Six Questions With Dan Miraldi
Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is New York City-based rock musician Dan Miraldi. We have not had the privilege of featuring Dan Miraldi here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with him, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
My favorite way to describe my music is “straight-up rock and roll.” I have a vintage rock sound, but I try to frame it for a modern audience by absorbing influences from current indie rock and pop, Americana and punk.
I live in New York now, but I grew up in Cleveland, OH. I started playing in bands throughout high school and college. I released my first solo album after college and have been putting out records and touring ever since.
In which ways do you enjoy interacting with fans (i.e.: social media, backstage, on the street), and do you find that this is an important piece of your career?
My preferred means of interaction is to talk to people at shows. I’ll communicate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but it is easy for tone to be miscommunicated when it’s the written word versus the face-to-face interaction. However, communication between me and my listeners is important. It gives my music context outside of what it means to me.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
Breaking through the noise. Anyone can record an album and get worldwide digital distribution. There is intense competition to reach people and the crème does not always rise to the top.
As an indie artist, I know that most of my followers engage with me on Facebook. It is there that they see that I am on tour or have a show. Facebook is a business. When I post announcements to my followers, Facebook does not show it to all my followers, because they want me to pay to have a promoted post. It is annoying.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
I have this song, “Helen of Troy.” It has had an interesting journey. It began as a simple love song and was written very quickly. I recorded it for my 2012 album Sugar & Adrenaline and I like the studio arrangement of the song. I thought of it as a cool album track not a single. The first year it was out, I would just play it at acoustic shows, but people started asking me to do it at the full-band concerts. Now the song is a special moment in the set. I pretty much always play it and enjoy seeing the song make people happy as they belt out the chorus. I usually have a piano player in my band now, so the song has become this power ballad that is really fun to sing. I would be fine continuing to play that song and see the song evolve in different musical settings.
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
I think my answer to this question changes every day depending on my mood. I do not like to speculate or put limitations on what I am trying to achieve. Being in the music business is like pushing a boulder up a mountain. It’s tough. Some days, I hate everything and want to quit. I deal with rejection, but I keep going. But when I have a show and everyone in the audience feels it and gets it, I get reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing and am on the right path. It only takes one lucky break to change everything and open up new doors. In the meantime, when I get knocked down, I’ll just keep getting up and working hard.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
Traditionally, the women I have dated and a good night on the town with my friends have provided me with ample material for my songs. However, since November my songwriting has turned more political. Last fall, I tour managed a band, Welshly Arms. We drove a van and trailer through 44 states in a three and half month period. I saw a lot of America and its diversity. This was during the election and the weeks after it. This new material is about taking charge. It’s about the actions that an individual can do to fight fear, hate, and complacency. It’s motivational marching music. I am inspired by the diversity of my friends and by a knowledge of history. We’ve seen what happens when an ignorant leader ignores facts and promotes distrust and fear. If the good stay silent, the story does not end well.