Exclusive Interview with Dan Baxley – ‘Crossed A Line’

Dan Baxley track Crossed A Line features a fresh and creative bit of production that brings about an easy to get into and enjoyable vibe, perfect for the oncoming festival days vibe or a summer’s day off. The music develops and evolves in an appealing way, the way the beat changes from the light to the heavy intermittently, the fusion of organic and electronic sounds, it all makes for a fresh soundscape.

The vocal part of the song fits well at first, though as things progress there’s a slight feeling of dissonance, as if it doesn’t quite belong in this setting. Perhaps this is because the backing music is so well executed and would be equally effective as a stand alone piece of music. The lyrics of the track are interesting, and it’s always good to hear a unique perspective and a good amount of personality and original character within a new song. The melody  definitely gives the artist something to be recognised by. It’s the sort of sound that starts to grow on you the more you listen, and it’s easy to keep listening as the music is so upbeat and joyful sounding.

The poetry of the lyrics and the precisely chosen moments of repetition have the effect of making you think, and the prospect of further lyrics from the writer is a positive one. The storyline is crucial it seems, and in fact it changes the mood of the song significantly, something the artist has seemingly considered thoughtfully before crafting the track. It would be of great interest to hear more, the vibe is great.

By Rebecca Cullen

Rebecca is a Musician and writer from Manchester, UK, with an MA in Song Writing.

Exclusive Interview


Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?

I grew up in Texas, in not the happiest of homes. So when I discovered music it became an outlet for me in order to express myself in ways I didn’t know how to. So ever since I was 12, I’ve been playing and writing. After college when life hit, I had to put music on the back burner and do the 9 to 5 gig for awhile, but I’ve learned that’s not the life I want. I’d much rather grind it out and do what I love instead of being like everyone else. My wife is who really talked me back into playing in a bigger way. I began writing and playing for kicks and she expressed that I needed to put my stuff out for others to hear and enjoy to. I’m glad I took her advice because I couldn’t be happier now.

Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?

The keys are to stay motivated, be proactive, and continue to thrive to grow. As an independent artist, if you’re performing everything from writing your own music to doing your own promo, to managing social media and so forth, it’s a nonstop gig. In order to succeed you have to keep pushing and breaking down new walls.

Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?

Of course I notice when I make mistakes while performing, however, most likely no one except yourself notices. I know I have to move forward with the song and not stop or beat myself up over it. It’s a bad combination, being a perfectionist and musician, you never want to make mistakes. But it’s sometimes in the flaws that make a song great.

Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?

I toured once back in my college days. After a show I once got so sick from drinking that the next day in the middle of a traffic jam in Austin I had to stick my head out of the window and vomit. Loads of fun I know.

Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?

I’m always looking to improve the studio, I need to obtain a subwoofer for my monitors. But currently I work with Logic Pro X, Maschine 2, Micro Korg, Gibson SG, Yamaha Acoustic, JBL monitors, a few cheap midi controllers and an iMac.

Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?

It’s an all around game. Social media, local community support, family, blogs, to simply asking people you casually encounter to check out what you got. I’ve actually had success simply asking waitresses at restaurants if they would be interested in hearing my music. Basically, whatever you have to do to get out there is what you have to do.

Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?

I love Canada, so maybe I’d like perform in Quebec City with Sylvan Esso, Grimes, and Modest Mouse. That would be incredible.

Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?

Next is to gig around Boston and promote the new EP “Identity” which is available now. However, I’ve already begun to work on a full length album, so I have a lot on my plate but having a blast.

Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

Being mundane, working in a cubicle probable in some tiny corner of the world.

Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?

A lot of live performances and an album further down.

Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?

Just to my wife Sahra who I love and my friends and family.