KISS OF TENACITY BLOG by Dan Spirk
I have been told I’m tone deaf, not a good guitar player and lousy drummer but despite there misconceptions and limitations I continue to move forward.
I was born to a family of six children. At the age of five I asked my parents for piano lessons but I was denied because they couldn’t afford it. In second grade I was asked to never come back to recorder class. My oldest brother had a drum set and in fifth grade I decided to take it seriously. My own mother said I would never “get it”. Around the same time I was diagnosed with a learning disability. By 9th grade with some help of some friends and relatives I had taught myself to play the drums. I was asked to join the high school orchestra and I also was playing the drums for my church youth group. I really enjoyed it.
At the age of 22 I was in a band. We were going through guitar players like they were going through guitar strings. Nobody in our camp was touching the soul or awaking the spirit. Nobody was even coming close to the sounds of those raw undeniable emotions, like the sounds I felt as a boy. Da Da Da “All is quite on New Years Day”. Knowing that I had to find my way to the front, I told my brother that I was going to change instruments and start to play guitar. He highly disagreed and argued with me. I immediately started writing songs and working with different effects and creating textures. I remember not being able to go to sleep, I could here this music in my head but I still didn’t have the musical ability, to convey it. We saw a big change in the way the audience perceived us. I knew I was on the right path.
Meanwhile we were making a film. It took ten years and it cost me a highly substantial amount of money out of my pocket, although I learned a lot and really enjoyed making different parts of the soundtrack, I never really wanted to be a filmmaker, it wasn’t my passion or my dream. We weren’t accepted to any film festivals but we eventually crashed Sundance/Slamdance/ Nodance and almost walked away with a deal, after negotiating for eleven months we were dropped. A few years later, we were accepted into a London Film Festival and we won Best Debut Feature Film. Two years later were asked to do a weekend promotion with Dailymotion. We broke online world records, for over 40,000 views of a feature film within forty-eight hours but we never were accepted into another film festival nor were we ever successful in distribution.
Moving forward a couple of years later, I was still creatively frustrated and stuck in a rut. We formed, an all-original band. I was the guitarist and I wrote most of the music, took care of the basic branding along with the marketing. We were recording an album in which we were being produced by an ex contracted recording engineer for Atlantic Records, whom at which was and is a genius with his own great ideas. He unlocked me as an artist, taught me so much as a songwriter, guitar player and overall musician and he believed in me, unlike my surroundings. This was my school, my awakening, this was huge for me but this was also my breaking point. I was wanting to be a singer, I had ideas of what a singer was suppose to be, I had these feelings that I wanted to convey vocally, lyrics of sincerity, emotion and truth. After a year and half of writing, rewriting and recording and performing the album, I left. I left my band, my brother and the life I had. I Moved to NYC.
It was the hardest choice I had ever made and sometimes I still struggle with it but it was necessary. I immediately started writing new songs, making beats, singing and recording and I haven’t stopped yet.
This EP is my craft, my baby, and a Polaroid picture of the moment. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, to write this album and all the different parts, sacrificing sleep and free time and days off in the process. I’m the vocalist, lyrist, songwriter and only musician on the EP. I go a little outside of my creative comfort zone. ”. Music from my heart, chicken corn soup for the soul. “Bare Naked Rock & Roll With A Funked Up Jazzy Soul”. KISS OF TENACITY
I have failed enough to know my weaknesses. I have practiced enough to know my strengths and I’m willing to change, again and again.
“Loved working on this EP! There’s something special going on under the surface. I engineered it and still can’t pinpoint where all that POWER is coming from!” (Craig Levy, Producer/Engineer at Little Pioneer Studio in Brooklyn, NY).