Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interview: Spitzer Space Telescope

WTBU fans should all be familiar with BU's folk/rock singer-songwriter Dan MacDonald, whose original lyrics and acoustic guitar tunes stole the show at WTBU Day this year. More commonly known by his stage name, Spitzer Space Telescope, BU students might also recognize his name from the profile that BU Today ran on him last semester. Spitzer Space Telescope took a few minutes out from his tour to chat with WTBU about life on the road, booking a tour, and people/places that he's discovered along the way.

How's life on the road?

Life on the road is interesting. This was easily the worst summer to decide to do a big tour. It ended up being pretty expensive, but it was definitely a learning experience. I met a lot of interesting people and I got to see a lot of cities. I didn't even see any touristy shit either-- I got to see all the local spots and really get a taste of each place. I am very grateful to everyone who took me around with them and let me stay in their place. It was really cool to see the differences and similarities between the town I grew up in and towns that other kids grew up in. They are all pretty much the same though.

How did you go about booking this tour for yourself?

After I worked for the Office of Conference Services at BU, cleaning toilets and shit all last summer, I decided that this summer I wanted to do whatever I wanted. So I followed through. I made preparations all year and then in February I started searching online for clubs in the midwest/east coast. I also used my recources like facebook and myspace asking my fans and friends for help finding shows, finding bands, clubs, and places to stay.

That's really how it came together. Four months of staring at my computer screen. It kind of sucked, but it wasn't that hard. Anyone can set up a tour really, you just need to put the work into it. Luckily I had made enough connections over the course of two years at BU to have places to stay and friends to meet up with and enough support to make it happen.

My friend George LeBlanc once told me that people naturally want to help, and if you let people know what you are trying to accomplish, they will help you achieve it. That always stuck with me. But I can't talk about setting up this tour without mentioning the constant help from my friend Greg Garrod who booked a lot of shows for me and helped me organize the whole thing from the first day I told him I wanted to tour. He's still my right hand man to this day getting me shows.

What's been the best show so far/why?

The best show by far was Gainesville, Florida. I met Brendan Smyth at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge and he always kept in touch, so we ended up touring down to his town. He set up the show and got people there and everything, so there was already a good energy in the room. Basically I started playing my set and I started going crazy. I broke almost all of my strings on two different guitars until I couldn't play them anymore. And even then I just grabbed the tambourine and started doing a capella. So it was basically me rolling around on the floor of this coffee shop screaming into the microphone and a handful of people and slamming my tambourine on the floor and wall and ceiling until it broke. it was pretty metal.

Have you played with or met any great bands that WTBU listeners should be made aware of?

I played in Boston with Cryptacize. They were great and played so much better than me. I was super sloppy at that show, but I got a decent review. I also was scheduled to play with Glass of Water in Woodstock, but the van broke down in chicago and I didn't make it to that show. In Ann Arbor, MI I got this guy Mitch Vermeersch to play, definitely check out his myspace.

Photos from Dan's tour will be posted eventually. Until then, enjoy the mere photo above of a spitzer space telescope, courtesy of Google's image search. Download/stream songs at -LP

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