Dan Reed Talks about Music Networks, Solo and Life
BD: Hi Dan hope you are well, thank you for taking the time to speak to me this evening
DR: Yes I’m well and ready to talk about Network and the new album.
BD: Dan Reed Network back together once again people are still digging the band what is the magic formula?
DR:First put the band together the network with musicians from different backgrounds and ethnicity. Our tastes in music is varied from Mozart to Miles Davies, Doobie Brothers to Led Zeppelin, Earth, Wind and Fire, Rush to Parliament; Rush to The Brothers Johnson. Blake has left and Rob now playing keys keeps that tradition, he is also a consummate guitar fusion rock etc. Dan Reed Network is still a mutual respect society having a great time. People connect to this and perhaps as they said we were ahead of our time so the music old and new continues to speak to the next generation.
Glad to be back with the Network. I have been doing solo for the last seven years. Solo work is more internal, the band is different with high energy, like a work out at the gym. I like both worlds of music solo and the Network.
BD: What if any differences have you found with the scene in the 21st Century?
DR: I did quit from the music scene from 1994 -2006; during that time I travelled went off to find myself in India and then Jerusalem where I had a recording Studio. During my twelve years of I did many things including club owner and theatre work, then in 2009 started playing again.
The biggest change is the internet. It has changed and shaped our accessibility. The only way previously to reach out was record deal and fate was in the hands of A&R and believing in your music. The choice was survive locally or a deal and hope fame followed. Now with internet can be huge for example the success of Justin Bieber. This has grown to the tragic situation of the Kardashians famous no talent, famous for a sense of fashion perhaps, they are like many now famous for being famous. Reality TV feeds it this dream to be wealthy/ famous it is feeding into a shallow part of our Psyche. Then there are all the mechanical stuff, auto tune etc.
We have an addiction to our devices, social media replaces the need for real human contact. This need to be with people is fulfilled, can find music to listen to so why go out and discover your own live music. I find it interesting that Steve Jobs didn’t let his children have i-phone/pads. On a positive note DRN is re-connecting with fans and young people finding our music when we played shows with only new music eighteen months ago and now we have the new album.
BD: Tell our readers about Dan Reed Network going back into the studio to record your 4th album after a gap of 25 years since The Heat?
DR: Actually, it is our 5th we recorded our debut album Breathless before we had a record deal. It was similar to what we did in past when all lived in home city. Then we did 12-track, rehearsed and went into studio. Now we do all the pre-production via internet as with time we have moved, with myself in Prague other members in Portland, Los Angeles and Honduras. Then once happy with this meet up and go into the studio. This is a change as we are all older, have families and the commitments they bring.
Still Funk-rock with the Network, solo is different mix of singer/songwriting with lots Middle Eastern instruments incorporated. The Dan Reed Network has changed lyrics are stronger but still hear what made us distinct back in the day.
BD: Having Listen to Fight Another Day does the title reflect the feeling of the band and its comeback.?
DR: The album title has a double meaning for us. Yes the band back doing our music. Also the background of an American presidential candidate, who is popular through inciting fear. It is Trump I am referring to with his narrative of building wall between States and Mexico, not allowing Muslims etc, its is an archaic politics. Do we give in to this fear of immigration? Why is it okay to bomb others but terrorism if they bomb us? There is a different way that is growing momentum breathing hope into politics. Bernie Sanders has had more single donations than any candidate had raised the same money as Clinton without corporate deals. It is exciting the youth as Bernie is using compassion instead of wealth even the current Pope admires. No a fan of Popes in general but he has morals and attributes that Jesus spoke about. Fight Another Day we want to be on par with bands half our age.
BD: So you see a change in the axis of society beliefs and motivations? DR: yes there is a turnaround not all about selling our egos and selfies. Our college students are getting active that has to be good.
BD: The track Reunite has a strong lyrical story with strong chorus and luscious chords is this a celebration of DNR getting it back together?
DR: Originally composed by three Swedish guys for Eurovision who asked me to sing it. It is a cover with DRN giving it more edge rather than pop song. Encapsulated what DRN are about in the day not 100% out of my head and thought of me be asked to sing it. In the past we did a couple of B-sides that was a co-written by artists outside DRN. Never has a co-write been on an album, this track felt right though I had to fight to get it on the track listing, it was thought as being too Disco!
BD: Well I for one as a reviewer am glad it made the final cut as it is an excellent track and more Dance than Disco to my ears. DR: Well the drum has a disco beat, we will do video eventually for the track. BD: Looking forward to that.
BD: The music hooks back to the Funk-Rock sound of DRN of the 1980’s how has your music developed in the ensuing years? Not retro but with a foot in the past?
DR: We have changed the guitar sound. It is not processed. Not run through pedals but plugged into fairly basic amps. The rhythm guitars have a little reverb no effect pedals. We have lost much of the synth sound. Recently saw AC/DC again last Summer, 60,000 people enjoying the rock with Angus and Brian. I thought this is as raw as it gets. AC/DC crank the amp up as high as we can without distortion and keeping up the sustain as long as possible. DRN continues with typical rock-synth bass like early albums. Drums didn’t use much effect all pretty dry. Rob Daiker keyboard and co-producer. He tracked and mixed the album, I co-produced his first album we have a long-standing working relationship. Feels organic rather than processed giving the sound a modern edge.
BD: Back on tour in Europe with one UK date promoting the album
DR: June looking forward to being back on the road Pwllheli HRH festival last year, the feedback has been positive with the faithful and gaining new momentum. Not playing new music when played at Download 18 months ago. I was shocked at the response from young people asking why they hadn’t heard of the music where can they buy it. Most is no longer available and the music was written before they were born. Things change the rave scene carried over splitting distinct areas Electronica/groove and the grunge scene e.g Alice Without Chains with no electronic music on records. Bands like U2 who tried go with flow are few and far between.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
Drums: Bruce Carter Played with North-West funk band Pleasure and Cool’r always went to watch him play drums. Great grooves thick put down
Bass: Jaco Pastorious
Guitar Prince most underrated guitar player
Keys: Jeff Lorberry – Jazz
Vocals: Freddie Mercury
BD: Thank you once again for your time.
DR: Been fun and the band will sound mighty cool.
Divide from the current Album Fight Another Day – read What Bluesdoodles said HERE