5 questions: The perils of eating and touring for Dangermuffin
WANT TO GO?
WHERE: The Empty Glass, 410 Elizabeth St.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Wednesday
INFO: 304-345-3914 or www.emptyglass.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summer festival regular Dangermuffin breezes into to town like an Indian summer Wednesday night, stopping at The Empty Glass to bring the season's first musical taste of sunshine.
When the gazz caught up with Dan Lotti, lyricist and guitarist for the jam-band trio, the band was in the middle of recording its fourth album. Lotti talked about the "grueling" process of making a studio record and the perils of traveling in a band that can't eat just anywhere.
Q: What's the band been up to lately?
A: "We've been locking ourselves in a studio in town, working 16 hours a day. It's going really well."
Q: Somehow, that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. What's recording like for Dangermuffin?
A: "Well, we've been at it for a week and a half. You work on the songs beforehand, but when you get in the studio, you keep playing the songs and keep playing the songs until you start to go crazy. Once you get past the crazy, that's when you get a good take. It's usually in the wee hours. That's when something magical happens."
Q: As a band that tours extensively, do you write your material on the road or somehow fit it in when you get home?
A: "It's kind of a mix. A lot of our filtering process takes place before we get home, but we get inspiration from everywhere - like in 2010, we drove from Eugene, Ore., to Denver, Colo.
"We went across the Nevada desert in the middle of the night. You're just driving, and there's nothing. You turn off your headlights, and you're in the middle of nothing. There's inspiration in that.
"But a lot of our songs are inspired by Gaia, you know? The soul of the planet. A lot of our music is very elemental."
Q: You're playing The Empty Glass on Ash Wednesday. Any plans to give up something for Lent?
A: (Laughs.) "Well, I'm already a vegan. That's yearlong. As far as diets go, I'm not sure where we'd go from there."
Q: How is touring life as a vegan?
A: "It's OK. The band is pretty much on board with that. The drummer [Steven Sanifier] and I are both vegans, and the other guitarist [Mike Sivili] is pescetarian; he eats fish. So we're all looking for the same place to eat, and we find the most amazing food co-ops all over the country: great local food communities where a vegan can eat well.
"It helps that we're on the same page, but of course, it can get challenging sometimes. When all else fails, we'll get Mexican food somewhere and won't ask about what's in the refried beans."
Reach Bill Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5195.