With the release of his latest disc, Rock N Roll Band!, singer and songwriter Dan Miraldi is looking to introduce as many people as possible to his unique indie rock/pop rock sound. The most interesting part of this record is the variety of the sounds found throughout. One can hear hints of Beach Boys melodies, indie rock, and punk rock and even a bit of soul, all adding up to an incredibly fun and enjoyable record. Here's what Miraldi had to say.
Besides guitar what other instruments do you play? Dan: My primary instrument has been my voice, but on the new record I sing, play rhythm guitar and keyboards. However, I can play bass and basic drums, but, for the most part, the only people who get to hear me play those instruments are the people in my band when I give them demos of new songs.
Do you remember the first song you played on the guitar? Dan: I remember that a lot of the first chords came from learning Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man."
Now that your new disc, Rock N Roll Band, is complete how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome? Dan: I am very satisfied with the way it turned out. I like the performances and how Jim McKell (the engineer and co-producer) mixed it. I feel like it has an old-school rock n roll energy without sounding dated. It embraces vintage and modernity at the same time.
How quick are you in the studio? Dan: We were very quick. We recorded the EP at Jim McKell’s studio in Atlanta. We scheduled three days for recording. Everyone was very focused. We knew the songs – we had played them live for the last few months. On the first day, we had most of the bass, drums and rhythm guitar tracks down before we went to lunch. The rest of the time was spent getting the vocals, other guitar parts, keys and percussion, and getting basic mixes to ensure everything we’d put down was right.
Do you decide on a suitable sound fairly quickly, or do you tend to tweak tones obsessively? Dan: I rarely get too obsessive with tones, but I usually know what I want.
What's your musical background? Do you have any formal training? Dan: I have been singing all of my life. I took voice lessons regularly when I was in third and fourth grade, but singing rock n roll music was something I learned by listening to Elvis and Beatles records. I am self-taught at guitar, but I started playing late. At the end of high school, the guitarist in my band was going to school in Colorado, so I knew that if I wanted to continue writing music and playing, I'd have to learn how to accompany myself. I took piano lessons throughout elementary school, but stopped playing for a while and started playing again when I was learning guitar.
Any rituals before you hit the stage? If so what are they? Dan: We don't have any crazy pre-stage rituals, but, when we were on tour this summer, we had quite a few long drives to clubs and en route we'd listened to comedy albums, mainly Jim Gaffigan, Steve Martin and David Sedaris. That became the tradition going from city to city. It kept everyone in a good mood.
Check out the song: "Premonition"
Who are your biggest influences on your playing? Dan: The big ones are the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the White Stripes, Bob Dylan, the Format, the Beach Boys, Green Day, Blink-182, the Velvet Underground and Elvis.
How do you keep your vocals so strong? Dan: I do a lot of regular cardio exercise and sing along to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds when I am in the car.
How long do you practice your instrument a day? Dan: Approximately one to two hours a day I sing, play guitar or write new music.
What is next for Dan Miraldi? Dan: We are releasing the new CD at the House of Blues' Cambridge Room on September 28th. Thus, a lot of energy is going into that show – we want to make sure it is a success. My band and I are playing in Washington, DC this weekend. I also continue to write a lot of new music. This combination means that there is a lot going on, but, in meantime, I am trying to introduce as many people as possible to the new music.