‘I did nearly lose my mind during the production of this album’ | Interview with Daniel M. Griffin

Melodic-driven with dedicated psychedelic sound. It takes you back in time in an era when music sounded organic and natural by default. A unique piece of work.

Read our interview with the rock artist below!

Describe your sound in three words please!

Lyrical Melodic Psychedelic

How did you become engaged with music?

I started singing early on as a child being in the choir. So I’d have to say I became engaged with music vocally first. I got my first keyboard when I was 8 and my first guitar at 12 and I’ve been writing songs on both ever since. I’ve played with a lot of bands over the years including guitar in jazz band in high school, cover bands in high school, a piano/cello duo in college and my solo act was sprinkled in between. I’ve really enjoyed jamming and improvising with all sorts of musicians. I have always loved songs with strong melodies most of all which has challenged me ever since I wrote my first song.

Your latest forthcoming album ‘You’re Gonna Lose Your Mind’ was a collaboration between you and guest musicians but you have also said that friends and family have helped in the recording? Tell us a few things about this process please. How did you choose the people you worked with and what was the role of your immediate environment?

I’m a singer songwriter first and foremost and I play a lot of different instruments including piano, guitar, bass, cello and drums but for certain songs I knew I needed some help to make certain parts of songs especially great which I didn’t have the musical ability to do. For example, the drums on Frankie in a Tea Can were recorded by my baby brother Jacob Griffin who is a phenomenal percussionist, he plays drums on other tracks on this album as well. The guitar solo on Frankie in a Tea Can was recorded by Christopher Demma a good friend of mine and frequent collaborator. He’s also recorded guitar on my last EP Magdalena’s Brown Bag. Everything on this record I wrote and recorded myself but a lot of the really phenomenal musical aspects like drums, lead guitars etc I had help with. I also had help with some of my other musician/producer friends bouncing ideas off of them, they definitely deserve a producer credit.

You have described this album as ‘my blood sweat and tears’. What does this mean though, after two LPs and an EP that you have already released? What makes this album different from your earlier makings? Is it perhaps more mature?

The content of this album is much more mature than my earlier recordings without a doubt. I have progressed significantly both musically and with my production ability. I also believe I let me emotions spill out onto the paper a bit more than ever before with the writing and recording of this album which was definitely a mental growth moment.

The album is titled You’re Gonna Lose Your Mind and I did nearly lose my mind during the production of this album. Shortly after starting to record this album, around February 2020 the Covid 19 pandemic hit. A couple weeks after that I was put in the hospital with a collapsed lung for 11 days with a long rehabilitation ahead of me. A couple weeks later I was laid off from my job. A couple weeks after that me and my wife decided to divorce. When I say my blood sweat and tears went into recording this album, I mean I literally had blood, sweat and tears flowing during the recording of this album. That being said, because I was unemployed I was able to spend an abundance of time on the production of this album. So that was the silver lining of the whole thing.

You have said that you have a passion for true to the era 1967/1968 psychedelic rock’. What is it that makes those years so great for you and what would you say are the differences between then and now?

I really love psychedelic rock more than any other genre and those years 1967 and 1968 are when the best of the best psych came out. When I was writing and producing this album those years were all I was thinking about. I love 90’s psych like the Elephant 6 collective and modern psych like King Gizzard, The Claypool Lennon Delirium and Osees but I wasn’t taking inspiration from these bands or I tried not to at least. I tried to make this album as true to the era as possible. I never used any synthesizers on this album I play the cello on several of the tracks and I only used mellotron and orchestral sounds for strings and actual Hammonds, Wurlitzers and Fender Rhodes to get that authentic sound. The instrumentation and the recordings made back then just feel warmer, and I tried to bring some of that warmness into this record.

What do you prefer more? Writing music or performing live?

Some of the best, most rewarding nights of my life were performing live and I love to improvise in a live setting as well. That being said nothing sounds better than playing in a small room in a controlled environment like the studio allows.

What is your favourite album of the previous year?

My favorite album of 2020 is either Mr. Elevator- Goodbye Blue Sky or Holy Wave- Interloper. Depends on the day.

Tell us something about you that not many people know!

During college I was in a piano/cello duo called The Allegros. The cello player in The Allegros, Peter was a cellist in the Dayton Philharmonic and one of the finest musicians I ever had the opportunity to play with. It was an amazing experience to play with a musician of his caliber. Things were great and we were getting a lot of gigs in Dayton and starting to get a little bit of a following. Then Peter secured a spot as a cellist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. I must admit I was pretty destroyed at the time. But shortly after that my first solo record came out Sanitary Cemetery. Part of the reason I learned how to play the cello, I really fell in love with the instrument, which is on several of the tracks on this album.

Thanks Daniel!

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