Mangan ever humble despite meteoric rise 0
Vancouver musician Dan Mangan will headline this year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival. (FILE PHOTO)
A fixture on Vancouver's indie music scene, Dan Mangan is riding a wave of recent success that includes two Juno Award wins and an appearance as Friday's headliner at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the singer/songwriter.
24: You've long been a local 'indie darling' who's garnered a lot of attention, but in terms of your career what did the Juno wins do for you?
DM: I tried to approach the Junos with a very nonchalant attitude and didn't really expect to win. I just thought whatever; this is just going to be a lot of fun and a night of industry hoopla and ended up winning two. I see now, just on the press level that's it's a very easy go-to indicator. You could say that this band has toured with these other bands, and played at this festival, and that might be relevant to some people but if you say 'Juno-winner' that paints a very simple and clear picture for people and I think it's a more tangible and widely-understood milestone. For me, I have to appreciate the Junos, celebrate them, and then basically pretend they don't exist and keep focusing on the all the stuff that has been garnering that attention in the first place.
24: How has it been to hear yourself get airplay?
DM: It's been strange having songs on the radio. The focus for me has always been to try and make the best record possible and make every single show the best we've ever played. I can't imagine ever really changing focus. That means when you have another record, the people that work at those radio stations are anticipating another song to play on the radio . I think naturally that what we're doing is in the realm of pop music enough that it can lend itself to radio. I've never worried about a hit or a single and I don't anticipate that I will.
24: About six years ago, you were a waiter at The Keg and were writing music and playing gigs on the side. Back then where did you foresee that taking you?
DM: I had a very optimistic, and kind of naively-so outlook and still do. Even when all the odds are against you just starting out, small victories feel great. If I got a gig with someone here in town who I thought was cool, I'd be so excited or if I was going to go on tour to Lethbridge that felt amazing. It's really about dreaming big, but then being very realistic about how cool small things can feel and they kind of add up when you're not paying attention. All of a sudden you realize that you're playing Glastonbury or the Fillmore in San Francisco. I mean who would have thought that any of this was possible, but all along the way you kind of knew that it was but it seemed larger than life. Then when you actually accomplish it, you realize that its not larger than life it's just that you have to take small steps toward it.