Producer and musician Dan Molad, aka “CHIMNEY,” has announced his debut self-titled LP which will be released June 23rd on Dine Alone Records. While we have about a month to wait for the full album, here is one of his tracks titled “Copicat” which discusses his experiences he’s had while recording and helping others do the same.
With an upbeat rhythm and a sense of desperation, the audience can truly pick up on how difficult it can be to form a well-developed record for yourself, let alone to help create one for others. The song begins with strong lyrics that capture this idea right away: “cop[i]cats don’t follow me/my head is fallin’ off. /I’m the only one who sees the spinnin’, I am not your guy.” The fusion of the upbeat rhythm and the clear desperation captures his love for what he does and yet how much work it is.
Molad expresses this very concept when he discusses the origin of the song Copicat: “[it] was inspired by me futzing with [an] old Copicat-brand tape echo that my friend let me borrow. I hooked it up and just starting playing things through it and a song started to emerge. When it came time to turn my mumbling along into lyrics, it seemed fitting to make the song about my own experiences recording and being an enabler for other people…how crazy it can sometimes make you feel to try help someone else with their vision.”
His inspiration has clearly been worth it.
What was the first album or song you heard, and who introduced it to you?
Something I remember from very early on is the soundtrack to Stand By Me. I have vivid memories of putting on the LP version and air-saxing to yakity yak in my living room. I don’t know that it was introduced to me as much as it was a movie that i loved and we owned the soundtrack.
Do you think that first moment with music has any bearing on what you create now?
Hard to say….I mean in a sense yes. I still love that song and that soundtrack.
Did you have an “a-ha” moment when you realized music was your calling?
When I was in middle school my older sister was in a popular local band in Houston called The Last Wish. Since I went to a private Jewish middle school, 7th grade was all about Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties. Pretty much everyone just got a DJ to play their parties. I got The Last Wish! For a few hours, I was a much cooler kid!! At the time I only knew 2 songs on guitar, but I wanted more than anything to take a guitar solo on what was one of my favorite songs of The Last Wish called ‘Remember’. While that didn’t happen (cold feet) and I don’t know if I would call it an “a-ha” moment, I think that was definitely a pivotal moment in me wanting to start learning the guitar more seriously.
“Copicat” is such a fun sounding, quirky track. What inspired it specifically?
Copicat was inspired by me futzing with a old Copicat brand tape echo that my friend let me borrow. I hooked it up and just starting playing things threw it and a song started to emerge. When it came time to turn my mumbling along into lyrics it seemed fitting to make the song about my own experiences recording and being an enabler for other people…how crazy it can sometimes make you feel to try help someone else with their vision. I don’t know that it was a conscious thing while it was happening, but a funny coincidence non the less.
How do you imagine people listening to this track?
Hmmmm…maybe in an ice cream shop? Maybe on a slip and slide? In a bounce house?
Any fun anecdotes from production?
Well, I sort of dived into this already. But yeah, mainly that I ran literally every instrument though this Tape Echo. As a producer, it’s always a negotiation of ideas. I think one of the most cathartic parts of making this record was that there was no one I had to convince of an idea I had other than myself. So, if I felt like recording things a certain way…singing a vocal just once or 40 times that was up to me. This song more than any other on the record is a college. The song emerged as it was being built rather than writing the song and than capturing it.
I guess that makes us wonder more about grand scale.. what is your writing process like? Does it come to you fully formed, or is the composition a big process?
When I work on other peoples records I am more often thinking about the dressing of a song. What kind of beat should be played? What should the chordal instrument be or sound like? How can we treat the vocal or what’s a cool accompanying part? I do that so often for other peoples music that I think when it comes to my own music I like to just try and find the song with as little information as possible. Chords, lyrics, melody. It’s been a really helpful tool when returning to working on other peoples music as well.
Your debut album is coming soon. What’s that feel like?
Scary, amazing, weird, cool, full of self doubt and feeling more confident simultaneously. But mostly it’s a wonderful feeling to get to share this side of me with people and to have an outlet with the folks at Dine Alone. It’s a dream come true.
Tell us something we can’t Google about you.
I went to jail for a night in NYC after being pulled over with a broken tail light and a suspended license. When I got out of jail the next day I was greeted by my girlfriend at the time with a french toast bagel from a bagel shop in Williamsburg. It’s one of my favorite memories.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for listening!
Chimney will be available June 23rd. It is available for pre-order now.