We had some bacon and eggs with Dan Patlanksy

2016-04-08 12:53

Cape Town – It’s that time of year again. Time for our annual chat with guitar maestro Dan Patlansky. And this year we decided to have a lekker brêkkie with him at Haas Coffee.

What most people don’t know about Dan is that he is one of the most accomplished, if not the most accomplished guitarists in SA and also one of the hardest working. Having released an album every year for the last four years, Dan is currently in Cape Town to launch his brand new album, Introvertigo at Hillcrest Quarry on Saturday.

His new album follows a string of accomplishments for Dan over the last 6 months which includes touring with American instrumental rock guitarist Joe Satriani last year October/November; being named Male Artist of the Year 2015 by Blues & Soul Magazine; being named nr 4 of the Best Rock Guitarists in the World by Total Guitar Magazine in December 2015, as well as being named one of the Top 20 Blues Rock Artists by Blues Magazine.

In February 2016 he also received a nomination for Best International Solo Artist for the Planet Rock Radio Rocks Awards.

This is what Dan revealed to us while having some bacon and eggs:

On his tour with Joe Satriani:

He was the nicest guy I’ve ever met in my life. He was like the sweetest dude, the most accommodating guy. He’d come into our backstage room every night, we did like 26 shows, and asked whether we’re okay and if we need anything. He is just a really humble down to earth guy, which made it easy to tour with him, because it feels good, he makes you feel good and at home.

It was a daunting thing to do. The first show we did in Budapest, that was the hardest show of the tour, because you know, he was watching the show for the first time and all that, so that was difficult. But I think we got over it after the first night.

It was the best experience of my life. We played to almost 300 000 new people on that tour, and the right 300 000 people, guitar-loving audiences you know, because he is just instrumental rock music, there’s no singing. So it was a life changing experience. It really was. The biggest highlight was playing the Hammersmith Apollo in London, it’s an iconic venue.

On being named Nr 4 of the Best Rock Guitarists in the World by Total Guitar Magazine:

It’s fantastic to get that recognition, but I don’t necessarily believe in that kind of thinking. In my opinion it’s impossible to ever do a list like that. I mean it’s an honour to be on a list like that, but I think it’s impossible because it’s not a sport, there are no times etcetera. I mean what do you judge it on? It’s an art form, so it’s really a personal taste. But it’s great, because what that list was, is it was voted for by the readers, and obviously the Satriani tour helped.

On his success so far:

I never really thought about it too much as it was always a passion for me. It was always a hope and a dream to have gotten to this point.  And when you’re passionate about something you don’t always think of the end results or where you want to go. It’s a case of give a gig and I’ll play. And I’ve always just wanted to make a living from it so I could carry on doing it. If you’re passionate about something that should happen automatically, you know. It was a dream but I never thought okay what should I do to achieve that. It just kind of happened and I think it’s passion driven.

For me a dream would be to sell out the Royal Albert Hall in London. That’s kind of like a big dream for me. That is like really the benchmark at this point. And if it ever happens, I will probably have another benchmark after that of another place I’d want to be.

On the title of his new album:

It’s not an official dictionary term, but Introvertigo is the dizzy feeling an introvert gets when he or she spends more than 5 minutes with an extrovert. I get that often with someone who talks at you for a long period of time, it tends to suck everything out of you, you feel exchausted after the conversation. I think I’m an introvert by nature, so I’ve experience that plenty in my life, so all of the songs on the album aren’t necessarily about being an introvert, it’s kind of written by an introvert, so it’s kind of the viewpoint from an introvert you know.

I draw my energy from being alone. People think an introvert is someone who doesn’t socialise with anyone ever, or ever talk to them, but that’s not it at all. I know for me, I can spend just less time in large groups of people than other people can, you know. I get like a bit of a claustrophobic feeling you know.

On the sound of his new album:

It’s like a rougher, rawer Dear Silent Thieves. It’s like very similar to Dear Silent Thieves but also very different at the same time. Similar in the sense that it’s produced by Theo Crous again, it’s the same production team on the album. And it’s almost like a follow on from Dear Silent Thieves song wise and songwriting wise. But it’s different because obviously there are brand new songs. I think the album is rawer, and not that produced. It was really like a quick take kind of record. We got those energy takes, rather than the perfect takes and that means a lot for me.

On the inspiration behind the album:

I wrote a lot on social commentary. I mean there’s a song on there called Sonova Faith. It’s about  people with power within religion that screw people over, you know what I mean? Not like religious people, but people with power that take advantage of other people because they have the power. Western Decay is kind of how western society have changed our world and how the world is a completely different place than when we were kids. You could ride your bike around and it wasn’t dangerous to do so, and how different it is now and how sad that is. Run is about not falling into that mob mentality. Like when people get into large groups, in numbers, their IQ’s drop, they do stupid things. The song is about how to get out of that and be a free thinker.

On the Foo Fighthers’ keyboardist playing on the album:

I’ve never met Rami Jaffee, but Theo has. When the Foo Fighters came here to Cape Town, Theo hooked up with them, he played a song with them I think. And then he became quite friendly with Rami, their keyboard player. So when we were tracking the album last year September, Theo said, should I call Rami and see if he’d like to put some Hammond organ on the album? And I said, of course. I’ve never seen or spoken to him, he’s like any other session guy you know.

On the album launch this weekend:

We’ll be doing the whole album at Blues Meets Rock plus the odd other song off some of the other albums. But we spent the last week kind of refining the show on the road on the Eastern Cape, kind of fixing it up. We’re also getting more comfortable with the songs. I think last Friday was the first time we performed the songs, and it’s a scary thing as it doesn’t matter how much you rehearse a song, you gotta get like 5 or 6 shows under your belt before it becomes a natural thing. So I think we’re there. I think it’s the best show we’ve had so far, you know. It’s not a gig anymore, it’s a show because it’s structured and thought out.

The Big Blues Meets Rock festival details:

Tickets: R220 at Computicket or phone 0861 9158000.

13:00  Jesse Jordan
14:00  Natasha Meister
15:00  Gerald Clark Trio
16:00  The Blues Broers
17:00  Crimson House
18:00  Pebbleman with Special Guests
19:15  Mark Haze  
20:15  Huge Fender Lucky Draw
20:30  Dan Patlansky (Official Introvertigo Album Launch)
21:45  The Rockerfellas

For more info phone Hillcrest Quarry on 021 976 4959 or visit the Blues Meets Rock website.

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