Daniel Francis Doyle

Daniel Francis Doyle Session - June 2011

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This Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: April 17, 2011
Posting Date: June 6, 2011
Artist Hometown: Austin, TX / Plano, TX
Links: DanielFrancisDoyle.com, Facebook
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Twice As Fast
When Did You Leave Home?
There Are Two Of You
We were very happy to have Daniel Francis Doyle and company over for what would be their first recordings as a full band. Daniel has previously played live with a loop pedal and drums, but is now transitioning to playing with a full band that includes Cory Plump and Brandon Crowe.
ONE: You started out playing in bands such as Early Lines and then transitioned to playing solo under your own name. What is the catalyst behind the move from playing solo with a loop pedal to a full band again, and how does it feel to give up complete control?
Daniel Francis Doyle: It feels great, giving up complete control. The stuff I was making up [recently] just didn’t seem right for the loop pedal. For one, it doesn’t fit into the loop pedal. There’s too many changes that don’t fit into the time constraints of the loop pedal, which is twenty-eight seconds. The songs seemed like they’d be better with a band anyway. I did this song called “You’re Nowhere.” It was with a bass player and a drummer as a recording, and it was on a solo release with loop pedal and drum songs. I was inspired by that. I wanted to start a band, start doing that more, that kind of stuff.
MB: Are you going to fully transition to playing with a band or keep doing solo songs as well?
Daniel: Yeah. It’ll be similar to what I did last night at Rubber Gloves, with both set ups. We’ll play more songs together, but I’ll still end the set with a couple of loop songs.
TWO: Using the loop pedal, what is your typical songwriting process like? What typically comes first, the guitar parts or the drums?
Daniel Francis Doyle: The guitar parts. I just mess around on a guitar that I play, classical guitar, try to come up with stuff, and then try to make it work with the loop pedal. I’ll usually have to end up editing stuff to make it fit with the time constraints.
BF: How long does it normally take you to learn the parts? That’s got to be complex. It seems like you’d have to practice quite a bit.
Daniel: Yeah. When I first start playing these songs, it’s really on the loop pedal set up. I feel a little anxious because there’s always little parts I forget, and I’m like “Aww, I forgot that part, so now I have to wait for the loop to come back around to that spot so I can get that part that I forgot.” But then you just do it over and over again, and it just becomes, like, second nature, especially on tour. I’ll just totally get into the routine and not even think about it.
Cory Plump: If you write a song, how long does it typically take for you to be able to perform it?
Daniel: It’s been getting harder and harder to make it work [laughs]. Maybe like a month. Even then it sounds a little shoddy when I first play it, to me at least. It might sound a little bare in some places, and I might end up changing it a little bit. All bands say this, but playing it live helps me realize what works and what doesn’t work. I basically just have to make myself play it, knowing that it’s not going to be as good as I want it to be.
BF Is it easier, now that you’re thinking in a more full-band mentality, to write complex parts knowing that you don’t have to repeat them in the exact same way?
Daniel: It’s a totally different thing. It just feels more like songs. It’s like a weird composition battle with myself when I’m writing with the loop pedal, but when I’m writing songs that are going to be with the band, it’s just like writing songs like “Here’s the verse, and here’s the bridge.” Maybe how normal bands work? I don’t know. [laughs] I have no idea.
MB: So how did you meet? You guys have backgrounds in other bands, I’m assuming?
Daniel: Oh yeah. They’re Austin veterans.
Cory: How did we meet?
Daniel: Cory used to be part of a small Austin label called Furniture Records, and one of the guys from Furniture Records saw me play at a house show when I first started, and said he wanted to put out a 7-inch. Then, he got Cory and the rest of the dudes from the label to come see me at another show. They all decided they liked it and decided to put out a 12-inch instead, which was Who Are Your Customers? Cory was in a band called Awesome Cool Dudes. Jesse, from Furniture, was in a band called Tuxedo Killers. We all played this show at the Ritz in Austin in October of 2005. That’s when I met Cory and a bunch of other dudes, and they all decided to put out my record. Then Awesome Cool Dudes and Tuxedo Killers decided to start a band called When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth with Brandon [Crowe] on drums. They wanted a second drummer, so they asked me. That’s how I got to know them really well.
THREE: Being from Plano and spending a lot of time in the North Texas music scene, and then moving to Austin, how would you compare the dynamics of the two scenes?
Daniel Francis Doyle: Yeah, when I play a Denton show, it seems like a… when I was in Early Lines and we lived in the DFW area, we would play Denton, and it’d seem like we were just a local band. I’ve had great experiences playing in Denton, especially in 2007 and 2008. That really seemed to be a magical couple of years because we had Secret Headquarters… you had Strawberry Fields doing shows, and it was really magical. It was amazing. It made Austin seem lame. The audiences are a little warmer in Denton, it’s a smaller town. I’ve been really starting to enjoy Austin again this year. It’s just different. It feels less relaxed than Denton. Denton feels a little more relaxed. I can’t explain it. Because I know a lot of people here I’ve known for a long time. The 2007 and 2008 Denton renaissance of house shows and arts spaces was pretty amazing. I feel it doesn’t exist as much anymore. In 2010 I was completely bummed out about Austin. I was touring a lot in 2010. I was like, “Ahh, all my shows in Austin always suck. I don’t even wanna play here anymore. It’s depressing.” But this year, all the shows I’ve played have been great.