Interview: Kyle Daniel

Kyle DanielKyle Daniel was due to play Country 2 Country festival this weekend at the O2 Arena London, sadly due to the risk of Coronavirus, the event has been postponed. We spoke to Kyle just before word came through that it had been postponed, and it’s fair to say that this was one artist looking forward to stepping out onto the O2 stage.

Before we begin with this weekend at C2C, you are originally from Kentucky but relocated to Nashville, how are things in Nashville after the recent tornado? The footage looked devastating.

Man, it’s quite the disaster, the tornado hit us quite badly last week, it absolutely demolished some of the prized possessions that we have in town, not to mention all the houses, and the poor folks that are suffering. It’s a sad time in Nashville but the people are coming together and helping each other as a community, which is a beautiful thing to see in the wake of this tragedy.

The world famous venue Basement East took a very bad hit?

Yes Sir it did, the owner Mike Grimes is a good friend of mine, and he also owns the famous ‘Grimeys’ record store, it hurts to see that happen to anybody but it especially hurts when it’s that close to home and happens to one of your buddies.

I believe that some benefit shows are in the pipeline?

Yes, some have already started, and like I said, in the wake of all this tragedy, it’s beautiful to see people coming together, and helping each other.

Hopefully both the venue and the record store can come back stronger than before. Onto Country 2 Country, you’re in London now yes?

Yes Sir, that’s us in London, I’m looking at the O2 Arena as we speak.

And before London, you had the pleasure of playing in both Berlin and Amsterdam..

Man, Berlin was great, they had us working all over the place, doing all we could, and that was unforgettable. The reception over there was incredible, and then we had to turn around and go to Amsterdam! Early, early morning, like 03.30am! We spent 24hours there, did the show, then turned back around and came straight back to Berlin! So, we were on the move man!

Did you overindulge with currywurst in Berlin?!

Oh absolutely, that was the first thing that I did as soon as I got there! I’ve been trying to track it down in Nashville ever since I first tried it and I was like…we’ve got to figure this out, somebody has got to open a stand or something!

It’s addictive man! Back to this weekend in London, you can’t turn on the news without hearing about coronavirus, it seems every day another music event is cancelled, was there ever any doubt that you would be travelling over?

No we were coming regardless, we’d planned this trip so we were always going to be here. Even today in London, from what I understand the government is having a meeting to discuss what could potentially happen over the next few days. In other countries large events are getting cancelled, schools are closed, same in America, it’s crazy. This is something that I don’t think we can take too lightly, but I also don’t think that we should be frightened, so yes, we were coming no matter what.

Some bands have already dropped out of Country 2 Country, and didn’t travel..

Right, and we actually picked up a few extra shows because of that..

Yes, you’ve just posted the schedule for the weekend and you are certainly a busy bunch of guys!

Yes Sir, we’re doing all kinds of stuff. I’m actually going from here to a showcase event for Gibson guitars, we’ve got that, and then I think we are playing five times in two days? Two of those are full band, the others I’m on my own.

At an event like this, are you able to check out the other acts playing?

A few yes, I got to see Luke Combs, Lindsay Ells, and Twinnie, she was great, and honestly, we’ve been so busy that there’s not been much time for sightseeing or catching shows.

It’s an event that has really grown in stature, it’s been fantastic to see it grow so quickly..

Yeah it’s so cool to watch this thing unfold, and people from all over the globe flock to a festival like this. The difference in all the artists that are here is another amazing thing, you’ve got different ends of the spectrum, you’ve got some pop country, radio country, indie country, folk singer-songwriters, and it’s cool to watch all this unfold.

That’s one of the things about your music, there is great crossover appeal, fans of The Allmans or The Rolling Stones would find things in your music to please them..

The country music crowd are a lot more accepting, I consider my music a hotchpotch of all my influences put together. I was heavily influenced by The Allman Brothers and Gregg Allman’s songwriting and storytelling, I then gravitated towards other artists, I try these days not to listen to the music that is going on around me because I don’t want to pollute my own creativity and be tempted to go…..oh man I need to do something like that..

You mentioned that you were on your way to a Gibson event, have you always been a Gibson man?

Oh yeah man I’ve been playing the old trusty 1958 Les Paul reissue that I’ve got for probably about 15 years now? It’s been my baby! The sound, the way that it feels in my hands, the way that it contours to the way that I play, I mean the back of the neck is all worn down, it’s just one of those guitars that I grew up playing and I’ve carved my way out of it I guess!

On the subject of Gibson, are you excited at the prospect of a new AC/DC album? I think you have some ‘DC on your Spotify playlist?

Oh absolutely man! I’ve always been a huge fan and those screaming guitar tones man! There’s a company based in California right now that has made what they consider to be “Angus Young in a box”! It’s so cool, I actually got to play one at NAMM a few years ago and it’s amazing. There’s nothing like loud guitars, I know a lot of people today are like…oh my god turn the guitars down!…but there’s something that you can’t get with a turned down amplifier you know…..when you crank those tubes and they get real hot, it gives you a flavour that you just can’t get digitally or at a low volume.

Wait until people get a load of Jaren Johnston and The Cadillac Three over the weekend then! That guy is loud!

Yeah, and Jaren is a good friend, he is a killer guitar player and a great dude to boot, in Berlin I think that he had six cabinets onstage! He’s cranking those Marshall’s and making them cook!

We touched on how varied your music is, the fact that you opened for the incredible Vintage Trouble proves this?

Yeah Vintage Trouble man, funny story, I met them because I was working merchandise for them and we instantly became family. Any other time when you are on the road, the crew guys are the crew guys, and the band guys are the band guys. Vintage Trouble welcomed me with open arms and we kept in touch and they’ve been super supportive, so I got the chance to go out with them last year and get all around them.

Probably one of the best live bands around today..

Absolutely, Ty Taylor (VT frontman) is like the king of Simon Says!

True! He’s the only performer that’s made me actually sit down then jump up at a gig!

He is incredible, and that’s a huge thing, that control over a crowd. One thing that until now I’ve not been able to do over here yet, and I’m excited about this weekend, is bring the full band over. My shows over here have mostly been acoustic and that’s a totally different vibe, totally different look and the songs sound totally different. So I’m excited about having the band here.

How are you planning on capitalising on the exposure that Country 2 Country will bring you?

We’ll definitely be coming back this Fall, we’ve already got plans in the works, things are cooking. It’s just been a dream come true, to come over here and have the reception, I mean..we’ve been treated like royalty by absolutely everybody and we are so grateful for that. We’re going to continue to come back and build on what we have, hit more spots.

You’re living the dream aren’t you?

Yes Sir, it feels like a dream, and sometimes it’s like what I love the most, has allowed me to travel the globe, and see all these parts of the world. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the American dream!


Interview – Dave

Photo credits – Sean Marshall


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