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Dan Whitehouse - Interview

  by Spencer Robertshaw

published: 27 / 8 / 2012

Dan Whitehouse - Interview


Spencer Robertshaw chats to London-based singer-songwriter Dan Whitehouse about his wide range of influences, and eclectic and much-acclaimed debut album

Dan Whitehouse is a very genuine and modest person. He doesn't bang his own drum and is humble when it comes to his work, always giving praise to other fellow artists or people. This is a quality that I really like in a person and shows what a decent, thoughtful chap Dan is. His musical talents have led him to write the music for the politics show 'Inside Out', and set up musical workshops which have therapeutic benefits for people who are vulnerable or have been in accidents and have suffered with memory loss. Also he uses specially adapted instruments for people with disabilities to produce music on, and they gain so much from these sessions and from Dan’s love of music that it can’t be put into any kind of measurable format. He has just released a self-titled album which seems as if it was written by someone who was born long before his actual birth year of 1979. The quality of work and the power of the lyrics on it is such that he draws comparisons with someone like Peter Gabriel. That thought is backed up by the musician and 6Music DJ Tom Robinson who when he was asked about Dan was lush in his praise. Dan’s influences include the Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bob Dylan,Otis Redding, eels and John Grant to name but a few. In interview with Dan, I spoke to him about both his album and touring. He is witty, clever, honest and considerate , making conversation a true pleasure. PB: What have been your influences? DW: Neil Young was in my teenage years, I like the way he has followed his feelings. He has upset a few people along the way but he has stuck to his guns. John Cooper Clarke is a real influence on me, as well as Bob Dylan and a lot of soul and gospel singing acts such as Sam Cooke, Otis Redding . Anyone who will stand up and give it all they have got really. PB: Yes, I remember when Neil Young got an album deal with Geffen and was under pressure to do a number of albums so he did a techno album, ‘Trans’, just to shut them up. I think they realised then that he couldn't be bossed around. And with John Cooper Clarke, he has influenced just about anyone who ever matters. DW: With Neil Young, you are going to get pure honest music and not the shop window band sound that the record companies try to promote e.g. that particular bands’ sound. In the case of John Cooper Clarke I don’t think that people value the written word as much as they should. PB: What is your most important memory musically? DW: Performing my song 'Somebody Loves You' with the 24 piece mixed choral choir 'the Brewood Singers was a real personal highlight. I find large groups of voices very moving. I know it's a band name but I love the phrase ‘Guided By Voices’. Last summer I was in Budapest for a few days and saw a Hungarian youth choir singing in Japanese in the beautiful Matthias Church. I had previously thought I was very much lead by lyrics, but I couldn't understand a word of this and absolutely loved it! I think that is my favourite musical memory outside anything involving my own music. PB: You tour a lot. Is there anywhere you are keen to play? DW: Yes, I get a lot out of playing live. There is a venue in Leeds I want to play called the Brudenell Social Club on my next tour. I love touring and will be returning to some places and new venues in November this year PB: Your album is eclectic in lyrical style and approach. Is that to appeal to a larger group of listeners? DW: I write and perform what I feel and hope some messages can be put across in my music PB: Thank you.

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Dan Whitehouse - Interview

Dan Whitehouse - Interview

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