Katrina: Who were your musical influences growing up and have they changed?
Daniel: My influences have stayed the same my whole life because I was raised with some really amazing music. It's not that they've
changed, it's that they've evolved and that I found new influences as I've gotten older. Growing up I listened to a lot of old Beatles records
and things like that because my father was into it. He had this great record collection and I used to go through it. John Lennon was a big
influence for me then and I sort of took note of their writing style and their production style and sort of how they evolved and things like
that because listening to their earlier records and looking through later records. But as I got older and into high school towards university
I stumbled on a lot of great artists that started to affect me in the same way. Mainly Tori Amos was a really big influence on me because of
her love for the piano which is something I've always felt drawn to musically and because she wrote this sort of really emotional and
sometimes somber music that I gravitated towards. Later on in life I found Jeff Buckley and he was also a big influence on me just
because I love the melancholy gut-wrenching and sad and things like that. I tend to put a lot of that type of stuff in my music. I've had the
same influences my whole life but I've sort of picked up new ones as I've gotten older.
Katrina: Which artist would you like to tour or work with?
Daniel: Yeah there's a lot of artists I still would love to work with. I set up Neverending White Lights so that I would be able to continuously
make records with different artists. The first record is called Act I because there is going to be Act II and Act III and each record will have a
different set of artists so all the ones I haven't worked with yet that I want to work with I'm going to start to approach. And I'm sure there's
going to be new artists that are going to come out and I'm going to want to work with. So it will never sort of end. And for the tour, I've had
the opportunity to perform with some of these guys from the album. I've performed with Dallas Green and Jimmy Gnecco from a band
called Ours and Rain from Our Lady Peace and Scott from Finger Eleven and a bunch of these guys live and it's been amazing. There's a
lot that I haven't and in the future there's tons of guys I'd like to take on tour with me, open for or have open for me and things like that. I
think I have a lot of time to approach that since it's only my first record.
Katrina: How do you write your songs and where do you get your ideas from?
Daniel: Well it depends on what inspires me at the time that I'm writing new material. For example with Neverending White Lights it was a
very spiritual sort of theme and that was directly inspired from just my own personal thoughts and things that I was questioning. I was
going through a period of time in my life where I was sort of questioning my faith and testing the boundaries of the way I was brought up
and the culture and religion I was brought up in. I sort of opened my eyes after taking a lot of different courses and studies at university I
sort of opened my eyes to different world views and I realized how many different beliefs and ways to approach the meaning of life and
what to live for, that it always keeps us searching and that sort of became grounds for me to question my own faith and that allowed me to
pour out these lyrics that had a lot to do with finding a reason for why I'm here, why I'm doing the things I do everyday or anybody does.
That was very inspiring. That was the direct influence for the lyrics for my album. And the music, a lot of it came from other music like
music that I've grown up listening to that's just inspired me to write and all the great cds I buy and the albums I listen to. Sometimes I'll just
be listening to something and I think wow this is something that makes me want to sit at a piano or play guitar and just write my own stuff.
And that's where the music came and met the lyrics and Neverending White Lights was born.
Katrina: What's your favorite venue to play?
Daniel: I like the smaller venues, I like the smaller theatres. Some where I can connect with the audience. Playing bigger arenas or venues
sometimes you can get lost in feeling the vibe of the room and connecting with the audience but when you're in a smaller club or theatre
there's this relationship you develop with the audience. And I like to tell stories sometimes when I perform about the songs and I like to
talk to people in the crowd. Sort of like we're all there together and we're all having a good time as opposed to me just putting on a big
show and that's something that's hard to do the bigger the venue gets. The smaller theatres are my favorite.
Katrina: What's your most memorable moment?
Daniel: Probably right at the beginning of making this first album. One of the more popular artists that I had approached sings in a band
called 311 and I had been a fan of 311 for a long time and I had approached his management with the idea of having him sing on one of my
songs. And they were telling me that it wasn't possible because Nick Hexum was on tour with Jay-Z and they are too large of scale for a
small guy like me to work with at this time and that's where it was left. I was out one night at the movies and I was in line buying popcorn
and my cell phone rang and it was Nick Hexum from 311 calling me from Las Vegas. And this was big for me because I never talked to him
before and I was just getting involved in making this album and working with these artists that I admire was a big thing. But having him
call you is a bigger thing. So he called my cell phone and I was completely caught off-guard and he started telling me how great he
thought my music was and how he's so excited to work on the song and he started singing it to me on the phone. I was standing in line at
the movies with Nick from 311 singing lyrics of my song on the phone to me. And it was just one of those moments where I thought I'll
never forget this.
Katrina: What's your favorite song to perform?
Daniel: On this record I really like track two, it's called "Angels And Saints", it's the second single we've released and I like the song. It's
got a good energy to it, I like playing it on guitar, it feels good. I usually open up the show with that song. It's probably my favorites.
Second favorite would have to be "The Grace" because people really open up to that song and they enjoy it. Strikes a chord with them
and they know it and they sing along and it's sort of that point in the show where they really appreciate what your bringing them. Those
two songs or my favorites.
Katrina: What advice can you give to people who are wanting to create a band?
Daniel: My advice is to figure out what separates you from other people and find your originality. The reason that's so important is
because a lot of people start bands because they like listening to these other bands and that's great because you're directly inspired by
music. It's a good reason to create your own and that's why I do it. But a lot of bands will sometimes go and directly copy what they like to
listen to and that sort of becomes a grey area because you're not really being true to who you are or could potentially be. You sort of have
to listen to yourself and start finding the point in your music that makes you different from other people. Not to go out and directly copy
other people. So anybody who is sort of getting started needs to have a drive to do whatever it takes basically to get to the point that they
want to get to musically. IF you're happy just being in a band and jamming on Saturdays then that's wonderful. If you want to get a top-ten
hit then that might take a lot of work and you have to stick to it. And it's important to be realistic about what you can achieve given what
your abilities or your sound is all about. The record industry these days is really tough to crack and when I went after it I wasn't expecting
any type of mainstream success or rock radio hits or anything like that. People just ended up liking my music. But I stayed true to my
vision and what I was doing and that's why I believe it happened. So I think that if you're in a band or your looking to get started just be
true to your own sound. Figure out what separates you from the guy next door because you got to realize there's thousands and
thousands and thousands of people all over the place, just around here alone that are trying to do the same things you are so you have to
sort of figure out what makes you different.
Katrina: What do you think makes a good live show?
Daniel: I do go see a lot of shows and my favorite shows are usually scaled down smaller shows. I don't go to a lot of arena shows or big
name bands. I like seeing indie bands and smaller bands. I've seen bands that get up there and play a complete train-wreck of a show and
I've seem bands that get up there and play a breath-taking show where I don't know how to speak after I saw it. But it's always about
energy and it's always about the energy the band creates and that doesn't necessarily mean the tempo. It doesn't necessarily mean how
fast the song is when I say energy, but it means the type if energy that they're creating on stage and with the audience. If you go see a
band that there's a lot of upbeat music there is this feeling that it's great and it's loud and it's upbeat but that doesn't necessarily mean it's
something that is going to stick with you after. There could be a band that you go see that plays a lot slower music, they're very slow and
sand and sound-scaping but there is such an energy. There is this emotional energy, it's gut-wrenching sort of feeling that they portray in
their show with what they're creating in terms of what they're doing on stage. The way their instruments are translating how they're
feeling, the way they are addressing the audience. All those types of things come together and obviously they are enhanced by the crowd
response and it's also enhanced by things like the room itself, the vibe in the room, the lights or whatever. But definitely creating an
energy I think is one of the most important things for a live show and we try to do that when we perform as well.
Katrina: What do you think about how Canadian music is being shown around the world right now?
Daniel: Some of the best music is coming from Canada right now that's the cool thing. It's a great time to be a Canadian and making music
here, it's recognized all over the place. The last few years we've had bands like the Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Metric and all these
awesome groups that are coming out and doing something completely original and it's been getting credit everywhere. It's just nice to see
such substance coming to the surface as opposed to the Canadian acts that come out of there that everyone knows all over the world like
the Avrils or the Simple Plans and still like that. It's still good music in it's own right but it's a little bit more mainstream, manufactured
major label pop music. Whereas there's other bands still being true to their own sound. They're doing something innovative and it's sort
of a buzz all over the world. That's a really positive thing for Canadian talent right now.