Bellingham Artist Feature Series, Pt. 4: Danny’s Dead [Interview]

The evolution of music is a never ending progression. Whether it’s our personal music choice or the new genres that are emerging constantly by barrier breaking artists, one of the many beautiful qualities of music is that it never sits still. The Bellingham group Danny’s Dead grasps this fact throughout their own musical journey.

The trio Danny’s Dead consists of Garrett Barber, Andrew Owen and Ethan Donovan, all originally from Mount Vernon, WA. Their story began with only Owen, his guitar and phone recordings, but over time Danny’s Dead developed into an entity that is taking Bellingham by Storm.

“I started just recording little things and putting them out,” Owen recalled. “The third one I put out got no views, but good feedback. It prompted me to make more. It was just guitar and vocals at that point.”

These three jammed together since high school, although the first song that included efforts from all three musicians was their 2016 track Feels Right. The track currently has over 57 thousand plays on Soundcloud, which is not surprising considering it’s relaxing, with an upbeat melody and catchy lyrics.

“It was Friday we made it, and then a week went by and we put it out that Sunday,” Owen said. 

Feels Right took only a week to write, produce, record, and release. This seemingly effortless writing style can be heard though their music, nothing seems forced. Each of their songs have different styles, which stems from the the way they collaborate on each track. A song idea is explored in a jam session, which Donovan and Barber then perfect through production and mastering.

“It just kinda happens when I’m working with these guys,” Donovan explained.

Owen is the primary lyricist for the trio and he also controls the group’s Instagram. Their feed is filled with collages, each of which is inspired by the happenings in Owen’s life.

“The sound of the music reflects where I’m at [in life],” Owen explains. “With each release it just what’s going on at the time.”

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“I play every instrument in my computer,” Barber joked. 

These three musicians all cite different inspiration for their tracks. This allows them each to bring their own styles to the music, allowing for their diversity in genres. Gaining inspiration from artists ranging from The Doors, to ASAP Ferg, to Sam Gellaitry, Danny’s Dead does not limit themselves to one specific sound. The perfect example of this phenomena is their EP Perfume, which features electronic, indie, and genre blending tracks.

“In the more recent songs I feel like we [Donovan and Barber] have a huge influence because our influences are more electronic music,” Barber said. “It’s a combination of his acoustic influences with our electronic tastes.”

“Caffeine is our inspiration honestly,” Donovan added.

The trio agreed one that the music scene of Bellingham is huge source of inspiration for Danny’s Dead, as well as the progression of their music.

“There are so many talented musicians that you meet everywhere.” Barber said. “They make you get better.”

“You meet someone that is way cooler than you and it’s like damn I need to get cooler,” Owen said.

Danny’s Dead first began performing at house parties throughout Bellingham. More recently, they performed at public venues, such as The ShakedownSchweinhaus Biergarten, and at the first annual Bellingham Arts and Music Festival.

“We’ve only gotten good feedback,” Owen recalled. “We don’t search for it, but whenever we play it’s never been negative.”

Danny’s Dead is well in their way to becoming a household name in Bellingham, and we here at Dance Music Northwest predict that their growth won’t stop there. The trio is currently working on new songs to release, one of which can be expected on Soundcloud in mid-July. Check out their latest release, a remix of Migos’ Bad and Boujee below.

What is your favorite Danny’s Dead track? Do you have a favorite style? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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