A big bluesdoodles thank you Dan Patlansky for sparing time and answering my questions with candour, a laugh it was a fun chat, on the night before he flies to U.K. to launch his current album Dear Silence Thieves at The Boderline, London Monday 27th April followed by a short tour – DATES click here
1. What were your first musical influences growing up in South Africa?
Early influences were my parents Album/CD collection their music, that included Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and the Kings BB & Albert.
Growing up in South Africa the blues was a rare thing, so it was thanks to my parents I found the blues. Old school rock was also inspiring and still continues to influence me.
2. What advice have you had that you have actually listened to?
I had very little positive advice, just told when growing up that playing the blues will not earn you a living etc. so not very encouraging! Then their was a musician in South Africa who said to me, the longer you keep playing and doing it the luckier you will be and the better chance of succeeding which was great advice and true. Also an old American bluesman said you have to really understand the blues, listen to those who influenced the people you admire; keep going back and by doing this I found Robert Johnson, Son House the early blues guys are so important.
3. Dear Silence Thieves – is being launched in UK on 27th April, as part of worldwide release. How difficult is it breaking into new music markets?
It is really difficult; like starting the South African music scene all over again’ I may be playing big theatres now in South Africa but in UK, Poland Netherlands etc. got to start at the bottom again and get people to hear and enjoy my music. It is exciting and at the same time daunting as always the worry that will there won’t be anyone at a show! There is no easy way you just have to tour and tour again to build a following it is though very exciting.
4. Dear Silence Thieves – love the story behind the title and you have made songwriting the core of the album how did this make it different from preparing your other albums?
The story of the naming of the album is dedicated to two Silence Thieves who left a venue embarrassed when an artist stopped his music and said “you two need to shut the F#@k up or get out”…
Yes I so relate to this I thought it was a South African thing but appears to be worldwide, there are lots of lovely coffee shops to chat in and there is no entrance fee.
For me the focus has always been on the guitar performance on the song, it is still a major focus. I want songs to be important so write them on acoustic guitar without all the bells and whistles. I was only prepared to go into the studio on this one when the song was right. David Z’ an American music producer, engineer, mixer and writer who has worked with many including early Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang said it was the right way to do it and it really makes sense the song is king as he said would you prefer a great guitar solo and poor song or great guitar and great song… I will be taking this approach in the future; it was such an enjoyable way of doing an album and will be doing it this way from now on.
5. Do the tracks have personal meaning and have you a favourite track?
Hold On is my personal favourite, I am a sucker for the slower ballady stuff, it was written about getting older just how each year goes quicker, life’s running away is concerning me later. CLICK HERE to LISTEN
Then there is the single Backbite which has that rocky power so favoured by many.
6. What do you see as the future (plans, projects, etc.) for Dan Patlansky during 2015 and beyond?
Well I fly tomorrow to the U.K. for a two and half week tour, then back to South Africa. Then some more new European countries, Poland, Germany and Netherlands, time back touring in South Africa and back as special guest for Joe Satriani’s U.K. tour in November which is exciting as further exposure in larger venues and cities hopefully a great jumpstart in raising my profile in the U.K. Then January 2016 back in the studio for a new album. In between the touring need to find time to write as at the moment I have zero material!
7. Dan Patlansky is a new name for many so tell us a bit about your Guitars and style?
I am a Fender Stratocaster player, I have an old 1962 which I have been touring with for years, it feels like an extension of my body and the sound is fantastic. I use heavier gauge 12-54 strings; and a pedal board that is small in the scheme of things with 5 pedals including a Wah wah, reverb and one for the blues. I use Dr Z Amplification, Buddy Whittington got me interested in these, my rig is small no multi amps the sound for me is great. Bit too loud sometimes, I love it loud, always have to compromise with front of house and turn down the amplifier, so the first few rows of the audience are not blown away and people stay to hear the music. I am a big fan of Phillip Sayce and his style and approach to the blues rock scene
8. When not playing your own music who do you listen to?
Well it depends on my mood, when it is the blues Albert Collins, the Kings and currently the quality of the songs on the new Beck album it is not blues or a guitar album but full of songs that are incredible.
9. If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
Drums : John Bonham
Bass : Alphonso Johnson
Guitars: Derek Trucks and Philip Sayce
Vocals : Greg Allman
Keys: Kofi Burbridge
and…. Jimi Hendrix Front House Soundman.
Catch Dan Patlansky before his tour when Paul Jones played him acoustic – Bright Lights Big City from WOODEN THOUGHTS at approx 19 minutes – Click to hear