Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease, Musician, Dan Cohen
Your Name: Dan Cohen
Links to where we can find you: my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Barbuzim1
My Bandcamp page: http://danchn.bandcamp.com/
Welcome DC…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
DC: Well, when I was really really little- I wanted to be Nils Holgersson (from the book by Selma Lagerlöf), then for a short period I went back and forth between Robin Hood and Wilhelm Tell. But from the first time I played guitar (I was 12 years old) my only dream was to be a performing musician.
LH: I can remember wanting to be a movie star when I was a little girl, but alas…When did your love of music start?
DC: One of my main influence sources was my older brother. Everything he did I had to copy (except the Nils Holgersson bit- that was all me). So when my brother picked up the guitar, I had to do the same, although I played drums and had fun with it. My Brother had a friend who played guitar and wanted me to play drums for his band, but this guy… well he was a tall, handsome, super cool kind of guy- and he could play really cool riffs- so instantly he became my new idol.
So I started to take the guitar more seriously, sitting with CD’s of band I liked (because my brother’s friend said they are cool- and if HE said so it must be true!), copying by ear the chord progression, and small riffs. The time I spent figuring out how to play this music was, for me, the time I fell in love with Music.
LH: I have no artistic talent other than writing. I have seen you play and I must say you are AMAZING! Are you self taught or did you take lessons and either way, how long did it take you to learn?
DC: I am kind of a self- taught kind of guy- just because I’v got a very fragile ego and I hate it when someone says to me, I should do something better than they are now. But during the past 18 years I had a lot of teachers and every time it is a very humbling experience to be a student.
For me to learn the basic technique was a struggle, I used to play from the moment I came home from school to the moment I went to sleep- just because I really wanted to be able to play the music I was working on at the moment. I could figure out a riff and work on it for 8 hours strait until I was satisfied with it.
All that love and really hard work helped me get to a more advance kind of place after four/six months after I started playing, but I am still learning and practicing as much as I can.
LH: I love music of all kinds. I have my headphones on all day long and when I’m writing, I’ll find a song or two and set in a loop to play until I finish the book. What kind of music do you listen to when you are not playing?
DC: For me, music has a strong connection to a feeling, or a mood or a memory. When I got back from a 26 day trek in Nepal I came across John Mayer’s album “Room for squares”- so for me this album always connected with loving and enjoying the view, so it is a perfect road trip CD. After a talk with a very idiot boss or the IRS I would listen to “Rage Against the Machine” or “mega death”– just to cool off. When I am writing I mostly enjoy gloomy music by Gabriel Faure, or even Danny Elfman. Sometimes I feel nostalgic and can listen to music I listen to when I was younger, or music I studied during my Bachelor studies. So there is a very large scope. From J-pop to Jazz, to Dubstep, Metal, Hard Rock and Latin music.
LH: I have way too many favorite songs. I’ve been that way all my life. It would probably be different if I played music. What is your favorite piece to play?
DC: It will always be the last “conquest”- the last thing I could not play, practice and now can play. That could be a phrase, a melody, a chord progression or an entire piece of music.
LH: Inspiration just kind of “hits” me. Where do you find your inspiration?
DC: On the one hand: For me it could be just about everything. It could be a walk with a great view, a really instant bicycle ride, a memory of a street in Paris, a talk with someone online, a good dish in a restaurant, a beautiful work of architecture or even a good philosophic concept.
On the other hand: I could find myself really diving into guitar technique and finding there the starter of an entire piece or arrangement.
LH: Music is a great mood elevator for me, or it can have the opposite effect. Either way, I love it! How does music influence your moods?
DC: I totally agree with you. If I am down and happened to hear an uplifting song that could really cheer me up, or when I am kind of enjoying myself, driving back home from work- not a care in the world- and then I hear a deep and mellow song I could really tear up. Just yesterday that happened to me with Steve Vai’s “Under it All”.
LH: I LOVE to shoot pool to unwind and relieve stress. What do you do to wind down?
DC: I used to play scales on the guitar, just for hours. But now I prefer to ride my bicycle, go for a run or to go for a walk with my dog. A different approach is to go out with friend for a beer or some wine, or just sit in my balcony with a cigar (nearly never happens).
LH: I’ve watched your YouTube video’s (over and over and over 😉 What else do you play besides different types of guitars and the drums?
DC: I play bass (I am planning on uploading something cool with a bass guitar for some time now) and I can monkey around with a piano. I have tried to play Saxophone, trumpet and a Flute a few times but I just can get a sound out of them.
LH: I write for fun and not for fame or riches. I have been asked many times to collaborate with others but don’t feel comfortable doing that. Would you like to be part of a band or a solo artist?
DC: Well, currently I am doing both. I feel that in a band I get to take a back seat and just worry about playing music. Sure there will always be non musical thing to handle like: who is bringing the drums, who is booking the next show- but it is a team effort. The fact that it is a team effort also affects the music- it is not only my concepts, my ideas and my art- it is the same for the groups personalities, wishes and views. As a solo artist I feel like I am on the spot all the time. I need to book the shows. I am responsible for the quality of the music. But, I have total freedom to bring my vision to the art I am playing.
LH: It’s guilty pleasure time! Mine is Grey’s Anatomy. I get mad when the season ends, can’t wait for the new season to begin, will be devastated beyond even daring to imagine when it ends and find myself crying at some point in nearly every episode! What one television show is your “guilty pleasure”?
DC: I didn’t get really invested in television, not because I don’t want to- I just don’t have the time. The last show I really go in to like this Fringe. The characters are brilliant, very smart writing, and I think that in one point I even got misty-eyed over a very moving scene. Having all that said I do really enjoy (when I finally have time to see it) lot’s of TV. I like Doctor Who, Two Broke Girls, Sherlock, Elementary, and Game of Thrones. I used to really like Big Bang Theory and Psych but I find those two shows highly chauvinistic and in times even misogynistic now.
LH: I have things I want the world to know so I write books…Is there anything else you’d like the world to know about you?
DC: I have a strong belief in humanity and I don’t think we were meant to be caged in front of a screen. I hope that we would all start using the internet to connect to each other but not to exchange the real experience of going out and having fun drinking with some mates, or dancing at a show. As a sign in a bar said: “clapping and cheering when you see a band you like is far better than clicking a fucking Like button”, If you see me in a show make sure to come by after it, say what you thought of the music, of my performance. Let’s have a talk.
I love my audience- even if they criticize me.
Thank you for the AWESOME interview DC…You are even cooler than I thought!!! Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? – red wine.
Airplane or Cruise ship? – airplane, I get seasick…
Favorite Fruit? – that’s a hard one… I love all the fruits, but if you twist my arm… I think Tangerine.
Meat & Potatoes or Fruits and Veggies? – If the meat is good: meat, but I must always eat a salad. Don’t know why. So if the question was: one type of food for the rest of your life- the answer was Fruits and Veggies. But just like this in a restaurant- a good steak. Always.
Exercise or Bubble Bath? – Exercise, than a cold shower, then a bubble bath.
Favorite Color? – used to be green (back when I wanted to be Robin Hood) but now I think that kind of an after- sunset-sky kind of blue.
Take out or Dine in? -Dine in.
Camping or Hotel? – If it’s just for one night- Hotel, but I will go tracking at any time.
Sports or Chocolate? – Chocolate. But that is an unfair comparison. One is an activity and the other is food.
Dogs or Cats? – Dogs.
Favorite Food?– It’s called Israeli Couscous. But my definition of favorite food is: a food you will eat when it is poorly made, when you are not hungry, when it is cold and two weeks old.
Favorite Song?– as of the day of this answer: Art of motion by Andy Mckee, but yesterday it was my version of Shalom Alechem, and two month ago it was trouble by Taylor swift…
Favorite Movie? – Who framed Roger Rabbit?
Favorite Car?– I hate cars. I really like any kind of a motorcycle. Hearly Davidson and the big-ass BMW motorcycle are two of my favorites (and I don’t know how to ride a bike)
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 – Sex, chocolate is good but really I would starve before I would say no to sex.
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
DC: I would go for a trek in Nepal with Jesus, Moses and Muhammad and Plato- but! No “super powers” allowed… Just walking with them, talking to them and see them and having dinner with them in the lousy guest houses.
Thank you for spending this time with us and make sure you check out Dan’s YouTube Video’s below and stop by his channel at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3dCfWtTObs_D3y6kuH_m2Q for more AWESOME videos! I have posted some below Dan’s pictures as well!
Thanks again Dan!