Very nice interview with...
BRIAN âMITTSâ DANIELS
Brian, I know you are very busy. Always, as it seems… Everyone knows that you are in MADBALL, but earlier you were in at least 3 other bands?!
Before Madball I was in Skarhead, and Crown Of Thornz. I also had a side project from 2002 until 2004 called Rag Men, and from 2005 until 2013, I would play live with H2O if they needed me to fill in for either Todd or Rusty, on guitar.
How many albums did you release until now?
Between all bands, I've played guitar on 6 full length LP's. 4 Madball, 1 Skarhead and 1 Rag Men.
What are your favorite bands/musicians?
When I was first playing music, my first instrument was the bass. I was a big fan of Iron Maiden, so I was very inspired by Steve Harris. When I was about 15, I got introduced to punk and hardcore. My first bands of that genre were Agnostic Front, Cro Mags, Leeway, Sick Of It All. By that time, I had started to play guitar as well, so those were the bands I taught myself to play along with. Nowadays I listen to all varieties of music, and I'm inspired by not just metal and hardcore, but also rock and pop music.
… any kind of music your really do NOT listen to?
I listen to pretty much everything except country music, and maybe modern rap/hip hop. I'm a huge fan of classic rap, but something has been lost with a lot of (not all of) today's generation. There's still some great artists out there, but there's also a lot of garbage.
Best concert u´ve ever seen?
I would have to say it's between Metallica in 1986, and Cro Mags in 1987. A metal show is different from a hardcore show, so I can't compare them to each other, but both of those shows had some of the most energy I've ever seen live.
They're not a very new band, but I would like to shout out Black Anvil. Some of the guys came from Kill Your Idols, who were a classic New York/Long Island hardcore band. They decided to do a different style and started a black metal band. They're a really great band, with some incredible records out recently.
… you are happy about?...
I'm happy about being alive and generally healthy. I've had a great life so far. I've been able to play music, and that has taken me all over the world. I consider myself a very lucky person.
… you are disappointed about?...
I'm a little disappointed in the lack of interest in live music in the US. It seems the most popular live events nowadays are DJ/EDM, rave stuff. I don't have a problem with people going to clubs and dancing, but when music like that sells more tickets for festivals than real live bands, I don't understand it. As I get older, I try very hard not to sound bitter. I never want to be someone who judges younger generations in a negative light. In the future I would like to see more rock, metal, punk, alternative music acts gain interest on a big level.
Late October 2016 you were working with the dutch band „All For Nothing“ in the Netherlands. Guess you produced the new album?!
Yes, I was really honored that they asked me to produce their new album. They're a really great band, and I think we made their best release yet. It was very challenging, but I'm thrilled with how it came out. It should be out early this year (2017), so look out for it!
How did you get in contact?
A mutual friend of our's recommended me to them, and they liked the idea. They had toured with Madball in the past on one of the Rebellion Tour editions that we do every year. I was familiar with the band, so it seemed like a great idea.
So you are not „only“ the guitar player from MADBALL but also a sound engineer and you worked as a stange hand years ago?!
Yes, in my time away from the band, when we're not touring or recording, I work as a stagehand in New York, and New York City. As we just talked about regarding All For Nothing, I also work with bands producing. Aside from them, I also produced Strength Approach from Italy before. I went to school for audio engineering, and I try to use that knowledge in regards to all aspects of my music/production career.
Here I have a few very cool music videos. Please comment each video with a few words:
Ben Caplan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP1bfczrg-s
He has a good voice. And a big beard.
Tom Waits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGpwgHqlfWo
Tom Waits always reminded my of Bob Dylan. He doesn't have the prettiest voice in the world, but it's good enough for him to get across what he's trying to convey.
I never saw this movie. I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't drink coffee, so......
Ellen McIlwaine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObPvdNUOsuc
Reminds me of music my father used to listen to. I grew up in a very musical household. My father liked Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, John Prine. My mother introduced me to the Beatles and Rolling Stones. I was very lucky to be exposed to so much music at such a young age.
… you can add a cool musiclink, if you like…
That's Brian May (from Queen) going through the individual tracks of "Bohemian Rhapsody". Pure genius.
Today I surfed your facebook profile and I saw some funny things about Donald T. What do you think would be different, if Mrs. Clinton would be president? Any ideas? And do you think she´d be the better choice?
It's not only Trump, but I see a very disturbing trend, around the world, towards intolerance and fear-inspired thinking. There are some really scary politicians who are gaining momentum. I think it's up to our generation to make sure that ignorance, racism, bigotry and other kinds of negative thinking, doesn't gain the majority.
I thought Hillary Clinton would've been a better choice than Donald Trump, but that doesn't mean I liked her. She represented a lot of corruption and bad politics, and I think that's why she lost. In the end, in the US, the voters were forced to choose between two very poor candidates.
What do you think are the most important things in life?
I think the most important thing in life is to treat people as you would hope to be treated yourself. Live your life the best way you can, and enjoy every moment.
The music scene and business is no new thing for you. What do you think is better /worse today?
I think it's better now, because the internet has given a voice to every artist who wishes to be heard. 30 years ago, you had to rely on record labels to get your music out. Today, if you have a great sound, or a great song, you can put it on YouTube, or Spotify yourself and let the public decide if they like it or not.
You are somewhere in the middle of your 40th now. Where do you see yourself in 15 oder 20 years?
I would hope that I'll still be involved in music. Madball is still going strong. I can't say we're going to play forever, but right now, we have no plans of stopping. If and whenever we do, I would try to do even more producing of bands and records, if I'm lucky enough.
Feel free to find own words at the end of this interview ;-)
Thanks to anyone and everyone out there who's ever taken the time to come to a Madball show, and supported us. If you've never seen us live, make sure to get out and do so, soon! Thanks!!!
Thank you so very much. I hope to see you people on tour.