Interview with Dan Moxon
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I got into playing guitar in grade 6. I had a teacher Mr. Averill who had a drum kit, bass guitar, and electric guitar set up at the back of the class which we could play at lunch hour. He also had acoustic guitars for the whole class and taught simple chords and beatles/classic rock tunes. If I wasn’t doing music I would likely still be in the arts doing film or graphic design.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I’m a huge fan of danish modern mid-century furniture and design and my day gig is buying/restoring and selling vintage furniture and decor. I got into it from the love of finding deals at thrift stores and craigslist and curating cool stuff for people. @dansvintagefinds on Instagram. It’s amazing because it’s a hobby that I love and get excited about but it also makes me a paycheque on top of playing music.
How long have you been making music?
I have been writing and recording music since 1998. In high school, I used a four-track recorder and a two-tape player deck to lay down tracks and build them up before computers could do so. My band Bend Sinister started in 2000 with four high school friends and though I am the only original founding member we’ve been releasing albums ever since. My first solo album was called Lounge Singer in 2019, though i’ve also been playing solo piano and guitar shows since the early 2000s.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I live in Vancouver though I grew up in a town called Kelowna. There was an amazing music scene in Kelowna in the late 90s with kids putting on their own all-ages shows at halls and bringing in really great bands like Shellac and Fugazi and Weakerthans and Sloan. I was a few years younger then some of the main people but became friends with lots of them and started to get opening slots at the gigs. The biggest show of the year was always a boxing day show and I remember when playing that show for the first time with a full band in front of 500 or so people, I caught the bug of the thrill of performing live.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I remember we used to always play this small club called Cherry Colas in Toronto on queen and bathurst. It was a late-night party spot and we got to know the owners really well. When Them Crooked Vultures was in town playing at the stadium cherry colas hosted a private party for them with maybe 20-30 people in attendance and they asked us to play a set in the club. It was a trip to play for John paul jones from Zeppelin, Dave Grohl, and Josh Holmes. Afterwards we ate dinner together and got a chance to chat, though it was mostly small talk.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I love to play the commodore here in Vancouver. We’ve probably opened or played there a half dozen times over the years and it always sounds so good and has an energy with everyone coming up to the front and having a good time.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would want to open a festival with Paul Mccartney, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Elton John, Billy Joel, Steely Dan and throw in Billie Eilish, Brittany Howard, Big Thief too
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I’d tell someone who was in high school to pick a really vibrant music city like New York, LA, Berlin, London, Etc, and apply to go to school/university there. Even if you pick basic whatever courses, it gives you 4 years to get situated, meet people, work on your music skills, form a band, make connections and start playing gigs while not stressing about hitting the road and touring and becoming successful overnight.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
This changes day to day as often the song that is the most exciting or meaningful is the one you are in the middle of working on. There is a song on my new album called ‘The Storm we Know’ which I worked on figuring out the chords/structure to for almost 3 years. Once I penciled in lyrics and it all fell into place I was really happy with it. I love the sentiment of the line ‘the storm you know is like a breeze’ because in reality, no matter how big our day-to-day life problems are, there is always someone who would take our life in a heartbeat to get away from theirs.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
A Bend Sinister song Time Breaks Down from 2006 is one that people often want to hear and we will often play at shows, though sometimes we go years without playing when we get sick of it.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I always start with noodling around on a piano and coming up chords that interest me. Once i’ve come up with a chorus/verse sort of idea ill start ad-libbing melody/vocals. The hard part is writing the lyrics which usually stems from a stream-of-conscious chorus idea or melody and then is workshopped from there.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I joked with the band that over the years we’ve had a half dozen songs with ‘better’ in the title or chorus. Things will get better, better things to do, be better, We know better… Perhaps this in my favorite as I try to look on the positive side of things and hope that better things are just around the corner.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Bend Sinister is in the middle of writing a new album and since i just released my new solo album ALL MY FRIENDS I am hoping to do a big release show in early 2023 and potentially hit up some summer tours/festivals in the new year.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?