Featured Artist of the Week: Dan O.
Name: Dan O.
Instrument: Bass guitar/singer
Dan says he is just a normal joe and a family man living in Trenton, playing gigs in Kingston with his punk rock band The Dead Sparrows. His gang has known each other since being bandmates in high school, but reunited about five years ago when they all ended up in the same area again, and so, The Dead Sparrows was born. The band just recently released their fourth EP, No Core, on vinyl.
Do you have an occupation apart from music? If so, what do you do?
I’m in the communication/public relations field for environmental services.
How and when did you discover your love of music?
I never really grew up in a musical household. I don’t remember music ever being played... My first album I think I was maybe in Grade 6 – It was DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince... and then it just kind of grew from there.
I really didn’t fall in love with music until maybe '94 or ’93 when I first heard punk rock basically, and that kind of made me actually excited for music, which I hadn't felt before.
Is your family musical?
No. But my kids are. So I’m passing down something I guess.
Are you an individual performer or are you part of a musical group?
Part of a band... We are the Dead Sparrows.
What do you like about performing music?
I write a lot of music and I record a lot of music, but it doesn’t really become real until you’re actually playing it for other people. And what keeps me coming back to performing it live is the reaction we’ve been able to get from the people we play for. So I really feed off them, which keeps me going.
What’s the biggest audience you’ve ever performed in front of?
We opened for Against Me. They came through Kingston a couple of years ago and I wish I knew the audience (count), but 1000 plus I guess.
Do you write your own music?
Yes. I think we played one cover once and we were just like, no let’s never do that again. I think when I can no longer write a song, that's when I'll start playing cover songs. But for now, the music keeps coming so I'll stick to that.
What musicians have influenced your music?
Personally, I guess, it’s probably quite a range. If I looked at the entire timeline of my music writing career, it’s probably the early punk rock revival of the 90s, so that would be Green Day, Penny Wise, NOFX...
What are you listening to right now?
There’s a great guy – I just fell in love with him. His name is Serengeti and he does hip hop, but he has all these kind of alter egos so he has all these little side projects that he does and they just range from all over the place... I just discovered him maybe two years ago. And it’s all I’m listening to basically.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on stage?
There’s been slips and falls and people forgetting entire songs.