Interview - Danny Guinan

singer songwriter

Danny Guinan is a singer-songwriter with a long record of service. After fronting the successful band Speranza in Ireland, he moved to the Netherlands to pursue a solo career. Let's have a chat with him about his music.

Hi Danny and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Now is the time.
Now is the time was released last November. I spent a long time writing new material without really having a definite plan in terms of recording an album. As soon as I got into the studio, however, I realised that the songs formed a coherent whole and that made the process of recording so much easier. I felt like I was putting something together that not only made sense to me on a personal level but that would connect with the wider public, too. I ditched all my expectations and focused entirely on releasing an album that was honest and forthright. And if I have achieved that, I can’t ask for anything more.

What do you write about?
In a word – me. But I believe that everything each individual human experiences can be retold in such a way that it can touch others, too. I have become less introspective in my writing, however, and now address broader themes as well without trying to preach to my audience. I suppose it’s bit like combining the quantum mechanics of one’s own inner life with the general relativity of life and the universe. Of course, no one has managed to make these compatible with each other yet and I don’t pretend to have found the answer either!

What do you listen to when you are home?
I have an extremely short list of artists and albums that I return to on a regular basis for solace and inspiration. The Blue Nile, Stina Nordenstam, Beck, Bach, Nick Drake – hard to top a bunch like that.

Your favourite live performance so far?
A toss-up between the Dranouter Festival in Belgium and a Communist Party festival in Bologna, Italy that I played at many moons ago. Sometimes you just get into the zone on stage and everything moves to a different level. And when the audience goes with you too, then you have fireworks.

Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
This is a terrible story but I’m going to tell it anyway. We were playing at a club called Atlantis in Basel, Switzerland a few years back and there was this woman at the front of the stage who spent the whole gig trying to attract our bass player’s attention. He wasn’t impressed but what could he do? Towards the end of the gig he was on his knees adjusting something on one of his pedals when she yelled at him and he swivelled around to face her. The head stock of his bass guitar got there before him, however, and she was knocked clean off her feet by the blow. She was carted off unconscious by the medics and our bass player smiled his way sheepishly through the rest of the concert. You could hardly blame him.

Your favourite albums?
Hats by The Blue Nile; And She Closed her Eyes by Stina Nordenstam; Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths

A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Suzanne Vega

What would you ask for backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
A huge and well-stocked green room for all my family and friends.

What are your plans for the future?
To follow my heart. And to continue writing from the same heart for as long as I can. On a more practical level – to build on the momentum that the album is generating and reach as wide an audience as possible.
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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