DYAN have been taking public radio by storm. Very soon, they will be a household name. Currently on tour in support of Looking For Knives vinyl release on December 3rd. They are playing The Woodward Theater tonight (with our friends Dawg Yawp) and Shake it Records on Friday. DYAN is also currently the Local Discovery of the Month on WNKU.
We sat down with Alexis Marsh of DYAN, prior to the shows!
Give us some background on DYAN…
Dan & I met at the University of Louisville in 2005. He's an incredible musician. At the time, he played drums in groups I played saxophone in but his piano playing is what re-connected us in 2013; Sam & I saw him playing keyboards on Jim James' solo tour in Los Angeles. After graduating U of L, I moved to Los Angeles to work in film. Sam & I met at USC and started a studio writing and producing music for film and television after we graduated. I wrote songs for films we were scoring that didn't have music licensing budgets but still wanted songs for specific scenes. After a few years, we had a collection of songs we liked and wanted to release apart from our score work. We got in touch with Dan - who lives in Cincinnati - and connected with La La Land in Louisville, KY - a studio he's worked in often. We spent a week mixing and finalizing the album in the summer of 2015.
I feel like DYAN is blowing up. How does it make you feel to be so successful so early?
Oh thank you. We're grateful people are listening and responding to the songs. Each of us spent a lot of time working to become better musicians, to understand how to write and produce songs before DYAN formed. It took a while before we were ready to release Looking For Knives - arguments about how to arrange/perform a song, revising until we all agreed on a direction, the beauty of creation & collaboration after intense disagreements, anger, and frustration.
Tell us about the dynamic between yourself, Sam, and Dan…that last answer spoke to some of that.
We have known each other for a long time so we can be careless in our criticisms and objections. It leads to an open atmosphere in being able to get angry, storm out of rehearsal but it also means we can come back, apologize, get to the heart of the issue, resolve it, move on, find a good place for dinner and marvel at Keith Jarrett together.
What can one expect at a live show?
|We're still figuring out our live show actually. Having spent so much time holed up in a comfortable studio where mistakes can be wiped out easily, playing live is terrifying - for Sam & I anyway. Dan, as I mentioned, is an incredible musician. But releasing the album has forced us to work harder on our playing, and we've been having fun figuring out how to translate these songs from the album to the stage - anxieties aside - and focusing on the music rather than our egos, listening to one another, responding to what each of us is playing, and getting lost in the sounds & stories.
To be the Local Discovery of the Month on WNKU is very cool. What does public radio mean to you?
We're proud members. Public radio is a constant in each of our households. Sam's is KPCC & KCRW in LA, and Dan & I wake up with WVXU and WFPK. I grew up in Canada and listened to the CBC, and I love having similar news/culture sources living in the U.S., free of sensationalism & hyperbole. We trust these stations, value their work wholeheartedly, and are honored that WNKU would have us on the air.
What is next for DYAN?
|We're heading back to La La Land during this tour to record new songs so we're working toward our next release. In January, Sam & I continue writing music for the next season of Animal Kingdom on TNT, aiming to tour with DYAN in between our scoring work. We'll be playing SXSW in March 2017, and will continue recording and performing where people will have us.
Friday, November 25th
Shake it Records