Talent Spotlight: Interview with Singer/Songwriter Rory D’Lasnow
Rory D’Lasnow, a singer/songwriter from the East Coast, first picked up his father’s guitar as a child. Instinctively, he held the instrument backwards and upside-down. This, however, did not prevent him from learning how to play the instrument.
Inspired by a variety of influences that range from classic rock to contemporary artists, like Hozier and Hayley Williams, D’Lasnow worked hard on establishing his own sound. The effort seems to be paying off; he's been invited to open for a number of featured headliners, such as American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, actor/musician Drake Bell, and John Corabi of Motley Crue/Dead Daisies fame. Some of his performances, including the official video for his latest single, can be watched here.
ARTpublika Magazine had the opportunity to ask Rory D’Lasnow about his interests, guitars, and dream music collaborations. Check out the exchange below.
What inspired you to pick up your father's guitar?
My father played a prominent role in fostering my love of music and is just a huge hero of mine in general. When I was a baby, he used to play guitar to calm me down when I was crying; so, the guitar was always in my life. I was very young when I picked it up. I think the appeal of the guitar came from wanting to be just like dad, it was probably inevitable.
What kind of guitar do you use today?
Today, I predominantly use my Takamine when I play acoustic. But, I'm a huge fan of Ovations, and my dad still has the one I learned on as a child, so I play that when I can. Lately, I've been gravitating more and more toward the electric and own a Squier Telecaster, but I have been notorious for buying and selling them pretty frequently; I used to use an SG, an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Strat — all at different points.
What was the first song you learned to play in its entirety? How old were you?
That's a great question! I learned in kindergarten, so I'm not 100% sure. But, undoubtedly, it was a Beatles song. I used to have these giant books of simple chords and lyrics, and I would sift through them until I learned all of the songs. I remember being very young — in elementary school — and playing "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" for some reason, of all songs. That was definitely an early memory.
Who are your musical influences and why?
I used to say that I was "born in the wrong generation." I grew up on a lot of older stuff: The Beatles, Billy Joel, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Everly Brothers. These are the artists that have laid the foundation for my love of music. But, as I grew up — while I still absolutely loved those artists — I gravitated toward a lot of modern rock/pop, punk/emo type stuff, like Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, The Used, and Brand New. I also like a lot of indie stuff, like Regina Spektor and Death Cab for Cutie. All of these artists inspire me. There are, of course, a million lesser-known artists and/or songs that also blow my mind, but the listed ones are some of the big ones. I will say that I remember "Swing, Swing" by The All-American Rejects, "Sugar, We're Goin Down" by Fall Out Boy, and "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence blowing my mind back when I was growing up. These really got the ball rolling in terms of my songwriting. Lately, Hozier has been someone I can't stop listening to; he inspires me to be a better lyricist. And, to have better hair.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
As cliche as it may sound, it'd have to be Paul McCartney. Paul was definitely the coolest Beatle — I don't care what anybody says! — and his catalog of songs is unparalleled. I'm a huge fan of some of his solo work (Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Flaming Pie, etc) and he's just an absolute legend, which goes without saying. Hayley Williams and Dave Grohl are two others that I really admire and would love to work with.
What other hobbies do you have? What is the title of the last book you've read?
I love sports, which came along later in life. I'm an especially huge baseball (Let's Go Mets!) and college football fan (Go Blue! Michigan is my alma mater.). To be honest, I have an embarrassing amount of sports knowledge, which is something not a lot of people know about me. I read a lot of content on the internet — countless articles about sports, politics, and history — but, I can't remember the last time I picked up a book; it may have been one of The Hunger Games books. This answer isn't getting better! I'm determined to be more well-read soon!
What venue do you dream of playing?
Oh man! There are so many cool ones, like NYC’s Madison Square Garden or the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado — which seems especially amazing. But, I have to go with The Troubadour in LA. I think that I'm a pretty down to earth kind of guy, and despite all of its supposedly negative stereotypes, I just love LA. Plus, it’s a more realistic short-term goal — I hope it's realistic!
Note* “An American Lie” is available on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, and all other major streaming services. All the proceeds for the track will be donated. Talent Spotlight was provided by our partners.