RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW BARNSLEY’S DANNY SMART
Hiya Danny thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
It’s been a while since we had you on at RGM live back at The Washington and the frog and parrot back in Sheffield, how are you doing?
Wow, that was way back! What a time ey? I’m doing great.
Let’s go back a bit. What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It’s been a thing for me ever since I heard the music of Johnny Cash back when I was around 4. My parents used to play him in the car all the time, then I listened to ‘Johnny Cash: Live at San Quentin’ and it changed my life. How someone could just command an audience with his music, incredible.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
You’ve got that right. To be honest, I’m on the fence with how I’m doing.
I feel like I haven’t even started yet even though I’ve been writing and releasing songs now for 10 years.
I’m always trying to do more, whether its write more, produce more but knowing which direction to take your career is the hardest for me. The industry changes every day and it’s soooooo hard to keep up when you do everything on your own.
Either way, I sure have lots of fun on that slippy slope to stardom.
We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?
100%! I’ve been travelling around a lot since the Frog and Parrot days playing on ships and getting my music to totally different audiences is great for everyone involved.
My kind of music (country music) is still in its infancy in the UK. In the US, Country is part of their life. Not every artist’s prime audience is going to be their hometown.
So yeah, keep it up!
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
They’re not usually my scene but I watched a documentary on the Moon landing and it is a bit fishy, like how does that flag fly? (I just google it and found out lol)
Let’s share the love, what bands are doing really well in your Town / City?
I’ve always been a fan of a fellow tarn artist Harriet Rose and it’s so great to see her doing so well! She’s a true talent that needs to go far. Also, Lightning Threads are right up my street, their lead singer Tom’s a top fella too!
What advice would you give other artists starting out?
Just be yourself. If you have something to say or there’s a certain genre you want to play but don’t think is ‘cool’ just go for it. It’s an insecurity that I often struggle with but there’s no point in releasing music you don’t like. Also, stay the course and don’t give up.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Omg, so as with nearly every musician I was like, ‘what skills other than music have I got’, so I got crazy into woodworking, and bought lots of random tools for it. I was totally going to give that chippendale a run for his money.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Luckily I’ve escaped embarrassing experiences so far. But someone drunkedly thinking everyone wanted to hear her wail ‘Country Roads’ down a microphone mid-set of a packed out audience wasn’t fun.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I’ve never seen star wars, can ya believe it?
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
Footapping country with a bit’a Yorkshire grit
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I like a lot of different music from all sorts of genres and eras. I always hope it comes across in my own music and when I perform. Also probably stupidly for marketing reasons but I don’t much like trends, back to the question about advice for new artists, do what you like not wants the latest trend.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
So the single is called Unwind, and it’s my tip of the hat early blues/rock legends such a muddy waters, John lee hooker, the Animals. I wanted to turn it into that gritty kind of 60s tune that the Animals would’ve released.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Th song came the usual way really.. I was just strumming the chords on an acoustic and was pretty pissed off I’m sure at the time. So as songwriters do, I wailed out a few lines and liked where it was headed. I went to make a demo and loved the texture of the organ sound.
What was the recording process like?
So luckily through my travels, I’ve met some killer musicians, probably some of the best I’ll ever meet. we all usually work away playing on ships, but back in July we were all back in Blighty, so I got the fellas together at Bakerland Studios in Leeds and we laid down the song with Tim and Andy of Bakerland. I took it home and did some overdubs and finished it up!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
As I said earlier, I’m always trying to get better at different parts of the industry, and I’m trying my hand at the production side of my music at the minute. I learnt that sometimes you can get hooked up on perfectionism but I read something from a producer that you will never find perfection in a track. There’s always something you could do better or different. I was working with Unwind for months and I had the realisation that I could tweak and fix forever. Then when reading Bob Dylan’s Autobiography, he didn’t even mix a lot of his tracks so I decided to overcome the insecurities and finish it up.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
As I said I could tweak forever. Perhaps but I like it!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I love to meet new people so if you like the song, drop a message to me and let me know over on my socials! Also greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this and you guys over at RGM taking the time. I’ll not leave it another 6/7 years next time!