Dan Michaels, marketing guy and creative direction person at Tattoo Records, and former member of The Choir (rest in peace), had a revealing conversation about Dove Awards, major influences and Buddy Tatoo with (whirl) recently... Read on!
What's next for The Choir?
There are no plans to tour or do another record. While I'm sure the touring is over except for the occasional festival, we can't say that there will not be another Choir record in the future. It's just making a lot of sense to concentrate on our individual endevours (Steve does producing, Derri owns a studio, I work for a record label) and our family. Please know that it feels right to us--we're not at odds with one another. Simply, we're proud of the art we've created but feel the picture has been painted.
How did it feel to finally be honored with a Dove Award for Free Flying
Exciting. Maybe even a sense of resolve. Honestly surprised. It was a wonderful "tip of the hat" from our peers to be recognized.
How did Tattoo Records come about?
A man named Mark Quattrochi from Benson Records worked in the A&R department there, but had a vision for a more youth relevant imprint label. He wore down the powers at Benson until they allowed him to start the label and asked me to do the marketing and creative direction for Tattoo. Mark found out about me through Mike Porter (VP of Publishing/Benson) as he was signing Steve and Derri to a publishing deal at that time.
We've seen stellar albums this year from Common Children, Christine
Glass, and Between Thieves...any other bands or records coming out so we
should know of?
A new album from Common Children comes out November 4, 1997. It's called Delicate Fade and was produced by Steve Hindalong. It truly is a masterpiece and one of the best records I've ever got to be associated with. Benson signed a band called Rich Young Ruler from Southern California last month. RYR is also a wonderful band that I'm proud to be working on.
What's your fondest memory playing with The Choir?
The 1991 Circle Slide tour was my favorite tour. Great line up with Billy Wilde on 2nd guitar and Mike Saurbrey on bass. Cool production and we were playing with some serious passion. Mostly, though what I got most out of the Choir was long lasting, inspiring relationships with some great people--in the industry, church and listeners.
How exactly did the band get started?
Steve met Derri through bassist Tim Chandler in 1979. It took a couple years, but they eventually started playing together and that turned into Youth Choir.
Is Circle Slide your favorite Choir album, or is there one you like more?
I think CS is the most consistent Choir record and I recognize that it is the most realized sound of the band. However, "Gripped" from Speckled Bird is probably my favorite Choir song.
What's your least favorite Choir album?
Voices in Shadows of course--I didn't play on that one!
Can we expect any solo endeavors from Dan Michaels?
Nope. I'm very fulfilled in my role as a record label guy. I see my role as a facilitator of other bands efforts. It's very satisfying to give all that I've learned by playing in a group for so many years to other artists so that they might benefit.
You chanelled the spirit of the absent Buddy Tattoo on stage at
Cornerstone after Common Children's set got cut short...where is he?
Buddy was recently kidnapped! He became missing at Cornerstone festival and a week after that I received a type written ransom letter demanding $6,000.00 to be sent to Common Children. The note came with a photo of Buddy tied up, blind folded and gagged with a box of wooden matches on his lap. Common Children claim no knowledge of this.
What's you all-time favorite band?
The Pschedelic Furs. Saw them 12 times in concert. First band to get me interested in rock. Being a sax player I grew up listening to Jazz and Fusion only. One day someone in high school played the Furs for me and I instantly got it--and never looked back.
Who influences you, musically and spiritually?
Musically--anything that is interesting, creative and real that I'm listening to at the moment. Spiritually--anyone that is interesting, creative, caring and real that I'm connected to.