Fresh off his new release titled Some Bullsh•t EP on Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage imprint, Danny G sits down with When We Dip to discuss, his dive into House Music, his favorite artists, as well as funny anecdotes from touring with Justin Jay as his live keyboardist.
Take a listen to his Some Bullsh•t EP here:
WWD: Thanks for joining us mate! Big fan of the EP. How is your approach to making tunes on your own as opposed to with the Fantastic Voyage band?
Danny G: I’d say our process with the band is totally different than making solo stuff. When we work on material for the band, we start with preexisting songs and then figure out a way to rearrange the production for stage using our instrumentalists and technology. Most of the work involves playing together to create and perfect these arrangements. On the other hand, when I produce electronic music I usually start with synth sequences and build from there. It’s a much more iterative process that mostly involves me sitting in the studio and tinkering while I build the arrangements from scratch.
WWD: As I understand it, this is your first dive into producing House music. What inspired you to take music in this direction?
DG: You’re right that this is my first dive into making house music. I’ve listened to electronic music since I was a kid, and I always went to warehouse parties and raves to see my favorite DJ’s. I also started making electronic music on my computer with Justin and Sam (von Horn) when we were 13. But I always gravitated towards non-dance genres like downtempo, ambient trippy stuff. Touring recently with Fantastic Voyage and spending so much more time around dance music definitely inspired me to try making house music for the first time. The guys encouraged me to try to find my own voice in 4 to the floor music and bring what I do into a dance floor context. But you can still hear some of my roots in the two slower tracks on the record “SBS” and “Selekt.”
WWD: Knowing that you are a keyboardist, how long have you been practicing and what kind of synths / gear do you find yourself gravitating towards in the studio?
DG: I started playing piano when I was 5. There was a definite lull as a teenager when I started playing drums but I never stopped playing keys. I’m definitely a huge synth nerd. I could really go on forever but I absolutely love analog synths like my moog slim phatty and Elektron Analog Keys. The moog is all over this record. I also love cheap miniature “toy” keyboards like old Casios and Yamahas. I used my Casio sk-1 to resample stuff for this record and you can hear my Yamaha Portasound as the lead electric piano on “Selekt.”
WWD: Where do you see yourself taking your music in the future?
DG: As for the future, I have an EP of house edits/bootlegs that I’m wrapping up, as well as another EP of originals in the works.
WWD: Favorite Los Angeles spot to grab some food / beer?
DG: I’m something of a foodie so it’s really hard to pick a favorite spot for food/drinks. Right now on tour I always find myself missing tacos so I can definitely say my favorite taco truck is Leo’s Tacos. I also love Guisados for a slightly fancier taco experience, they have a seriously amazing home made corn tortilla.
WWD: Star Wars or Harry Potter?
DG: I’d have to say Star Wars.
WWD: Any good book recommendations?
DG: I recently read a book called Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari that I thought was awesome. It’s basically a history of humanity and societal development through the lens of an anthropologist/evolutionary psychologist.
WWD: Who’s your all time favorite artist?
DG: My favorite artist might be Claude Monet. I love Impressionism and think the way that he captures light in his paintings is breath taking.
WWD: Tell us a funny memory you have of Justin on tour.
DG: The other night we were all slightly delirious when we pulled into a hotel in St. Louis around 5am. Henry (our drummer) caught Justin on video washing a flash drive in the bathroom sink. We all had a good laugh about that when we saw the video.