked about lot lizards, meth heads, gardening (or lack thereof), and corn snakes. Below are excerpts from our conversation, as well as the WORLD PREMIERE of the video for ‘Inside’.

Music News 360°: Interview – Daryl Hance

 

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Tour Dates

Discography

Wild Blue Iris (2016)

Land of Trembling Earth (2014)

Hallowed Ground (2011)

 

 

WOLRD PREMIERE: DARYL HANCE – ‘INSIDE’


MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

DH – Sagittarius

 

MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

DH – Oh I don’t know…I recently had a dream in which a Seagull appeared.

 

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

DH – Teleportation , that would be cool. Load up my gear, and teleport to the gig.

 

MN360° – You live in the swamp?

DH – Ahhh…More pine forest. The Okefenokee Swamp is about a half hour north of where I live. Though, the whole area is swampy. Pretty much all around me there is water.

 

“Pretty much all around me there is water”

@DarylHance

 

Lots of wildlife. Deer, turkey, wild boar. There some wild boar out there. They’re around.

A lot of snakes in my yard, too.

 

MN360° – Does living out among nature influence your music?

DH – It has an effect…definitely, it has an effect. I have a yard full of animals. I don’t have a well groomed lawn–I just let everything grow. I don’t use any pesticide or spray or any of that shit. I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard.

 

“I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard”

@DarylHance

 

I found a 5 foot snake in the yard this year.

Corn snakes, garden snakes…haven’t seen any rattlesnakes recently. Well…actually, I found one pygmy rattler about 4 or 5 inches long. Lizards. Every once in a while you will hear an owl. Hawks all the time. Buzzards. Ground dwelling critters…Moles. Rabbits. Foxes, around there.

I try to keep them outside. Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside. I went out the screen door one time, and a snake fell on my head. I felt something slide down my neck…it was a corn snake. I had a frog explosion at my house too, right after the first hurricane this year. Lot of frogs. When you get frogs, here come the snakes. But yeah…all that gets into the music, somewhere or another.

 

“Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside”

@DarylHance

 

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

DH – When I was eleven or twelve years old, I had a friend that had a drum set. I would go over to his house, and he used to play the drums. One day I sat behind the set and kicked a beat. Something snapped. From that moment, I wanted to have a drum set and get into drums.

My first infatuation was with the beat and the groove. I used to do a lot of air drumming.

So I did that for a little bit. Then when I was 17, I got a guitar, and started playing with friends. We had a band right after high school. Went from there… There was a bass around, so started playing bass too. I picked up singing in my mid to late 20s.

I would say early on that I knew I wanted to do music. Of course, back then when I was 14, it was more like, “I want to be a rockstar”, because that was the only point of reference. Then over the years, you start peeling back the layers and discovering more and more things….It’s a process, I guess.

I always knew from an early age I wanted to be a musician. As far as which capacity that would be…for a time I thought I would be a drummer, and then I thought I would be a guitar player. I had no idea I could even sing or write songs. So it has been self discovery…

 

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

DH – I would say Miles Davis. I gravitate towards music with space–atmospheric music, you know, on top, though underneath the rhythm part is a big thing too. I’m not total ambient, but somewhere in between. That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it.

 

“That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it”

@DarylHance

 

MN360° – We hear that on your latest record, Wild Blue Iris. How did you create that space?

DH – I am beginning to get a better handle on the recording process, and a lot of that comes through on Wild Blue Iris. Also, we mixed the album through a Neve. That’s why it sounds more vibey and cohesive.

 

MN360° – Where did you record Wild Blue Iris? What was the process?

DH – I recorded the album at JJ’s house, at his studio. I tracked most all of the instruments. Reed Turchi played slide guitar on a couple of tracks. Cameron Weeks played drums on about half the tracks. I played drums on the other half, and some songs have two drum tracks.

I usually start with a rhythm ace drum machine or a metronome, and then cut three takes of the backing track. Pick which rhythm track feels the best. From there, I add lead guitar and vocals.

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

DH – I’d say all of them are, to a certain degree. Or, at least, all of them that have been on the records, thus far. I am getting out into some other areas, more into social commentary. I’ve had social commentary kind of songs for years, but haven’t put them out there…It’s kind of like, you meet someone new and he starts making social commentary right off the bat–it could throw you off.

A lot of the music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere. I don’t sit down and write a song. Most of the songs come over the course of months and years. For instance, I have a song I started writing back in 2000 and just finished.

 

“A lot of music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere”

@DarylHance

MN360° – What is the background to the song ‘The Secret’?

DH – Everything is interconnected, that’s what the song is saying…that tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, your friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion.

 

“That tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, you friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion”

@DarylHance

 

To me, I was trying to pour all the positive thoughts I could muster into that kind of premise. Even from the music…I remember coming up with the guitar riff. That’s actually one of the hardest guitar parts I have recorded–just picking two notes in succession for that long. That two string picking thing is hard–it gives me a newfound respect for The Edge.

 

MN360° – What do you see as the connection between the blues and spirituality?

DH – Well, the blues comes from real life experiences. It’s about spilling your guts, and not trying to produce hits, necessarily. Lots of modern music has lost what makes the blues great: its realness. Steering music towards money can throw the ship into the rocks, so to speak.

I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful. Having just a little taste of success can really shift your focus. That shit can change you real quick.

 

“I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful”

@DarylHance

 

Back in the 60s, the artists had the freedom to express themselves and experiment. The Beatles had the freedom to go into Abbey Road anytime they wanted, to record any song they could think of…With the music I’m doing, I have the freedom to record what I want. It’s an organic thing.

 

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

DH – While on tour with @JJGREYandMOFRO there would be chicks going around to each dude in the band asking us to come back to their place…She would be with her man, and he is kind of off to the side. She would be practically all over you. You’re kind of caught off guard, and the dude is looking at you all excited. It’s like, I don’t think I want to go anywhere with these people, I don’t want to end up being fitted with a ball-gag or something. That’s happened a couple of times… Not the being fitted with a ball-gag part, but the part about being awkwardly propositioned after a show. It can get weird sometimes…

 

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?

DH – Well, we often sleep in the van at truck stops. There is a truck stop around Kennewick, WA…somewhere around there. You just get this weird vibe when you go there. There is always some kind of shady shit going on. You can tell there is something shady going on but you don’t know exactly what it is….people acting weird.

For instance, you are standing in line to get a shower, and one of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you, “Gettin’ a shower, huh?”

 

“One of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you ‘ Gettin’ a shower, huh? ’ ”

@DarylHance

Another night, we were actually looking for a hotel, around Kent, OH. I go into this EconoLodge. There is some dude just kind of pacing around, in the lobby. There were two chicks behind the counter. Then another girl walks out from the back, and she has these sores all over her chest and upper neck. The chick at the register…I was asking her about a room, and it took forever for her to compute. She ended up asking me, ‘May I see your debit card’, while having the money drawer open, counting the money over and over. She kept screwing up and having to start over again. I ended up saying, ‘I left my wallet out in the van’, and went across the street to the other hotel.

There had to be some kind of meth situation going on there. Funny thing was, when we went across the street to the Super 8 and asked the girl behind the desk there, she was like, ‘Yeah, the cops are always going over to the EconoLodge.’

MN360° – What are the essential items that you carry while on tour?

DH – I bring a coffee maker. You know, one of those Keurig things. At the end of a tour, a Starbucks bill can add up…One time on a three week tour, we spent almost $150 at Starbucks. That adds up.

Also, might get a stun gun, or something. We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving.

 

“We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving”

@DarylHance

 

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

DH – Purple or blue.

 

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

DH – It would be plexiglass, so you could see right through it…

 

 @MusicNews360 caught up with @JohnCraigie between two nights of recording a forthcoming live album in Portland, OR (@MississippiStud & @DougFirLounge). We talked about the apocalypse, fractals, astrology, and hanging out with @JackJohnson. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

 

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Spotify

Tour Dates

Discography

Live

Studio

Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland (2016) No Rain, No Rose (2017)
Make Your Own Legend (2011) Working on My Farewell (2015)
Live in the Living Room (2008) The Apocalypse is Over (2013)
October is the Kindest Month (2011)
Montana Tale (2009)

MN360° – Your performance is both song and narrative. How did storytelling become part of your act?

JC – The storytelling was around way before the music. Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories. So that’s older than the music and came way more naturally. The music was a lot harder for me.

“Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories.”

@JohnCraigie

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

JC – One of my friends, a dear friend who I credit for having a huge influence on me. He was a little out of the box, really artistic. He had a different way about him. He wasn’t buying into the normal, suburban way, you know?

So he got a guitar when we were about 15 years old. He was really talented, playing the guitar a lot…I looked up to him. One day, he showed me…He was like, ‘It’s not that hard!’ He showed me some chords. That was the pivotal moment for me. The moment I knew it was possible. It changed everything.

I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’

“I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’”

– @JohnCraigie

 

 

Credit: @littlegreeneyes

Also, in the early 90s, Bob Dylan was not cool. I knew Dylan in the sense of a historical figure, but I had not heard his music. It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting.

“It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting.

@JohnCraigie

MN360° – You have been quoted as saying, “I know that the purpose of music is not to make people feel better, but to make them feel like they are not alone.” Can you elaborate?

JC – People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’

If you’re bummed out, ‘Walking On Sunshine’ is not going to work for you. That doesn’t do it, and we all know that… It’s funny that we disregard that reality.

The best music is relatable, it makes us feel like we are not alone. That’s what I have always thought the purpose of music is… on all levels, whether it is a happy song or a funny song or a sad song.

“People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’”

@JohnCraigie

MN360° – You studied math in college. How does math influence your creative process?

JC – I was at UC Santa Cruz, so it was more of a hippie kind of math. Lot of fractals. Lot of looking at pineapples, you know, getting high. Lot of looking at ferns…Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.

“Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.”

@JohnCraigie

On structure, songwriting and architecture…How crazy is it to visualize how a building is going to look before you make it? Songwriting is similar in that you hear the general vibe you want before laying the foundation.

MN360° – Is the Apocalypse over?

JC – That was a metaphor for all the hippies who were talking about 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. Remember that? They were like, “Cool, Babylon will crumble! I won’t have to work my stupid job anymore.” So the lyric is a reference to that. I guess I should have put quotes around “Apocalypse.”

Credit: @danielnjohnson

“I guess I should have put quotes around ‘Apocalypse.’”

@JohnCraigie

MN360° – What is the most uncomfortable place you have slept while on tour?

JC – Many years ago, I was playing in this town called Winter Park, Colorado, up in the mountains. I finished the gig and was going to sleep in my Astrovan. Then, I looked at my phone, and the app said it was 1° outside…fahrenheit. I was like, “I’ll die…I’m from California. I’ll die sleeping outside.”

Went back to the bartender and said, ‘Hey man, I don’t mean to seem pushy, but do you have a couch I could crash on? It’s 1° outside, and I’m afraid I’ll die if I sleep outside tonight.’ Luckily, he said, ‘Sure, I’ve got to close up the bar. It’s going to be another few hours. Here’s the address. The door is unlocked. You can sleep in the guest room.’

‘Awesome!’

I get to the place, and it’s freezing in the guest room. Though, I was like, ‘It’s better than sleeping outside.’ Got in the bed, curled up, and went to sleep. Hours later, I woke up covered in snow–there was snow all over the bed. One of the windows…the blinds were down, but the window was open. Snow had been blowing in on me all night.

So I would have been better off sleeping in my car.Though, I just went over and closed the window.

That was a weird night, for sure…

MN360° – Do you follow astrology? Is there significance to your album titled ‘Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland’?

JC – I am into astrology because I lived in Santa Cruz for 5 years. Originally, the title was going to be ‘Mercury in Retrograde… Just kidding’. After talking to some friends, I thought it would be even funnier and maybe a little less intense if I made up something that doesn’t exist, ‘Capricorn in Retrograde’, which is not a thing, you know.

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

JC – Gemini.

MN360° – How was the time you spent on tour with @JackJohnson?

JC – We had a lot of fun. Probably the funnest thing we did…we had a night off and went to see @JohnMayer perform at The Gorge. You know, I would not normally go to see John Mayer in concert, so it was a trip to go to that show with Jack, sitting there with these two elder statesmen of modern songwriting. That was a surreal night.

MN360° – What percentage of the time do you perform with your eyes open?

JC –  I’d say 2 percent–when I’m making a joke about having my eyes open.

(Referring to the song titled “I Wrote Mr. Tambourine Man”, featured on the Music News 360° – October 2017 Playlist).

Credit: @jayblakesberg

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

JC – ‘Be nice to each other’. That’s probably cliche, but that’s what I would say.

“Be nice to each other.”

@JohnCraigie

Credit: Maria Davey