I had the pleasure of playing a show with Daniel Roth this past week. He’s’ a solo singer/songwriter from Toronto. On stage he has an acoustic guitar with a few fx pedals and a loop recorder. His repertoire is similar to that of Now Yr Taken or Marco Solo, but Daniel Roth brings a more simple approach that does include percussive instruments, as reads his MySpace headline: “guitar layers”.
Through MySpace, I was introduced to Daniel Roth by Mandippal Jandu, an acoustic singer/songwriter from Toronto. When I first heard Daniel’s MySpace playing “I Should Have Known”… I was instantly hooked and therefore set on filming this song. Daniel’s performance was heart felt and tremendously inspiring. I’d like to call him “the next Elliot Smith”, but Daniel is too humble to accept that. I chose to conduct a text based interview as opposed to making an EPK video interview so as not to take away from his performance of “I Should Have Known”.
Here are a few words he has of his own;
When did music become a part of your life?
From the genesis of my existence, music has been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been surrounded by passionate musicians; most significantly, my parents. They played in a band together, when I was still a young boy. I remember watching my mom sing in the studio; the creative energies they had in this setting was undoubtedly contagious. Growing up, my father introduced me to the likes of Neil Young, Tom Cochrane, America, Glen Campbell, Junkhouse, & Hemingway Corner. These songwriters quickly made me realize music was worth listening to.
What persuaded you to perform solo with a loop pedal versus a live band?
Desperation inspired the loop pedal to become part of my repertoire. And I love experimenting with gear, I guess. I do try to use the loop pedal sparingly, but when I do use it, I strive to create layers of chaos.
What has been your biggest challenge as a solo artist?
Believing that I’m good enough to do this by myself.
What is your stage setup, i.e. equipment?
Stage set-up for a solo acoustic show would include my Gibson J45 acoustic guitar (the love of my life), a Line 6 DL4 pedal, Boss RC-50 loop station, Boss Digital Reverb unit, a volume pedal, and a TS 808. It sounds more extravagant then it really is… I swear!
For an electric show, I’ll play my Gibson ES335, through the above pedals plus a “Chill” tremolo unit. Depending on the show, I’ll either play through my Fender “Blues Junior” amp or a Fender “Deluxe”. Both are pretty solid, but I’ve had my eye on Colin Cripps’ signature Bernie amp for a while. In due time…
Where and when do you write your songs? How do you find your inspiration? What do you write about? What’s your first record about? Where can we buy the record?
I write most of my songs at my apartment in Toronto, usually late at night. I don’t know what it is about late night inspiration? I have found inspiration through my friends, family, love, lost love, traveling, depression, everyday life I guess.
My first record is called “Just Passing Thru” (2008). It ultimately communicates and describes the human frustrations and victories that we experience in our lives. At times it’s quite honest and biographical and at times its entirely fictitious. I’m an honest songwriter; I wear my heart on my sleeve.
You can purchase or sample my record directly from my website – myspace.com/danielrothmusic. Click the paypal link and follow the standard instructions.
How would you describe your lifestyle? How does it compliment or not compliment your music?
I’m a busy guy. I play guitar for Luke Nares, whenever I’m available. I play guitar for the Cavaliers! (www.myspace.com/thecavaliersband). I work a full-time job at Lenz Entertainment (post audio company that composes music for film and television). I also love to produce artists in my own home studio.
Overall, I’d say my life revolves around and compliments my passion for music.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
How about…performing at Massey Hall. I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years, but I do know that I want to keep writing songs and striving to make a name for myself as a songwriter/ guitar player/ producer.
What are you currently working on? Other band? New Record? Upcoming tour?
I’m working on a couple projects right now. Firstly, I am finishing the recording process for my second record. I’m hoping to have everything finished by June.
I just finished recording guitar for the upcoming Dala record; it’s scheduled to be released May ’09 (http://www.dalagirls.com). I’ve been good friends with Dala for quite some time now and it’s always a great honor to lend my guitar playing to their serene music.
I’ve also started playing with Adam Crossley and Douglas Cameron in a group we’ve called the “Soul Surfers” (http://www.myspace.com/soulsurfersmusic). The Soul Surfers are booked to play the Mariposa folk festival this summer, so I’m extremely excited to get my feet wet in the folk music world. The Soul Surfers will also be performing at Hugh’s Room on April 17 & 18 for the Neil Young Tribute concert, along with Dala, Layah Jane, The Undesirables, Hemingway Corner, and Liam Titcomb.
What words of wisdom do you have for other artists seeking to perform with a loop pedal or release an indie album?
Words of wisdom for those using loop pedals… Don’t over-use it, be tasteful, and be selective with your loops.
For those venturing to release an indie record, it’s totally worth it. If you have songs inside of you, get them out! You will feel incredible! May it be for your family, your friends, yourself, or for hundreds of Canadians, it’s definitely worth the effort. You’re an artist; express yourself.
Where can we learn more about what you do and the other projects you’ve got going on?
Keep in touch with my busy life through facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Daniel-Roth/32883939705
or through myspace – http://www.myspace/danielrothmusic