What is your name?
My name is Danny Mortimer
What is your genre of music?
I like to describe my music as “Melodic Guitar Based Rock” but it could also be labelled under the “Alternative Rock” genre too.
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m a singer/guitarist from the North East playing my own brand of music in venues all across the country. I have written and released a couple of solo albums in my time (aswell as a full band album) with work already well underway on my third solo record. My first double-sided single has just been released in the past few weeks that will eventually culminate into my third solo album.
What made you go into music?
Going through High School my friends would be listening to all these bands and singers that they would be listening too. Band names would be being mentioned so I would go a listen to as much as I could, trying to fit in with my friends haha. One of the bands that I really got into at that time was the Red Hot Chili Peppers and then everything changed when I went to see them Live for the first time.
Are you signed?
No im currently unsigned
You have just released your double a sided single, tell us more about both of the tracks.
I wanted to try something different to what I had tried in the past in releasing music, so the idea of a double sided Single began to grow. I had a few songs written and I headed into the Studio to record “Just Like Before” with producer (Alan Greer) and my drummer (Dave Simpson). I had two tracks in mind to put out as the first release that were both very similar in tempo, style and pace. Halfway through the recording sessions, I realised that it might be a better idea to showcase both sides of my live shows, as it wouldn’t necessarily be as an obvious way to go about things. As a solo act, Im lucky to have a full backing band for the bigger rock shows, and then I mix it up and play acoustic shows in smaller more intimate venues. So releasing two songs that lend themselves to both sides of that made sense and seemed like a much more interesting way to try something new
What is the meaning behind ‘Just Like Before’?
I try to keep the full meaning of my songs pretty close to the chest, as I like the idea of listeners being able to make up their own interpretations as to what the song could be about. But the message in this song in particular is to enjoy the small things in life as one day you’ll realise that they were the big moments in your life.
What is the meaning behind ‘Another Light’?
The message in this song is to not be afraid of the hardest aspects of every day life, regardless of whether the outcome is good or in some cases, be bad. I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, so its kind of a roll with the punches kind of song.
Describe each track in two words.
“Just Like Before” – “energetic” and “positive”
“Another Light” – “atmospheric” and “meloncholic”
What was the writing process like?
The writing process was the same as any other writing session for me in the past, I would go into my little home studio with a guitar and get the basic song structure written. The song would grow from there until it was ready to be taken into the recording Studio. Me and Dave headed into the Studio with Alan (Greer)to record “Just Like Before” and the song just grew from there. Having some experience in recording my own stuff in the past, working with Alan allowed me to grow on my past experiences and learn how to improve my song writing. “Just Like Before” was the result and it really had grown arms and legs since the original demo. I used my past experience in recording and this new knowledge from working with Alan and the end result came “Another Light”. I had just bought a new Acoustic so I wanted to road-test recording it and see how it sounded.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process for both tracks was similar in ways, but at the same time very different. Like I said, we headed into the studio with Alan to record “Just Like Before” and it was a massive learning process. Alan would sit with me and talk me through not only how to do things properly, but more importantly why. It came with a huge learning curve and the experience was invaluable for me on improving my recording abilities. With “Another Light” I tried to put what I had learned with Alan into practice in my home studio. I started out with just the Acoustic Guitar and from there the song just grew. I originally thought I was going to be a straight acoustic track, but then I started experimenting with the ebow, different digital effects, a simple drum pattern and making the song much more atmospheric. It has definitely become the most experimental song I have ever written or released. I invited my trusted friend Phil (Wiles) to hear the song, and he gave his input on the track and the whole thing just popped.
How were they different for both tracks.
They were both recorded in different Studios but the process was pretty much the same.
Who did you work with on the singles?
In the Studio while recording “Just Like Before” I worked with Alan (Greer) as the Producer/Studio Engineer and my drummer Dave (Simpson). With recording “Another Light”, I recorded everything myself in my Home Studio. Both tracks were mixed and mastered by Phil Wiles.
Will we see a music video for any of the tracks?
Yeah I released two Lyric Videos with both tracks. Again, trying something different to what I had done in the past. In the past my music videos have been “performance” videos, or footage from past gigs/tours etc, so I really jumped on the band wagon to try something totally different with these releases. Lyric videos seem to be pretty popular just now so I wanted to throw my hand in at making one, or in this case, two!
Do you have any online shows coming up?
I have got nothing “set in stone” in the way of online shows as im concentrating on writing new material. Over lock down, I had been invited to play and be part of various online events and its always been a blast.
What else can we expect in 2020?
Im hoping to release my second double sided single towards the end of the year, and hopefully with a further two music videos too. Its definitely an exciting time for being creative. I am working with two different groups of people on the music videos so hopefully, they will again be something totally different to what I have release in the past.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
I do actually. Im working with a couple of local artist round my local area on a few projects, still in the early stages but im looking forward to hearing them finished. Totally different styles to myself, but Im really excited about trying something different. I dont think I could name drop anything yet as its not really my place to, but Im really excited about them.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Yeah I would be very keen, they would only have to contact me through my Facebook Music Page or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do you play any instruments?
I play Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass and play (very little) Keyboard. I also sing.
Who are your influences?
My inspiration for first getting into playing guitar was John Frusciante (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) after seeing them live for the first time. But since then the influences on my writing have changed quite a bit and there Is quite a variety in the mix. Im a huge fan of Jimmy Eat World, the writing style of Johnny Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls) and lead lines of Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi). Like I say, its a varied mix, but I seem to gravitate towards listening to music that can be vague at one point and tugging on the heartstrings the next, like Jimmy Eat World and the Goo Goo Dolls do so well. I have always loved Richie Sambora’s style of guitar playing as its so full of emotion, adding to the song on a musical level rather than playing fast licks just to show off.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I tend to take notes whenever an idea creeps in, both lyrical ideas and rough melodies. I am guilty of recording voice memos on my phone and then forgetting about them, until weeks later listening back and trying to figure out what was going on!! haha! The same happens with guitar ideas too, I will record parts that are interesting to me and then work on them from there. For me, I get a lot of ideas while out walking (usually to work etc) and doing the most common of things. On my first solo album (called “Out Of The Blue”), I had this song called “Go, On” and I had been stuck on the lyrics for the chorus for weeks. I knew the song had the potential to be huge in sound but the lyrics just were not happening. Then one night, I was doing the dishes (of all things) and the chorus came to me right then and there. It was the most random of things to be doing when the idea came, but it worked perfectly within the context of the song. There are loads of stories like that, but that is the one that always seems to come out at the top of my list.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
In the short term, I would love to have released my fourth or fifth album by then, maybe even collaborate with more musicians that play a totally different style to me. Its all a learning process, bouncing ideas around until you finish with something that was totally different to the original intention. I also have a list of music venues/festivals that I would like to play at, so it would be great to check some of them off of that list.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, travelling and doing things round the house. I also have a background in Graphic Design so I keep myself busy with creating artwork for my music.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Probably either “Otherside” or “Cant Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Otherside” was the first track I learned on the guitar and it still remains one of my favourite Chili Pepper songs. On first listening, it sounds very simplistic to learn to play, so after I bought a guitar and learned this song, I was well on my way. Whereas “Cant Stop” has always been one of my favourite riffs, but was a riff that took a while for me to learn how to play properly. Both songs were a massive influence for me in getting into the music scene.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
I put myself forward for a music competition a few years back (with the final 12 acts getting the opportunity to play on the main stage at the O2 ABC in Glasgow). Out of 1,100 applicants I was incredibly lucky to make it to the last 12 and play on that stage. At the audition, I was speaking to
one of the judges and she noticed that I was pretty nervous. The advice she gave me has stuck with me since. She told me, “That’s good that your nervous, that shows that you care about what you are doing”. It was like a lightbulb moment. That’s something that has really stuck with me since.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Its taken me a few years to learn this one, but dont be to “set” on how a song should go. You have to let the track that your working on be able to breathe and grow, it will soon tell you where it wants to go and what direction its aiming for. And dont be too proud or afraid to take advice on board, no one has everything figured out that they dont need to ask for a second opinion on things. That always comes in handy.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“It’s good to be nervous, that means you care”.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
There are loads of distilleries round about where I am, so checking out a few of them might be worth a visit. There’s also a Cathedral that is worth checking out too!
Your coming off tour.
1/ Where do you go first? Usually when I finish a tour or a gig somewhere, one of the first places I go to is my little home studio. Sometimes there’s a few ideas kicking around (usually from the drive home) that I want to make note of before they disappear.
2/ Who do you see first? My wife, Amy Dee
3/What do you eat first? Amy Dee’s homemade pancakes
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Pretty standard things to be honest, both acoustic and gigs with the band are almost identical. Most of the time its, 1x Guitar (usually a second guitar tuned to an alternate tuning with the full band gigs), Guitar strap, Strings, Capo and a written out setlist. I find it really strange to not go into a gig without a set written out, it avoids the awkward looks on stage with band mates saying “What’s next?!” haha!!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?