Interview with Dan Whitehouse

Dan Whitehouse Interview for the Tramlines Times.

 

From playing the Sheffield scene for years, in bands like Fights, Mabel Love and Dens, Dan Whitehouse has now gone solo and is on the cusp of a breakthrough second album. Bringing his acoustic folk-come-americana sound to the Sheffield Cathedral on Saturday, Dan chats to us about Tramlines, how it's great for the local scene and why every band should try recording at home.

 

You're playing the Cathedral for Tramlines, and have played there before, what is it like as a venue?

We did a live album launch there before with a full band, but it's just going to be me own my this time. I found with the band it was pretty testing with the sound check. As soon as you put a drum kit in some of those places it takes over, but because the guys played well it worked, I think the audience seemed to like it. It was a big enough sound and even though it was loud it gave it a bit more edge. But I am looking forward to playing it on my own.

 

What are your experiences of the festival?

I've played it a couple of times in the past with Mabel Love, and last year was a little low key thing at The Gatsby upstairs. As a solo artist I guess this year will be the biggest. It's the most publicity I've had for a gig. As a punter, a couple of years ago I enjoyed Drenge upstairs of The Gatsby, and all the crowd surfing that went on (not me, no). That was pretty cool. Before it all kicked off. I got to meet Echo and the Bunnymen before we played a show as well. Just seeing Sheffield absolutely buzzing for a weekend and loads of local bands getting lots of exposure, I think it's good for everyone.

 

Is there anyone you are looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?

Just catching up with the local bands, seeing who's doing well having a day around Sheffield, hopefully the sun will be shining. I've got the rest of Saturday off, I'm gonna go into town early, do the gig and then hang about in the evening time.

 

Tell us about your first album, what was it like writing, recording and producing it in just three months?

It was quite enlightening doing the album in such a short space of time. I got my little recording set up at home and wanted to see if I could record something of releasable quality. It kind of came together really fast and I spent three months not really doing anything else. It was just me in my slippers with a cuppa – not very rock and roll! I'd advise any band to buy their own four track, a laptop with recording software and a microphone. It doesn't matter what gear you've got, it's what you put in and it’s how you use it. If you've got good songs it'll echo. You can have all the recording gear in the world but if it’s not good music it's not going to be very good.

 

Will you be playing a lot of new stuff at Tramlines, or mainly songs from your first album?

I have been playing new stuff at gigs recently, it’s been good to air it and get some feedback, but this is different. With the album still out, and people able to listen to it at the moment, I think sticking to it will work better. I will throw in some new stuff though. I might just wait and see how I feel on Saturday morning.

 

What's next?

I'm gonna give the new album more time and let it develop more naturally. I think people will see that the development from the first and second as a drastic change. Hopefully I'll be recording with other artists as well, and be doing more production stuff. I love the producing side of it, the mixing is the best part. That's the plan, in the next ten years to go into producing. I love mixing, mine and other bands stuff. I worked with a band called Blessa in their early stages, doing that was an amazing experience, to see them now with great management releasing an EP on a label and the success they've got. That's an achievement looking back.

 

Catch Dan Whitehouse at The Cathedral at 5.30pm.  'Stories For You' is available on iTunes now.

 

Words: Rachel Heward




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