Music Spotlight: Dan Sadin
Singer, songwriter + guitarist Dan Sadin is seeking deeper connections with his latest single Sucker, released last month. The track features Dan’s signature sultry vocals + lush guitar melodies flawlessly paired with his classic rock style + refreshing lyricism. The recently released music video for the track, directed by Joachim Zunke, is a perfect complement to the feel-good jam. We sat down with Dan to talk all about the track, the music video + what’s next. Spoiler alert: We can’t wait for Someone Else.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your latest track Sucker. Can you tell us what it's all about?
Dan Sadin: I just reached a point where I got really uncomfortable with allowing myself to the feel the way I want to feel, do the things I want to do and want the things I want to want—at a really base level. This is a perfect example: When I'm out, I prefer to have a real conversation with someone, and I feel like I was surrounded by lots of superficial situations and people who are only interested in what you can do for them. It is what it is, but I reached a breaking point. Especially in music, everyone is working really hard. You see all these people doing different things, and it's really hard to rationalize everything you're doing in comparison. Finally, I was just like, 'I don't care what anybody else thinks; I'm just a sucker for the real, deep stuff. That's just who I am, and I have to accept that at some point and approach and unpack that’. So that's what that song is all about—allowing myself to feel that.
AM: That's really beautiful. What about the music video you just released?
DS: It was directed by my good friend Joachim Zunke who is an incredible director. We had been talking about doing a video together, and I sent him Sucker. I wanted the video to be of me dancing, because I think that’s a really beautiful form of expression and letting go. It's also something that's completely outside of my comfort zone. Up until that point, I never danced, so I was intrigued by the challenge of it. He came up with this beautiful concept where we just shot all night in downtown LA. It's a beautiful video, and the concept really plays with what's real versus what's fantasy and the playfulness that Sucker touches on. I'm really excited about it.
AM: You've been playing some live shows in LA. Is there a favorite track you like to play live?
DS: I think it's a new song that's not out yet that I'm still working on finishing called Someone Else. All of my songs are representative of who I am, but if you had to put me into a single song, it would be that.
AM: What about it makes it 'you in a song'?
DS: It's just cathartic. It's about cutting ties with the things that aren't working for you and having hope that you can start fresh and be the person you want to be. I have goosebumps even talking about it right now. I wrote it at a time when I really needed to hear that, and every time I play it, it's a reminder to myself that whatever it is that I feel that I'm not, it doesn't matter. I can let that go. It doesn't exist; that's a different reality. The reality we want is the one we can choose, and that's who I want to be and where I want to be. So, the chorus, 'I want to be someone else, somewhere else', that's what it is. It's simple—that's just me. I'm always daydreaming about being somewhere else.
AM: You and I both! You played a couple of new songs at your latest show. What else do you have in the works and what direction are you going in?
DS: I'm working on new music that I'll hopefully release at the beginning of next year. Ideally, I'll be releasing singles and larger bodies of work and hitting the road around it. My strength is connecting with people, and I'm excited for this new music to connect with people in person. I won't just get handed a tour, so I've got to go build it.
AM: What does a Dan Sadin tour look like? What do you want your fans to take away from a live set?
DS: I want you to get whatever it is you need. Everyone shows up to a show for a different reason, and it can be really personal for people. I want people to walk away feeling like they had the experience they came for. I write my songs about things that I feel and that are hard to talk about. I want to be somebody people can connect with, and I want people to feel like they are not alone in feeling their feelings or feeling like they can't express themselves or that they don't have a space to work through whatever they need to in that moment. As a man, I grew up with society conditioning masculinity as closed off and you don't share your feelings or speak about anything sensitive. That's not right. We're all people, and we all have a balance of masculinity and femininity. It doesn't make you a man or a woman—it makes you a person. It has nothing to do with gender. So, I want people to understand a healthy image of what sensitive masculinity can look like, and I want them to feel that they can approach that in a healthy way and find it within themselves. And that's not limited to masculinity; it's just all about sensitivity versus strength.
I want people to understand a healthy image of what sensitive masculinity can look like.
AM: What was the last live show you saw that was really inspiring to you?
DS: Honestly, it was MUNA at the Lodge Room in Highland Park. I played in a band FRENSHIP for a few years, and we've been on a lot of festivals with them. They've always been really great, but I was absolutely blown away at this recent show. The energy in the room, and their music live hits really hard. The messages in their songs come across really strong live, which is really inspiring to me because that's what I want to do. They didn't have to say anything. They let their music speak for them, and I think that was the most impactful thing. I always feel like a deficit almost, like I have to make up for something and explain my music while I'm playing. But you don't—you can just let it be, and MUNA did that. I was really impressed with that. And the energy was just electric.
AM: We love MUNA, too. Speaking of other musicians, who are you listening to right now?
DS: I actually just found this small band called Cosmic Space Girl, and they have a song called Fall Apart. It's really cool; they have this garage-rock, retro-punk sound. Sometimes when bands do that, they make it purposely lo-fi, but this band's recordings sound amazing. The energy from the punk is there, but it feels like it lives in today's world. The track had some Beatles-esque harmonic changes mixed with Radiohead-style guitars, and it was really refreshing. Cosmic Space Girl, if you find this, I'm a fan! Honestly, a lot of my friends that I have the pleasure of working and playing with, too. Colyer, in my band, who I work with a bunch, is working on new music right now that's insanely amazing. My drummer also plays in a band called Lo Moon, and they are legitimately one of my favorite bands. And to be quite honest, I like a lot of silence. When I'm not working on my own music, I produce and write for other people, so it's nice to take breaks at some point.
AM: You mentioned you were in FRENSHIP. When did you decide to go solo?
DS: The end of last year after Lollapalooza. We're all good friends, and I have a lot of love for them. It was just one of those things where I needed to do my own thing. If it didn't happen then, I'd never do it. I needed to not have a safety net. I've been in bands my whole life, and I had never done anything on my own. I'm the kind of person who will fall back on a safety net if there is one. I don't like that about myself, but I know that about myself. I can't have anything underneath me to catch my fall. So, that's what my solo career was all about.
// listen to Sucker:
// photo courtesy of Purple Bite
// Listen to more Dan Sadin on Spotify.