Every great artistic talent stems from a great love, is cultivated by the intrigue of influence, and thrives on passion for human experience. Besides Daniel front man Danny Brewer’s immense talent is no exception. His poetic lyricism, natural-sounding acoustic riffs, and evocative voice combine to produce truly masterful melodies.
Besides Daniel’s forthcoming third release, This Marvelous Grief, displays this honesty in an increasingly refined style from his last two albums. Reflecting Brewer’s experiences in love, loss, self-discovery, and adventure, the introspective songs are a testament to not only his talent, but also his reliability.
Atlanta Music Guide caught up with Danny Brewer of Besides Daniel before his show at The Earl on Saturday, November 9. Check it out!
You just released your new album, This Marvelous Grief, on October 29. Congratulations! Tell us about it.
Thank you! Yeah, it’s an EP. It’s got seven songs on it. I’m really excited about it! It’s a different format; I’m trying to keep it a bit more concise. Some of the songs we cut down a bit to be a little more friendly for industry purposes.
You’re playing a show at The Earl on Saturday, November 9th! We can’t wait to check it out.
That’s probably one of my favorite rooms in the city. I’m pumped about that show. I’ve put together a whole new lineup as far as the band goes. I have four other people that will be joining me on stage that night; just a whole new cast of folks. It’s going to put a lot of new life and blood into what I’m doing. I really like the guys I’m playing with now so hopefully this particular cast will stick around for a while.
How do you meet the people that you eventually invite to play with you?
One of the guys is a friend of a friend and the other folks are people that I’ve known that have been in this scene for a long time and it’s a mutual respect. We just love each others’ music. There’s a young lady, Heather Kemp, and she’s playing keys and singing. She’s brilliant. She goes under the alias of Oh Dorian. She’s just on another level. I’m so happy to be working with her because I feel that she will bring a lot to this band.
You’ve traveled around the country alone, playing at small bars, crashing on strangers’ couches and just making it by living day to day. It seems so courageous. What inspired you to put yourself out there like that?
Honestly, there are times when it feels more sustainable to be out traveling. So often touring and traveling is just a way to make things work. If I’m playing a show every night in a different town and I’m moving and traveling, it’s a model that works as a lifestyle when you don’t have any overhead and you don’t have rent or bills. You go around and you play music and you just soak up life in that way. It’s always an adventure, it’s always something new, you’re always interacting with people and you’re meeting all your own needs.
Do your travels bring inspiration to your music?
I would say traveling has inspired a lot of my music and a lot of my writing. I go through seasons where I write a lot and where I write a little. Sometimes I just write, not for a song, but just to write. Sometimes it makes it into a song. I get really inspired by hearing other artists and seeing someone else perform their art or hearing someone’s record. It reminds me of how powerful the art form is and it’s always so refreshing to hear someone else’s perspective.
What artists or bands have you been listening to lately?
I’m going through a phase where I’m trying to discover a lot of new artists, or not new artists, but maybe artists I haven’t heard of so much. I’ve been trying to uncover a lot of the acoustic-based songwriters because it’s not the most popular trend to do right now. It’s still alive and happening but it’s not the fad, but there’s still always that niche. People like Patty Griffin. She is just on another level. I’ve been really getting into Brett Dennen; his music is really well-crafted and kind of quirky, but it’s acoustic guitar-based and it’s cool. I’ve been listening to Ben Howard and some others as well.
What artists and/or bands inspire you the most?
Jónsi, the singer from Sigur Rós. He has this project called Riceboy Sleeps and that’s been great. He does his own solo stuff and he does Sigur Rós stuff. He is a huge inspiration for me. I was able to see Sigur Rós a couple weeks ago and that was incredible. I felt like a 12-year old obsessed music fan.
What can fans expect at your live shows?
The live show we are putting together is going to be pretty rockin’. Our goal is to put a set together that is going to be above and beyond anything I have ever done, so we can fill up a bar or a club or something and put on a show that people are entertained by. I want to give people something to talk about. We’re really going to put out all the stops and put something great together.
What are your upcoming plans as a band?
Between now and the end of the year, it’s a matter of getting prepared with the band and then I’ll have a two-week tour in January and a three-week tour in February. The hope is to try to have the full band as much as possible during those months, but I’ll be doing some shows by myself. Hopefully we will hit the ground running next year with some great bookings and be able to step it up to the next level.
Catch Besides Daniel along with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Cute Boots at The Earl on Saturday, November 9!