How does it feel to be back in Portland now?
“It’s changed tremendously.” Dan goes into telling me a story about living in a loft in Southeast Portland, close to the Doug Fir. This was about 4 years ago. It burned down and he was forced to move out. After that happened, he felt like that was the death of inner SE.
Now, he’s resident of LA but he’s up in Portland about every month. He has one foot in both cities & it seems to be working.
LA is a completely different scene & there’s tons of room to grow. Los Angeles doesn’t feel overwhelming at all for Dan. Not in the way New York makes your head spin. In LA, being a musician – having fans, making a living & be respected by the media.. oh, and also selling albums – that’s the most overwhelming part. In that sense, being in the ‘bigger pond’ helps.
Respect from the media? Is that a hard battle? “Yeah, I do think so. Especially recently. There’s been a shift in focus. Now the writing is just about the Kanye’s or Beyonce’s of the world. The clickbait stuff. Big media agencies are moving towards that type of media so it makes it difficult for a smaller artist to get that face time on a larger blog or media outlet. And as I get older, I’m not the new hot thing to write about. I’m not the buzzy-best-new-band artist anymore. I’ve been at it four years.”
It’s wild out there.
We then shifted the conversation to his album artwork for Salt, his newest project. He told me the story of the photo shoot and working with the ice.
The theme of the new album is decay, growth, death and exetsensial issues like that. Dan wanted it to be photographic. He had this idea of a giant ice cube melting and symbolizing this very, very slow decay over time. Which is a lot of what the album is about.
When we were ready to shoot, they moved the ice to get it into the shot and it cracked in the middle. They didn’t plan for that to happen. Very symbolic to us.