Becoming a better person through music – Interview with Dane Pollard

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New Orleans-based musician Dane Pollard is just 17 years old but has already spent five years of his life making music. Active both in bands and as a solo artist he’s treating music not only as a creative outlet or a way to challenge himself but as a means to become a better person in his every day life. Learn all about the goals and struggles of a young man striving to be a musician in the harsh realities of modern-day music world in this sincere interview.

Hello! Tell the world about yourself. How did you grow up to become the musician you are today?

Hey! I’ll just go straight into this, my name is Dane Pollard. I’m 17 years old, I’ve always had a lot of music around my family, my grandfather was the lead singer/guitar for Leroux so I grew up listening to that. I also had an uncle (aka Okhotsk) who made music in FL Studio (my dad gave him an old pirated version) so I also grew up working on music with him. I grew up listening to a wide range of genres – a lot of metal and industrial music and then a lot of folk and classic rock along with some electronic stuff. I listened a lot to Nine Inch Nails, Iron and Wine, Death Cab For Cutie, Bob Dylan, Great Lake Swimmers, David Ford, Copy, Rob Zombie etc.

Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!

Right now I’m working on two projects. I’m in a band called “Down The Road” where we’re doing lo-fi rock, very Bane’s World and Yellow Days influenced stuff. I also have a solo project called DĒP where I just do whatever comes to mind.

How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep making music?

I’ve been making music on what I would call a measurable level for about four to five years, it was a lot about getting bad stuff out of my system before that, but we all have to start somewhere. I think the biggest things that drive and inspire me are the other musicians I’m working with, hearing them succeed has made me work even harder. It’s also a lot about self-improvement to me, it’s like I quantify how good of a person I’m by how good my music is.

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How is your local music scene in your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?

I live in New Orleans so my local music scene is really huge, there’s a little cafe called The Neutral Ground (shout out to them) that local musicians can go perform at, it’s an awesome place and I spend a lot of time listening to music there. Recently I’ve been feeling like I really belong in this local scene. It’s nice.

What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?

My all time favorite record, thats hard, I’ll have to say “Year Zero” by Nine Inch Nails. I think that album really shows Trent Reznor and his absolutely mastery of the craft, and exactly how amazingly he understands the concept of layering. The song “Zero Sum” off that album blows me away every single time I listen to it. I have taken a similar route in my music thanks to this record in the terms of recording, stretching and distorting layers of different sounds.

What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?

I work in a lot of different softwares actually, at home I work primarily in Ableton Live and Logic, in the studio I record in I work with FL Studio and Pro Tools Ultimate. I use sound toys a lot within Pro Tools. As far as hardware I have a Strat that I play as well as a crappy Ibanez. I also have an Akai MPK 247 which is actually pretty awesome. I occasionally work with a LaunchPad but primarily when I’m working on a live set.

What is your songwriting process like?

It’s pretty simple. I’m constantly thinking about music and occasionally I would have a melody or a riff popping inside my head and I’m instantly “Hey, that’s not bad”. Then I just from there. Drums normally come after, then mixing and mastering etc.

Out of all the live shows you played, which one was the most memorable, and why?

I played at a festival (MARS Fest) last year that was awesome, nothing matches the energy there.

What is your biggest musical goal?

I want to be able to do this professionally. I want to create music that not just makes me feel good but makes other people feel good.

How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?

Drooble Is an awesome way to network with people who actually care, I love it.

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