I sat down with Dan Mangan recently at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival outdoors in Jericho Beach Park and talked with him about his music and direction, here is what he had to say.
What would you attribute your present growth to from performing on the small stage in 2009 to the main stage in the 2012 Vancouver Folk Music Festival?
I played about 500 gigs since. I attribute the growth to relentless touring and trying to make every show the best all around.
Can you describe your view of Neo-Folk Song writing?
I feel like back in the day the Woodie Guthries, Dylan’s and Shari Ulrich; there was a kind of time in the 70’s where everything was simple for folk writing. Now you can’t write a song like “All You Need is Love”. Today people don’t take that stuff seriously. We can’t get nostalgic and sing old songs. If you write a song now it doesn’t have the same weight as it did before. Now I am wandering away from singer/songwriter, now I want to force myself to do something different and write songs that are more relevant.
Tell me about Good Fortune your latest recording as Food for Thought?
The album came together slowly with a lot of people that I really respect collaboratively. We had decisions to make as we were recording such as the direction to go in. We went with our guts on every instinct. It is strange your put your time, love, energy and money into making something then you have an idea how it will be received, people could hate it. So you can make things for the purpose of doing it, that was a big lesson on this record, we had some big hits on the radio, we got on last time, so this time we thought lets not think of them and see what happens and hope it works out again.
Tell me what your Favourite Food is?
I love curries – Indian and Thai, well I love Asian food. I eat everything from Italian to Mexican to burgers. Quality of ingredients, care and preparation is most important.
What is your Favourite Restaurant in Vancouver?
La Quercia – I love it. Amazing restaurant food and service.
Describe the feeling you had last night on stage performing in front of all those people at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival?
It was pretty bewildering. This city has been so good to us, the media has been good to us, and the people have been good. I just appreciate the gratification we have received from everyone here.
What is next on your Musical Adventure?
I have written a couple of songs here. They all feel like sketches and go into so many new directions. I know it is going to be less about singer/songwriter Dan and more musician Dan.