Interview with Artist Dan Sindel
By Mick Michaels
COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Dan! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.
Dan Sindel: And hello to you and The Cosmick View readers…honored to be here! This is very awesome!
CV: What do you feel sets you apart from other artists, especially those of similar sound and style? What specific allure does your sound and style have that has people taking notice?
DS: This may be somewhat of a loaded question but currently at the moment what I am doing is not “officially” a band project. This is a solo project that I would love to see come together as a band and to be able to perform concerts one day. But for right now it is just me.
I went into the studio and I hired some of my favorite drummers here in the Los Angeles area and I recorded a good selection of songs from my vault of demos to bring them up to professional standards and start releasing singles until there are enough to complete the actual album which is entitled, “UNPOPULAR MUSIC FOR POPULAR PEOPLE Vol. 1".
Speaking of drummers, one of my drummer pals on the record is Rick Shlosser who has played drums on tons of Gold and Platinum hits throughout the years (ALICE COOPER, VAN MORRISON, JAMES TAYLOR, RINGO STARR, ROD STEWART, CHER, LIONEL RITCHIE and DIANNA ROSS etc. etc.) Rick at the time of recording was not in the USA and through modern technology and the Internet he was able to record one of my songs (“RULE THE WORLD”) and send it back to me. Today’s tech is pretty much incredible the way you can write, collab, record with anyone, anywhere in the world.
I met Rick Shlosser through my good pal John Prpich. John is a brilliant sound man and has been on the road with EDGAR WINTER, JUICE NEWTON and LED ZEPAGAIN. I recorded all the drums in John’s studio (RADD STUDIO) as well as the bulk of my vocal tracks and I currently have him working on the mix of “RULE THE WORLD.” Ironically Rick, of all the drummers, did not record here in LA at John’s studio, LOL, but I thought it most fitting that I had Johnny work on this track because he knows Rick’s drumming so well.
Another track entitled “EDGE OF ETERNITY” is being mixed right now by my friend Steve Sykes who is also a world class engineer extraordinaire with tons of Gold and Platinum hits to his credit. My pal Alex Wyatt is playing drums on this one; he has a great feel for the progressive stuff as well as hard metal grooves being a superfan of DREAM THEATRE and JUDAS PRIEST etc. I like jamming out with him! Gotta admit, I’m excited about this track in particular because it is a 6 minute epic and sort of my own personal “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” or “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” type of conceptual work. Steve is the man responsible for mixing the 1st single I’ve dropped called "STEPPING STONE". https://youtu.be/lT15ohzpdvE
“STEPPING STONE” is a pretty hard driving tune. It’s a blend of 60’s-70’s hard rock and 80’s heavy metal with a great big guitar sound. This song has only been out for about 2-3 weeks and is doing really well out there and it is very exciting to watch it grow and gain momentum.
As far as asking “what may set the sound of my music apart from anyone else out there?” Uhhhhhhhmmmmm…. That’s a bit convoluted these days, just for the mere fact that almost every idea has been tackled and no one is really reinventing the wheel. I mean, how much better can one play the guitar? How fast or how many notes is somebody able to play? How long or how high can a singer hold a note for? Which gimmicks, haircut or costume styles or whatever? It just seems all “used and abused” at this point in time. But I think that the only thing that could set me apart from anybody is just my very “own personality”. There’s only one of me LOL, and that’s all you get! I’m just trying the best I can to create the sounds I hear in my head, draw from the music I grew up with and hopefully I’m able to convey this with my recordings and I really hope that people enjoy what they hear. There’s not much more a guy could ask for.
So one thing that I really try and do is pay very close attention to detail in my approach of layering guitars and vocals. Most everything has been done in music but all I’m trying to do is create the best sound I possibly can that can reach a broader audience. Listen to it, give it a chance and let your ears decide.
CV: For any artist or band, dynamics is key to grabbing an audience's attention. What do you feel is the main ingredient to having such a captivating dynamic and being able to bring something more to the music?
DS: Well, I’m not really sure what you mean by using the word “dynamics.” Words do have different meanings. From the mindset of a musician, dynamics is how you physically approach and control volume and percussive attack LOL.
Maybe in a broader sense, “dynamics” is the interplay/relationships between musicians, attitude, overall look, sex appeal, costumes, makeup, marketing, packaging/art design, imagery and all that jazz.
I don’t know what is considered open territory anymore. I mean you can’t out KISS “KISS” as an example! Can you have better wardrobe or more explosions or taller drum risers? In the other direction, can you take off more clothing to allure a crowd to stimulate one’s imagination, IDK??? Maybe that is why the punk movement in the 70’s was so refreshing because it stripped away all the grandiose theatrics or the necessity to be a master of your instrument.
Perhaps the best any band/artist can do especially in a live situation is convey the meaning of the song and recreate the music as artful as possible, every audience is unique and the artist definitely has to read the room and find the balance to not overplay or overcompensate.
Hopefully that is a bit closer to the meaning you are asking about but hey “The closer you get to the meaning, the sooner you'll know that you're dreaming”… LOL sorry, couldn’t resist a Ronnie James Dio lyric \m/ he is my all-time favorite rock vocalist.
CV: How would you describe the ultimate musical experience for your fans? And how do you go about creating that musical vision, while generating the impact you want to have on the audience?
DS: That is a bit of a moot point at the moment because I do not have a band at this time. I am hoping towards the end of this year (2022) that I do successively have a group of musicians helping me perform my music in live concert settings, that is the ultimate goal. And when I do get there…yes, absolutely, things such as lighting effects etc. that’s all well and good, but most importantly, it really is how you perform the music with honesty, conviction, passion and confidence. These are probably some of the most important ingredients. Let’s face it, if you’re going out on stage and you’re unsure of a few riffs, chords or phrases that would not be a pretty moment for anyone.
CV: The music business has always been one that regardless of who you are, where you came from or where you've been, you can either sink or swim. Does this type of realism have any effect on how the band drives itself to succeed?
DS: Well, my only concern at the moment is putting out good, solid Hard Rock music that people love. I’m not so interested in fame or fortune; not that it wouldn’t be nice to some degree but let’s face it, in music it is an uphill battle to succeed financially. I do not see myself touring due to health reasons and for the most part that is where a musician earns his bread and butter but there are other avenues to explore such as having music placed in Film/TV. I am really just quote unquote, “A musician, wanting to put out good, solid music.”
CV: In your opinion, is there any middle ground for an artist or is it a do or die climate in today's music industry?
DS: I’m sure we could probably talk for hours on this very subject alone. But for the sake of brevity, I think it makes sense to say that the “Do or die” type of thing, I don’t know, it’s hard to say really. Lots of artists get their few moments in the sun, maybe a hit single or a popular video on YouTube nowadays and then attention wavers and another artist steals the thunder from them and the ride just might be over although I think that’s always been the case when one is in the public eye.
Music fans can be very fickle. You can be easily forgotten and become yesterday’s news in the blink of an eye. There are already artists from way back in other decades and genres that have their certain period of popularity. But they continue to put out music on a creative level, unsurpassed for years, even decades. Those are the artists that gained my respect. It’s not so much about being instantly popular IMHO, perhaps more of a consistent track record/discography and staying true to the music for as long as humanly possible.
CV: How would you describe your internal energy as an artist? Does your outward appearance align with your true inward nature from your perspective?
DS: Everything resides on my own internal energy at the moment, and I do have lots of drive and enthusiasm, without it not much would get done and pursuing my art is about the only thing that gets me out of bed. I am an “A type” personality, very competitive, ambitious and unfortunately, extremely impatient. I do not put up with others very well who don’t bring their “A” game or get too freaking cocky about things and act too self important.
CV: What's at the core of your songwriting approach? Are there certain elements that are considered when a song begins to take form and evolves?
DS: When I get in the writing mode, it usually just starts with a riff or perhaps lyrical hook that bounces around in my mind for a while. Riffs come and go, if I pick up a guitar and maybe play along to a drum loop then I can definitely create a lot of catchy hooks and melodies but it’s the ones that for some reason stay there “under the fingers” so to speak and keep recurring in various form, those are the ones to take notice and take the time to develop. I think anyone that writes knows what I’m talking about, and yes, it is a lot of work so you can’t waste your time on the secondary or “less than” ideas too much although these said “secondary” ideas sometimes act as the missing piece to the puzzle that completes the picture so it is a nice benefit these days…with less expensive hard drive storage, to be able to record and come back and listen at a layer point in time.
CV: Do you allow things to just happen when writing; seeing where a song goes, or is there a certain course of action and structure you keep a song on, thus, essentially making it destined to achieve its overall potential?
DS: Each song I write is different in form and structure and there really is no set path as for having a formula for writing per se. Sometimes, like I was just talking about, I have a lyrical hook or I have a main guitar riff. Most of times though it’s just fun experimenting with my computer and trying out different plugins and ideas and then seeing where it goes. I don’t like to do the same thing twice, to me it gets boring. It’s just like if you’re an oil painter, would you necessarily want to try and paint the same picture twice? I would hope not.
I love progressive music which definitely does not rely on Verse, Chorus, Verse structures but the proven “Verse, Chorus, Verse” formula is something that should not be overlooked in any manner…that is what careers are made of many a time.
CV: Do you feel how the fans and critics describe your music accurately reflects how you would describe your music?
DS: Well, so far so good. What I am currently creating is not rocket science highbrow prog rock by any stretch of the imagination, rather I’m trying to simplify and focus on good rhythm and catchy melodies which are probably more aligned with FM radio/Album Oriented Rock than any other format. And besides, there is only one track released at this time but I have received pretty accurate reviews on “STEPPING STONE” thus far which is pretty straight forward with a few somewhat unobtrusive technical progressive textures built into the framework. After I have two or three more tracks released then it might be a bit more realistic in taking things into account.
CV: Walk us through a typical show for you...what can fans who have never seen you perform expect?
DS: LOL, ok… being that I have never performed these songs in public I can only conjure up “A HUGE ROCK SHOW” in my mind’s eye, but it would definitely be raw and powerful, that much I can say!
CV: What more can fans look forward to seeing coming from you?
DS: Stay tuned, keep an eye out or better yet, do the “LIKE/COMMENT/SUBSCRIBE” thing on my YouTube channel…man that sounds so cliché doesn’t it? LOL…sounds so goofy when you hear YouTuber’s say “Ring the bell and stay notified” or whatever LOL, and when my new releases are out you will be the first to know about it. Notified baby…notified!!!
CV: Thank you again Dan for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
DS: My pleasure and it’s been an honor! I hope your readers enjoy this article and understand I say many things with a great sense of humor. You can be serious but shouldn’t take yourself too seriously eh? Thank you very much.
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