Guitar player turned producer – Meet Dan XII
Meet Dan XII – real name Daniel Meyer – based in Australia’s gold coast and an active member of the gold coast music scene. He is an amazing guitar player – has been playing the guitar since he was 14 and started DJ’ing at 24. Since than he produced his own EP and even produced for the short film “Good Knight Reverie”. You can expect to hear much more from Dan in the upcoming months!
What first drew you to music production?
I started seriously with playing guitar at about 14 years old, so I spent a few years in a band and recorded an EP with them. But the production started about 10 years later when I got DJ’ing at Dance parties and wanted to play my guitars live over some of my own productions. I guess it just happens over time naturally if you’re into making music.
You produced the music for the short film “Good knight reverie” how was it like being on set, working with the team?
It was fun overall but a pretty intense experience, night shoots devoid you of precious sleep.
I wrote much of the music from the script but being on set helped me to decide which tracks, and parts of tracks would work with the different scenes. Some parts of the music worked perfectly In a completely different part of the movie than what I had planned. So it’s cool.
Was it the first time you produced for a film, how was it different from working on an original track?
It was the first time I wrote it for the movies purpose, but before it was like” Hey Dan, can I use a bit of this track for this thing of mine?” So I had to put yourself in the situation of the movie and perceive how you think that world would sound, and then feature a few instruments, GKR my 12 string acoustic guitar and a Flautist with Celtic style. And then just roll from there.
But my original tracks are really just based on my own vexations of thought. Nothing too complex.
Why did you call yourself “Dan XII” what does it symbolise?
Well there’s a lot of Musicians on the Gold Coast, and I spent a lot of time with the open musician night crowd, and because I always played my 12 string guitar and there was more than one Dan in the area, I just got called Dan 12 string. I’m not really into calling myself some alias because I mostly create music on my own so it’s just easier to be called what people know you as.
So I just made it dan 12 but with Roman numerals. Nice and easy.
Given that you are based in Queensland, Australia, what do you think about the music scene there?
It’s definitely alive and pumping in the independent and “underground” scenes. I think the smaller venues and independently produced events produce a much better quality of musician than anything you will find in the CBD of the cities.
We also keep in mind the commonwealth games are coming here in 2018 so there is a push from the city council to get more live music venues happening in the CBD of the Gold Coast. It would be a shame to get a boring reputation for music in the main area without anyone seeing what’s really here.
I’m not giving up that’s for sure.
We noticed your latest EP cover was very uniqe, can you tell us more about it?
I was after something along the lines of dark ambiguity , and I wanted something hand painted.
A friend recommended me an artist named Satoshi Date from London, and his style was pretty cool. So I sent him some earlier music and with a style template he just went for it.
I like it. Always find something new in the chaos of the painting.
Your latest music video for “distance of estranged” was amazing, how was it working on the track, did you take part in the making of the video?
I probably spent the most time on that track just messing around with ideas and guitar recordings for probably a year while working on other stuff in between.
A director approached me after and wanted to make a music video for it so i went along with his script and had a bit of camera time. And then I helped with the edit which I had a bit of authority over to stay in tune with the track theme. Great experience.
What’s your process for creating your music?
Everything starts with riffs I write on guitar, it’s the most natural on hand way to write music for me. Then I’ll produce a guide backing track to work with those riffs and start recording the guitar. And once all he recordings are sweet, I’ll delete the backing track and make some synth lines bass and drums etc to finish it all off.
But in regards to going from a thought to an actual track. For me it’s just spending time on the guitar and playing for what seems like forever, but you’re playing will always match the things you think about so this is where new interesting melodies come. And when it resonates enough you don’t want to unhear it so it has to come to life. So I can listen to it later and reflect on those thoughts of that time.
What programs do you use to produce on?
I started on Logic 9 while I was studying at SAE production college but now I work with Ableton 9 with many external controllers. It’s a much better workflow to be able perform all the lines and drums.
What the future holds for Dax XII, any upcoming releases/projects we can get excited about?
I never stop making music so there will always be more, but Shadowman is a good basis for how my next Ep or album if I have the ability for that.
I’m focusing on keeping it real so my Live performances will stay true to the recordings. With the help of other musicians to play the other lines and Ableton 9 to manage everything, it’s always fun to play live.
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