Denne uken har jeg fått intervjue nok en artist jeg personlig er stor fan av. Dan Croll, spilte på Parkteateret på lørdag, og jeg fikk intervjue han rett før han gikk på scenen! Han fortalte meg masse gøy om musikken sin, og blant annet om hvordan det var å møte Paul McCartney.
How did you decide what would be your first single? Did you have many options, or were you sure as as soon as you wrote «From Nowhere»?
I had loads of songs before «From Nowhere”, and I had a few different ones lined up for the first single. As I was about to release one of them, I wrote «From Nowhere». It literally came from nowhere, and it happened in a day. At the end of the day I was like «that’s gonna be the first single». I was really happy with it, and i just thought «screw it, I’m gonna use that one”.
So you were actually planning on releasing another single?
There were a couple of other ones lined up. But then I moved into a new studio, plugged in this organ, and then suddenly the buttons in the organs were already pressed in, because someone else owned it. So as soon as I turned it on by the mains, it lit up and started playing, and I started playing the chords. By the end of the day I had everything down and before I knew it 24 hours had gone. That’s why it’s called «From Nowhere». It doesn’t say that in the lyrics, but I called it that because it came from nowhere. I was thinking I should call it something with the lyrics, but I liked «From Nowhere», since it has a bit of a story behind it.
«From Nowhere» has almost 2,5 million streams on Spotify, how does that feel?
Yeah it’s doing really well, and I think we’re gonna re-release it to launch the album. I first released it myself, and didn’t take it radio or press, because it was with my own money. I just wanted to put it out on Spotify to see how it would go. And then it just did really well. Hopefully we’ll re-release it and get it the radio plays that it deserves. I’ve gotta do a new video for it which is a shame. I’ve already got a video for it online, but there’s a few people backing me back in the UK who really wants me to do a new video to help launch it.
Don’t you like making videos?
It’s a lot of stress, a lot of work, because I’m away constantly. I’m never in my house, and then when you get a phone call saying «we need a music video in a week», that means my one day off will go to filming. I think everyone wishes they had more time for everything. But you just gotta go with it and give it your best shot.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
It was called «Marion». It was a parisian kind of walz song. I went to a Spanish music festival and I met a french girl called Marion. The song is about the night we spent together, not in a romantic way, but that night there was a hurricane and everyone got evacuated from the sights. But me and my mates, and her mates, thought it would be a good idea to see if we could sit it out. Which was a stupid idea. There were tents flying past us, the olive field next to us was on fire, and people around us were running. We just sat there, and the song is about that night. Looking back I’m like «you stupid boy, could’ve killed yourself».
I read that you were chosen from your class, to speak with Paul McCartney himself. How did that conversation go?
Yeah that was cool, it was pretty magical. The night before I had been at a songwriting award ceremony, and I managed to win that. But to get to that award I had to travel for six hours, and I got told that I got the Paul McCartney-thing the next morning. So I finished at around midnight, and then I took a night bus for seven hours back to Liverpool. I slept for two hours, got up and went in to meet Paul McCartney. He came in, he was so nice, and we just hung out for about an hour. We played some tunes, I showed him my songs and he really liked them, and started singing them with me. It was really cool. I am a fan of the Beatles, they were stupidly talented and they could write good songs and stuff. When I sat there with him, I was playing my song which he had never heard before, and whilst I was playing it he started playing along. He only heard the song for a couple of seconds and had no problem playing along and harmonizing with me. I was blown away with how quickly he could pick up a song. It was a great experience.
Can you tell me anything about your full length album? Release date, title, number of tracks?
It’s gonna be released in the first week of March, and the album name is «Sweet Disarray». It is actually one of the tracks off the album called «Sweet Disarray». It’s about my grandma who unfortunately recently started developing dementia, and she kind of starts to forget who we are, who everyone is, and it is utter chaos, complete disarray. But in a weird way it’s nice because it’s brings together a family, everyone is their for her, and suddenly you start to see relatives you haven’t seen in a while. It’s like chaos, but quite nice at the same time. It also shows the album quite well, because there are so many genres. On each track I like to play around with so many things it becomes chaotic jumping from one sound to another. But hopefully it’s all nice aswell.
Who are your musical influences?
Paul Simon, Brian WIlson(Beach Boys), Burt Bacharach, James Taylor, George Harrison. There are quite a few good songwriters in there.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Out of the ones I already mentioned I think the best one for me would be Paul Simon. He’s my big inspiration.
I’ve heard a lot of great remixes of your songs. How does this usually come about? Do you ever
contact someone you would like to remix your song, or do they contact you?
Yeah I’m so happy with them . The first remixes I ever had were for «From Nowhere». And it was so new for me, I didn’t know anyone who did remixes, apart from my very close friends. So everyone who did a remix for that song are all very close friends. Take the Baardsen-remix for example, which is like my favorite one, Baardsen is Andrew Murray from EYE EMMA JEDI(Dan previously played with EYEEMAJEDI, for about a year). All of them did so well that we kept going back to them, and then more people got in contact saying that we love that, every remix is linked to a friend which is what I really like. It’s not just a random person, it’s someone that I’ve met. Some of the remixes that are coming through for the next single(«Home»), I am so happy with. It is a track that I never thought could be remixed, because it’s so folky. But I heard the mixes through this morning and I am very happy with them. I fell like I’ve been very lucky with my remixes. They’ve all been really cool. The Casiokids remix aswell. While we were here in Norway we met the guys, hung out and toured with them.
Do you remember the first single you ever bought?
My first single was a cassette tape, and it was the first ever piece of music that i bought. I bought it on a primary school trip to a place called York in the UK, and it was «Teenage Dirtbag» by Wheatus. I remember buying it, and not having a cassette player on me. When I got home and no one was there, I put it on in my moms hi-fi-system, jumped around on the bed and sang along.
And since I am a huge Britney-fan, I ask everyone I interview what their favorite Britney-song is?
She’s had some big songs, «Toxic” was huge. I love that track!. That’s my favorite song of hers. There was also this mash-up of «Toxic” and «Yeah” by Usher which I love. The Usher rap fits in perfectly with the bridge of the «Toxic»-track. I can probably still do the full rap, because I loved that track. The production on «Toxic» is incredible. I heard her new one in the van the other day, «Perufme», and I thought it was kinda cool. I can appreciate all kinds of pop music.
Etter dette måtte han løpe tilbake til soundchecken, men jeg kom meg heldigvis gjennom de fleste spørsmålene jeg ville stille han. Så tusen takk til Dan Croll for intervjuet! Han er en artist som vi definitivt kommer til å høre mye fra fremover. Med album-slipp i Mars, er det bare å begynne å glede seg til hans søte kaos slippes løs.