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Interview with Danny Blu on the new EP 'The Pale Horse' - "This has been a long time coming"



New York City's Danny Blu is a stigma-free dark pop/dark-wave artist and also frontman of alternative-rock band, Echo Black. As an LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter, he is influenced by post-punk, industrial, EBM, new-wave, 90’s alternative rock and pop music.


He has been performing solo as Danny Blu since 2010 and built his early following with shocking rock performances in queer parties and New York City clubs and venues such as The Bitter End, including headlining The Studio-Webster Hall.


In the summer of 2019, Danny Blu re-emerged with a new “intense dark pop” sound and his first solo single in over 4 years titled, Bubble. Blu later premiered the Bubble music video with Billboard Pride and quickly followed up with the single, Burn on New Now Next. In January 2020, he released, White (K)night with Alternative Press and subsequently released the dark dance-floor hit remix featuring Kanga with post-punk.com.


Danny Blu continues to push the boundaries with dramatic lyrics and hybrid visceral sounds, this, his first solo extended-play, The Pale Horse, arrived on September 1st, 2020 and we had the chance to chat with him about it, and more besides.



Q. Hi Danny, many thanks for joining us here at the unscene.


Thank you so much for having me! Q. Your new solo EP release Pale Horse released earlier this month, how did the project come together?


My producer and co-writer Walter Kazmier and I started discussing this project back in October of 2018 while I was on tour with The Genitorturers, so this has been a long time coming. After writing my band’s first album, DAWN, and touring for five years, I wanted

to write new music that didn’t quite fit with Echo Black’s point of view. In writing my solo music, I painstakingly made sure everything was conveying exactly what I wanted, so the two of us built THE PALE HORSE from the kick drums up. Since I live in New York City, we often work remotely and come together for the recording and production. Everything was recorded at Silk City Grooves, Walter’s studio in New Jersey. Altogether we worked on this EP for about 21 months.

Q. How would you describe the EP's sound? What was the inspiration and was there a specific theme you wanted to employ?


It hasn’t been easy. I found the first few weeks extremely difficult as the virus progressed, it sunk in that we were in this for the long haul. Walter and I had completed most of the songs before lockdown, but we had one song left that ended up being Paradise City. That entire song was written, recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered in July during lockdown. We worked remotely on the production at first and when I was able to record, we did so in an isolation booth while maintaining social distancing throughout that day. We sent each other different versions until we were finally happy with the song. Paradise City is one of my favorite tracks on the EP and it's about this exact unprecedented time. I’ve also been spending time with Echo Black via Zoom as we work on some new music.

Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of this current release?


The most challenging aspect has been a personal one, I come from a tight family and we lost my dad just about a week ago. So needless to say, this has been a confusing and difficult time. But he was one of the reasons I was able to make this EP and I know he would be so mad if I halted anything on his account, so I decided to push through. I know he would be very proud of this body of work. Q. Will there be a LP solo album in the future at all?


That’s the plan! I don’t really want to ever stop making music, and I would love to write a full solo album.



Q. Your music videos infuse music and fashion together so well and show some great symbolism and artistic vision. How much do you get involved with the ideas on creating them?


I’m heavily involved as I think that music videos have a responsibility to deepen the meaning of the song, or else why make them?  I’m also a huge fan of collaboration and I think some of the best art comes when minds come together to create something new and exciting. So when it comes to the fashion element, I love working with designers and stylists that put a spin on my original concepts and take the video or photo to even greater heights.

Q. How does your solo work differ from what you do working within Echo Black as a group? Do you find it easier or harder to write in one or the other? What creative processes do you use?


They have their similarities and their differences. When Echo Black gets together to write, we often start with an idea from one member and expand upon that. For my solo music, Walter and I generally worked a little more in tandem. Together we started and built each song side by side. I don’t find writing for either Echo Black or my solo music more difficult than the other. I trust the process and put my mind in either headspace.

However, lyrics I tend to write very similarly for both. A word, phrase or whatever will come to mind and I just build from there. Usually the chorus will come first. Q. How have you been coping as an artist during the Covid-19 lockdown and what have you done to help adapt?


It hasn’t been easy. I found the first few weeks extremely difficult as the virus progressed, it sunk in that we were in this for the long haul. Walter and I had completed most of the songs before lockdown, but we had one song left that ended up being Paradise City. That entire song was written, recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered in July during lockdown. We worked remotely on the production at first and when I was able to record, we did so in an isolation booth while maintaining social distancing throughout that day. We sent each other different versions until we were finally happy with the song. Paradise City is one of my favorite tracks on the EP and it's about this exact unprecedented time. I’ve also been spending time with Echo Black via Zoom as we work on some new music.

Q. What first got you into music and who inspired you to start writing and performing?


I originally wanted to be an actor, musical theatre to be specific. I went to NYU Tish and as I was training, I felt a certain desire to create my own worlds rather than exist inside someone else’s. Concerts were such a huge part of my upbringing and it just felt right to go into music. The live concert experience as an audience member is what really got me to start writing and performing my own music. I’m a musician because of my live concert experiences.



Q. You have worked with an array of people from the music industry over the years, is there anyone you would like to collaborate with that you already haven't?


I’ll always be ready to take any call from Lady Gaga, Trent Reznor, Cher, and/or Marilyn Manson! But in terms of perhaps the near future, I would love to work with The Anix, IAMX, Blaqk Audio, Kim Petras and even Tove Lo.

Q. What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?; Something you turn to in order to rejuvenate creativity.


I watch a lot of movies and I’m very inspired by its soundtracks and film scores. I also work out a lot and find a lot of my creative ideas flow when focused on my physical strength and cardio.  Q. Your style and stage outfits are to die for and very striking, they really emphasize who you are. So, if money was no object and you could pick one clothing designer to make you an outfit, who would you choose and what would you ask them to tailor?


This is HARD. There are a lot of incredible designers and creators in the world. However I would be HONORED to work with Bob Mackie. He has created so many memorable looks for so many artists. I would let him run wild, no boundaries.  Q. Many thanks for taking the time to speak with us and we look forward to seeing you playing live at another Goth-Ick/ unscene event in the future. Do you have any final thoughts you wish to share with everyone?


Please listen to The Pale Horse! And imagine it live, cause I’m going to tour the f**k out of it when this is all over!



Be sure to check out the many official Danny Blu links below, and heed Danny's closing words, please give the EP a listen, and be sure to go out and show your support once the live shows are able to start up again! We all need to party after all this for sure!


Official Website:


https://www.dannyblu.com/danny-blu


Facebook page:


https://www.facebook.com/officialdannyblu/


Instagram:


https://www.instagram.com/dannyblu/


Twitter:


https://twitter.com/dannyblumusic


Spotify:


https://open.spotify.com/artist/66dytLhPRPVm2hXXZSJR8T


YouTube:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK63dLujW2ctjR2KCFLniJg

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