An Interview With The Singer-Songwriter DAN RODRIGUEZ On His New Album, ’25 Years’ And More!
Posted On 02 Feb 2018
Meet the Minneapolis-based musician, Dan Rodriguez!
In September 2014 Budweiser released their “Friends Are Waiting” commercial campaign featuring me singing my song “When You Come Home.” It aired during both the World Series and the Super Bowl.
During the Summer of 2015, Rodriguez released his fourth and most prolific and widely distributed album, “Come On Home.” This album featured the Budweiser song and singles “Rum River” and “California.”
Next week on February 9th, the singer will be releasing his latest album called “25 Years.” One of his favorite producers, John Fields, produced it.
Here is the Pre Order Link- https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/25-years-ep/1333246201
Over the years Dan Rodriguez had had the honor of sharing the stage with some really cool artists & bands including The Civil Wars, Andy Grammer, Eric Hutchinson, NeedtoBreathe, Augustana, Tyrone Wells, Haley Reinhart, John McLaughlin, Will Hoge and more.
Connect With Dan Rodriguez here: Website
Learn more about Dan Rodriguez in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you? I’m found in Minneapolis, MN. NE Minneapolis, MN to be exact. The land of breweries, piano dive bars, and enough bicycles for every hipster.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Care to share them with us? 2017 has been the best year, career-wise, that I’ve ever had. Every year it evolves & grows, but this year seemed like an extraordinary jump in ticket sales, downloads and streams, and better shows.
THIS year I’m probably most excited about seeing where the growth from last year takes me, working closer with my new publishing team in Nashville, and putting out some more new music.
My New Year resolution this year was actually to see more music. I find that when I’m out playing shows, or working long days in the studio, I tend to not be able to go see as much music. So, this year I’m making an effort to buy more concert tickets, see more music, and soak it all in.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? I remember as a young boy, around 10 years old, thinking that I loved singing and wanted to be a famous singer, so my mother enrolled me in voice lessons right away. This was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your home has affected you and your music today? Well, I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and I always feel as though the vibe of mo-town has always stuck with me. My music tends to feel soulful, and I like to believe that’s where it came from. My home is now Minneapolis, MN. Being in a town with the likes of Johnny Lang & the late and great Prince, I’m convinced that I’m in one of the best music towns in the country.
Let’s talk about the album that you will be releasing next month called “25 Years.” What was it like putting this collection together? How did it compare to the process of creating your previous albums? What was it like working one of your favorite producers, John Fields on it?
Putting this collection of songs together was rather simple for me. Pick songs that I chose to write from a vulnerable place, and be open to putting songs on the record that reveal more about my personal life, my own struggles, and my family. Previous albums have done this, but I don’t believe to the same extent as 25 Years. And being able to work with one of my favorites, John “Strawberrius” Fields, was a dream come true. He works SO fast, but I never felt rushed. He is so seasoned and good at what he does that he really has nothing to prove. And that was evident in his accepting my production ideas, being open to trying new things, and stretching me in the vocal booth to really dig in and find some gold. He’s a master in his Field (pun absolutely intended), and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with him.
While it may be difficult, can you pick a couple of your favorite songs off this album and talk about how they came to be? Generally, how do you go about writing a song? This one is actually very easy for me. My 2 favorite songs on this album are the song I wrote about my wife (25 Years) and the one I wrote for my son (Until The End). 25 Years is about my favorite moment of every year when my wife, on our anniversary, puts on her wedding dress and we dance to the song she walked down the isle to. And Until The End is an open letter to my son, encouraging him to face his fears, learn to navigate the struggles in life, and know that no matter where we are, I’ll always be with him.
I am curious to know what it was like having your single “When You Come Home” featured in the Budweiser commercial campaign? Can you recall the first time that you ever saw it on TV? To be totally honest, we don’t have traditional television in our home (just Netflix & a DVD player), so I never actually saw it at home. Although, I DID see it in a bar shortly after it was released. I heard myself singing on the sound system across the bar and looked at the TV and saw the commercial. It was a strange but very cool experience.
With all of the many artists that you have shared the stage with over the years, can you pick out a few truly memorable experiences that stand out the most to you? I had an absolute blast playing with The Civil Wars and also NEEDTOBREATHE. What has stood out to me about those experiences more than anything else is when I’ve crossed paths with John Paul White or the NTB guys at music festivals, running around Nashville, or backstage at other shows. They’ve all been genuinely interested in how my career is going, and there’s a friendly kinship when we’ve reconnected.
Where can people see you perform live next? Do you already have some tour dates scheduled for 2018? I’ll be playing some festivals this Summer, including Summerfest in Milwaukee, and I’ll be doing a handful of smaller tours throughout the year. The plan is to hit all of the regions from the West to the East coast. Things are just getting started for that now and I couldn’t be more excited.
Where do you find that you at your happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music, writing songs or elsewhere?
I feel that I fully enjoy the experience of each of those seasons, and there’s a very special place in my heart for creating in the studio, but if I had to pick one place that felt more like home than any other it would have to be on stage, holding a guitar, in front of a crowd performing. That’s my happy place.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that your new music is going to reflect these difficult times?
We absolutely do live in rough times, but my faith in humanity is consistently restored by the folks who make a difference in a positive way. It gives me SO much joy to be able to play music and connect with other people on a level that surpasses religious or political preferences, and brings a sense of unity in an otherwise split & broken world.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future? I’m constantly finding new music and new inspirations, but from the time I was 16 all the way up until now, I’ve always been inspired by John Mayer’s music. His songwriting is great, his musicianship is bananas, but for me he gave me a sense of independence. I didn’t feel like I needed to start a band. I could focus on my own songwriting and shape my own career enough to where I’m hiring band members and doing it under my own name. It has been an amazing gift.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music? Do you find that a lot of your music has a greater meaning behind it? I always say that if I can make the listener move & BE moved in the same album or live show, then I’ve done my job. I have some uplifting songs that have brought me healing, but have also connected with listeners on a deeper level. When I get emails saying “Your music helped me through a tough time,” I’m reminded that I’m a part of something much bigger than myself, and I do my best to keep up with that.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your music with our readers?
I’m just so grateful to be doing what I do and being able to connect and share with people all over the world from all walks of life. Please find a way to show some love & kindness to somebody in your world today. I’ll do the same. The world can always use more of that.