Kevin Fitzgerald
Daniel Romano, after his Stagecoach performance. We asked him to smile. He declined. Credit: Kevin Fitzgerald

Daniel Romano gave a solid performance in the Palomino Tent to kick off the second day of Stagecoach 2015, on Saturday, April 25. He then went to the Toyota Tent and gave an additional, fine performance.

However, he may have put on the best show of all during his brief interview with the Independent in the press tent.

The musician and visual artist cited a couple of big names as influences.

“I grew up listening to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. That kind of stuff, my parents had on, and I understood what a good song was early on,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to make good songs ever since, but that idea of music, stylistically speaking, invoked the urge in me.”

He said the songs he writes come to him naturally.

“There really isn’t anything that inspires me other than the need to write,” he said. “It mostly comes out of thin air; I try not to think about it. I feel like it’s bad to over-think things like that, and where it comes from, why it’s there. If I thought about why I’m doing it, I probably wouldn’t do it.”

I asked him how Stagecoach was treating him. That’s when the show really began.

“Nothing is really interesting here,” he said. “The scenery is beautiful, and I played Coachella a couple of years ago, so I’m familiar with the area and the landscape. It’s gorgeous. Yesterday, I went up to Calico, which is a ghost town, and that was pretty cool. It was amazing to see, given it was a mining community from the turn of the last century, so that’s nice.

“But as far as music festivals go, it’s pretty much the worst place to be in.”

I pointed out that Stagecoach was exposing him to new audiences who were discovering his music for the first time.

“That would be the sole purpose of doing it, I think. I think that’s good,” he said.

Romano is from Ontario, Canada. I asked him about the variety of country music coming from Canada, especially Calgary’s notable country music scene.

“There really isn’t any country music in Canada,” he said. “There’s probably some in Calgary, but I don’t know—maybe.”

Romano truly is a talent; he takes an old country music sound and makes it his own. I asked him how he developed his sound—and the answer was perhaps the most interesting part of his performance during our chat.

“I don’t know. It’s better than this shit,” he said, referring to the other music at Stagecoach. “This is fucking terrible. It’s not even music, man. It’s jocks; it’s not art. Jocks and art don’t belong together; it’s nature. It’s the only way to look at it if you’re honest with yourself.”

He discussed his latest album, Come Cry With Me.

“It was done very quickly and sort of set aside for what became too long,” he said. “I sort of lost a connection with it, but I made another record really fast and came back around to the other one from a long separation. You have to progress quickly in this world, and because of that, sometimes the newest thing you did is always the best—and the album wasn’t the newest thing, so it was hard for me to come back around to it. I sort of shed the new light that I had developed back onto it and rejuvenated it, so I’m happy and proud of it.”

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...