Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently released your first-ever single as a singer/songwriter called “Nearsighted.” How would you describe the sound and style of the song?
Daniel Corey: "Nearsighted" is out now, and I couldn't be more happy about it! I have spent different years of my life exploring different parts of my artistic makeup, with the last decade-and-a-half dedicated to writing and publishing comics. It was time to get back to my musical roots, and my producers Alexx Calise and Dennis Morehouse have helped me do that.
You might say that "Nearsighted" is acoustic Americana, '70s FM singer/songwriter. For this particular song, I heavily reference my love for Paul Simon. I'd like to think the clean, acoustic style and lyrics have a certain depth to them, while staying fun and entertaining.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process of working with producers Alexx Calise and Dennis Morehouse of the musical group, Batfarm, to bring this music to life?
DC: I can't thank Alexx and Dennis enough for their amazing work. They have both done so much as working musicians. They both have individually put out several albums each. Alexx hit it big with her song, "Cry," on the Dance Moms TV show, and has something like 20 million fans on YouTube. Dennis has toured the world with Gilby Clarke and Marc Ford. Since they came together to form Batfarm, I will say that I am their #1 fan, and have attended more of their live concerts than anyone else on the planet.
We had been talking for the past few years about coming together to record some of my songs. I have been writing pretty consistently for the past four years or so, now, and have stored up a lot of material. With quarantine clearing up, it was time to make this dream happen.
So far, the process has been very straightforward and relatively easy. Everyone knows their job. Dennis has built a great studio and fantastic vocal booth at his place. I turned up about four different evenings for about three hours each to record the tracks. The entire music for the song is just my main fingerstyle guitar line, with a guitar solo that comes in near the end. I recorded each guitar track by playing each through about five times each. Dennis edited together the best bits, and the guitars were done inside of three hours.
Recording vocals was a joy, as Dennis and Alexx really directed me through the process, helping me find the shape of the story through the performance. When it was time for Alexx to record the backing vocals? Well, she came up with four different harmony parts for each chorus of the song, recorded four passes for each in on take each, and she was done with ALL of the backing vocals in about 40 minutes. Each take was perfect, every time. Alexx is a vocal magician.
So, the music and vocals were done very quickly, and it was so nice to see how Dennis and Alexx had the song start simple, build in intensity, and then finish big. They saw the potential in the song, and they really drew it out of me.
In short, the entire process was a dream.
BD: In addition, can you take us through your artistic process of composing the song? From where do you find your inspiration?
DC: I had seen a show where musician Graham Norwood just did some really astounding things in his fingerstyle playing, and it made me want to up my game and be more melodic when I accompany myself on guitar. The great Daniel Lanois, whom I interviewed for Fanbase Press back in 2020, is a master of tone, dynamics and expression. I was going to see him and his Heavy Sun band play at Zebulon in Atwater Village every week, and it was like getting a masterclass. I wanted to catch some of that artistry in my playing.
I'm also a big Fruit Bats fan. Alexx had sent me this amazing short film that they did, titled Getting in a Van Again, and the fantastic whimsy of that movie hit me, so that I immediately was in the mindset to write the song.
Though "Nearsighted" has a "happy" sound, it's a sad song about heartbreak and regret. Life breaks our hearts in so many ways. I think the main character of the song is a pretty self-aware guy who is trying to make sense of his predicament. The key to the song is the line at the end of the chorus, "Nearsighted, and I'm blinded at the sight of you." Poor guy.
BD: Do you have plans to expand this song into a full album?
DC: Yes! I just had a meeting with Alexx and Dennis last week, and we have plans for a late-June start on the next cut. It will be an EP, at least four songs. The next single will be "Lift Me Up." Fanbase gets the scoop!
The album will be a mostly acoustic fair, with everything conforming to that sort-of Americana sound, but with a variety of moods. "Lift Me Up" is more like my power anthem. I played it for Alexx and Dennis and told them that it's my Pride (In the Name of Love), as in that massive, roof-raising U2 anthem. Dennis replied, "I think it just sounds like the best John Denver song I've ever heard!" Which made me laugh. When you compare the way you perceive yourself against how others perceive you, you get a more complete understanding of big picture.
BD: Are there any additional projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DC: Yes! I have continued writing stories through quarantine and beyond. I wrote a novel, which my managers and I are working on getting published. I have written several screenplays, and started putting them into film festivals around the world. At present, I have won over 40 screenwriting awards from close to a dozen countries or so.
Also, I have been consistently working on my Map of the World photo series, a conceptual visual project wherein I take one picture of the upper half of my face and layer over different images of things that I love in the world, places that I've been, ephemera that I find. Map of the World is expression of love for all things big and small that I value, an idea that I have discovered during the pandemic. MOTW has a futurism to it, much inspired by that giant eye shot at the beginning of Blade Runner. I used many of these shots in the lyric video for "Nearsighted," which was created in collaboration with Lodge Productions in the UK.
The overall visual aesthetic for Americana music is usually rustic and nature-based, and that's just not me, not at all. I'm an urban guy. I love sci-fi, I love cyberpunk. I'm wrapping my visual art up with my acoustic music into a package that I'm calling "Cyber Americana."
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about “Nearsighted” and your other work?
DC: Please find me on Spotify, follow me and listen to my song! And find me on all of the digital platforms. Listen and follow! I could really use your help!
I'm on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as @TheDangerKatt. My homepage is DangerKatt.com.
And I just want to say, happy 40th birthday, Blade Runner! Without that movie, so many things in life would be different.