Based in London, Dan has been a full-time guitarist, musician & composer since the age of 18. Recently his work has been licensed by Molson Coors Brewing Co., ESPN, BBC Radio 5 Live, and Eurosport Network.
We talked recently about his musical experiences, his background and how he conceives of the tracks he produces. A brief excerpt from that conversation is featured below.
You mentioned that one of your songs was covered by Jeff Beck on his 2006-2009 world tours. How did that relationship come about?
I met Jeff Beck at an Imogen Heap concert in about 2006. I plucked up the courage to quickly go and say hello to him and asked if he’d mind if I sent him a CD of my music. He agreed and gave me the details of his manager.
About 5 weeks later I got a call at just after midnight. A female voice told me that Jeff Beck would like to talk to me. He came on to the phone and I was almost speechless. He told me he’d really enjoyed all of the CD but there was one track called ‘ Scottish One‘ that he really loved. He asked if I’d mind if he played it during his impending tour ‘to relieve the boredom’ of playing all his old tracks. Of course, I was gobsmacked and told him it would be an honor. He went on to play ‘Scottish One‘ round the world, as his encore for the concerts over the next 3 years.
What musical experiences did you have that made you want to pursue music as a career?
After studying classical piano for 5 years until age 13, I gave up music for a few years to concentrate on playing football, I got back into music through my school friends, who all liked ‘70s hippie music – Cream, Hendrix, the Doors etc. This was entertaining but when I heard harder bands like UFO and AC/DC, my world of possibilities suddenly expanded infinitely and I knew that I had to learn the electric guitar and in that style.
So from the age of 17, I was in bands playing original music. Cover or Tribute bands were never my thing. I’m not sure I ever really decided to make music for a living. It was just my obsession and I simply could not stop.
What is your favorite thing about performing? Least favorite?
The best thing about performing live is the rush and the reaction of the audience. It makes all those hours of driving to venues, loading gear and waiting around to soundcheck all worthwhile, no question.
How do you conceive of your tracks? Can you elaborate on your recording/producing process?
Tracks can come into being in a manner of ways for me. Sometimes I sit down with a guitar and play until something pops up that I can envision developing into a full blown track. Sometimes I go through various synth sounds until a spark appears and that leads me on to gradually build upon it. Other times I get an idea just as I am about to fall asleep and decide that life is too short, that I simply have to get up and start recording, lest it be lost in the ether forever. Quite inconvenient!
But inspiration cannot really be ignored. Sometimes though, ideas have to ground out and crafted. To be really worked at until they take shape. I’m very fortunate not to suffer from writer’s block. Recently I was very generously passed on an ear infection by my two-year-old daughter, Minnie. I was half deaf for 3 weeks. When I finally regained my hearing, it was like the dam walls had burst. Ideas came at me tumultuously for about a month solid. Nothing inspires like absence, I’ve found. I rarely take a day off from music. My brain won’t really allow it.
ENERGY WAVE by Dan Morrissey
Soft piano builds towards a huge uplifting rock chorus. Positive with great energy. Big guitars! Perfect for business presentation, video marketing, on hold marketing, video production uses.
DISTANCE by Dan Morrissey
An example of a PSA or Documentary style using the soundtrack DISTANCE composed by Dan Morrissey. Longing, want, separation, hope, being alone… These are the moods conveyed in this dramatic track. A heartfelt piano is the lead instrument.
ADRENALINE by Dan Morrissey
Raw energy, big guitars, conveys strength, winning, an achievement attained through effort. Post Punk Foo Fighters style mixed with strong, mucho shredded lead guitar lines.
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