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Danny Malone

By Luanne Lim  ,  April 03 2013

Danny Malone recently performed at this year’s SXSW fest held in his hometown of Austin, Texas. An eccentric performer with great stage presence and musical talent, Malone stays rather modest about his successes and career, as I found out through my laugh-filled interview with the unique singer-songwriter.

Check out what he had to say about his SXSW performances, Neil Diamond, his experience recording his upcoming EP, Balloons in a haunted castle and so much more…

Luanne Lim: Can you introduce yourself and tell me where you’re from?
Danny Malone: Umm, my name’s Danny Malone and I’m from, Austin, Texas…probably. .

LL: Have you always wanted to be a musician?
DM: Um, no, I wish I was not a musician. I wish I was a normal person. Uhh, that’s totally… I don’t like it, but it has to happen, I guess.

LL: Normal’s kind of overrated though, sometimes…
DM: You’re probably not normal…don’t worry.

LL: Well, since you are a musician, who are your musical inspirations?

DM: I don’t really think I have any. Just my life, and uhh, I don’t know! Maybe some people. I can’t really pinpoint who has influenced me and inspired me, but umm. Just friends, and like… lovers my past and … trauma… yeah.  

LL: Ohh, what kind of drama?
DM: Oh, just… yeah, drama. I said “trauma…”

LL: Oh! “Trauma!” I thought you said, “Drama.”
DM: …but they’re the same thing, basically . Yeah. What kind of, I don’t know. Just… you know traumas that people go through. They’re probably pretty normal things…but it leaves an impact on the brain, you know? And then you decide to write about it, I guess, to get it out of your head or something.

LL: Well, life experiences make the best inspiration, I guess.
DM: Right. Right! Good times, too.

LL: I read that you can play several instruments, so exactly how many can you play?

DM: I think I could play every instrument…ever made. I think I can do that. It depends on what you call “playing.”

LL: Playing well…
DM: Playing well? Well, I could- I need to record something. I could probably sit with any instrument and play some part pretty well. So, I think if you’re a real musician, you can play anything well, you know? John Lennon said that… Someone asked him what instrument he can play and he said, “Give me a tuba for a minute and after a little time, I’ll make it sing.”

LL: That’s a great quote. What was the first instrument you learned how to play well?
DM: I guess, guitar. Yeah, guitar was first. I was always able to do stuff, though. I do remember playing piano when I was a kid, and just being able to sorta pick out melodies and stuff. Yeah, guitar was the first thing I learned. It’s what I really wanted to play.

LL: Would that be your favorite instrument to play?
DM: …No . It doesn’t matter to me; it’s more about whatever noise fits in whatever moment of the song… I don’t have a favorite instrument. I have favorite… noises.

LL:  What’s your favorite noise to make?
DM: Oh, I just mean at certain times. Whatever noise fits is my favorite noise, at the time .

LL: Okay, I have to ask about your crazy, unique biographies on your pages. Did you write them?
DM: Are you talking about the “tiger skin” and all that stuff? No, I didn’t write it, but, um, I lived it and my friend wrote about it.

LL: Very nice… Speaking of websites, your Facebook page describes your genre of music as “Future-folk,” “Sexy-Depression,” and “Foragoraphobia.” What exactly is “Foragoraphobia?”
DM: Well, it’s agoraphobia that is induced by boredom, I guess . I don’t know, I think it’s in some doctor’s book of diseases… I’m pretty sure.

LL: Describe exactly what these would sound like.
DM: Hmm. “Future-folk” is sorta traditional instruments or whatever, umm, that plays music that’s progressive… I don’t know . I mean, I just call stuff ridiculous stuff because I don’t like saying normal stuff…

LL: So I’ve heard you’re quite the dancer… Where do you come up with your moves? Does inspiration just come to you?

DM: I guess so. I practice alone a lot. [Laughs] I don’t really wanna talk about it, actually. Next question!

LL: Alrighty then. Well, I was gonna ask, if you could challenge anyone to a dance-off, who would you challenge?
DM: I don’t believe in that…

LL: In dance-offs?
DM: I don’t believe in a dance-off.

LL: Why not?
DM: It’s not… There’s no challenge to dancing . We’re all in it together. I guess, it’s a challenge. A dance-off is… do better than the other dancer, as if something is better than another. So, fuck that… It’s racist!

LL: So you’ve recently gotten back from performing at SXSW. How many times have you performed there before?
DM: I think seven, eight… I don’t remember! Eight times? No… Seven. Seven times.

LL: How has the most recent performance differed from any other time?
DM: I have a bad memory… so… I’m pretty sure they all feel the same afterwards. Which is good. I had a good time. It was alright! I got some shit stolen from my house, so that sucked, but besides that it was a good time.

LL: Do you have any fun memories or stories to share about any performances?

DM: No. I blackout before I play , like Beyoncé. Have you ever- Wait, didn’t she say that recently?

LL: Umm, I have no idea! I’ve never heard her say that before…
DM: There’s discussion that she’s involved with Satan and someone said, I think she said that she blacks out when she performs, and I just relate with that. And I do that…and that’s it! Wait, what was the question again?

LL: Do you have any fun memories or stories to share about any performances, but you said you black out so…
DM: Oh! No, no I do not!

LL: Are they just memories or stories that you don’t want to talk about because they’re too crazy or something?
DM: I just don’t know how to talk about it. It’s a strange… it’s ineffable. There is not words for it, and so I don’t know how to express a real, a memory of it, you know?

LL: Yeah… I get that…
DM: But, I don’t know. Maybe you want like a little anecdotal, like a little diddy about something…

LL: Yeah, sure, I mean, if you want to give me one…
DM: I… One time ummm, every show, I blacked out! That’s my- Just next question!

LL: What was your favorite show that you’ve played so far?
DM: There was a CD release, pre-release show in Austin, and I had this huge band. Well, I mean, not that huge, but I played guitar and I had bass, and drums, and like a whole little orchestra with strings and horns and stuff and it was really classy, and fucking rockin’ and I kinda felt like Neil Diamond . And that was the best feeling. Neil Diamond… he feels like that ALL the time, so that’s amazing. I felt like Neil Diamond and that was the best time of my life. And Neil Diamond feels like Neil Diamond ALL the time.

LL: Well, I would hope he feels like Neil Diamond all the time, if he’s Neil Diamond…

DM: Yeah, well, maybe he feels like me sometimes!

LL: Maybe he does…
DM: I doubt it. I doubt he’s heard of me… I doubt that’s true.

LL: You never know though… He might’ve. He might creep around.

DM: He’s creepy! For sure! He’s a skeezebag! There’s something about him…He sweats too much when he plays, and he’s just standing still the whole time…and why is he sweating that much, you know what I mean?

LL: [Laughs] I don’t know… maybe… I don’t really know! That’s an excellent point… okay…
DM: [Laughs]

LL: Back to topic… Where would your dream concert be and who would it be with?
DM: Radiohead and…Bob Dylan. I wanna bring a friend out when I’m headlining. That would be fun.

LL: Just randomly bring a friend out?
DM: Yeah. My friend plays guitar. He can just, like, play cover songs. I’d be huge though. I’d be playing to thousands of people, and then I’d bring my friend who is not a musician out, err. I like to think that. Not a musician, trained to be. Have a career. That would be hilarious. I would just bring a friend out and he would play cover songs .   

LL: Would you tell him? Or would you just surprise him - catch him off guard?
DM: No, no. I’d take him. I’d pump him up about it, I’d talk him into it, I’d make him an offer he couldn’t refuse with the money. I’d just pay him a lot. So he would just have to do it, cause he’d be too broke and stuff. He’d be humiliated the first few times, but then he’d kinda get into it, maybe… I don’t know. I would help him out.

LL: Which venue would you perform at?
DM: The biggest festival in the world. Or amphitheater shows…where ten-thousand to twenty-thousand people can sit… cause that would be funniest - for my friend.

LL: We’re gonna go more towards your music now. Your upcoming album, Balloons, was written and produced in a castle, right?
DM: Not all written. Some of it was, some of the songs were written, like finished or something. I just went to the castle to record. Cause I just wanted to like, I knew what the songs were gonna be, and I just wanted to get there and get away from everything, and sort of be in this dream world while I recorded. I had been to the castle a year before and it gave me this huge burst of creativity and stuff. So I wrote a lot of the songs right after I had gone to the castle the first time. I wrote a lot more songs from that then when I got to the castle. I recorded the songs that were kinda inspired around the time of that.

LL: Was it better than recording and producing in a regular studio?
DM: Yeah, completely because. I don’t know. I find regular studios sterile and uhh. Well, my first couple of albums were done in a studio setting… and I liked it at the time, but in comparison, they’re just so clean and it feels like a “punch the clock in” and record and “punch the clock out” and umm, but for Balloons, for the one thing, it was all one big experience. I only remember bits and pieces of recording each song because it feels like one big dream or something. It was great. It was like going to another world. Completely like another dimension to record it, and then coming back to reality to put it out.

LL: Cool! I wish I could go to a castle or visit one…
DM: Yeah, this one was so cool! I got invited the first time. I don’t know why but it was awesome. It’s haunted! And so old. It’s crazy. There’s a songwriting class. It’s kinda converted into an art school, but for very few people. Like sixty people were there or something… There’s like painting and glass-blowing and stuff like that and people focus on what they wanna do. And there’s a songwriting thing, and I got invited to be a part of this songwriting group for a week, and umm, I don’t know. It’s just something that they do, and I got picked somehow cause they were picking people from around the world. It’s kinda random and awesome.

LL: Well, since you said it was haunted, did you go ghost hunting?
DM: No! I don’t wanna fuck with ghosts. But I did feel them… I did feel their presence and felt just like creepy vibes sometimes and like really uplifting vibes… They’re stronger than vibes - like a presence or something that I felt inside me. It was, umm, it was scary almost. Just kinda weird. I didn’t think…if I believed in those things… I don’t think about it. I don’t really care, and it seemed to exist.

LL: Has your songwriting or sound changed from the release of your first EP or album? In what ways?
DM: Yes. I would think about what I wanted to write a song about, and then write it. And as time passed, I think less and less and in general and then also about songwriting, like it’s just this habitual muscle movement thing, like guitar, and I mumble to myself and in public and without an instrument, but then also with an instrument. And sometimes they turn into words somehow, like a bird coming out of a cloud .

LL: Interesting comparison… Which of your EPs and full-lengths is your favorite one so far?
DM: Well, I should say Balloons…yeah, because that one’s a lot better… Definitely Balloons! It’s my favorite. It’s fuckin’ good! It looks good!

LL: Besides the new album, what else does the future hold for you? Any upcoming shows or tours?
DM: I’m putting together some tours and stuff and planning for when the record is released…yeah, I’m planning shows all the time…I live in a barn behind a house and I put a stage in there. I throw shows just at my house, kinda intimate, and it’s really fun. So I’m planning those kinds of shows. There’s always stuff happening.

LL: This is the last question! Do you have anything else you’d like to say or add to end the interview?
DM: Yeah… I think marriage is gay in the first place. That’s my quote.

LL: Thank you, for talking with me!     
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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