Artist - Dan K, Vocalist of 'Sixty Watt Shaman'
Interview via e-mail
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS
Date Received: 5th October, 2002
Here are my brief responses to your questions. Thanks for hanging out with us last time we were in UK at Sheffield. We hope to see you guys out there when we return. Keep rocking and stay true!! - Dan K
Where did the name 'Sixty Watt Shaman' originate from?
The band name comes from two separate origins. Sixty Watt comes from the infamous sixty watt amplifier that Tony Iommi wrote Iron Man playing through and later lost on their first American tour -- he tried to get it back but it disappeared. The Shaman aspect of the band name comes my Native American heritage -- Cherokee -- and the band's strong belief in the power of music as the Shamanic vessel which carries us to the spirit world.
What was it like recording the new album?
Recording the record was great -- another learning experience and a total joy seeing/hearing the songs come to life in the ethereal realm of the recording studio.
Why was the new album, your second, titled, 'Reason to live' and how did you come up with cover? What does the cover mean to you?
With all of the despair in this world, I have been looking for a way to keep from self-destructing and knowing that ultimately my efforts will finally fail me. But, there are Reasons to Live and we all must take on our personal battles and discover what our individual reasons are. I'm still scouring the world.
What are the musical and lyrical influences behind the songs 'The Mill Wheel' and 'When the Morning Comes' ?
The Mill Wheel is fantastic; it is a dream beside a literal mill wheel and at the same time, we are suspended among the spokes of a magnificent galaxy -- there is love and attraction in the summer dress and the mysteries of life in the inner mechanics of the time and space which is the mill wheel. When the Morning Comes is a song of hope inspired by the love and knowledge gifted to us by mentors, advisors, and the great mother.
What are your favourite songs on the album and why?
Blind By Morning is a favorite because it came together very inspired in the Shaman jam room and has great imagery. Breathe Again is personal and speaks of reasons to live and rebirth and the bells which toll for battles won and lost. Somebody Else speaks of the simplicity I yearn for in life. And Reason to Live because it is just so f*cking bad ass!
Apart from recording the new album, what has the Shaman been up to since meeting you guys at Sheffield in Dec. 2001?
We have been making music, living our personal lives, and adjusting to the new world order which envelopes the planet more and more on a daily basis.
How was it working with Scott Reeder?
Scott is a standup guy. A real friend. A very kind and gentle man who I thank for being so good to us and for inspiring me.
Plus, his ranch is totally cool -- be nice to him and he might let you check it out!!
Scott you rock, brother!
Is a future tour planned and will you be playing the UK again and if so, where and when?
It's all in the works -- stay tuned!!
How much of the new album will be performed live - do you plan to play the acoustic songs?
I know what I want to play. I like a mix of everything. And as the Shaman, we need to get the acoustics out there every set. Whatever it is will be Sixty Watt Shaman, you can count on that...
Who would you say are your favourite Rock and blues artists and why?
I like all the
same people everybody knows about. But no one ever mentions guys like
Robin Trower, or RL Burnside, or lesser known artists who keep and have
kept the soul pure. I like all the classic rockers and a few of the
heavy hitters from the 90's. But mostly, if it doesn't have
What's the title of the secret bluesy acoustic 'n' harmonica number after 'All things come to pass' and why isn't it credited on the album?
That's Somebody Else. That's my little number that I wanted to tack on there to let everyone know that I love simple guitar music as much as I like the full on rock explosion. I think it's short and sweet and very f*cking true. I love it!
Who would you say your harmonica player influences are and why?
I like the way Dylan applied his harp. It's the way that comes naturally to me and when I hear him do it, I say to myself, yeah that's it!
What is the music scene like in Maryland and Minnesota? What is it like to live in these places?
The music scene seems to me to be the same everywhere I go. No different here or there... whatever. There are pockets of people who feel the same way. They get together. People who share the same interests are always looking to find their lost brothers -- or get the Mad Doctor to animate them a bride. I don't know, I'm not a scenester and never was, but people like to get together and make some parties and make some music and go to shows -- mostly good people. It's the same everywhere.
How would you say you have progressed since the 'Seeds of Decades' album?
We have learned a great deal about all the aspects of life for a label backed touring band. We have seen the dark underbelly of the sinister music business, and exulted in the Dionysian revelations and excesses which come with the territory. There are good guys in the business and there are people whom I should beat the sh*t out of. But really, we have learned that that never-ending struggle to make the next killer riff and write the next tear-jerker, and swirl in the insistent rhythm and explode with the next burst of carnal intensity -- we've learned that the desire to make cool f*cking rock music is why we keep coming back!