An Interview with Danny Golden

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Photos Courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR

Danny Golden doesn’t quite remember how he ended up in Austin, TX. There were a few years in Colorado playing Bluegrass banjo, a stint in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, writing and forming his style, and couch surfing in Brooklyn while making his first album. Suddenly, he found himself behind the wheel of his Nissan, halfway between New York and Texas, realizing he didn’t know a soul there. He just had a feeling it was the place for his music.

Danny is a singer/songwriter, a Rock ‘N’ Roller, and a lifelong searcher for truth and people to share it with. He says the artist’s job is to investigate the depths of our world and bring some meaning back to the surface. His music is an antidote to the status quo; the trendy internet fads we inhale like a fruity pebble flavored vape pen until the flavor runs out and we need a new fix. In a world of artists selling you their projected images of hip, Golden’s music invites you to real connection on a human level.

Danny Golden’s music is an invitation to look at life through the artist’s eyes, to see more, and to see more clearly.

Bio courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR.

Andrew:
Danny, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Danny:
I’ve mostly been doing really well. I think there are inevitably going to be down periods when you’re living through what has seemed like a never-ending pandemic, but mostly I’ve surrendered to the fact that its beyond my control and all I can do is try to make the best of the situation. I spent most of the last year writing and recording and really reconnecting with my creative self, and just recently started releasing music and playing shows again.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

Danny:
I think like most kids I always found myself transfixed by the beat and melodies of Pop and Hip-Hop music. I remember really loving singing and dancing along to broadway musical recordings as a little kid. Then around nine years old discovered rock and roll through some friends. Once I started listening to that music and learning about the Rock ‘N’ Roll world of the 60s and 70s, I became pretty obsessed.

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences?

Danny:
[Eric] Clapton was the guitarist I wanted to learn when I first picked up the guitar. Jim Morrison was my favorite singer and Rock figure. I was obsessive about exploring the archives of Grateful Dead bootlegs. I think the first concert I ever convinced my dad to take me to was the CSNY reunion tour in the mid-2000s.

Danny Golden Announces New EP 'Changes' | Grateful Web
Danny Golden – Changes (2021)

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events first. Tell us about your new EP Changes.

Danny:
Changes is a collection of four songs that document a period in my life when I felt spit out by a long-term relationship that didn’t work out. I spent the better part of a year dealing with the fallout of that, getting more and more lost in my personal life and not really sure where I wanted to go with music and my career. It wasn’t a fruitful period artistically, but what did emerge were these four songs that, to me, are postcards from different stages of that period. And ultimately, it was through the process of writing and recording them that I grew and moved forward.

Andrew:
What lyrical themes are you exploring with your new music?

Danny:
The songs are all pretty different in sound and lyrical subjects. I think “I Can’t Change” is the most direct lyrically. What you see is what you get with that one. “Alien” deals with connection and love in a world where we feel more and more isolated by technology and culture. “L.A. County” is about the economy of dreams, the journey of ups and downs that can come from chasing them, and the people who will help you and hurt you along the way. “Cigarettes & Sunburn” is about the thrill of new love and the pain of losing it.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self-produce, or do you bring in outside voices?

Danny:
All of the songs were done with some of my best friends and most frequent collaborators. My band (Ben Brown, Jeff Olson, Sam Pankey) and John Michael Landon helped me get the Rock’N’Roll sound that we have on the first two tracks. David Ramirez stepped in to help me craft “L.A. County” into a heartfelt Americana tune. And Spencer Garland had us over to his home studio to do “Cigarettes & Sunburn” in one take to give it the loose smokey feel that it has.

Photos Courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums and why?

Danny:
I listen to almost all of my music through my phone or computer. I live in a really small house that doesn’t have room for a vinyl set up. I do however take delight in exploring and playing the vinyl collections at my friends houses who do have record players.

Right now the albums that I’m listening to on loop are Springsteen’s Nebraska, Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, and George Harrison’s Living in The Material World.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Danny:
I’m passionate about progressive politics and I see that manifesting in my music- sometimes in tiny details, sometimes in bigger stuff like the overall themes. I especially see it in the songs I’m currently writing coming out of Covid and the Trump era.

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Danny:
I think it’s easy to be cynical about many things right now. I find myself reacting to changes in the music industry with pessimism all the time. But I find it important to fight that knee-jerk reaction and accept the inevitable changes in culture and technology and embrace them to fit my work and worldview. Hope is a key ingredient in my formula for creativity. I try never to let fear inform my creative choices.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the pos-COVID world?

Danny:
I’ve finally started getting back on stage in the last few weeks, which I am over the moon about. Being deprived of playing live for a year really heightened my gratitude and appreciation for the joy that is playing music for others. I can’t wait to spend the summer playing all over Austin, hopefully getting to some other cities in the fall and gearing up to release all the music I’ve been writing and recording. But more than anything, I’m just eager to get together with my friends and family again.

Photos Courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR

Interested in learning more about the work of Danny Golden? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.
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