What is your name?
Hi!! I’m Dan Ponich from LA Solution Center.
What is your genre of music?
Alternative-rock with lots of samples, hip-hop and trip hop influences, all huddled together under a big umbrella of the 1990s.
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m Canadian, I was born in a small town in Alberta called Fort Saskatchewan, grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia and have lived in Vancouver since 2011. Played in a few bands when I first relocated to Van, got into music production and engineering in 2016 and opened a recording studio in 2017. Producing rock music for other artists is my bread and butter but I needed a creative outlet, so I launched LASC in late August 2020, dropped “My Piranha” in September and have 3 more singles lined up for this year: “Hot Trotter” in October, “God Could Be Afraid Of Us All” in November and “Hit A Nerve” in December.
What made you go into music?/
There is some statistic out there that I read saying we spend 2/3 of our life working. Life is too short and time is too valuable to spend 2/3 doing something that makes you miserable. I found what makes me happy and found a way to carve out a living doing it.
Are you signed?
No but I have recently signed a few sync license deals with some great companies based out of Los Angeles who will be pitching my music to film/television music supervisors on my behalf. They both do great stuff, BLKMKT Music and Makesound.
You released your debut single ‘My Piranha’, tell us more about the single.
The single features Calen Trentini on vocals, Paul Trounce on drums and I covered the rest of the instruments. It was recorded at my studio, Park Sound Studio, in the spring of 2020. I wanted to get away from the stereotypical ABABCB song writing arrangement for this one, while still having a strong hook element and a focus on melody.. and frightening guitars of course
What is the meaning behind the single?
The tune about being frustrated with the lack of progress in your life and not being where you want to be.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
It was one of those tracks that kind of wrote itself. I had brought up the main riff to a band I was previously in and they weren’t wild about it which is totally cool. I kept coming back to it and thought there was beauty in its simplicity. So I de-tuned my guitars and got a little heavier with it. The vocal melody came when I was at someone’s house playing their piano. I started playing the main riff and humming nonsense over top of it and it stuck. Now here we are! The riff that takes the song out, also just kind of came naturally and I loved the idea of having this outro with no vocals.
Who did you work with on the single?
Aside from the musicians stated above, the track was mixed by myself and mastered by Dave Collins in Los Angeles. Dave really took “My Piranha”, and my upcoming singles to the next level. It was an honour to work with him.
Will we see a music video for the single?
It’s out! It was filmed, directed by myself and edited by Ryan Mitchell (also based out of Vancouver). I had no idea what I was doing and I was fortunate to have Ryan save my ass using the beauty of editing.
You are also set to release more tracks, give us a teaser of what to expect.
Okay so all 3 of the next singles have more hip-hop/triphop elements to them.
In October, we have “Hot Trotter” coming out which features local rapper G. Deep and an opening monologue by my good friend Caroline Stokes.
November 6th is a track called “God Could Be Afraid Of Us All” – a heavy-hitting Brit-rock anthem featuring vocals from Colm Donnelly (hailing from Belfast and the band Bute Street) and an amazing verse from Andrew Porteous from Kelowna, British Columbia.
“Hit A Nerve” will drop December 6th and is a downtempo, triphop song about a first date featuring vocals from Megan Emanuel (of Hello Victim) and again, the mighty Andrew Porteous.
All singles will have a video component.
Do you have any online shows coming up?
What else can we expect in 2020?
I may be cooking up some little live performance videos and may squeeze a 5th single out before the year is over!!
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
Tons! That is the beauty of this project. I have the privilege of featuring a plethora of artists that I admire on all my tracks. More treats to come in the coming months and 2021.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Absolutely. Just “slide into my dm’s” or whatever the kids are saying these days. Email works too, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
I play a bunch of instruments with a bunch of mediocrity. Guitar, bass, drums, keys, vocals. Master of none.
Who are your influences?
Love anything Richard Ashcroft does. Kasabian’s first 3 records were huge for me. Blur/Damon Albarn is huge for me. QOTSA, Chevelle, Deltron 3030, Lyrics Born.. the list goes on.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Listening to anything that comes into my weird little brain. A phrase, or a hooky melody or whatever. Rhythm is very inspirational to me, just mucking around on the drums. Although the music is quite dark, there is some humor in there but I’m not sure how well it’s going to come across. Big fan of dark humor!! I find good horror movies super inspirational! Latest being Midsommar. So good!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I have a passion for the video game industry and I really would like to see some of these songs married to it. Although I don’t find much time to game anymore, I love the culture and storytelling. In 5 years time, I would love to have some of these tracks implemented in games.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I’m a homebody, even before COVID happened, I was never out much. I love spending time with my partner and my 20 year old Bengal cat. We are huge food people so cooking is always going on or going out to new restaurants. Not a drinker anymore so I’m pretty boring. Trying to read more and get away from mindlessly scrolling on the phone, although I’m still terrible for it. Love good movies and TV series. Handmaid’s Tale was so moving!!!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe.. changed my life.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Someone once asked Emily Armstrong from Dead Sara what life meant to her and she said that life is just a game. It’s so simple but also powerful and it really resonated with me. Every once in a while when things get heavy, I sort of just dwell on that. Not sure if that qualifies as it being given to me but I did take it.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
This is so cliché, but I spent so long making music with the intention of making sure other people would like it. As soon as I started just making music that I would want to listen to, that resonated with me, it naturally resonated with others in the same way. So… my advice is just listen to your gut and don’t second-guess yourself.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“You can take the man out of the basement suite, but you can’t take the basement suite out of the man.”
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Fort Saskatchewan has a herd of sheep that meanders around. Find them and admire them. I think they are the only thing that somewhat puts that town on the proverbial map.
You’re coming off tour.
1/ Where do you go first? Home.
2/ Who do you see first? My beautiful fiancée and my cat Minos.
3/What do you eat first? My Megan is an incredible cook. I know she would have something out of this world made for a homecoming dinner.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1) Some sort of sugar free energy drink or an iced coffee. Absolute must.
2) Twice the amount of cables you think you need, because someone always forgets one.
3) Hair product because having curly hair always goes sideways. Both literally and figuratively.
5) 2 cans of coconut water. 1 before and 1 after! Makes you feel like a golden god!
Thank you for the interview and giving artists like us a platform 🙂