And the New Album, ‘Do Not Revenge’ with: Dan Black
Dan Black is back… with Do Not Revenge, his first official album in nearly eight years. Many of the songs on the album linger in the head-space of “moments.” In an effort to help his listeners connect to a moment, Black is rolling out the album through a concept he’s calling “12 songs, 12 experiences,” where listeners will be able to familiarize themselves with the music through opportunities including a live experience, broadcast through 100 interactive cameras, a virtual reality video, a playable video game and more.
Here, Black takes us behind the scenes in coming up with this innovative concept:
How did you come up with the idea for 12 songs/12 experiences?
For the visual side of what I do I collaborate with my wife and her company Chic&Artistic. We wanted to do something with a bit of mystery and ambition, and go on a bit of an adventure that we could then capture. So we decided to make a different digital experience for each track. Dropping them every few weeks or so. And have them all ultimately come together to make the artwork, whilst also making a kind of virtual mini museum to be explored. It feels that how people put out music is in a real transitional period at the moment, so I wanted to explore that with this release.
Can you take us inside a few of the experiences and how they relate to the given song?
For two of them, we shot them both in Kiev in Ukraine, in one manic 36 hours. One, for “Headphones,” was filmed in an abandoned soviet-era industrial zone. It involved a huge suspended ball of light, which we really had, suspended from a giant drone. It was kind terrifying, having it swooping around me all night. The second, which is for an experience to come, was done in a desert, with 100 cameras, rolling simultaneously, filming me do one performance. All the crew had to hide behind a hill, so it was quite strange to be singing, all alone, out in a desert surrounded by just cameras.
What was the process in selecting what experience would accompany each song? Do they match the vibe, emotion, message you are exuding?
Well the experiences grew out of the songs’ themes and atmospheres. We let what they evoked for us lead to the ideas. They are supposed to compliment and enrich the songs, and to add a new perspective. A lot of the songs are about disconnection but with a kind of strange simultaneous elation. Having all these different, independent, yet still coexisting experiences is itself a metaphor for what the album is trying to say.
Any recommendation for fans and listeners as to how you suggest engaging in the 12 experiences?
Well for now keep your eyes on danblacksound.com. There is a countdown for each release in seconds. Maybe get out your calculators to get an exact date!? And then once it’s all up come back and have a virtual wander. Hopefully all together the pieces will kind of fuse to make one ultimate experience.
For you personally, what is the emotion of your official first release in eight years?
It’s pretty hard to sum that up. It’s been an epic journey personally and we’re still manically trying to get all the experiences done. It’s very by the seat-of-our-pants. So I haven’t had much time to savor the feeling. Terror and excitement are definitely there. And maybe even a little indulged pride…!
In regard to “Moments,”…. there’s a unique dynamic here because the intent behind Artist Waves is to capture the “moments” — both with the artist and the art. Allowing readers to get inside the inspiration and in turn, hopefully get inspired themselves. You spoke how this record captures moments. What is it that drew you to that concept?
A lot of art sees the world as a story. Film, novels etc but that feels a little untruthful to me. Reality is really billions of moments. The joy and pain of existing is its fleeting nature. Trying to freeze or grab at those moments is what good art does I think. That exquisite agony.
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~Feature in collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra