Danny Baxley has released his latest EP “Love Sex Alcohol” on July 24. Today, Danny spoke with ETV about how music served as a means for escape, the themes of the EP, and advice for other musicians going through tough emotional times. Check out the title track here:
Growing up in Dallas, Danny always had an interest in music. At age 12, he picked up a guitar for the first time and three years later, found himself writing original songs. He was raised in a broken home filled with violence and abuse, and music served as a therapeutic release to get away from it all.
“I believe when I was young I sought after anything as a means for escape, unconsciously of course,” Danny said. “I couldn’t see it at the time because I was right in the middle of it, but my level of stress was slowly killing me internally. I felt lost, confused, scared, and always on edge without knowing of anyway to release the pent-up emotions and energy I had over the years under my family’s roof. Those feelings were what I first wrote about. Expressing my confusion and feeling distant from the outside world were major themes in my first endeavors with writing. Then, of course, the sappy love songs followed in high school from the various girls who I thought were ‘the one’ began to fill my early catalog.”
After college, Danny found himself turning away from music to do jobs that were unfulfilling, which eventually led to emotional and mental breakdown. Hitting rock bottom, Danny attempted suicide and was taken to a hospital.
“After my breakdown and suicide attempt, I landed in a hospital for quite some time,” Danny said. “The transition back to music was as organic as could be. It was as if I rediscovered my best friend whom I hadn’t seen it years and we hit it off like the old times and became inseparable again. Comically, when I began playing again after years of it being absent, I couldn’t remember even my own songs, let alone any covers with the exception of Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So.’ So, I didn’t really have a choice but to fiddle around and put together new songs. I even wrote something while there, and performed it for all the other patients and staff at the hospital, my first time performing in years.”
After this experience, music returned to Danny and became a major part of his life again. He started writing songs with lyrics straight from the heart coming out. He was once again was on the path to living the life of a musician. When he got back into recording, he created and released his EP titled “Identity.”
“Love Sex Alcohol” is the follow up to “Identity” and it’s about self-expression. The EP was originally planned to be a full LP divided into the three portions of the EP title.
“Those themes are still present in the EP just not as prominent as they were,” Danny said. “‘Love Sex Alcohol’ can also be seen as ‘Good Mediocre Bad.’ I really wanted to express my feelings towards the greats in life, the tolerable, and the bad times, which have been constant themes in my life and I’m confident in most others as well.”
The EP was put together in Danny’s studio in his home. His arsenal of equipment included an iMac, two JBL monitors, Native Instruments Maschine, Maschine Jam, Komplete Kontrol Midi Keyboard, a Gibson Les Paul and an Orange MicroTerror amp all put together with Logic Pro X.
“Nearly every day I’m either working on something new, or attempting to complete a project I had already started on,” Danny said. “So, writing the music and lyrics didn’t pose any trouble for me. I read about Stephen King once that he spent X amount a time everyday writing, I’ve used the same strategy so new material is always being created in the Baxley household. When I’m not writing, I’m typically practicing.”
The resulting EP a collection of guitars and poetic lyrics with a darker side that explores different genres in new, creative ways. The EP features electronic glitch sounds and distorted vocals, and mixes heavy rock and dance together. Danny worked with the instruments he had and utilize them to create the songs he saw in his head.
“I didn’t want to fit into a singular box, nor did I want to follow the same model that’s been going on for years,” Danny said. “The EP is a work of trial and error. A journey in creating something new and that no one ever thought of doing before.”
Danny said he originally started as a singer-songwriter but couldn’t help wanting to do more with his sound. He wanted to keep pushing himself to make a new sound with endless possibilities without boundaries. This has led to “Love Sex Alcohol,” the culmination of creating his own sound that goes against common conventions to how most songwriters go about writing songs. The outcome will be appreciated by those looking for something that is experimental, unexpected, and coming from a place of healing.
As far as future the near future, Danny’s plans revolve around playing more shows and getting his name known.
“Playing live right and developing a presence onstage is my current goal,” Danny said. “I have a show booked at The Well in Brooklyn NY on the 30th of August that I’m excited for. I plan to release more music, build a bigger fanbase, and to ideally not piss off my wife for devoting so much time to the work involved in being a musician these days. I love her to death though, and she is very supportive.”
Danny has gone through a lot but his journey has led to him a position where he can use his experience to help others. He has this to say to others going through emotional times:
“You’ll hear ‘no’ a million times, get to use to it. Keep fighting through until you get the ‘yes’ you’re searching for.”