Hi Dan! As lead singer/songwriter of the Dan Gootner Band, tell us how this project came about, who plays what and the background story?
This project started a few years ago when a good friend and co-songwriter of mine moved from South Florida. Elie is actually the lead singer of the band. As a guitarist, I always had a rich material, but I always wanted to co-write with a singer. I think it’s a great setup to have this writing team as a duo, to bounce ideas off of each other. When I found myself without a co-writer, I went looking for someone new, and I found Elie! We hit it off right away and practically wrote a new song every time we were in a room together. So Elie is the lyricist and the singer. I play acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica, dobro, lapsteel, ukulele, harmonica and sitar. I also arrange the music and produce and organize any other musicians needed for a given song. Elie and I are the only permanent members of the group.
How would you describe the band’s sound and music? Who/what are your musical influences?
We’ve released a good variety of songs so far, ranging from blues rock to more folk or country songs. Some recent press has called us indie rock and indie pop, so I guess I think that’s it too! As far as influences, I can cite Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Monsters of Folk for influencing some of the general vibes and the writing style that we went with certain things, like the new The Fox And The Hound for example . Personally, as a guitarist, I should also mention Steve Miller, Mike Campbell, Eric Clapton, Lindsey Buckingham and John Frusciante. They all had an impact on how I approach a guitar solo, as well as building riffs for a song.
Your new single ‘The Fox And The Hound’ has just been released. Congratulation! What are they talking about?
Thanks! We’re proud of it and super excited that it’s finally here. This song is about two kids who fall in love with each other, but their love isn’t meant to be. They come from different worlds and are on two different paths. Throughout their time together, their families also try to keep them apart, as they don’t understand each other. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often in the real world. These characters in this song represent the real life situation, people can’t always agree with each other, just love each other and realize that we are all in this together in this world.
If there was one band or artist you could open for on a tour, who would it be and why?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll go with The Steve Miller Band. It is one of my first influences. My dad listened to him, so I’ve been listening to him practically since he was born. When I was 15 and my mom asked me what instrument I wanted to learn, guitar was largely the obvious choice for Steve Miller. The guitar solo in our song “Doom and Gloom”, it’s me thinking, what would Steve Miller do?
What’s next for The Dan Gootner Band?
We have a ton of unreleased material right now that’s finished and ready to go! The response to The Fox And The Hound has been incredible so far, so we’re leaning towards the next single being stylistically in the same vein. But we have other fun stuff in the bag, like a funky instrumental song with a big horn section, and some other surprises too. So keep an eye out!
What are some things you like to do when you’re not playing music?
We love the outdoors! Elie tends to head for the mountains, and I head underwater. In fact, right now, Elie is hiking in the mountains of upstate New York. I’ve been a diver since 2010 and love traveling to great dive destinations. I also put some of our songs on my GoPro dive footage, and the videos are all on our YouTube channel.
How can our readers follow you in the future?