Daniel Pearson: A Chat With One Of England’s Premier Rock Songwriters About His Latest Single ‘Brother’ & More

Daniel Pearson is an English singer-songwriter with a long tenure in the UK music circuit, ranging from a variety of projects and material. Last month, Pearson released his latest single, “Brother.” 

The song is reminiscent of maybe a Rubber Factory-era Black Keys sound, with a driving, heavier drum beat soon to be followed with a buzzing, distorted, semi-muted electric guitar riff. He’s got a bit of a Dan Auerbach meets Ryan Adams meets Bryan Adams vocal approach, and strings it all together with precision and power.

Pearson’s first two albums, Satellites, and Mercury State, both received rave reviews from a multitude of publications like No Depression, Uncut Magazine, Drowned in Sound, and several others in the early 2010’s, and he’s long been a seasoned professional on stage.

Pearson earned his chops in rock and roll and punk bands in his early twenties, and prepared him for his solo musical venture in 2010. 

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We had the chance to ask Pearson some questions about his latest single, what’s on the horizon, and much more.    

So what’s the inspiration behind your single, “Brother”?

It’s kind of a call to arms, for unity, for us all to at least to try and find some common ground. After the last few years of division, lies, and bitterness in our politics and society, it felt like we needed to do that when I was writing the song. And now, with Coronavirus, that idea has become more important than ever.

Where was it recorded and who helped it come to life?

It was recorded with my longtime producer Ed Heaton at his studio in Leeds (UK) – he’s worked with lots of great artists and has been at the helm of my records for a long time now. We have a telepathy and ease of working now that makes creating records a joy. I played all the instruments on this one, which was a new challenge in itself – there was a lot of layering involved and a lot of discipline. 

What’s next musically?

I’ve put out a lot of songs in the last few years, so I’m letting those kind of keep spreading organically and do their thing in reaching new people before I get into the next phase. 

Musical and lyrical inspirations:

A lot of the greats – Springsteen, Dylan, Beatles – but also a lot of Americana and Country stuff like Whiskeytown and Wilco and harder stuff like Nirvana and AC/DC. If it’s got guitars and melody, I’m generally in.

How are you maintaining musical momentum during the pandemic, and what might your post-pandemic plans be?

I’m trying to keep busy and stay optimistic. I run a record label too and we’re releasing some fantastic new songs from Alex O’aiza (Dallas singer-songwriter) at the moment, so that’s taking up most of my time right now. Post-pandemic – who knows! Just getting out there and mixing with people again and doing normal everyday stuff is gonna feel incredible.

Favorite part about tour:

Different cities every day, meeting new people, winning over a new place each night.

Least favorite part about tour:

Being away from my family and lacking that stability to ground me. 

Song/artist you can’t stop listening to:

The new Sam Fender record is incredible, full of great songs. And I’ve been going through a big Coldplay phase in lockdown for some reason – must be something about the optimism and communal and uplifting feel of their music.

Favorite way to spend a Friday night:

I’ve got two young kids, so any night where I can get more than five hours of sleep is like a wild party for me. So that, and maybe a good gangster movie after a nice Thai food dinner. I’m easily pleased these days!

Last movie or TV show you watched:

I’m mid-way through the new season of Ozark and it’s great – really dark and moody, like a good novel, and brilliantly acted too.

Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen:

Springsteen for me. Dylan revolutionized songwriting and brought poetry into Rock, but Springsteen edges it for the consistency of his work over 50 years, his honesty and integrity and his incredible live shows. Bruce is like Dylan, Elvis and Seeger in one guy – he’s top of the tree for me.

Fun fact about Daniel Pearson:

I was a teacher for a few years in my 20s whilst I was playing in bands on the side – I taught English Literature so there’s a whole generation of adults out there who had no idea about my musical adventures.

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