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Dangermuffin prepares for the Purple Fiddle

By Staff | Jul 1, 2009

The Purple Fiddle continues its string of great shows with Sunday’s performance by Dangermuffin.

Voted Charleston, S.C.’s best house band, this is an Americana/roots/reggae band you won’t want to miss. Singer/songwriter Dan Lotti took some time away from staring at the beach (tough life, right?) to talk to us briefly about the new album and the band’s own origin story.

Graffiti: You have an LP and an EP under your belt now. What’s next for Dangermuffin?

Lotti: Currenty we are working on the pre-production stages on a third album. We recently started working with our new drummer, Steven Sandifer, who tours with the Drew Emmitt Band; Drew Emmitt is in Leftover Salmon.

We picked up Steven in the fall and since he joined the band we started doing more writing and more experiments. It’s a lot of groove-based stuff and a lot more eclectic. We’re itching to get this one out; we think it’s going to be a good one.

Graffiti: How did the relationship with Steven come about?

Lotti: With Steven, he was an acquaintance around town. Steven luckily was in town; he still does work with Drew but it’s on a sparse basis, so that’s been a positive thing for us.

Graffiti: After garnering several accolades in your hometown, what’s it going to take for Dangermuffin to break out beyond the region?

Lotti: Well, just constant touring. We kind of have the pieces in place.

To be honest, our goals are a little different than most bands. Most bands have these delusional goals to be the next big thing and that’s not our goal.

Our ultimate goal is to subsist, to continue to make a living off of music and keep it in the forefront and to continue to create. We feel like as long as we do that and put the emphasis on hitting the region as much as possible anything that happens beyond that, as long as we keep those things in mind, those are just byproducts of our goals.

Graffiti: Is this your first time playing West Virginia?

Lotti: Yea, it is. This will be our first time. It will actually be probably the farthest north we’ve been. We mostly stay in the south region.

We did have a tour last summer that took us out to Colorado and it was very successful.

We were a part of a festival with Bob Dylan and Widespread Panic and John Fogerty and We were able to get in there and turn a few heads and get some exposure for us.

We’ll be playing Floydfest Fandango in Virginia Saturday and then we’ll be at the Purple Fiddle on Sunday night.

Graffiti: Thematically, the EP seems a little darker than the debut LP. Is that a sign of the band quote unquote growing up, or just something different you wanted to tackle? Will we see one of those themes more than the other on the next album?

Lotti: I think that really the direction we’ll be doing is much more eclectic. We’ll see parts of what we’ve seen before, though.

Really what we’re doing now is about a year and a half ago we moved out to the beach and I’m sitting here staring at the beach. That more than anything is going to make it into the record. I don’t think it will be too dark.

We have a song called “Angry Ocean” and it’s about getting past those kinds of songs. That’s kind of the direction we’ll be going. We’re very excited about the potential.

We’re going to do a little more of the reggae and the funk and the bluegrass. It’s all really roots music. We feel like with our instrumentation we can weave in and out of those genres and have our own sound with it. We don’t even have a bass player, we just have acoustic and electric guitar and a drummer.

The way that I played, I grew up as a solo singer-songwriter and as the primary songwriter the songs are still very folk-oriented and folk-based. That’s always the way my songs are.

Graffiti: I must ask, where did the name come from? Is it an inverse of a Limp Bizkit?

Lotti: (laughs) We like to say it was an accident. It was two words kind of colliding. We like to say it has some duality. What’s dangerous about a muffin, that kind of thing.

We get the question a lot. It’s really just, in everything we do, we can not take ourselves too seriously.

There’s a lot of stories associated with it so make up your own.

Graffiti: Also, what’s the relationship between Beermuda and Margaritaville?

Lotti: Beermuda, the name itself, when we were recording that record we had a lot of long evenings tucked away in our old drummer’s external and we would drink a lot of Yuengling and no one would ever clean up. He was an avid smoker and you’d have these Yuengling bottles with all types of debris in them and if you set your beer down and weren’t paying attention you didn’t’ know where it went and what happened to it. It was lost.

But that record was written from the standpoint from a very alcohol driven place. It was definitely the first collection of material we put together. It is a little immature in terms of what we were doing but we definitely try to keep the fun and there’s nothing wrong with having a drink.

I guess if you equate that with Margaritaville and what Buffet has done with selling the dream, we’re sitting on the ocean down here and trying to get that into our next record as well.