Jessica: I know that you were involved in music since the age of eleven. You also started playing piano, guitar and bass. Tell us more about your music background. What inspired you to get into music? And what was the first song you ever wrote?
Daz: I come from a non-musical family but when I started junior school I joined the school choir and was singled out to sing some solos. From this I was spotted and asked to join the local church choir, which I eventually became head chorister of. While I was there the choir-master taught me classical piano, which from there inspired me to teach myself lead and bass guitar. I started my first band at senior school; playing bass and singing, we also had a female vocalist, lead guitarist, drummer, keyboard player and pianist. My first band was called “Front Page News” and we played our first gig at the local community centre and received thirty pound. I still remember the feeling of playing a gig for the first time and how much I enjoyed it and still do now. I wrote my first song while I was with this band it was called “Mr Wonderful” and was very much Beatles inspired.
Jessica: What’s your process for writing lyrics? And where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Daz: I seem to find writing melodies, choruses and musical hooks etc. very easy, although lyrics I find a bit more challenging. Recently, I have collaborated with a few lyricists; for instance, Nobel Peace Prize winner and President of Israel, Shimone Peres. Peres donated his lyrics to an organization called “Songweavers” of whom I’m a member. Members were selected and asked to provide music in their style to feature on a worldwide CD for World Peace, which I was proud to contribute. Inspiration for all my songs come from daily life. I’ve written songs celebrating the birth of my two children, Scarlett and Harrison, as well as one in particular about my Uncle Richard who loves his drink a bit too much!! 😉 Sometimes I read a particular news story which touches me and I write about that.
Jessica: Your songs have been included on various compilations on BBC and many radio stations worldwide.You’ve also toured the UK and Europe extensively with different bands and musical set-ups. Do you have a favorite venue you played at? What were some of your most memorable times touring? Are you going to do some more touring in the near future?
Daz: Yes, I’ve been lucky to have a job that I enjoy very much and has taken me all around the UK and Europe. The funny thing is one minute playing in front of 30,000 people in a stadium or festival and the next day playing in a little pub in front of thirty and the pub cat. I have many favourite venues, but I think top of my list is Colston Hall, Bristol. I live in Hull, North East England, but Bristol is my hometown and Colston Hall is still the biggest concert hall in the south-west of England; I think most famous bands have played there over the years. I always used to enjoy touring Germany amongst all the tours I have done. The Germans were always very friendly and they must’ve laughed at my efforts of trying to speak their language. We played there for months on end, and the locals were always very welcoming especially looking after us with crates of beer. I would like to tour again sometime; there may be a chance of me doing a two week tour of South Africa with a recording star in the near future – whether that will come off, we’ll have to see, fingers crossed.
Jessica: Who are some musicians you admire and look up to?
Daz: My influences are The Beatles, Queen, Bon Jovi and Stray Cats as well as many more. I love The Beatles songwriting, John, Paul and George’s. Queen’s great play with chords, bass lines and melodies, as well as Freddie’s showmanship. Bon Jovi around the Crossroads album and before and Brian Setzer’s great guitar playing from The Stray Cats, I’ve seen The Stray Cats twice and they were amazing, what a sound for a three piece!!
Jessica: Every year since 2007, you’ve organized charity concerts at Colston Hall, Bristol raising over £30,000 for Bristol charities so far. Your next event there will be the 7th October. You also have another charity concert coming up the 27th May in Hull. Tell us more about these charity concerts. What inspired you to start doing them? And can you share details about the upcoming concerts?
Daz: Yes, there will be two Daz’s Rock 4 Charity concerts this year; first one is in my new home-town of Hull: Fri 27th May 2011 @ Hull City Hall, and the second one is Fri 7th October 2011 @ Colston Hall, Bristol. Both concerts are only ten pound for a ticket and I always feature many bands of different genres, mainly playing cover versions with plenty of audience participation and energy. The Hull concert features: Pepper Hearts (Beatle Tribute band), Hayley’s Comets (Rock Covers band), Chuff (Rock / Punk Covers) Jezza Screen (The World’s Only Optical Bully) and myself and will be raising money for local radio station Viking FM’s “Cash for Kids” The Bristol concert will feature: Big Night Out (Soul / Funk) Flash Harry (Cajun / Irish / Bluegrass) Chuff, Jezza Screen, Beyond Control (Young covers band) and myself. I’ve played for countless charities over my whole career, but thought it would be good to organize some concerts myself. I started after being involved with Bristol cancer charity Nicola Corry Support Foundation. They needed extra funds to continue their great work, so I suggested we hire out Colston Hall, book some bands, and have a great night raising some money for them. The first one in November 2007 was a great success; we did two more for them which raised a lot of money for NCSF and also awareness in their help for people. Last year we held a Daz’s Rock 4 Charity, as well as raising money for The Rainbow Centre for Children in Bristol, and it was also a memorial for a Bristol lad who was murdered in Bristol City Centre. The night was the best so far, we almost sold out all of the 1800 tickets and the press including ITV and BBC were covering the concert very well and the concert received rave reviews. More details are on our official website http://www.rock4charity.co.uk. I can also be contacted at email@example.com if anyone would like to help sponsor us, as it takes a lot of money to put on the shows. Myself and all the acts perform for free, but we have to pay for the hire of the hall, pa system, lighting, security and printing. I’m also in talks about holding one in front of 3000 people in Leicester.
Daz: After all these years, it seems to come naturally to perform in however big a crowd and I still enjoy the buzz of not knowing what’s going to happen. Songs which I get asked to play the most out of my set are: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Parisienne Walkways” by Gary Moore and “Sex on Fire” by The Kings of Leon. One of my favourites which I never tire of playing is “Freebird” with all the great guitar solos. Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” always gets the crowd going!!
Jessica: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Daz: I would like everyone to be able to provide for their children and families; for there to be no poor people in the world and no suffering; a cure for all diseases, so we could all grow old with our family and friends and of course peace amongst all.
Jessica: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Daz: “Imagine all the people, living life in peace” – John Lennon
Jessica: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and your music?
Daz: As well as my gigs, and concerts, I still write my own songs and still enjoy hearing comments from all around the world. It’s amazing to think that my music has been heard all around the world and I would never have imagined that when I first started playing the piano as a young lad. My website is http://www.daz.uk.com and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to see anyone at the big charity concerts if they can make it – we have had people from all over the world come along, so distance, no object 😉
Jessica: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you the best of luck with everything in the future.
Daz: Thank you Jessica. All the best to you and your readers, Daz xx 😉