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Interview with FOG Blues & Brass Band
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Dan: My first Concert was Elton John at Maple Leaf Gardens 1981. It was an amazing experience! I knew I had to be involved with music somehow. If I didn’t get into music I would have probably been an archaeologist?
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Dan: I enjoy hanging out in my backyard chilling out and relaxing. Hiking with my dog. It usually rests my brain enough to allow a creative idea pop in.
How long has your band been around?
Dan: FOG has been around since 2015.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
Dan: We are based out of Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario Canada. I think it influenced us to in a way, pay homage to bands like Copper Penny and Yukon (Which one of our members Bobby Becker was a member of) and to stay in a blues/roots/R&B vein.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Dan; FOG Blues & Brass Band (FOG) originally stood for “Five Old Guys”. The “Blues & Brass Band” got added when I joined the band in 2016. The rest of my bandmates decided I wasn’t old enough to fall under the acronym FOG… even though I had more grey hair than the rest of the guys! And was wearing bifocals! Plus I played saxophone so they felt it necessary to incorporate my instrument and any future horn players into the Band Name.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Dan: I think some of our most memorable shows would be opening for the Ghost Town Blues Band in 2019. And then the showcase sets we did down in Memphis TN during the 2020 International Blues Challenge. Playing the OLG stage at The TD Kitchener Blues festival, was a highlight to play for our home city.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Dan: I can’t speak for all the guys in the band here, but one of my favorite venues is the Juke Joint outside of Acton Ontario. 100% legit Juke Joint feel with a very intimate and personal experience with the audience. Any venue that allows us to really connect with the audience on a more intimate level is always a great gig.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Banamassa, Ghost Town Blues Band, Trombone Shorty, Tower Of Power.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Dan: A band is a family. You won’t always agree. You may bicker, argue, get heated and you may say stuff to one another that can be hurtful. My advice is: Remember you’re family! Yes, music is important. But the creation of great music does not have to come at the cost a hurt family (band) member. Apologize for mistakes made. Apologize if you hurt someones feelings. Families stick together! Go to bat for each other. Advocate for one another.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Dan: Relax! Breath! Listen! Learn!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Dan: One Of A Kind Things. The song is about the passing of Greg Allman and what I gift his music was to all.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Some of our new originals that haven’t been released yet. “Hey Lucy” is a fun one to play on horn. And “Why Get Up” is a single slated for release mid January. It’s a really high-energy tune with a nice bounce. Not sure what gets requested most?
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Dan: For our band, it”s like this… someone comes in with a song idea. Could be at any stage of completion or more often, not near completion. We just start noodling with it. You ever work on an old car? Like your first car ever and it’s kinda junky, but it’s yours ya know. So you take it to your neighbor who’s always got a car in his garage that he’s fixing up for a friend or what have you? And you say “it isn’t running right. So he has a listen and revs it up a couple time and says “yep, the rotor under your distributor cap is worn out” and you’re like… “I have no idea what any of those words mean?” But he reaches over his workbench to some drawers, he’s opening and closing a few, and finally says “Ha! Here we are. I pulled this off and old Cutlass back in 1988, I knew it would come in handy some day” He puts this part that’s been in a drawer for 30 years on your junky car, all f a sudden, it runs amazing! That’s the only way I can put it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Dan: Depends on the writer of the tune I guess? I”d say anything from the funny situational experiences to life lessons venting about past life experiences to just plain old let’s have some fun.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Dan: HAHAHA! YUUUPPP. We arm wrestle! Winner gets their way!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We plan on releasing a new CD July-ish 2023. We just released a Christmas tune “Here Comes Santa Claus” November 24th, 2022 and we have a Single slated for release Mid January 2023.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?