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A Dirty Dozen with DANI WAGNER from PSYCHO VILLAGE – June 2020

According to a recent press release: “Three-piece Austrian rock band Psycho Village returns with its latest album, entitled Unstoppable, which is now available via Pavement Entertainment. Unstoppable is the follow-up to Psycho Village’s debut EP, Self-Made Fairytale – Part 1, released in 2014 in Europe and in 2017 internationally. Unstoppable is about gaining strength from any source of negativity, pushing through, and never giving up. The album was mixed and mastered by Gwenael Damman. After three top 10 singles on the Austrian Charts, and tours with bands such as PUDDLE OF MUDD, NOTHING MORE, SAVING ABEL and SICK PUPPIES, PSYCHO VILLAGE is still intensively touring and promoting its highly critically praised record Self-Made Fairytale – Part 1. With close to 10,000 units sold, and award nominations in Austria and Germany, PSYCHO VILLAGE is one of the hottest acts from Austria and should certainly not be missed if you have the chance to see them live.” We get singer Dani Wagner to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We have been basically on the road since mid-2017 nonstop. I think the longest break we have had was maybe 6-7 weeks, so we have spent most of the last 3 years touring all over Europe and the UK while finishing up the new record UNSTOPPABLE, that is finally out in the US! That of course inspired many lyrical themes. We have had our fair share of bullshit happen to us during touring, and all of that shaped Unstoppable. The main constant message the album has is that there is always a reason to push through and go forward no matter in what scenario in your life and that there is always hope. It´s about taking strength out of negative experiences and emotions and coming out stronger than before.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Watching the Guns n Roses live from Japan DVD and seeing Slash on stage. Later on, listening to Alter Bridge and Sixx AM. I started with a lot of old school rock like Deep Purple and Pink Floyd. Then I listened to a lot of Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver, Backyard Babies, and a lot of Swedish Punk rock bands. In my early teens I discovered Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry and Halestorm, that were the main inspiration to start Psycho Village.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Yes, my main guitarist influences are Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge, Zach Myers of Shinedown and DJ Ashba of Sixx AM. My favorite singers and songwriters are Brent Smith of Shinedown, Ronnie Radke of Falling in Reverse and Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Back in the day: Velvet Revolver, Alter Bridge, Backyard Babies, Halestorm, and Black Stone Cherry. In the recent years: Shinedown, Falling in Reverse, Bring Me The Horizon, Crown the Empire, and Fever333.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Brent Smith of Shinedown, Corey Taylor, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

The main and core message of the record is to gain strength from any negative emotions, feelings and using these negative experiences to overcome and turn it into something positive. The song “Unstoppable” was inspired by all the bullshit that happened to us throughout the years of touring, leading up to the album release. Our tour bus caught on fire, we had a massive car crash on the German highway, where a car crashed into our tour bus and trailer, flopped the trailer over, the roof broke open all the gear spread on the highway and was totally blocked for hours. We still made and played the show that night, although we were hours away from the venue. We were robbed in the UK, the housekeeper stole thousands of pounds of touring money out of our hotel room. We were shouted and spit at, the drummer of a band we toured with tried to beat me down over an argument (and was later fired from said band). We never let these negative experience frighten us or turn us away from achieving our dream and goal.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I like to cook and also try to do cocktails, Joe is the one who starts the drinking, but he usually brings drinks like beers and ciders. Max mixes the Jack and Coke.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I have not been starstruck in a while, usually I like to work with the artists I tour manage, or we tour with on the same level. Of course sometimes you are a bit more careful when you meet a famous band or singer for the first time. You don’t want to tip on anyone’s toes, and some singers can be a bit tricky at times. But I would not call that starstruck, in the end we are all just a bunch of guys and girls trying to have a good time making a living doing what we love, you know?

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part is definitely touring, seeing the fans react to your songs and lyrics and meeting them. I am an agent and organize concert tours, and am also involved in a recording studio in Vienna, so those are the two things I do next to music.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

The band name question is always a bit uninspired. I like interviewers to ask deep questions, about the background of songs, writing process and the message we try to get across. Or about certain lyrics. Specific tour stories are also fun. I just like an interviewer to be informed about the most recent things we did.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Well some minor things, but nothing tragic. Looking back I would change some of our merch designs or try to collect email addresses of fans that bought merch, so we can stay in touch with them and let them know when we are back in town. But except that, we are happy and proud to have done and experienced what we did so far.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to watch Shinedown write and record their Sound of Madness album. Guns n Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, and Velvet Revolver’s  Contraband would be really cool also.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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