I managed to catch these guys when they were on tour with My Epic this past week. My Epic was invited to play with the Glorious Unseen at Liberty University’s Tilley Center. Unfortunately, All the Day Holiday and So Long Forgotten were not invited to play the event. Both bands managed to fit in a few acoustic songs outside after My Epic played. I got to talk to the lead singer while the Glorious Unseen was setting up to play their show.
Cory: Say your name and what you do in the band.
Daniel: My name is Daniel Simmons and I play guitar and sing in the band.
Cory: The first thing is I noticed is that you guys are playing with Anathallo November 3rd…
Daniel: We are, yeah.
Cory: You guys excited for that?
Daniel: Dude, I’m so excited. We never have gotten to play with them. And they were always someone we wanted to play with. It’s gonna be really fun because that venue is awesome. We’ve played there a few times, but it just one of my favorite venues in our city. It’s just going to be a great show man. I’m really stoked about it.
Cory: I’m almost thinking about driving down there to see it because I love Anathallo and you guys are awesome too.
Daniel: Dude, it’s going to be a blast. I’m really excited.
Cory: Yeah, but I guess moving on to your writing process, do you have any personal stories or meanings behind your songs?
Daniel: Music moves me so much and I feel the Holy Spirit so much through music. That is when I worship the most. I mean when someone speaks or from reading the Word sometimes I’ll get something that applies to my life so much and it just hits me hard and I’ll feel the Holy Spirit. But usually, music is what hits me the most, whether I’m listening to Sigur Ros, Anathallo, or even just a worship band or whatever. A lot of the lyrics that I’ve written have been talking about the experience of feeling the Holy Spirit. In the song “Atmosphere” a couple of lines are, [Starts singing] “To feel that again, questions don’t need answers.” That kind of thing, just basically talking about just how amazing it is to think you have everything in control or maybe you are completely broken or whatever. Then in time of need or whether you’re just stuck up your own butt, He just steps in with a gentle touch or puts this overwhelming peace over you. A lot of the songs are about that. Some songs are just about the happiness and excitement of this life that He’s blessed us with. A lot of the songs lately have been meshing with my love for Joanna [his fiancée, who is sitting next to him] and my love for Jesus. It sort of like a love song in a way, the words pertain to both. One of the songs goes “I love you so. Do you really know? I can never pretend, even so much more than a friend.” It’s along the lines of how much I love her and meshes with loving Jesus. It’s kinda is like how He’s talks about how the relationship between a man and a woman and how He wants His relationship with the church. There is even a song inspired by the movie Into the Wild. Have you seen that movie?
Cory: Nah, not yet.
Daniel: No? It’s pretty cool. But overall, my lyrics and our songs are pretty much all just inspired by Christ’s beauty and the beauty of creation. Just how relationships and the love between people, and how we need love and how we should be spreading it in this world. I know that is a whole lot of words, sorry.
Cory: It’s fine man.
Daniel: Overall, our lyrics are inspired by those types of things.
Cory: Sweet. You said you writing for a new album? This isn’t the 2008 demo right?
Daniel: We are getting ready to release an album. We recorded it in July. We were down in Florida for like nine days. It was a pretty grueling process because we only had nine days to be down there so we were in the studio for no less than fourteen hours a day…
Cory: Phew, no thank you.
Daniel: Yeah, it was really, really awesome but a little stressful. But we hammered out twelve songs and I’m really excited. We’ve gotten back five rough mixes. We’ve been sending them to some label people that have requested them. I can’t wait to get it back. We are expecting to release that at the earliest by the end of this year. Probably not in November but maybe December, but I doubt it. It will probably be like January or February depending on label stuff. If we do get signed you never know they might say, “Let’s release it in May.” You never know, or we might even rerecord everything, who knows.
Cory: Do you have a name for the album yet?
Daniel: We do not. I wish we did. We threw some names in but not anything…
Cory: Nothing sticking yet?
Daniel: No, nothing sticking yet. We just want to hear all the songs. We’ve thrown out some names but I doubt anything will stay. We’ll see, we’ll figure it out.
Cory: At Indie Vision Music we’re really passionate about faith and ministry oriented bands, so we want to know how you feel Christianity should relate to music.
Daniel: That’s a great question. I think there is a place for everything. There is a place for love songs, just straight up love songs to a girl. And there is a place for straight up worship music just worshipping God. And I think there is a place for just writing good music that you really want to write. We are all Christians in our band. Sometimes, bands will have just one or two members who are Christians. Some of the guys may not be Christians but they want to write good music and maybe the lyricist writes all about that kinda stuff. I think for us our goal and our vision is to write really good music. To write music that every single person can get it, hear it, and like it. And maybe they like our poppiest song the most and don’t like any of the other songs. Or maybe there’s the music snobs who like the really indie, cool ones and don’t like the others songs that are too much like U2 or whatever. As a member of the band, I just want to write really good music. I think that as Christians and as people who have been given this talent, we have this opportunity to write about what He’s doing in our lives. It is going to somehow get across to people. Something that is very important to me is just building relationships. When you are out on the road and you meet a fan that just loves you so much and they’re like “Ah, I have your CD,” and “Oh my gosh, you’re awesome. Sign my shirt.” That doesn’t happen very often, ever. But if you do have that happen or if someone just says, “That was a really awesome performance.” You get to meet them and hopefully if I’m not in a bad mood or something stupid, I’ll talk to them for awhile and have a conversation and just kinda learn about who they are. I’ll trust that God will put that person in my path so that I can talk to them. And then I also trust God will give me the words to say to them so somehow we can impact them. Whether it would just be praying for them if they are really broken at that time, or even just being really kind to them, and if they really don’t feel accepted maybe we can just share love with them and not be a real trashy talker. But just be a good example to them. Just someone they can hopefully see Christ through. I know that’s a whole lot of words, but it is a really tricky thing. We’re not ashamed of our faith. We never ever are ashamed to say that the music we write is inspired by Jesus, and we give all the glory to Him for what we do. This is a ministry and we can change lives for Him. But we really want to write good music, just good music. And that’s kinda it. And then we just want to flat out be used by God. Hopefully, He’ll do that if our hearts are right and we don’t have big heads.
Cory: Where do you see your band going in a few years?
Daniel: Dude, huge. We’re gonna get big! I’m just kidding man.
[Joanna shakes her head]
Daniel: I just want to take it a step at a time. I hope we can release this album maybe even rerecord it. We just want to write more and more music all the time. We really want to focus on tour a lot this next year. Starting in February we are going to be touring a whole lot. We’re definitely gonna be doing that over the next few years. This next coming year we’re gonna tour a ton and push the record really hard. In that whole process we want to be writing songs constantly, hopefully getting out another record within a year of the release date. See where God takes us.
Cory: How has this tour been?
Daniel: Oh my gosh, it’s been amazing. This tour has been so incredible. We’ve only done a few tours. This one has been our most extensive. It’s like seventeen shows, which isn’t that much but… We’ve done a two week tour. We’ve done like three week long tours and a bunch of weekend stuff. This tour has been unbelievable because the shows have been great. Every show has been really fun. There have been kids at each one. And we sold a good amount of merch. But that’s not the big issue. But what made this tour so unbelievable is that all the guys in the other bands are believers. We have been learning so much as a band. We’ve been growing closer in our band and also growing really close spiritually. We’ve been having Bible studies every chance we get as an entire group, and that’s like fifteen people. The other night we were close to Washington D.C. and we had communion with everybody. We talked and prayed for two hours I think. This tour set the bar high. I want to do this every single tour. I want to have Bible studies, and I want to be reading constantly when we are on the road. I want to be growing closer to my band and even just to the guys in the other bands. I want to get to them and hear their struggles and give advice in every area. So that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what I want to continue to do. But it’s been so good. Thank the Lord for that.
Cory: Do you have any funny tour stories?
Daniel: Just a little mooning action by the other bands. That’s the last thing I can think of. There is always goofy stuff. Today, we were in the van just going crazy. We were playing the acoustic guitar, me and some of the guys from So Long Forgotten. We were just making up stupid lyrics as we went. We were just being so stupid, it was probably really annoying. But it was fun. We’re always goofy though.
Cory: Moving on to a little bit different topic. What are some bands that you’ve been listening to that you think people need to check out?
Daniel: I love the new Coldplay album. That’s something I’ve been listening to a lot. Bands that I’ve been getting to a lot lately are The Changes. They are sorta like an 80’s rock feel without the synthesizers. But they are really awesome, man. A band called The Little Ones. Uh Pinback. I think everyone else would say Radiohead’s new album is great. What would everyone else say? Mark likes Vampire Weekend.
Cory: My final question is how can the Indie Vision Music community help you guys out?
Daniel: Man, you guys have helped us out some already, with the compilation (Heart Bleeds Passion Vol. 3) and making us a feature of the week. That was really awesome. That’s really cool that you do that for bands. Just keep us in your prayers. That’s always huge, that’s the biggest thing. But as a website and a community, as often as you can just say what’s going on with us. Like All the Day is getting ready to come out with a record. Anytime our name gets mentioned, it’s appreciated. I think what you guys are doing is awesome. I really appreciate it man.
Cory: Thank you. Well that’s all got thanks for talking with me.