2015 Artist Survey: Dan Deacon | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2015 Artist Survey: Dan Deacon

Deacon on Music Streaming, 2015's Best Albums, Mainstream Pop, and Childhood Memories

Feb 10, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice Bookmark and Share

For Under the Radar’s 13th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2015. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2015 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2015 print and digital issues for answers from Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, Julien Baker, Blanck Mass, CHVRCHES, Dan Deacon, The Dears, Dutch Uncles, EL VY, Everything Everything, Father John Misty, Field Music, The Flaming Lips, How to Dress Well, Sondre Lerche, Low, Luna, Mew, NZCA Lines, Cullen Omori, Natalie Prass, Small Black, Surfer Blood, Tamaryn, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.

Here are some answers from Dan Deacon, whose latest album, Gliss Riffer, came out last year via Domino. A shorter version of this interview ran in the Best of 2015 print issue, which is still on newsstands now. This is the full unedited version of the interview.

Top 10 Albums of 2015

1. Wume: Maintain
2. M.C. Schmidt: Batu Malablab
3. ONO: Spooks
4. Andrew Bernstein: Cult Appeal
5. Air Waves: Parting Glances
6. Tame Impala: Currents
7. Bryce Dessner/Sō Percussion: Music for Wood and Strings
8. Nudie Suits: Summer Fun
9. Beach House: Depression Cherry
10. Holy Ghost Party: Bayou Music

What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?

The low point was having to move out of my studio so they could renovate the building. It was like losing a whole part of my world and identity. I miss it very much still. The high point has been getting to share the stage with drummer Jeremy Hyman. He’s an incredible musician in every sense of the word and brings so much to my music. I feel so lucky every time we get to perform and travel together.

What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

Many major life-shifting events went down for me in 2015, so I know 2016 will be a transitional year for me and I’m excited for that. I can feel new parts of my mind starting to emerge with each day. I’m excited for the change into an unknown.

With the launch of TIDAL and Apple Music in 2015, there are more streaming music options, but the same issues of adequate artist compensation persist. What are your current thoughts on streaming and which service would you most like to have your music on?

This is too complex of a topic to be answered in a few sentences. So I’ll just ramble: I still think streaming helps smaller artists way more than radio ever did and for that I enjoy it. I wish they didn’t size people out, like the gaps between Bandcamp and Soundcloud between Spotify and Apple Music are large and needless. But I hate talking about streaming service companies because it’s mainly an argument of how millionaire bands aren’t making as much as they can/would otherwise from millionaire investor-backed startups. So many smaller underground self-supported bands already stream their music for free. But I might be the wrong person to ask. I’m just happy people take the time to listen to my music. I have links to buy, stream, and steal (with links to torrents) on my site.

What are your thoughts on Friday being the new global release day for albums? Is it helping or hurting album sales?

I liked Tuesday. It felt more like an event.

Mainstream pop music is increasingly embraced by indie rock musicians and listeners, as well as serious music critics. At this point, do you draw any distinctions between Top 40 pop and indie rock/pop? Are you comfortable with this shift?

The only part of the shift that feels weird is that so much of pop music and mainstream culture revolves around the ideals of capitalism and wealth fetish culture. I don’t care how people want to arrange tones, rhythms, words, and textures but I do care when it works to perpetuate our fucked system and I feel lots of pop music does that without realizing it.

What are your thoughts on how the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is shaping up?

It’s shaping up exactly like how the media wants it to. A conversation on nothing while silencing the voices of people speaking about what actually needs to happen.

Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift’s 1989 (and then Father John Misty covered Adams covering Swift). If you were to cover another artist’s album in its entirety, which would you pick and why?

I’ve often dreamed of an all synth and vocoder version of Built to Spill’s Keep It Like a Secret.

Have you ever been fired from a job (be it a day job or musical one)? Why were you fired?

Nope. Not that I can remember.

What’s your earliest music-related childhood memory?

I remember seeing Terrapin Station in the basement of the house I grew up in for as long as I can remember. I was really into turtles as a kid and I remember really wanting to know what songs those turtles were playing.



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Glory Reinstein
February 10th 2016

It’s time the media found out about Gregory Douglass. 8 studio albums. #9 out soon. NPR states “One of New England’s best kept secrets.”