I’ve been following ‘ Danielle ate the sandwich’ for quite some time now, She was one of the first people I subscribed to on YouTube. you can subscribe here if you like what you hear.
I am honored to interview her, and she gave some nice in depth info about her inspiration and playing live on the road which can really help out aspiring musicians out there. We had a lot to talk about, so lets get right to it shall we?
SO WHAT SANDWICH DID YOU EAT?
All sandwiches that have ever been created, made or manufactured have first been approved by and tasted by me. And ohhhhh yeahhhhh, it was good! I never considered dropping music and eating sandwiches full time though. I’m much better at singing than I am at eating sandwiches!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING YOUR OWN MUSIC?
I have notebooks dating back to the 6th grade, when I was about 11 or 12. I really started to believe in my songs enough to share them with other people when I was in college, about 4 years ago, in 2006.
HAVE YOU WRITTEN SONGS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN RELEASED?
Yeah. I have a few finished and recorded at home that nobody has heard and some really really early songs that few have heard, but I don’t have any plans on releasing those!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
Everywhere! Death, traffic, celebrities, architecture, love, loss, vending machines. I feel like it’s my job to always be looking and watching and turning what I see into a song lyric. Music kind of works as self therapy for me. I use it to tell my stories and to spend time thinking about and coping with things that have happened to me.
ARE YOU SIGNED TO A LABLE?
No, I don’t have a label. I released my newest CD on Younges tDaughter Records, which is my own label, but it has no benefits of a real record label. It does however means that I get to keep all the money I make. I’ve gotten some very casual interest from record labels though, but nothing concrete enough to brag about or even mention.
OVER 25,000 SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUTUBE IS QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT! WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?
I don’t know! I’m just trying to be myself. I’m dorky and I try to deliver good performances. I try to be consistent and release a new video every few weeks. I also try to be funny and engaging. Maybe it’s just working?
YOUR INTRO’S ARE PRETTY FUNNY. DO YOU PLAN THEM OUT, OR DO YOU JUST LET THEM HAPPEN?
They actually take a while. Sometimes I plan them out and then in the process of filming them, they change or are left behind, because they weren’t funny. Sometimes I’m able to think of something really quick and easy, but I also have a list of possible ideas to use to try and inspire me.
UKULELE OR GUITAR?
Ukulele, but some of my favorite songs have been written on guitar. So I’m not throwing it off the boat yet. But if I could only choose one, I’d take the ukelele.
YOU’RE CURRENTLY TOURING SOLO. YOU ALSO HAVE A BAND. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR SHOW?
I think the band changes the show more than me playing solo does. It’s where I started, in a way it’s where I’m most comfortable. I think the solo show is more engaging and intimate. I talk to the crowd and point at the guy inthe front row and ask him what he thinks. When I’m with the band, the sound is much fuller and at times cooler, the songs move easily. I’m happy either way, but wouldn’t ever discount my solo performances!
EVER JUST FORGOT THE WORDS TO YOUR SONGS ON STAGE AND HAD A REALLY AWKWARD TIME.. LIKE I DID?
Yes, all the time. I’m still not quite sure how to handle messing up. Everybody always says to pretend like you didn’t and keep going. Don’t say anything and no-one will notice. But, sometimes you forget the words, you play the absolute wrong chord and you just have to stop and say something.
DID YOU SET UP THE TOUR YOURSELF?
The first tours I’ve done I booked myself, but most of the dates in this tour were booked through the help of a friend of mine who is a booking agent. I don’t have anyone driving me around for the tour. My boyfriend Ivan and I go out on the road and drive ourselves around. I was really excited to play in Cambridge, Maussachusetts. I had never been to Massachusetts before and really loved being near Harvard.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER: THE INTIMACY OF A COFFEE SHOP OR THE SCALE OF A VENUE TO PLAY AT?
I like the smaller venues better than the big ones. I feel my music and my performances are better when I’m closer to those listening to me play. The big, fancy venues are cool and fun to get to play, but I usually have my best shows in small coffee shops and intimate venues.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR MERCHANDISE? DO YOUR HANDLE IT YOURSELF?
I order, make and plan out my merch. I have a designer who’s helping me with T-shirt and sticker designs. I have them printed locally in Fort Collins, CO, and some things I make by hand, like bags and clocks. I really love having lots of bright, fun and goofy merchandise. It’s fun for me to make and think of things to sell and fun to see people look through it all.
HOW DID BEING A YOUTUBE PARTNER CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
I’ve been a partner since the beginning of 2009. It’s really cool. You get some money (very little though) when you allow Google to advertise on your video. I like getting to have a channel banner. The best thing I think is that I can be in contact with people at YouTube. They helped me with the release of my new album by featuring one of my videos on the day of the album release. Taht’s incredible. I can send an email and say: ‘Hi, I’m a partner. Can you help me promote my new project?’
ANY ADVICE FOR MUSICIANS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT ON YOUTUBE?
Be yourself, deliver good performances, try to make the sound as good as you can, act like you’re playing live in front of an audience.
HAVE YOU MET OTHER BIG YOUTUBERS IN REAL LIFE?
I’ve played shows with Pomplamoose and Wade Johnston and have met Julia Nunes, Lauren O’Connell, Seeso, Lisaxy 424, Ukulelezo and I’m sure some others. I’ve never been to Comic-con or a YouTube gathering though. These meetings were just live shows we played togheter or they showed up to support the music that was being played.
WHAT HAS LICENSING YOUR MUSIC FOR TV, DONE FOR YOU?
I was hired to write a song for a daytime talk show in Denver. That was a little weird and intimidating, but I got a nice paycheck and got to hear my song played on TV every week day at 4pm for a season. I’m not sure how much exposure it gave me because the audience of the talk show probably wasn’t out to hear more indie folk music, but it definitely got my name out in the mainstream a little more!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MYSPACE?
I like how the Myspace profile page used to look. It was straight-forward. You could easily see te music player and show schedule. The bio page was there and I liked that you can post pictures to your profile, but obviously Myspace is kind of useless nowadays. I’m still not too keen on using Facebook as a means of a find-out-more-about-me tool. I use Facebook to tell people who already know who I am, what I’m about, about my shows and news. I think it’s harder to navigate to find music and videos and bio, since you have to search through the tabs to find certain info.
ONLINE OR OFFLINE?
I’m an online person most ofthe time. I do all of my socializing there. I’m a realy hombody, I stay in and stay away from people. I am however a real life person too. I go places and do things and play live shows out in the world in front of people. I think sometimes when people see you on YouTube, singing in your bedroom to your webcam, it’shard to believe that you’re also a real musician outside of your room. I am! And I think some people aren’t expecting that.