Darren is promoting his EP.
I found his interview with Larry Flick on "1 on 1" on Sirius XM to be really very interesting. So many great insights. Track: Darren Criss on 1 on 1 with Larry Flick (12-6-2017)
Darren Criss on 1 on 1 with Larry Flick (12-6-2017)
Luckily, we have a fan take notes (thank you so much!) of the interview, and thank you Gleekto for posting her notes!
As we don’t quite know who’s going to be able to get this interview on tumblr, @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove was able to listen at work and summarize the tidbits for us - thank you!!!
Here is her summary:
This is obviously just the bits I could write down while listening at work It was a good interview. Heard a clip of The Day The Dance is Over. It sounds beautiful with back up singers. Larry Flick says it’s the one he likes the most on the EP.
Talked about the Columbia records deal. Said he enjoyed working with them but did not feel comfortable with the direction. Said they parted ways very amicably. Went back to recording with guitar and piano with friends at home. He is super happy to be an indie artist at this time.
Larry said the EP sounds like it has some influences of Elton John, Ben Folds and has a 70’s feel and Darren seems happy he said that. He said he really missed playing and hiring musicians etc…
Talked about how writing for his own voice works really well for him vs. other people writing songs for him. Darren talks about hearing his voice on his dad’s tape recorder and how weird that is as a kid hearing your voice. (he also mentioned he and Chuck would record themselves and then fast forward so they sounds like the chipmunks).
Darren said he never really thought of himself as a singer. He always thought of himself as an actor and musician. Mentioned that Hedwig worked for him because it was rock music. Said he could never do anything like Oklahoma. Larry mentioned how good Darren was in Hedwig.
He talked about the song Going Nowhere – Larry played the intro and it totally has a great early 70’s vibe almost Carly Simon/Carole King vibe to it. (that is my opinion not Darren’s or Larry’s) Darren said it is a nod to Harry Nelson. Darren said he has not really written songs that come from deep in his core. For this song, he thought of not wanting to give up something and wallowing in feelings and sweet memories and that is sort of where Going Nowhere came from.
Talks about the concert on the 15th said he will play the EP front to back. Talked about ACS press tour happening in January. He said when that is done maybe he will take the songs on the road and write more.
I only have had time to listen to the interview once, I'll add a few more tidbits to compliment the wonderful notes of @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove .
--Darren parted amicably with Columbia Records about 2 years ago. He said they were a wonderful label, but as a singer/songwriter, he did not feel comfortable with the competitive pop music, with that direction. He said today, there are ways to get your music out without being attached to a record label. He said after he parted with Columbia Records, he decided to go back to what he always did before Glee
, which is to return to his guitar, and piano, and make music with his friends.
--In addition to the music artists noted above by @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove, Darren also noted the influence of Harry Nilsson (not sure about the spelling), and Larry noted a part of "The Day the Dance is Over" that reminded him of Sgt. Pepper by the Beatles.
--As @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove said, Darren said he missed playing instruments and hiring musicians. He missed the acoustic sound
--Larry said listening to this EP, Larry is struck with how Darren is someone who has figured out what material Darren's voice works best in. Larry said Darren has this really lovely tenor.
--Darren mentioned there is a difference between having a good voice and being a good singer. He used an example of David Byrne (I think that was his name, not sure about the spelling) who wouldn't get The Voice (or have a coach turn his chair), but who was the best singer because he knew what his voice could do, and how to write songs for his voice, and thus deliver a passionate performance. [This is so interesting. I agree that writing for yourself should result in the song complimenting your voice. Just by coincidence then, Darren sounded so fantastic on the songs in Hedwig and the Angry Inch!] I love the way Larry said "you were soooo
good in Hedwig!
--It was really interesting to hear Darren talk about "Going Nowhere." Like the rest of her notes, @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove did a great job capturing what Darren said at this part of the interview. The one thing that really struck me was Darren responding to Larry's question of how people assume your songs are about you and that's really vulnerable. Darren said for that reason, he has trouble writing for himself because of that fear [that people would assume a song is autobiographical?]. This is interesting to me, because I have had a feeling that Darren does have some hesitancy about fans assuming some of his songs are about his life. As @myamazingfriendmyonetruelove stated, Darren said hehas not written songs that cut deep into the core of his being. He said what he does, is to take an experience, or a feeling, and turn that into a story, like he did for "Going Nowhere." As myamazingfriendmyonetruelove described, this song is about hanging onto certain emotions or sweet memories, and not wanting to part with them. [Note: I can understand why it is terribly hard to be so open about yourself in a song. As Larry said, it makes you feel so vulnerable, if you do write something that is about your life. I don't know if Darren's early songs were about himself or not. But "Human," and "Stutter"--to me-- feel more personal. I've always been a big sucker for songs that feel personal, even if that is not actually completely the case. Another note: "Going Nowhere" does give me that lovely bittersweet melancholy --Darren did a great job of really conveying that emotion through the lyrics, the melody, and his voice.] Larry said "Goin Nowhere" gave him a lovely feeling of open skies and open spaces, like it could be a song for film. [I agree! Perfect as a song for a scene in a film or TV scene! It would be perfect for Kevin's character right now in This is Us
!] Darren mentioned that Randy Newman is a big influence to Darren. Darren mentioned how he enjoys writing for characters in musical theater. [I had a sense that writing songs for a character, versus that is about himself, is easier for Darren. I think he did a fantastic job in AVPM. Maybe he could tell himself that a song is for a character, to make it easier for himself? Who cares if people assume it's about you?! Whatever tricks you can use in terms of framing things for yourself, right?]
--Darren mentioned he has a file on his computer that has over 100 songs!! What?! What treasures do we have waiting for Darren to release!
The bits of the songs that I heard in this interview sound sooooooo wonderful!!! I cannot wait to hear them! I am so excited! So happy for Darren!