THE COSMICK VIEW – Interview with Artist Dan Sindel – SuperMegaCool

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Dan! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.

Dan Sindel: And hello to you and The Cosmick View readers…honored to be here! This is very awesome!


CV: What do you feel sets you apart from other artists, especially those of similar sound and style? What specific allure does your sound and style have that has people taking notice?

DS: This may be somewhat of a loaded question but currently at the moment what I am doing is not “officially” a band project. This is a solo project that I would love to see come together as a band and to be able to perform concerts one day. But for right now it is just me.


I went into the studio and I hired some of my favorite drummers here in the Los Angeles area and I recorded a good selection of songs from my vault of demos to bring them up to professional standards and start releasing singles until there are enough to complete the actual album which is entitled, “UNPOPULAR MUSIC FOR POPULAR PEOPLE Vol. 1″.


Speaking of drummers, one of my drummer pals on the record is Rick Shlosser who has played drums on tons of Gold and Platinum hits throughout the years (ALICE COOPER, VAN MORRISON, JAMES TAYLOR, RINGO STARR, ROD STEWART, CHER, LIONEL RITCHIE and DIANNA ROSS etc. etc.) Rick at the time of recording was not in the USA and through modern technology and the Internet he was able to record one of my songs (“RULE THE WORLD”) and send it back to me. Today’s tech is pretty much incredible the way you can write, collab, record with anyone, anywhere in the world.


I met Rick Shlosser through my good pal John Prpich. John is a brilliant sound man and has been on the road with EDGAR WINTER, JUICE NEWTON and LED ZEPAGAIN. I recorded all the drums in John’s studio (RADD STUDIO) as well as the bulk of my vocal tracks and I currently have him working on the mix of “RULE THE WORLD.” Ironically Rick, of all the drummers, did not record here in LA at John’s studio, LOL, but I thought it most fitting that I had Johnny work on this track because he knows Rick’s drumming so well.


Another track entitled “EDGE OF ETERNITY” is being mixed right now by my friend Steve Sykes who is also a world class engineer extraordinaire with tons of Gold and Platinum hits to his credit. My pal Alex Wyatt is playing drums on this one; he has a great feel for the progressive stuff as well as hard metal grooves being a superfan of DREAM THEATRE and JUDAS PRIEST etc. I like jamming out with him! Gotta admit, I’m excited about this track in particular because it is a 6 minute epic and sort of my own personal “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” or “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” type of conceptual work. Steve is the man responsible for mixing the 1st single I’ve dropped called “STEPPING STONE”.


“STEPPING STONE” is a pretty hard driving tune. It’s a blend of 60’s-70’s hard rock and 80’s heavy metal with a great big guitar sound. This song has only been out for about 2-3 weeks and is doing really well out there and it is very exciting to watch it grow and gain momentum.


As far as asking “what may set the sound of my music apart from anyone else out there?” Uhhhhhhhmmmmm…. That’s a bit convoluted these days, just for the mere fact that almost every idea has been tackled and no one is really reinventing the wheel. I mean, how much better can one play the guitar? How fast or how many notes is somebody able to play? How long or how high can a singer hold a note for? Which gimmicks, haircut or costume styles or whatever? It just seems all “used and abused” at this point in time. But I think that the only thing that could set me apart from anybody is just my very “own personality”. There’s only one of me LOL, and that’s all you get! I’m just trying the best I can to create the sounds I hear in my head, draw from the music I grew up with and hopefully I’m able to convey this with my recordings and I really hope that people enjoy what they hear. There’s not much more a guy could ask for.


So one thing that I really try and do is pay very close attention to detail in my approach of layering guitars and vocals. Most everything has been done in music but all I’m trying to do is create the best sound I possibly can that can reach a broader audience. Listen to it, give it a chance and let your ears decide.


CV: For any artist or band, dynamics is key to grabbing an audience’s attention. What do you feel is the main ingredient to having such a captivating dynamic and being able to bring something more to the music?

DS: Well, I’m not really sure what you mean by using the word “dynamics.” Words do have different meanings. From the mindset of a musician, dynamics is how you physically approach and control volume and percussive attack LOL.


Maybe in a broader sense, “dynamics” is the interplay/relationships between musicians, attitude, overall look, sex appeal, costumes, makeup, marketing, packaging/art design, imagery and all that jazz.


I don’t know what is considered open territory anymore. I mean you can’t out KISS “KISS” as an example! Can you have better wardrobe or more explosions or taller drum risers?  In the other direction, can you take off more clothing to allure a crowd to stimulate one’s imagination, IDK??? Maybe that is why the punk movement in the 70’s was so refreshing because it stripped away all the grandiose theatrics or the necessity to be a master of your instrument.


Perhaps the best any band/artist can do especially in a live situation is convey the meaning of the song and recreate the music as artful as possible, every audience is unique and the artist definitely has to read the room and find the balance to not overplay or overcompensate.


Hopefully that is a bit closer to the meaning you are asking about but hey “The closer you get to the meaning, the sooner you’ll know that you’re dreaming”… LOL sorry, couldn’t resist a Ronnie James Dio lyric \m/ he is my all-time favorite rock vocalist.


CV: How would you describe the ultimate musical experience for your fans? And how do you go about creating that musical vision, while generating the impact you want to have on the audience?

DS: That is a bit of a moot point at the moment because I do not have a band at this time. I am hoping towards the end of this year (2022) that I do successively have a group of musicians helping me perform my music in live concert settings, that is the ultimate goal. And when I do get there…yes, absolutely, things such as lighting effects etc. that’s all well and good, but most importantly, it really is how you perform the music with honesty, conviction, passion and confidence. These are probably some of the most important ingredients. Let’s face it, if you’re going out on stage and you’re unsure of a few riffs, chords or phrases that would not be a pretty moment for anyone.


CV: The music business has always been one that regardless of who you are, where you came from or where you’ve been, you can either sink or swim.  Does this type of realism have any effect on how the band drives itself to succeed?

DS: Well, my only concern at the moment is putting out good, solid Hard Rock music that people love. I’m not so interested in fame or fortune; not that it wouldn’t be nice to some degree but let’s face it, in music it is an uphill battle to succeed financially. I do not see myself touring due to health reasons and for the most part that is where a musician earns his bread and butter but there are other avenues to explore such as having music placed in Film/TV. I am really just quote unquote, “A musician, wanting to put out good, solid music.”


CV: In your opinion, is there any middle ground for an artist or is it a do or die climate in today’s music industry?

DS: I’m sure we could probably talk for hours on this very subject alone. But for the sake of brevity, I think it makes sense to say that the “Do or die” type of thing, I don’t know, it’s hard to say really. Lots of artists get their few moments in the sun, maybe a hit single or a popular video on YouTube nowadays and then attention wavers and another artist steals the thunder from them and the ride just might be over although I think that’s always been the case when one is in the public eye.


Music fans can be very fickle. You can be easily forgotten and become yesterday’s news in the blink of an eye. There are already artists from way back in other decades and genres that have their certain period of popularity. But they continue to put out music on a creative level, unsurpassed for years, even decades. Those are the artists that gained my respect. It’s not so much about being instantly popular IMHO, perhaps more of a consistent track record/discography and staying true to the music for as long as humanly possible.


CV: How would you describe your internal energy as an artist? Does your outward appearance align with your true inward nature from your perspective?

DS: Everything resides on my own internal energy at the moment, and I do have lots of drive and enthusiasm, without it not much would get done and pursuing my art is about the only thing that gets me out of bed. I am an “A type” personality, very competitive, ambitious and unfortunately, extremely impatient. I do not put up with others very well who don’t bring their “A” game or get too freaking cocky about things and act too self important.


CV: What’s at the core of your songwriting approach? Are there certain elements that are considered when a song begins to take form and evolves? 

DS: When I get in the writing mode, it usually just starts with a riff or perhaps lyrical hook that bounces around in my mind for a while. Riffs come and go, if I pick up a guitar and maybe play along to a drum loop then I can definitely create a lot of catchy hooks and melodies but it’s the ones that for some reason stay there “under the fingers” so to speak and keep recurring in various form, those are the ones to take notice and take the time to develop. I think anyone that writes knows what I’m talking about, and yes, it is a lot of work so you can’t waste your time on the secondary or “less than” ideas too much although these said “secondary” ideas sometimes act as the missing piece to the puzzle that completes the picture so it is a nice benefit these days…with less expensive hard drive storage, to be able to record and come back and listen at a layer point in time.


CV: Do you allow things to just happen when writing; seeing where a song goes, or is there a certain course of action and structure you keep a song on, thus, essentially making it destined to achieve its overall potential?

DS: Each song I write is different in form and structure and there really is no set path as for having a formula for writing per se. Sometimes, like I was just talking about, I have a lyrical hook or I have a main guitar riff. Most of times though it’s just fun experimenting with my computer and trying out different plugins and ideas and then seeing where it goes. I don’t like to do the same thing twice, to me it gets boring. It’s just like if you’re an oil painter, would you necessarily want to try and paint the same picture twice? I would hope not.


I love progressive music which definitely does not rely on Verse, Chorus, Verse structures but the proven “Verse, Chorus, Verse” formula is something that should not be overlooked in any manner…that is what careers are made of many a time.


CV: Do you feel how the fans and critics describe your music accurately reflects how you would describe your music?

DS: Well, so far so good. What I am currently creating is not rocket science highbrow prog rock by any stretch of the imagination, rather I’m trying to simplify and focus on good rhythm and catchy melodies which are probably more aligned with FM radio/Album Oriented Rock than any other format. And besides, there is only one track released at this time but I have received pretty accurate reviews on “STEPPING STONE” thus far which is pretty straight forward with a few somewhat unobtrusive technical progressive textures built into the framework. After I have two or three more tracks released then it might be a bit more realistic in taking things into account.


CV: Walk us through a typical show for you…what can fans who have never seen you perform expect?

DS: LOL, ok… being that I have never performed these songs in public I can only conjure up “A HUGE ROCK SHOW” in my mind’s eye, but it would definitely be raw and powerful, that much I can say!


CV: What more can fans look forward to seeing coming from you?

DS: Stay tuned, keep an eye out or better yet, do the “LIKE/COMMENT/SUBSCRIBE” thing on my YouTube channel…man that sounds so cliché doesn’t it? LOL…sounds so goofy when you hear YouTuber’s say “Ring the bell and stay notified” or whatever LOL, and when my new releases are out you will be the first to know about it. Notified baby…notified!!!


CV: Thank you again Dan for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.

DS: My pleasure and it’s been an honor! I hope your readers enjoy this article and understand I say many things with a great sense of humor. You can be serious but shouldn’t take yourself too seriously eh? Thank you very much.


Check out Dan at:





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Imagiverse – Interview With Dan Sindel – June 2009

Part 2…

What types of jobs did you have leading to your current occupation?

I had, for many years, worked in the print industry in various capacities.  By watching over the shoulders of the Mac operators, I taught myself print layout.  Working on my Mac at home prepared me for lots of side work in design.

When did you decide you wanted to work as a freelance web/graphic designer?

Around the year 2000 I was working full time on the local Naval bases as a contractor deploying and maintaining computers.  It was one of the coolest jobs I ever held, as I got to see the F-16 fighter planes take off and land every single day.  All the while, I was juggling side projects with the Web/graphic design business I was running.  One day it just became apparent that I could not do both at the same time as the side work was increasing.  It seemed like a great idea to devote myself to it full time and give it the attention it needed.  It was great timing.  As one door closed another opened.

What education path did you take to lead you to your work with web design and music?

The web design aspect was a natural evolution coming from the print world, ironically I remember seeing some of the very first computers connected to the Internet.  Most of you are probably too young to remember those old, ugly monochrome monitors!  At that point in time I was thoroughly unimpressed.  Coming from the print world I was focused on the “look” and not the functionality of what the Internet was.  I certainly do think I missed a golden opportunity there, as I could have probably done very well in the early days of the Silicon Valley/Tech Industry.

I had taken a few web designer courses along the way and have also worked very hard to obtain MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) status as well.  I have also been certified as a Pro Tools Operator and want to become much better at my craft of producing music using my computers.  Every so often I take a certification program and always seem to be reading some sort of software or hardware manual that is either music- or PC-related.  I guess you could say almost everything I end up doing is computer-related and somewhat creative.

How did you come up with the EZGTR name for your online guitar classes?

Within 10 minutes of acquiring the domain, I found (much to my astonishment) the username EZGTR was wide open on YouTube as well as MySpace, which almost knocked me out of my chair!!!  I just could not believe it.  It was as if the Red Sea had just parted for me and the name was just sitting there waiting for me!

Being a web designer and having a pretty good grasp of current web/multimedia technologies certainly helped as I built the site from ground up.  I designed the logo and branded the overall look and feel.  Not having to rely on someone else in the design process was a great relief both financially and artistically.

What are some of the specialized hardware and software that you use for your music?

One of the current products I am extremely excited about is the AXON (polyphonic) Guitar-to-MIDI converter.  This product allows me to connect my guitar to the computer and access the same synthesizer sounds a keyboard would, it is “most amazing” to hear a guitar sound just like a cathedral church organ or a violin.  I have also used the SONUUS G2M (monophonic) Guitar-to-MIDI converter.

I have started to produce demo videos for these musical manufactures who have endorsed me with their products.  I am also very excited to be working with the good folks over at Peterson Tuners who make the most precise and accurate (Hardware & Software) tuning instruments in the world.

I will soon begin to work with NotionMusic who create notation software (guitar and orchestral).  That should be an interesting venture as NotionMusic was founded by the renowned composer and programmer, Dr. Jack M. Jarrett (a former head of the Composition Department at Berklee College of Music).

Are your demo videos available for viewing online?

Absolutely, I have a few different accounts on YouTube

The EZGTR page has all the available Pachelbel Canon in D lessons (so do the other ones and many other silly clips).

As the people over at Apple would say… Are you a Mac or a PC?

I use both and each platform serves a different purpose.  I had always been a staunch supporter of Apple ever since I bought my first Mac 2si way back around 1991 but unfortunately the business world runs on PC so one day around Y2K I picked up the white flag and surrendered to the Dark Side (Microsoft).  Macs have always been notoriously expensive compared to what you can get in a PC (which is a benefit) as you can build your own PC for half the price.

Digidesign’s Pro Tools is an application (a.k.a. DAW – Digital Audio Workstation) that turns your computer into a recording studio.  It is the recording and movie industry’s standard and can be found in most major million dollar studios all the way to a scaled down setup in a bedroom.  Pro Tools also requires that you use a special Digidesign hardware interface in order to get the sound in and out of the computer.  It is quite amazing really and I use it primarily to record my “Symphonic Guitar” orchestrations but the software can be used for many different things such as mixing sound for a TV show or a blockbuster Hollywood Movie and chances are your favorite bands music has been recorded using Pro Tools.

Do you have enough time to pursue your music profession or do you have to put that in the category of hobby?

That is a mixed bag and “if there were only enough hours in the day”, but yes I make sure to devote a minimum of a few hours a day to music as a career path while still trying to “keep the lights on” so to speak.  Teaching guitar, creating product videos, promoting on the net and recording can absorb the entire day if you let it.

Monetizing the situation is a bit tricky but I refuse to “give up the dream” of being able to shift gears and make music/the arts a full time occupation.  As of this writing I am going back into the catalog of standards and classic rock songs and gearing up to work as a session/working musician which is something I never really desired years ago but my attitude has changed and all I can say is “playing music is much better than digging a ditch”.

In your other interview, you mentioned that you could go on for days naming your “musical influences”.  In addition to your mother, and those previously named, who are your musical influences?

Okay, this is a partial list, as this could possibly go on forever!!!  In no particular order of preference:

Guitar players: Steve Howe, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Michael Schenker, Al Dimeola, Ted Greene, Pete Townsend, Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson, Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, Django Reinhardt, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Akira Takasaki, Buck Dharma, Steve Hackett, Julian Bream, Andres Segovia, Carlos Montoya, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Phil Keaggy, Joe Pass, George Benson, Charlie Christian, Tal Farlow, WesMontgomery, Lenny Breau, Steve Morse, Greg Lake, Glen Tipton, Frank Gambale, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Dave Prichard, Phil Sandoval, Carlos Santana, Robert Fripp, John McLaughlin, Terry Kath, Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Davey Johnson, Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Neil Young, Joe Perry, Rick Derringer, Ronnie Montrose, Eric Johnson, Pat Metheny, Robben Ford, Lee Ritenour, Joe Walsh, Allen Holdsworth, Martin Barre, Tony Iommi, Rick Nielson, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Billy Gibbons, Tom Scholz, Mathias Jabs, Uli Jon Roth, Rik Emmett, Neil Schon, Randy Rhoads, Doyle Dykes, Johnny Hiland…

Bass Players: Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones, Stanley Clarke, Joey Vera, Cliff Burton, Mike Rutherford, Ray Brown, Steve Harris, Tony Levin, Jaco Pastorious, John Entwistle, Mike Rutherford

Keyboardists: Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Herbie Hancock, Rick Wright, Jon Lord, Tony Hymas, Edgar Winter, Tony Banks, Joe Zawinul, David Sparkman

Drummers: John Bonham, Neil Peart, Bill Bruford, Alan White, Cozy Powell, Carl Palmer, Ian Paice, Tommy Aldridge, Billy Cobham, Phil Collins, John Tempesta, Gonzo, Roger Taylor, Terry Bozzio, Mitch Mitchell, Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, Buddy Rich, Ed Shaughnessy

Big Band Leaders: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, Earl Hines

Horn Players: Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Harry James, Miles Davis, Al Hirt, Herb Albert, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Bix Beiderbecke, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Anthony, Dave Koz

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Edvard Grieg, Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Amar Khatchurian, Antonio Vivaldi, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, John Philip Sousa…

A special thanks goes out to Ken Burns for his great documentary JAZZ.  Now I am an avid Big Band/Swing enthusiast and can add this exciting era of music to my list of influences.


Imagiverse – Interview With Dan Sindel – May 2009

Part 1…

What is your primary occupation?

I have acted as a freelance Web/graphic designer for the past 10 years and primarily work from home (which is a nice luxury considering how bad traffic is here in Los Angeles!).  I also have years of experience working in the print/color separation houses and have gained a lot of knowledge working with computers and programs such as Quark & Photoshop in the process.

Currently I am starting to work more with video and have started to produce an online series of guitar lessons showing people how to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major on YouTube and give people the option to sign up for our newsletter and download the free eBook which has all the tab and notation included in order to follow along and play the song.

Where did you get the idea to develop your own website and provide on-line guitar lessons?

Truth be told, due to the current economic downturn, my little web business started to suffer as advertisement budgets have been drastically cut all across the board in almost every industry.  So I dug deep and did some “enterpernual” soul searching and came to the realization that the only real true passion I have is music and the desire to be able to educate and “pass the torch” so to speak and help beginning guitar players get a solid musical foundation just seemed like the right thing to do so I spent some time thinking of a simple way to deliver lessons through the Internet and was very fortunate (after many attempts) in finding a great domain that was available and I was able to lock down:

The only tricky part was having to consult with my lawyer regarding working with kids under 13.  I needed to factor in the COPPA laws (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998).  Parents need reassurance that they are dealing with a business that respects their privacy and that we will keep their identity, and that of their child, strictly confidential.

What kind of guitar lessons do you provide at

I offer two services.  The first one is where the student creates their own little YouTube styled video and explains in the video how long they have been playing, what bands or guitarists inspire them and what they are interested in learning.  Then I ask the student to play their guitar for 1-2 minutes and upload the video for me to analyze.  I send them back a series of guitar lessons custom built for them.  It is actually the most affordable way to take advantage of the lessons and quite a lot of fun really.

The other method of delivering lessons is “1 on 1” online private webcam lessons where we connect either using Skype or Windows Messenger.  I had looked into a lot of leading technologies for delivering live streams and webcasts but for now just sticking to the basics seems to be just fine.  Minus the occasional glitch in the video stream using Skype the technology is fairly stable and quite useful to deliver “long distance” lessons.  I of course am not the only doing this and many teachers have adopted this method.  Some are pretty famous players as well, which is really cool.

When did your musical training begin?  How did you learn theory and music history?

I started playing trumpet at age 9 (way back when music was a foundational aspect of the school systems).  From there I moved on to the French horn and trombone in Junior High School and played in just about every school concert band and orchestra that was available all the way up to High School.  I was in the high school marching band for a few semesters (but always felt so awkward being in the marching costume).  It is a shame most of these music programs have gone by the way side in the grade schools.  Music offers so much to one’s educational development.

Through many of these school programs I got to perform at Knott’s Berry farm as well as the amazing Shrine Auditorium in an all-star school orchestra conducted by Carmen Dragon which was awesome.

 I grew up with “Smooth Jazz sax sensation” Dave Koz. We have been friends a real long time and played in a few school bands (orchestra/concert band) in Jr. High School together.  I was still playing the trumpet and French horn back then.

As far as learning music theory, I was fortunate to take three years of classical harmony back when I was in high school.  I was also extremely fortunate to be able to take guitar lessons from the Legendary “Chord Chemist” Ted Greene who really helped me expand my musical horizons.  Much of my musical education was through the school of “hard knocks” as I spent a majority of time playing in rock/metal bands and learned the ways of how to be a performer which is very different than just being a “musician” in many ways.

What type of music do you like and what do you enjoy most about each?

Wow, that is a hard question to answer because I really like almost all forms of music (except disco and some opera).  Without a doubt my first introduction to rock music was hearing Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) in Junior High School way back in 1977.  That just blew my mind to hear the guitar being played like that and I have never really turned back from keeping guitar music as my first love.  I am a HUGE fan of the English progressive rock of the 60’s and 70’s (ELP, Pink Floyd, YES, Genesis, Jethro Tull, etc…).  There is nothing like it in the world.  Funny it seems like most of the best rock music has come out England.

I really enjoy the music of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Grieg and countless other classical composers…  Honestly I could go on for days regarding musical influences and if you are interested, you can read more about them in my second interview!

Do guitarists ever perform in symphonies?

Yes indeed many guitarists perform in symphonies, mostly of the classical persuasion but every so often you have an extremely talented rock player being backed by an orchestra and it is very effective.  This is something I would love to pursue, as well, in the near future.

What does the term “symphonic guitar” mean?

As far as the term “symphonic guitar” goes, I for one did not coin the term as it has been in use for a very long time (as far as I know the 1940’s perhaps earlier?) and has various meanings.  During one of my first interviews the person asked me the question “how would you define your music” and I sort of shrugged my shoulders and laughed and “symphonic guitars” just sort of came out!  At that point in time I was quite immersed in recording classical conductor scores using only guitars and recreating entire symphonies.  It just made sense to borrow the term and give it yet another meaning… and it has just sort of stuck.

How difficult would it be to gather a group of guitarists to play together without them all doing their own thing?  Wouldn’t creating a live guitar symphony be like “herding cats”?  Can guitarists be serious musicians?

LOL!  Of course guitarists can be serious musicians, but it takes great discipline to not want to start noodling around and “let your fingers do the walking”.  The guitar is just such an expressive instrument and it is firmly engrained in most of us guitar player’s DNA to want to just sit around and run scales and make stuff up.  I am guilty of it as well!  I think getting a few dozen guitar players in a room just spells disaster without someone having to be an Army Drill Sergeant in order to keep everyone in line and concentrate on the charts.  I would rather that person not be me!

What type of student were you growing up?  What were your favorite subjects?

Now that is a touchy subject (hahaha) but I am a good sport and will provide the truth!!!  I was not a very good student, to be quite honest, and pretty rebellious in many ways.  I never liked school very much but I usually got straight A’s in the few subjects that interested me.  Music was one of the subjects where I could not learn enough and I really enjoyed all the different shop classes that allowed me to be creative.  I really loved drafting and thought about architecture for awhile when I was around 14.

Which subjects were most difficult (or boring) for you?  Why?  How did you cope with subjects you did not enjoy?

I pretty much daydreamed my way through history, science and math in general… but hey kids don’t use me as an example!!!  Pay attention to your school work and get good grades!!!  Interestingly enough by the time I was out of high school and entered Jr. College I aced every single class I signed up for because I was there by own volition and did not feel like I was being forced to be doing something against my own will.  High school just felt like prison to me.

When learning to play various musical instruments, did you apply yourself to practicing your instruments?  Did music come easily or naturally to you?

Playing music is all I ever thought about so no one had to force me.  When kids take piano or some instrument and, for whatever reason do not enjoy it, they end up hating the experience so much they almost never go back to playing music. (Funny how that correlates to my “having to go school” analogy.)  I suppose it is human nature to rebel against the things we feel we are forced to do, whether it is school, music lessons, religion, etc.  Many of us find that what was not so fun earlier in life is great once the pressure is off.  When it becomes our own decision, the enjoyment comes into the process.  Thankfully I was completely obsessed with music and wanted that as my career path in some fashion or another.

Some people are just gifted and that is that.  They pick up a violin or a guitar and they are just exceptionally great right out of the gate, a true prodigy.  Nothing really ever came easy to me.  Everything that I am pretty good at took a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication.

How did your mother’s classical training influence you?  Do you have siblings?  If so, are they also musicians?

I think it is fair to say that my musical DNA comes from my Mom, as she was a great classical pianist.  She does not practice all that much anymore, which is something I bug her about all the time.  I spent countless hours as a little kid playing games and stuff under her piano as she practiced a pretty amazing repertoire of Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Mendelssohn, etc…  She could be nothing more than supportive of me in my efforts.  Once in awhile I even make her proud of my musical accomplishments!

Yes I have a few sisters.  One played the flute as a kid and the other one started playing guitar for awhile but gave it up rather quickly.  That is when I picked it up instead.  It was just sitting in the closet and I found myself spending hours trying to figure it out.  So my Mom hired a private instructor to come over and show me the basics… and I have never stopped.

What activities did you enjoy as a child and teenager?  Did you participate in any sports?

Oh yes I was BIG TIME into sports!  I was really into baseball and at one point around 12-13 years old was the #1 pitcher in the minor little leagues.  I had been asked to be a starting pitcher for the high school team but, at that point, I had been bitten by the music bug.  I was 100% done with the “jock” attitude that most of the guys still possessed back then.

I was also a really good bowler and I was completely absorbed into that.  However, I gave that up as well by the time I hit 14 and deemed it “not cool” any longer.  I also took karate but, after a few lessons, I realized I was going to seriously sprain or injure my hands during sparring.  So I opted out, as I did not want to kill off my guitar practice.  There is no faking it once the gloves are on!

Do you prefer the electric guitar over the acoustic?

I like both electric and acoustic really.  If I had to only choose one it would be electric but they both have their place and each equally important in the tonal palette of musical colors.  The most difficult thing about the instrument is probably the first few months… really taking the time to develop hand strength and muscle coordination.  Sure there are a few chords and songs that are really simple that just about anyone can do in 10 minutes but to start getting good technique does take many hours of diligence.  It is no different than anything else in life.  If you want to be good you have to spend the time!

Have you ever played or want to try the lute?

The lute seems like the coolest instrument but I have never had an opportunity to play one.  I actually have a Russian balalaika that was made in the 80’s while Russia was still under Communism and it is quite fun to play and my Mom brought me back an oud a long time ago from a vacation she took to Turkey but it is not very playable, more of a souvenir really.  One thing which is exciting is that I am able to get many of these exotic instrument sounds electronically through the guitar with the help of the AXON MIDI Controller and I have just posted a demo video performing J.S. BACH – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring on YouTube which can be viewed here

How big of a part do amplifiers, speakers and acoustics play in guitar performances?  How many guitars (and what kind) do you own?

Amps play a significant part of the overall experience as every amp has a different sound and unique voice which makes you play a little bit differently.  Some are cleaner and some have more of a distorted/overdriven sound and as a modern musician you have to be able to live inside each one of these tonal flavors.  I have a pretty nice collection of electric and acoustics, maybe around 14 or 15, not sure anymore… LOL.  Many of them are tucked away in storage.

How do mathematics and language relate to music?

Fortunately we can reduce music down to “simple math” especially for those that would rather be playing “Guitar Hero” than doing their math homework!

We have a very basic musical alphabet (7 letters ABCDEFG) but within these notes are their accidentals (sharps and flats) and we really end up with 12 notes in total (the chromatic scale) which compared to let’s say the English language of 26 characters we have a lot less to think about. But within these 12 notes herein lie the infinite possibilities of combining the notes (forming chords) and the duration of the notes (timing).

Yes music is a language and we do need to learn a few things about the rules to be conversant.  Music deals with elements such as time, rhythm, dynamics and expression and sometimes it is not what you play but what you “do not” play.  It is similar to talking with someone and taking a pause to think about something you need to say or holding back from saying something to get your point across.

Over the past ten years or so, the Internet and computer technology have radically changed the way we live and think.  This has opened the door to online teaching.  What benefits of the Internet do you see for education, specifically musical education?

There is a lot to be said about what the Internet has done (both good and bad).  From a business standpoint for me being able to connect with a student just about anywhere in the world is just mind blowing.

From an artist’s standpoint the tools are there to promote yourself in ways never before possible.  One could also say that the Internet has pretty much killed the hope for many to make any money selling their music.  Many people do not see music as a tangible product anymore and feel it is their given right to have it for free and not pay for an artist’s hard earned labor of love… not too mention all the hard earned cash required to create a professionally produced CD usually coming out of an artist’s own pocket!  This is a hot topic but for the sake of argument we will not dwell on this one for too long.

Online teaching seems to be a big winner right now, not just for music but basically for any subject and that is great.  There are thousands of guitar lesson sites and some are quite excellent and seem to have big money invested in the project.  For instance, I think it is great that someone can study online and learn Berklee’s School of Music’s curriculum (it is ultra expensive but still very cool).  Just the fact that one can earn a degree through a brand name institution, and not have to pack up and move, is fantastic.

There is not a day that goes by when I need to learn about some subject or another.  With just a little bit of searching, I can always find the answer to what I need via the net.  We are living in the information age, there is no questioning that one!

What do you like best about teaching via the Internet?  What are the disadvantages?

Well like I was saying before, being able connect with a student just about anywhere is outstanding.  However, sometimes the video stream drops and you have to try and reconnect.  The advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages.  Online teaching saves time, gas and money but, in the same breath, having the student in the room with the instructor is still the best form of learning.

Do you travel very much?  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

No sadly not much travel really.  I would love for that to change and definitely through the vehicle of music.  I want to see most of the world and first stop would be Europe and see what is happening in the United Kingdom.  I also want to visit Australia and all of the United States.

Do you feel that every city has its own musical rhythm?  Cities are very different and can be very beautiful in different ways but there is a certain pace or rhythm that we can’t see.  Is that musical?

There is a lot of truth in that, some cities are fast paced and aggravated and some are slower and more peaceful.  Different cultures play an integral part as well I think.  People from different parts of the world all have their own vibe and there is a lot to be said about that which is so interesting.  Here in LA it is one huge melting pot of people from just about every corner of the earth and there are a lot of things to do and see and learn from.

If you could live your life over again, would you want to follow the same career path?  Why or why not?

Ahh the inevitable “would have”, “could have” and “should have”!!!  Oh I don’t really know.  Ironically I was just talking this subject over with someone.  I pretty much figured out that, no matter what, even if I got to start all over again, mistakes would be made and there would be just another set of “would have”, “could have” and “should haves” to live with.  But I am where I am and it’s my job to try and be as happy and content as I can be and not look back with too many regrets over what “could have been”.  I love playing music, being creative and making people happy so I am quite content doing what I do. 🙂

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

Too much fun, so little time…
~ Unknown


What advice do you have for the students reading this interview?

Follow your dreams and passions and do not give up no matter how far, how hard or out of reach they may seem.  Never lose sight of your goals!

In closing, I would like to thank you for this interview opportunity and I certainly hope your readers enjoyed the conversation.


INTERVIEW – 100% ROCK MAGAZINE – A Dirty Dozen with DAN SINDEL – May 2022

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.


INTERVIEW – Live Life Thru Music BLOG

Live Life Thru Music – Hope Romine
May 19, 2022

LLTM: Is there a special meaning or back story on how the band got its name?

Dan: Greetings and thanks for having me today. Well, I would have to say there is no special meaning or back story on having a band name. What I am doing at this point is a solo project. Maybe not the cleverest of ideas, but it will carry my name as the Dan Sindel group in some form or fashion?

During the corona virus pandemic I decided to take some of my favorite songs from my archive of demos (I’ve written a lot of songs over the years) and made a plan to hire some of my favorite drummers, go into the recording studio and put together a collection of music on a professional level. And that’s what this is. It’s primarily a solo project with a lot of guest drummers. I played all guitars and bass parts as well as all the vocals.

What we’re talking about today is my very first release of this collection, a song called “STEPPING STONE”. It’s a song that has a lot of different textures. Primarily it is a modern rock song, but definitely has roots back to the genres of the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s with good hooks, rhythms and of course BIG guitars! Gotta have BIG guitars, it’s the law!

LLTM: Who have been some of your biggest musical influences and can we hear any similarities?

Dan: Since I grew up with the sounds of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s coming out of the stereo, I tend to absorb a wide range of colors of music, and it all shapes my musical vocabulary. I think it’s fair to say that a majority of the music that came out of England are the greatest influences in music, especially The Beatles and Led Zed as well as DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH etc… And especially the progressive stuff like YES, GENESIS, JETHRO TULL, PINK FLOYD etc… love it!

LLTM: What has been the hardest part about being in the music industry today? What about the easiest?

Dan: I would tend to think that the hardest part about being in music today for any artist is getting their music heard and getting the recognition they may deserve. And let’s face it, with today’s technology anybody can have a basic little recording studio set up in their bedroom and with just a little bit of knowledge, you can create music and then publish it worldwide through distribution services like TuneCore, CD Baby or Distrokid. That is pretty amazing, which puts this type of power into anyone’s hands, but it also creates a huge problem at least the way I see it in that now that it is so easy to make and share music you now have the problem of “overpopulation” on these streaming services. It is very, very crowded!

I went to iTunes the other day and they had some type of banners saying “over 75 million songs available for only $10 a month” or whatever, and I’m thinking to myself as a person putting out a new project, 75 million??? How does anybody rise above this? Uh, it seems like a pretty impossible task. Not unless you buy your way to the top but even having tons of money for promotion is no guarantee.

Things have certainly changed over the years as we no longer have record stores the way we used to, major labels do not take risks and foster new acts the way they used to. The internet has changed the way we listen and purchase music, (which is another topic for another day lol). I don’t really think that people tend to purchase music the way they used to. The music almost seems like a dispensable calling card as opposed to a tangible product and connection to the band/artist. For the most part all you get these days are a .jpg image and an mp3 (which is obviously invisible). Even a physical product such as a CD has been antiquated and no longer in demand. Although it is really nice to see vinyl LP’s making a resurgence for music aficionados and collectors. That is one thing I hope to do is get my music out on vinyl, that’d be really cool.

True, we do have the medium of video which is a huge thing and creates a connection with the artist and the music, that is a good thing, “extremely positive” but yeah, you have to adapt or face extinction, technology moves quick and having a grasp on using tech to your advantage is a must.

LLTM: When you listen to music, do you connect more with the lyrics or the instrumental side?

Dan: I connect with both lyrics and the music. They are two separate entities but equally important in having a well-crafted memorable song. When I was younger, I definitely thought that the musicianship in of itself had to be the more important part of the equation as I was more fascinated with the musician’s expertise on their instrument.

It took a few years, but then I really started realizing that the level of musicianship itself was not as important as conveying the meaning or message, or perhaps vibe of the song. I think the late 70’s punk rock era and definitely the 80’s grunge movement from Seattle changed all that. I mean especially bands like Nirvana, they were so successful, yet were they masters of their instruments? I don’t think so but they were writing great songs and they were simple which proved you don’t have to have “12 years of guitar lessons” or that type of thing to be in a band and create memorable music that can be enjoyed for years to come.

LLTM: Who is currently on your playlist, and what song could you never get tired of?

Dan: Interestingly enough, these days I do not even really listen to much music. I know it may sound weird and you may have heard this from other people as well, but now that I’m really focusing and trying to write my own music and create my own voice. The less I listen to other people’s music makes it easier for me not to subconsciously channel something I’ve heard and risk being on the verge of plagiarism. Lol It is very difficult to find your own voice. Even if you think you’ve created a new or clever arrangement of chords or perhaps find a few good notes on a guitar solo, and all of a sudden you start thinking, “Oh, man, that’s Carlos Santana or whatever?”

LLTM: Who has been that person in your life you have always looked up to and why?

Dan: Can’t really say there is one person I look up to in general, but I do admire people who have conviction in their beliefs and follow their goals with a sense of purpose and dignity. Success can be an illusion on the outside looking in although when you do meet people that don’t let the challenges get in the way of what they are tasked to accomplish I find that inspiring. Don’t mean to sound convoluted or ambiguous but probably best to leave it at that.

LLTM: What do you hope the fans get out of your music?

Dan: I would hope that folks could enjoy my art on many different levels especially for the aspiring person who wants to learn how to play guitar. My hopes would be the same as when I first discovered rock music and be drawn in by the power and subtleties of what the guitar can do, at this point I think that would be satisfying enough to be a conduit to those who want to start creating music themselves.

LLTM: If you had to give up something for 30 days to perform with any artist/band for 1 hour, what would you give up and who would you be performing with?

Dan: That is a silly question, lol but I’ll play along… hypotheticals aren’t really my thing but “I’d give up pizza to play with IRON MAIDEN.” Is that a good one? lol

LLTM: Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years and what will it take to get there?

Dan: Hope I’m even alive in 5 years, I’ve been through a lot but yeah through keeping as healthy as possible and pursuing my goals and dreams that is what gets me out of bed on a daily basis… music has healing powers and I hope I am still playing as much as I can. J

LLTM: What is the most influential quote or saying for you and why?

Dan: “Too much fun, too little time”

LLTM: Has the writing or recording process began for a new EP/Album, if so when can the fans expect it to be released?

Dan: That is what I’m doing right now. I am in the process of mixing and mastering my music and hope to release a series of individual songs (perhaps two to three months apart) which will be all part of a greater collection entitled “UNPOPULAR MUSIC FOR POPULAR PEOPLE Vol. 1”.

The first track STEPPING STONE has been released this week (May 6, 2022) and so far it is being received quite well and I hope it paves the way for folks to want to listen to more of what I am doing.

STEPPING STONE (of course) is up on YouTube and it would be awesome if you gave it a listen and say “HI” in the comments etc…let me know you came via the “Live Life Thru Music” website, I will say “Hi” back to you…

LLTM: What does the touring schedule look like for 2022?

Dan: No plans to tour but it is my greatest hope to be able to put an amazing group of musicians together to perform this music in venues in the greater Los Angeles area.

Dan: And thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with the “Live Life Thru Music” network, it’s been an honor and pleasure.

LLTM: You are more than welcome, Keep up the amazing hard work!

For more Information on Dan Sindel, from music, news and more click on link below

Peace, Love and Music

Hope Romine❤️