California rockers, Phinehas, have been through the ringer to gain solid ground and create a global impact that has sustained over 15 years. Translating messages of hope, strength and perseverance through lyrical longings that rest in listener’s heads, Phinehas’ impact is widespread. In celebration of the release of their third studio album, ‘Dark Flag, I caught up with Dan Gailey to discuss how his parents have been supportive of his journey as a musician, moving to California, moments in the studio, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of ‘Dark Flag’. Tell us about the creative process behind bringing the album to life.
Thanks! This album is unique because it was the first one that we’ve done almost entirely ourselves. I did all of the production and Sean did all of the artwork. Because of this, we were able to spend a lot more time than we would have going into a studio or something of that nature. Phinehas has always been a pretty DIY band, so it was cool to be able to have total creative control and do the things we were able to do on this record.
What was the greatest challenge that you guys overcome as a band while in the studio for ‘Dark Flag’?
I would say the most challenging part for myself was the stress of not only contributing to writing a record, but then making it sound the way we wanted it to sound on top of that. There’s always added pressure when you’re the one driving the boat so to speak. haha That being said, it was also a huge accomplishment for me personally to have had the opportunity to have mix it and I’m very happy with the way everything turned out.
Having grown up in California, you were exposed to a wide variety of culture and art. Tell us about how your roots have influenced your artistry.
I actually grew up in North Georgia, but I have lived in California for a little over a year now and I can say that I have legitimately felt like I’ve been on vacation the entire time! A lot of my favorite bands come from California, so it’s been very cool being there now and having all those influences around that meant so much to me growing up.
Let’s dig into your roots. If we were to take a trip to your hometown, where do we visit for the best music and food?
My hometown is very small, so a lot of times I would have to travel a couple hours down to Atlanta for shows and things like that, but there is a food chain around the Southeast called Zaxby’s that I’m obsessed with. If you haven’t had it, go there immediately and order a Kickin’ Chicken Sandwich and thank me later.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the artists that you have collaborated with to bring the tattoos to life.
I have always loved tattoos and can remember wanting them even at a super young age. I’ve always been a pretty artistic person and I think tattoos are such a rad way of expressing that. I designed the sleeve on my left arm which I am really proud of. Before I got it tattooed, I would always draw it on and color it in different ways to see how different things would look and what colors I liked the most. The day I went in to start the first session, I actually made a template, shaved my arm and drew it on before going into the shop and they started tattooing right away. It was a pretty sick experience and saved us a ton of time.
Any upcoming or current tour plans that you can fill us in about?!
None that I can talk about right now unfortunately, but let’s just say it’s gonna be a busy year!
Photo Credit: Nick Pegg
If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?
Oh Lord. How much time do you have?! If we got rid of New Jersey, New Mexico, Michigan, Louisiana, and Mississippi I wouldn’t be mad. There are multiple reasons and it doesn’t have anything to do with bad shows or crappy people or anything like that. I just really despise being in a lot of those places and the terrible roads, awful weather, and terrible landscapes don’t help.
Have your parents and/or family ever come out to see any of your shows? If so, tell us about their reaction to your lifestyle and the general atmosphere.
My family actually came to our show in Atlanta the other night and loved it! It wasn’t always that way though. They used to say things like, “I like the music, but I can’t understand what the hell you’re screaming.”
They have really come around to it though and understand that it can be a really positive outlet to a lot of kids that come out to these shows. My parents have always been super supportive of it though and I am super thankful that they have always encouraged me to do what I love.
If you could grab a drink with any human being either dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Probably Eddie Van Halen. That dude is my hero and probably my biggest musical inspiration. I would love to have a few with him even though I know for a fact I would just end up punishing the dude the whole time!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
I just want to thank everyone who has supported this band. I know people say it all the time and it’s a cliche’, but we really couldn’t do this without you and I mean that. To anyone who has ever come to a show, picked up a record, let us crash on their floors, gotten Phinehas tattoos, or even had the slightest interest in us at all; Thank you guys. You really mean the world to us.
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