Guitarist par excellence, Mr Patlansky has been a national treasure for a long time now so naturally we’d catch up with him before his Park Acoustics gig this weekend. We talk things from playing overseas to playing with Satriani to playing empty venues.
Richard Chemaly (RC): First things first. Hi Dan! Second things second. My girlfriend loves Big Things Going Down and insisted that I ask where the inspiration came from. So where did the inspiration for it come from?
Dan Patlansky (DP): Hi! I wrote the music side of that song. My old bass player Smelly Fellows wrote the lyrics so I’m not quite sure or can’t really remember what he wrote the tune about. Glad your girlfriend likes the tune so much. It’s one of my favourites to play.
RC: Thanks for the vicarious points you just scored me. So you’ve played with a couple of amazing guitarists. I’m most awed by Joe Satriani. That’s pretty amazing! What’s that like and what was the coolest thing you’ve played with him? More importantly, when will we see you on the G3 stage?
DP: Joe was awesome to tour with. One of the nicest humans one could ever have the pleasure of meeting. He really made us feel at home when we were touring with him. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life and one I won’t forget in a hurry. Regarding the G3 thing, you never know…
RC: As such an established guitarist, other than it obviously being your home, what keeps you coming back to South Africa?
DP: I have extremely loyal fans in SA who are a great pleasure to make
music for. SA people and culture in general is awesome for me. No other country in the world compares in that regard.
RC: Artists starting out often have to play to near empty venues. You, on the other hand, sell out venues. Has it ever happened that owing to something like poor marketing or some external factor that you’ve done an empty gig and what was (or would be) your reaction?
DP: Sure. Fortunately it’s less of a common occurrence today than in the past. It’s never ideal and sometimes hard to perform at your best as music draws so much from the crowd. But when it happens it’s still great to play because I love what I do.
RC: You’ve done Park Acoustics before. It’s got its own identity and special touch to it. Do you have anything special prepared for the audience on 1 October?
DP: It will be our very last Introvertigo show in South Africa, because we launch a brand new album early next year. So in that regard it will be very special and a little sad to say goodbye to this show.