Whilst on his UK tour, Dan Bettridge took some time to chat to Trackd all things music creation, his dream band line-up and when you can catch him in a city near you.
Trackd: Tell us a bit about the first song you ever wrote – what was it called, and what inspired it?
Dan Bettridge: I can’t remember the first song I wrote but I can guarantee it sucked! But the first song I remember keeping is a song called ‘Prayer For You’ – it went on my first ever release which was called ‘Hunter’s Heart’. The guy I recorded that EP with has since disappeared into thin air and no one can find him! Not down to me…
T: What’s the highlight of your music career thus far?
D: My highlight so far is definitely making my first album. It’s by far the greatest musical experience I’ve had. Such hard work but every bit rewarding too. I just can’t wait to share it with people.
T: Do you tend to perform with a band live or do you do solo sets as well? Which set-up do you prefer and why?
D: I perform with both and like them equally for different reasons. They both have a certain magic to them. Performing solo makes the experience a lot more intimate and personal and you have a more freedom to improvise. With a band you have the chemistry on stage and the energy just changes – it brings a whole different angle to the show for me.
T: Do you continue to write when you’re on the road?
D: I always write. I carry a small notebook around with me everywhere. I tend to consolidate it all and start to write songs with what I’ve written when I’ve got home, but if tours get even longer (which I hope they do) I’ll bring my typewriter with me and no doubt be writing on the road.
T: What music have you got on your Trackd profile and is there any demos or music on your profile you’d like to challenge any of our users to have a go at re-tracking or putting their own spin on?
D: There 2 of my singles on my Trackd profile and some tracks that I recorded while writing the album. One of them is an electric guitar rhythm piece and the other is a song called i/i which has actually become and song on the album. One of my favourites actually. It’s about textures and vocal experimenting for me.
T: What’s next for Dan Bettridge? Any upcoming releases? When can people see you live?
D: Yes! My album will be out early Spring next year. One of the songs is already out, it’s called ‘Heavenly Father’. I’m on tour right now – I write this from a but seat! I’m touring with Allman Brown and I’m playing a headline show in Cardiff on 8th October. It’s been great fun, you should come out if we’re near you!
[Tickets for Dan’s UK tour here]
T: Any advice for young, budding musicians wishing to take their passion and turn it into a career?
D: Make, make, make. Just keep writing, playing, creating. The more you do, the more you’ll understand and the better you’ll get. It’s more important to say no than it is to say yes – don’t just take every opportunity you’re given, not everything is right for everyone. And most importantly, know your worth, don’t give a s#*t if people don’t like your work, there’s going to be plenty of them, just make time for the ones who do. Oh and don’t forget all the people have helped you – you can’t do it alone.
T: Best gig you’ve been to?
D: It was actually The War On Drugs set at Green Man Festival a few years ago – it was pure magic.
T: Dream band line-up?
D: Questlove on drums, John Mayer on backing vocals and guitar, Pino Palladino on bass. But it changes a lot.
T: The ‘one’ song you’d wish you’d written?
D: There’s way too many to mention them all but one of my favourite songs is ‘Shed A Little Light’ by James Taylor. If you haven’t listened, find the version from his double live album and thank me later!
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