I am sitting here today with a long time friend of mine and musician Daniel Inskeep. I first met Daniel working for Circuit City in home theatre sales. He and I worked together for quite a few months and I learned a lot about him as a person and as a musician. He has since traveled to Florida to obtain a degree from Full Sail in music production and is now living on the West coast producing music, singing and songwriting, and just living the dream as a musician. It is my pleasure to be sitting here with Daniel.
The pleasure is all mine, Ricky.
What was the main selling point in getting your education through Full Sail?
I liked how at Full Sail there are minimum general education classes so you get to skip through all the bull shit and learn what you really want to learn. Plus they have a lot of great gear and similar equipment you see at real recording studios so after you graduate you are pretty well-versed as far as gear goes.
You must like warm weather. You moved from south Florida to California. Who are you living with out there?
Yeah, I must say it’s pretty nice to have sunny and pleasant weather most of the year. I moved out to L.A. with my roommate from Full Sail, Justin. He works at a different recording studio in Hollywood.
I heard that you might have a new EP coming out. Are these rumors true and when am I going to get getting my copy?
Well, I have this solo project called ‘This is a Getaway’, which I just do for fun. I have about 5 new songs including a cover of “Anyone Else But You”. That is the song that was a big hit from Juno. I got my friend Lauren Zettler to record vocals with me on that. I have no plans for a real release, so I’ll probably put them all up on my MySpace for free download.
Tell me a little bit about your degree and the process of getting an education from such an esteemed college.
Well I have an Associates in Recording Arts, which is basically music engineering and production. The program at Full Sail is only 12 months, and everything is broken down into one month classes. You pretty much start from the basics of music software and hardware and gradually work your way up to more advanced techniques and tools. The schedule can be tough because it changes every month and you could have a 4 hour lab at 5am and then class at 9am. The key thing is to show up to class and labs, study, and have fun!
Did you look at any other schools?
Yeah, I actually went to Boston and checked out Berklee College of Music and I also looked into Columbia in Chicago. I think those would have provided more of a typical college experience, but I think Full Sail was a pretty good fit for me.
I take it you are a certified Pro Tools user by now?
Yeah, I passed all the tests to become a certified operator right before I graduated.
Tell me a little bit about Sweatshirt Weather.
Sweatshirt Weather is a project I started with my good friend Chris Stewart. It started out as just something fun to do and it was cool because we could do it while I was in Florida and he was back in Indy, since we write and record it all on the computer except vocals. We also recently added our friend Aaron Zettler on drums as well. We’re all just really excited about it and want to see where it’ll take us.
Describe your genre (as Sweatshirt Weather) in one word.
Is it hard playing acoustic guitar one minute and electronic beats the next?
Not really. It’s actually pretty cool because sometimes I’m in the mood to write something more poppy and fun and that’s when I’ll write a Sweatshirt Weather tune. Then other times I’m in the mood to write more of a mellow acoustic song and that’s when I’ll write something for This is a Getaway.
Who is your biggest influence?
For my acoustic stuff I’d say I’m pretty influenced by fellow Indy natives Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s. For Sweatshirt Weather it’d be hard to pinpoint one influence because we listen to so much music and the music we create is something of a blend of everything we listen to.
If you could meet one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
I would like to meet Elliott Smith. I would love to pick the mind of such an inspirational and talented songwriter. I’d also like to find out if he really committed suicide or if he was murdered.
What did you have for dinner last night?
Thanks for asking. I had a chicken wrap from Cali Chicken Café.
Your new project seems like something that I would see on Warped Tour. Have you considered using that as a way to market yourself?
Yeah, we’ve definitely considered that as an option. It’ll be interesting to see what progresses in the next few months, as something of that nature may be on the horizon for us.
Mac or PC?
I actually use both on a daily basis. Macs typically run much smoother and I have a lot less problems with them in general. So Macs.
What is it like living in the city that everyone associates with the music world?
It’s good and bad. It’s good because there are a lot of resources and opportunities out here for musicians, but bad because it’s so competitive, and it’s harder to distinguish yourself.
Are you staying single out there in California?
Yeah I am. I usually work nights at the studio and I don’t really get out that much and can’t get into most bars and clubs yet. I will be 21 in 6 more months.
I bet you miss the weather here in Indiana.
(Laughs) Well the changing of seasons and the colorful leaves is pretty awesome. I actually miss Indy more than I thought I would.
What are your plans for an album with Sweatshirt Weather?
We’re actually in the process of recording a few songs with an established engineer/producer which is really excited for us. Depending on how that goes, we may release an EP or full-length in the future. It would be nice to record altogether as a band with live drums and such, so it would be great to have the backing of a label.
Where did you come up with a name for that?
Chris actually thought up that name. It’s the perfect weather to be outside in and we thought it would make a great band name as well. Not many people hate sweatshirt weather… so I guess we’re hoping the same goes for our music.
Who did all your graphic design work?
My friend Jill originally did the main design for a school project and I thought it would be great to use for our band, so I tailored it to our MySpace. I can get around in Photoshop decently, so I do what I can and rely on friends for the rest. Aaron is a tal
ented artist, and our friend Courtney is also helping us out with photos and designs, which we will unleash soon.
If you could play only one cover song for the rest of your career, what one would it be?
SoCo Amaretto Lime by Brand New. Its a great sing-along and brings back great memories.
You are given the chance to tour with any band in the world. Who do you choose?
That is a tough one. I think it’d be awesome to tour with the band Sigur Ros. While our genres probably wouldn’t fit together nicely, they’re one of my favorites and it would be great to see them play every night. Their music is so inspirational and beautiful.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Thanks a lot for reading this interview and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check us out at www.myspace.com/sweatshirtweather. Thanks to Ricky for the opportunity to talk to you guys.