We sat down with Dan Slyker recently and had a hugely entertaining interview to read a few times. He shows us through country life, inspired by his childhood and rock aspirations, to lead us into a worthwhile read which might get many loving the 808s and Fishin Lakes vibes.
Firstly, welcome to A&R Factory as we appreciate you sitting down with us for a chat. First, what kind of music are you personally into?
Thank you for taking the time. I loved country as a kid. Country Bear Jamboree at Disney World is my first musical memory along with a TV show called Hee Haw. I listened to Kenny Rogers, Eddie Rabbit, Charlie Daniels and The Oak Ridge Boys until I found my parents’ Beatles records… Then I became a rock kid but I always kept a country torch burning. Every style has good and bad songs. I don’t care what genre it’s under, I just love a well-written song. If you want a more committal answer, I think 70s rock has the highest hit rate of great songs.
How does Linda Ronstadt’s music inspire you?
She, along with the other pioneers of that California country rock sound (The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, etc.) made music that was the perfect blend of my country childhood and rock aspirations. All her hits were covers but she applied her flavor and it made it sound like they were all written by the same person.
Your dad was in the Coast Guard. Please tell us some stories and experiences from this time.
We moved every 1.5 to 3 years. It was hard saying goodbye to friends but it allowed me to see a lot of cool places and meet different kinds of people. The best place was Puerto Rico where there was no TV in English so I had to play outside and get into other hobbies. This is where I first became serious about being a musician.
Please tell us more about your most recent music released through 808s and Fishin Lakes.
It started with 1 song that was a mix of old-time, storytelling, Country Bear lyrics, some rock drums guitar and modern 808 hip hop drums. I was only hearing serious country music on the radio so I thought this style could stand out. I hope it does.
In 2020 something happened. Please tell us more about when you started to create music.
I had been writing music for years but in 2020, I was having a dream set in a tropical location and there was a song playing in the background. I woke up with the entire chorus melody and 3 of the 4 lyric lines already written. It was during quarantine so I had plenty to complete my first song on the album, Mexico.
Why do you think music is so serious now?
I really don’t know but can we get a better balance of fun and serious, please? Slow songs can be great, sad songs can be too, but that’s 80% of what I’m hearing now in country.
Last, are there any particular festivals or venues you’d like to perform at?
I’m just starting out so honestly, I’d be happy to play any venue. Gonna book some small rooms this summer to spread the word about my album and we’ll see where it goes from there.
Listen up fully on Spotify.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen