6 Questions With Dan Bettridge
Welcome to “6 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 it has become a permanent fixture here on Indie Minded. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay the same. 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 Wales-based indie soul-folk singer-songwriter Dan Bettridge. We have not had the privilege of featuring Dan here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. 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?
I’ve always listened to a pretty wide variety of music so what tends to come out of me is quite an eclectic mix but it all has crossovers in soul, alt-rock, pop, and country. I was brought up by the sea in South Wales, UK, a one road town called Ogmore-by-sea. There was a room at the front of the house that we called the music room because when the winds blew, the windows would whistle. I’d sit on the arm of my Grandfathers old chair and stare at the sea and that’s where I started to write songs – how cliche, right? I was about sixteen I think. My mum has a gorgeous singing voice, like Joan Baez and she plays guitar too. She taught me my first few chords and I played songs from the old songbook that she had had as a kid.
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?
Out and about on the street and on social media are my favoured ways. On the street, because I tend to be pretty introverted and quiet before a show and I don’t want people to think I’m not interested. Social media – it’s the urgency of it, Facebook live, tweets, Instagram comments, it’s exciting being able to have conversations with people from different time zones all at once and because very often you can do it from somewhere you feel at home it’s possible to have a more real interaction… sometimes… albeit virtual.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
It used to really frustrate me but not too much anymore – I think I didn’t realise my role within it all and so I was a bit disillusioned at times. I was looking at it in the old-fashioned sense of the ‘music industry’ and with rose tinted glasses on because that’s what it was like when my musical heroes were around. It’s a hell of a lot different now and that’s fine with me – the music industry has been around a long time and has changed many many times and will keep changing. As an artist, I believe it’s about setting it all aside when you work, realise that your role in the whole thing is to simply make good art. How it’s sold, where it goes and all those other things are totally irrelevant while you’re creating. You’re part of a long line of poets, storytellers, and truth searchers and that’s what you need to stay true to.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
There are a few on my album that will about next year that I’m especially proud of and love playing live but from what is released, definitely “Third Eye Blind.” I don’t know where it came from, it was written in 15 minutes and just has a really nice feel when playing it, solo or with the band. That feel always takes me back to when I wrote it – it’s like being handed a gift over and over again.
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
I don’t like setting boundaries for myself, anything can happen – “The future was wide open” as Tom Petty said. People have been changing the way others see things, breaking rules a rebuilding them forever, it’ll always be that way. All I really hope for is that I get to play and sing for the most people I possibly can.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I walk a lot, every day, most of the time alone. I paint and write and photograph, draw and visualise and think much too much. I find the painting and photography are helpful in that I get to experience and intemperate the same things that I would in my music but from a different place and be using a slightly different part of my brain, which means when I come back to writing hopefully I have noticed something that I hadn’t before. I like reading non-fiction too, autobiographies, philosophy. I enjoy seeing what came before and seeing how I can apply it and change it.