A Dirty Dozen with DAN SINDEL
Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur May 11, 2022
According to a recent press release: “Los Angeles musician Dan Sindel is best known for his “symphonic guitar” arrangements where he breaks the barrier in multi-tracking techniques with the guitar. Dan’s recordings have earned features in issues of Guitar Player and Electronic Musician magazines and continue to receive international acclaim. He is a unique and distinct artist like no other. His approach to writing music features his multi-layered approach to recording guitars and vocals that integrates myriads of styles and genres into a rocking experience.” We get Dan to discuss new music, influences, and more…
1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
Absolutely, my first release is a song called “Stepping Stone”. It’s a hard driving rock tune with nice and LOUD guitars! At the moment “Stepping Stone” is the first track to be released. I have about a dozen songs recorded and waiting to be mixed and mastered and I will be releasing each song individually over the course of time, which will be part of the collection entitled UNPOPULAR MUSIC FOR POPULAR PEOPLE Vol. 1. As far as anything being hidden in the music? I don’t think I would really go down that road, but I would say that if someone were to take the initiative to listen to the music they would find that extreme care has been taken in layering guitars and vocals which in itself is a very fine art. I am an avid fan of 60’s-70’s music where production techniques were being invented and so important to the overall imagery (i.e. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, THE WHO).
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
I feel pretty lucky in that when I was nine years old back in elementary school the teacher one day passed out musical instruments to all the kids in the classroom and I ended up with the trumpet. Music (next to baseball) was the greatest thing in my life. I stayed with music playing in Jr. High school orchestras and All City Jazz bands, but then one day when I hit 14 years old, I learned all about the power and might of Led Zeppelin. This is just about the time around 1977 when The Song Remains The Same album was out and the film was in the movie theaters. So for me it was a real no brainer. Once I heard Jimmy Page play guitar, I quickly traded in my trumpet and started to learn how to play guitar and I’ve been playing guitar music ever since.
3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?
I’ve seen so many concerts and stood in front of so many legendary musicians and there is no way to just name “who is my favorite” at this point? That’s almost impossible. But you’re asking me to narrow this down, so I will try. I mean, I’m sure you talk to a lot of musicians and they probably say the same thing. I’m influenced by so many different artists and genres that truly makes this quite a tough question to answer. But being from Los Angeles I am lucky enough to have seen Randy Rhoads/QUIET RIOT many times in the Hollywood clubs before he joined OZZY, that was pivotal. I saw AC/DC on their first US tour opening up for AEROSMITH on the Draw The Line tour. AC/DC “blew the roof off” the Long Beach Arena, so amazing, never felt power like that before!
4. Who would be your main five musical influences?
Another difficult question, lol… as far as guitar players go: (in no particular order) Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Howe, David Glimour, etc… Then again, there is Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and everything in between.
5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?
Brian Wilson (Beach Boys). Pure genius!
6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?
Being a product of the 60’s – 70’s AM/FM Radio and 80’s hard rock/metal I would suppose that what I compose is a mixture of all these eras into a more modern package. It’s pretty hard to reinvent the wheel and create something completely new anymore, but all you can do is the “best you can” without blatantly ripping someone off! I haven’t received much bad press as of yet, but ask me again somewhere down the road and I could possibly have a different answer for you.
7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
For me, being able to play music in a live setting is the best! Recording is pretty freaking cool too, but it’s more intensive work than gigging. Then again, playing live is a “hell of a lot of work” too but it’s the most exciting thing ever if you are in front of a lively crowd as well as being very social and you get to meet a lot of new and interesting folks along the way.
8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
I have no answer for this, lol sorry. At the moment what I am doing is a solo project and there is no band to speak of per se. This could all change and I am looking for great musicians to help me see this project through and be able to bring it to venues but for now, just little ol’ me!
9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?
Ha! I bet you have heard some great answers to this question. The only time I ever lost my composure was about 2008 and I was at the NAMM show putting a copy of my MARCHING IN EP into as many hands as humanly possible. It was at a late night guitar player event and saw the legendary guitarist Stanley Jordan perform. if you know who he is then yeah, you would know he’s one of the most gifted musicians ever to play the guitar. Anyway, a bit later he starts walking towards me in the backstage area and I went to hand him a CD and for some dumb reason (never happened to me before in my life) I just started to nervously stutter and stammer hahhaaa just like a little kid. He was polite about but I sure felt “stoopid dumb” as he graciously took my CD and left the room. Funny, I didn’t even lose my cool when I had a chance to say “Hi, how are ya?” to Jimmy Page and David Coverdale this one time at a rehearsal space when they came walking up towards where I was hanging out by the break room. Thank God I didn’t mess that one up lol.
10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
Probably a “dental floss tycoon” (just kidding – that is a Frank Zappa reference to the uninitiated). Seriously though, maybe a baseball player or astronaut, that’d be epic.
11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?
Simply put, not to follow someone else’s dream! That is always a huge waste of time. Kids don’t let that happen to you!
12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
Beatles – Abbey Road or Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon, those would be good ones, legendary! As an aspiring mix engineer those sessions could have been the best training ground for anyone I’d imagine.