Dayglow-In’ The Dark: An Exclusive Interview with Dayglow

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 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. There’s no really other bedroom pop albums from that era that I’ve heard people like as a whole, which is really encouraging that I kind of came out of that trend. 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 Second Nature 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?

“LCD Soundsystem would be a great collab. That would make me feel like a cool person. So much of the integrity of what Dayglow is, is the fact that I just do it alone. It would have to be really special to be a collab in the future. I thankfully have so many friends now that are musicians and kind of like the same circle as me. One of my best friends is Boy Pablo, 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, 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. 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 the worst selling item we have right now. So, I think we’re gonna end that, and find a new shirt.”

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 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. I think it’s kind of comforting to know that we’re doing the same thing for a lot of different people.

All that to say, maybe I’ll change it, but now there’s so many moving parts or it’s really hard to add songs. 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 we’re playing 19 songs tonight, which is like a pretty long set and really tiring. I try to make it really quick and flow fast. With that being said, I still had to cut some songs. This is a little hard to do. I think the set list has gotten out, and like future shows people are messaging me like “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 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. 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 In2une Music, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to see what the future holds for this band.

Concert Review: Tai Verdes at the House of Blues

Photo Credits: Katerina Portela

What better way to spend 4/20 than with the positive energy of Tai Verdes? His San Diego show took place at the House of Blues on April 20th, 2022 for his first-ever “HDTV” tour following the release of the debut album “TV.” To say that it was a lively crowd would be an understatement. Something about his music inspires bright colors, which was clearly present in the style among his mostly young fans. The opener was an 18-year-old from Toronto who went by “renforshort,” cooing her music in an airy voice that echoed the likes of Phoebe Bridgers. She was chatty and kept the crowd alive with quips between songs. A memorable one was before her song titled “Moshpit,” which she described as “being about a bad relationship and not at all about a real moshpit because I have crippling social anxiety and wouldn’t last a second in one.” The smooth, indie-pop sound of renforshort coupled with her relatable sense of humor perfectly set the stage for the main act everyone was waiting for, Tai Verdes. 

Before the show, I did some research on Verdes and found his unique story of starting out as an unknown phone salesman dreaming of a career in music, releasing a song on Tiktok that went viral, and getting a jumpstart on his career from competing in (and winning) an MTV dating show. Through all of this, the main thing I learned about Verdes is that he never stops trying, a mantra he said himself at one point between songs— “One thing I’ma tell you guys,” he shouted. “Is never f**king give up!” This relentless spirit was apparent tonight in his performance. 

Tai Verdes stepped on stage a little after 8:00 with a dramatic pause and immediately launched into “Happy Til it Hurts,” a track from his album “TV.” The lyrics described his experience starting at a low point and working his way up with big aspirations. This seemed a fitting start to his show both lyrically and musically as it was passionate and groovy. Verdes made sure to give every song a fun edge and as you might find listening to his discography, most of his music is perfect to sing along to. His recent album TV captures the catchiness and summery feel of poolside pop. He constantly encouraged the crowd to sing along and had an expressive way of delivering every lyric. Verdes also incorporated his talented band, giving them the spotlight to shine and bring the energy to his instrumentals. The bassist I remember especially for bouncing around behind Verdes and absolutely killing the backup vocals. You may have heard Verdes’ viral first single, “Stuck in the Middle,” which starts off with a bouncy riff and the catchy lyrics: “She said, you’re a player aren’t you, and I bet you got hoes.” The bass took on an important role then, leading the way for the song while the crowd screamed along. 

Tai Verdes performing at the House of Blues San Diego
Photo Credits: Katerina Portela

Part of the reason that this show was so enjoyable was because of how fun his music is: every song had the crowd dancing while Verdes himself smiled the entire time. The colors flashed between electric blue, scarlet red, and shades of yellow and orange: vibrancy shone through the entire show. For his two most well-known songs, Tai Verdes went to the crowd and asked an audience member a question, the answer to which would segway into the music. For example, in “Stuck in the Middle,” he actually leaped down and weaved his way to the center of the crowd to ask a young fan, “Hey, do you know what she said to me?” The fan, bursting with excitement, replied “You’re a player aren’t you!” and the song started with a bang. His fresh take on participating with the audience kept everyone engaged and when he stepped off the stage, it didn’t take long before everyone was screaming for more. He returned for a final encore for a song that he had already played, but somehow managed to make it even more energetic, namely because the song was called “Drugs,” and because of the occasion, it makes sense why the audience got so into it. 

Verdes left in a cloud of smoke, shining in sweat from the absolute effort he puts into every song and of course giving one last signature smile. When the show was truly over, I was surprised to find myself out of breath from all the singing and dancing that his music brought out of me. Tai Verdes brought the excitement to San Diego with his colorful and infectious joy during this explosive debut tour, an energy that I’m excited to see more of as his career continues.

Written by: Katerina Portela

Concert Review: Vacations at the House of Blues

Vacations and opener, Harmless, shared a blissful and lively night with the crowd at the House of Blues on Mar. 4, 2022.

Last Friday (3/4), I had the opportunity to go see Vacations at the Voodoo Room in the House of Blues. After waiting almost two years to tour, Vacations kicked off their first U.S. tour in Los Angeles and then made their way down to San Diego for their third show. This Australia-based indie-pop/rock band was a staple in my early high school years, specifically during 2018-2019, so I was excited to see them live and experience some nostalgia. 

The venue completely took me by surprise; the inside was highly decorated with detailed beaded walls and paintings from local artists, which gave off a fancy but rustic feel. Doors opened at 7:00 and even though my friend and I got there around 6, we were just a row behind the barricade. Side note: I’m from the Bay Area, and one thing that always catches me by surprise down here in San Diego is how late everyone arrives at concerts! In San Francisco, people are lining up at 4:00 for an 8:00 show. 

Harmless photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Opening for Vacations was indie-pop artist Harmless who was not only talented but super entertaining. He was cracking jokes, referencing popular memes, and even whipped out some choreographed dances with his guitarist in the middle of songs. Because of his interaction with the crowd throughout the entire show, you felt like you knew him personally by the end of the set! I had never previously heard of his band, but I knew the last song that he played, “Swing Lynn,” which went viral on the internet a couple of months ago. 

Vacations photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Vacations came on promptly at 9:00 and opened with their song “Moving Out” from their sophomore album Changes. Their romantic and melancholy lyrics mixed with whimsical instrumentals had the whole room dancing and swaying. The room swirled with soft pinks and blues, perfectly corresponding to the playful and lighthearted aura that their music gives off. Later, they played some songs from their 2016 album Vibes and their 2020 album Forever in Bloom, such as “Home” and “Lavender”. Though there were a lot of technical difficulties, the band made the most out of their spare time by talking with fans in the crowd and expressing their excitement to be touring again, and in a new country nonetheless. They even passed some time by playing the “Cowboy Bebop” theme song and the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” closing song, which totally caught my friend and me off-guard because we love those shows. After getting a new guitar, they continued and played my favorite song “Telephones” with dimmed lights, further amplifying the intimacy that the song already projected. 

Vacations photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Reading the excitement of the room, the band decided to skip the encore pause and just go straight into their last songs. They ended the night with their hit song “Relax” and then took a big audience photo for the art project that they were working on while on tour. Overall, the energy throughout the entire night was amazing, and seeing Vacations live was a great way to revisit some positive memories from my younger teen years.

Written by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Concert Review: Ritt Momney’s Sunny Boy Tour at the HOB Voodoo Room (3/11)

Last Saturday (3/11), I was lucky enough to catch Ritt Momney’s Sunny Boy Tour, supported by artists Hannah Jadagu and Shane T, live at the House of Blues Voodoo Room. The walls of the venue are adorned with unique folk-style art, the Voodoo Room (located in downtown San Diego) is one of my favorite spots. And with a capacity of only about 150 people, the coziness of the venue made for an intimate, yet still electrifying set. 

The show opened with alternative/indie artist Shane T’s set — hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Toriscelli has a bit of a blues influence in his sound. With his profound vocals, Toriscelli caught my attention right away. For the rest of his set, my attention was fixated — his song “Simple Man” was definitely a favorite of mine, with its candid lyrics and dreamy guitar. It’s also important to mention that T belted his heart out during each song, which made his performance feel that much more impactful. Toriscelli was truly a crowd favorite, as for the rest of the show some fans continued to shout his name as he supported Mitt Romney on guitar. 

Next up was the angelic Hannah Jadagu, originally from Mesquite, Texas. Upon walking on stage, she immediately lit up the room with her warm presence. But her somewhat reserved demeanor on stage fell away at the first strum of her guitar. Jadagu’s wide-ranging set of bedroom pop originals and lively mashup cover of Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” had the crowd in a wave of emotions, singing and dancing, completely captivated by the band’s performance — which, I have to say, Jadagu and her bandmates seemed to blend beautifully together, crafting zestful, alluring energy which seemed to radiate into the crowd. 

Ritt Momney photographed at the House of Blues Voodoo Room on March 11, 2022.
Photo Credit: Olivia Flores

And at last, headliner Ritt Momney — fronted by SLC’s own cat-beanie-adorned Jack Runner — entered the stage. Switching from instrument to instrument, Runner’s dynamic set had me engaged and wanting more. Performing an array of originals from the newly-released album “Sunny Boy” and some older songs from “Her and All My Friends” (2019), Ritt Momney had a diverse crowd (which included everyone from young teenagers, to millennials, to even some middle-aged adults) singing, dancing, and even crying along to the music. Because of his down-to-earth presence, Runner truly shocked me with how much energy and gusto he put into performing each song. Not even a minor nosebleed incident on stage could stop Runner — with rolled up bits of bloodied tissues in his nostrils, Runner pushed on and gave a performance impossible to forget. 

Singing at the top of his lungs in the rawest and most honest fashion, moving around the stage, and interacting with the audience, Runner’s passion shined through — nothing about that set was half-assed. I’ve been to shows before that feel dry and disconnected, sensing that the band cares little about the quality of their performance, and it feels terrible. But with Ritt Momney, that wasn’t true — I can honestly say that Jack Runner left his heart on that stage. 

After the show, I had the chance to meet Runner and give my thanks for a great show — he was incredibly kind and humble, greeting everyone who came up to him with a smile and never saying no to a picture or an autograph. So, make sure to catch Ritt Momney (as well as Jadagu and Toriscelli) the next time they’re in your area — or you just might miss some magic.

Written by: Olivia Flores