With a unique blend of spoken word, poetry and rock and roll, Listener have released a string of successful records. We talk to Dan Smith, the man with the microphone.
Hello! How are you at the moment?
“Doing just fine… not overwhelmed or underwhelmed… just whelmed.”
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
“We are going to be touring a little bit in certain areas of the US… Then we’ll come to Europe again… and then tour the US & Canada once more before we rest at the end of the year.”
Has there been a highlight so far?
“Yeah, touring Europe for 2 months, and then getting asked to come back again for another month to tour Europe again.”
Whats your creative process – do you tend to make music first then lyrics or fit the music to the lyrics?
“Lyrics always come first for me… Mostly because I make hardly any of the music, Chris does that. He makes music and I write words down and then we smash them together and make songs out of it.”
Whats the single most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given or could give to someone else?
“Don’t let the fans tell you you suck. That’s some advice a friend gave to another guy we were on with… but basically… don’t second guess or always be worrying about what everyone will think about your art… just make what is honestly coming out of your mind and heart.”
You are getting more and more popular all the time how has the journey from playing in your garage been to selling tickets to shows?
“I’ve never played in my garage… but I have played shows in other people’s garages. “popular” is all relative. We’re not that popular. I guess it’s comfortable where we are… we still play house shows from time to time… basically we want to play in cities and at venues where we are wanted… if there are too many hoops to jump through we probably won’t play there… so that means sometimes playing in weird small places, and that’s OK.”
I’ve seen your music described as Hip-hop, indie and/or progressive. How do you describe your music when people ask?
“We call it talk music. it’s essentially poetry and rock n roll.”
If you had to pick one song to listen to everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?
“Molten Light by Chad VanGaalen”
Is there anything or any band that has particularly influenced you?
“I really like the bands Queen, Menomena, & Why?”
What can we expect from you over the next 12 months?
“A little more touring all over the world followed by resting our bodies and writing a new record.”
If you want to find out more about Listener or to see if they’re playing near you take a look at http://iamlistener.com/