By Jennifer Perez
Stopping in San Diego for his third show along the “People in Motion” tour, Dayglow (Sloan Struble) has an exclusive on-site interview with me on behalf of KCR College Radio. He discusses the People in Motion Tour the creative process, inspirations, and different aspects that go into making a Dayglow tour.
Do you have any advice for college students or aspiring young musicians?
“You know…I dropped out of college my first year, so I don’t know if I necessarily have advice for college students. Maybe college aged people? I don’t know. I mean like, geez, have fun. Learn how to, like, be giving as much as you can, I guess. I feel like when you’re in college it’s really easy, in like good ways and bad ways, to really live in your own head and in your own world. You’re like working on yourself and that’s really good. But I think the best way to work on yourself is like, do stuff for other people. And I’ve learned that in good and bad ways, you know, like in hard ways or like, I’ve been selfish sometimes or something. Um, so yeah, just learn how to be a part of a community of some sort. I don’t know. If I had to give advice other than that, I’d be like, I have no idea.”
Moving on to your tour, which you just started, you were in Mexico and were there any favorite stops that you had over there?
“Yeah, I love being in Mexico, such inviting fans, good food, good people, such fun. It’s all you can really ask for. I mean, Mexico City is like one of my favorite cities to go to. I think it’s so creative, and lively and fun. Anytime I go somewhere that’s primarily not English speaking and then they know my music, that’s just crazy to experience. So that was cool. But all of Mexico is fun, man. It’s really fun.”
Any favorite dishes in specific?
“Mexico City I think specifically has a really good Tacos al Pastor…Makes me sick every time, but I always eat it. It’s worth it.”
Last week you released “People in Motion” and what inspired this album and do you think there has been any change in sound or inspiration with this specific release?
“I think the sound will definitely change. I think with every record that I make, I try to have a new feeling and I want every album to feel like its own world. So nothing on Harmony House could have been on Fuzzybrain or vice versa. And so the same goes with People in Motion. Inspiration, this record, I got to experience a lot of live music before I put it out. Before Fuzzybrain and Harmony House, I really didn’t have much touring. A lot of that energy of live music in the context of live music fueled People in Motion. It’s kind of like an album meant to be played live and experienced together.”
Is there a song off of People in Motion that’s your favorite to perform?
“We’re playing most of it tonight and it’s all pretty fun. I think Second Nature is really fun. I’ve programmed the show for quite some time and everything kind of has different versions. Some songs transition to go in and out of each other. Second Nature is really fun. It’s our encore. We get asked to play it a lot.”
In your song, Deep End, which is my favorite off of the album. You say, “show me how to let it go like flowing water.” Being an artist of your caliber comes with negativity. How do you suggest to anybody to deal with negativity or something that they wanna get over?
“You know, it’s hard I think. It’s definitely a challenge for me, or anyone who makes positive or happy feeling music. It’s kind of met with skepticism sometimes. It’s like, are you faking it? To any degree, any artist has to be a version of themselves. When experiencing negativity, I would just say to surround yourself with good people and you’ll experience less of that. Sometimes that means surround yourself with a few people. It’s something I’ve learned and I just have a couple friends and people that I keep in contact. I’m definitely people pleaser. I’ve learned how to shorten that list and really be with the people that I trust, just for my personal life, you know, cause then if that’s all checked, then I can be nice to strangers as well.”
Fuzzybrain featured “Can I Call You Tonight” and “Hotrod,” which are two of the top streaming songs from that album. Do you wish another song or songs off that album got more attention?
“I don’t know if it’s me just responding to the way things are or me, like, already knowing this when I released it, but I knew it was gonna be those two songs. So it’s really encouraging when that [referencing the popularity of “Can I Call You Tonight” and “Hotrod” happens and that they are so popular. I didn’t think they were gonna be as popular as they are. But man, off Fuzzybrain, it’s such like a cult following album, which is cool. Most people like all the songs, which is amazing to me. Um, cuz there’s no really other bedroom pop albums from that era that I’ve heard people are like this “album,” which is really encouraging that I kind of came out of that, uh, trend with like an album. Let’s see, Listerine I think is really fine. I don’t know, I feel like I get way more love than I think I would on any song, so, I love it.”
Are there any artists that inspired “People in Motion” or are there any specific artists that inspire your music?
“I love Phoenix, they’re one of my favorite bands. I love MGMT, Tame Impala, just like indie bands. You know…People in Motion, specifically, I wanted it to feel really energetic and lively and I didn’t really go into it with any direct inspirations. Like I tried to give myself no rules, um, to see what would happen. And I leaned more into my electronic tendencies and, uh, like dance music. A lot of synth driven stuff. And one of my favorite artists that does that is LCD Soundsystem, which is one person, his name’s James Murphy. I think that inspired the record quite a bit. Like specifically Deep End or like Second Nature, um, came from that energy of like electronic music that’s repetitive, but it doesn’t feel annoying. Hopefully not.”
Having those inspirations, are there any artists or bands in particular that you want to have featured on any forthcoming albums?
“Ooh. Um, I mean, LCD Soundsystem would be a great collab. That would make me feel like a cool person. I think, man, Dayglow it’s so much of the integrity of what Dayglow is, is the fact that I just do it alone. And so it would have to be really special to be like a collab in the future. Like, I have thankfully so many friends now that are musicians and kind of like the same circle as me. One of my best friends is, Boy Pablo, you know Nico. Nico and I hang out whenever, I mean he lives in Norway, but like every time we see each other it’s like this huge reunion. Like we really hang out. It’s like we collaborate as friends, but as musicians are like, I don’t know if I could ever do a song with them. Cause it just kind of feels, I don’t know, like it would feel weird. So I don’t know collaboratively what I would do. Harry Styles. We’ll go with that.”
With that collaboration in mind, you spoke about being active in the creative marketing process. Are there any pieces of merchandise that you created that have yet to be released?
“Not that have yet to be released. We have like, all new merch tonight for this tour. Um, I personally designed one of the items, it’s like the “Proud participant of the People in Motion Tour.” It looks like an old like P.E. t-shirt. I kind of made it last minute and it’s, uh, the worst selling item we have right now. So, I think we’re gonna end that, and find like a new shirt, but, uh, I designed that one.”
From Fuzzybrain to now, have there been any dramatic changes in the process of you specifically creating music or what you use to create music?
“Yeah, I mean, I’m always trying to find new gear and fun instruments and synths and stuff to have in my studio, just to play around with. But the process is still the exact same. It’s me and my house, just working on music all day, every day, and just tweaking it over time. Same thing is Fuzzybrain, really. Other than that I just have more access to gear, but I’m still teaching myself how to use it all and everything. So it’s just what I’ve always wanted to do and, um, I’m sticking to it.”
On the topic of change, do you think the set list or any parts of the tour are gonna change over time?
“Yeah, I want every tour to feel like its own thing. I really hope that I can just emphasize and get people to come to shows and like come see the live show. Cause to me that’s like the whole point, you know? That’s why musicians exist and nowadays it’s like, there’s so many different versions of musicians. There are people who are crazy famous on Instagram and they make their money that way, you know? But then if they go on tour, they kind of struggle to sell tickets in a small venue or something. I wanna be those people where it’s like, I don’t really care about Instagram, I don’t really care about all this stuff, but if I can get people to like the live experience, then that’s cool.
What I want to do with every tour that I have is have it feel really, really well crafted, almost as if it’s like a Broadway show or something and approach it from that perspective where it’s like, this is the show, we’re gonna take this exact thing and bring it to every city. Um, cuz I think it’s kind of comforting to know that like, do the same thing, um, for a lot of different people.
All that to say like, maybe I’ll change it, but now there’s so many moving parts or it’s really hard to like, add songs or something. Who knows maybe.”
If you were to interchange songs, are there songs that you would like to swap or you have some that didn’t make it (the set), but you would like to change it?
So like, we’re playing 19 songs tonight, um, which is like a pretty long set and really tiring. I try to make it just really quick and flow fast. With that being said, I still had to cut some songs. This is a little hard to do. Two I’ve heard the most complaints about, which I mean people still seem to have a lot of fun at the shows. I think the set list has gotten out, and like future shows people going to those are like messaging me, like, you know, “please add this.” Fair Game we’re unfortunately not playing that and Crying on the Dancefloor. Those are the two that I love that I had to cut and I knew that’s gonna happen, but I was like, I’m already playing 19 songs. I have to like, you know, give myself a little break.
Would you swap any of the ones that are on the set list to end up playing those two?
Maybe. Yeah, maybe it’s just we have like this video wall behind us and stuff. We have to pre-program all these visuals and so I don’t know, we’d have to rearrange it a little bit, but, you know, it’s not, it’s not too late. We’re early on in the tour, but I don’t know.
I would like to thank Dayglow and his team for setting aside time to conduct the interview. As well as Nick Amentas, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to see what the future holds for this band.