On the Underbelly Hours podcast with Adela Skowronski, Dan Dick is in the habit of digging. He questions meanings, looks for connections and is never afraid to speak his mind.
That uninhibited quest for truth carries through in his songwriting. Dan, who during last year’s pandemic started releasing music as Dan Asio, tapped into songs he wrote that didn’t quite fit the vibe of his previous band Tonic Freight Train. Friday, he drops the new EP “Still Jaded,” a six-song collection of original songs exploring his views on honesty, growth, optimism and spirituality.
“I’m too stubborn or gung ho or whatever to just sit and relax for too long. And I had all these songs that I was messing around with on my own that would never really fit the band,” the Wheaton musician said. “So I was like, well, I might as well just do it by myself for a bit.”
Dan’s new release is a continuation of sorts of last fall’s “Jaded” EP in that it includes upgraded and re-recorded versions of those three songs, with the addition of three new ones.
“I do love long-form jams. I love going off the rails like that, but I also really appreciate song structure,” he said. “The biggest challenge for me was making bridges that worked. I appreciate the pop song format, too … so it’s a mix of jamming sounds I love but trying to rein it in for the message.”
“The pattern I’ve caught myself in is I don’t think too much when I’m in the writing process. I just let it come out free flow and kind of analyze it afterwards. In doing that, I found that usually the song starts off with this kind of sense of defeat or loss or jaded feelings. But usually by the last chorus there’s some kind of silver lining that gets introduced or a change of perspective for the character in the song. It’s like, oh, man, we can’t just sulk in this too much. We’ve got to either find that optimism or find the solution and kind of work towards that. So I guess the overall theme is recognizing that feeling of loss or just overall numbness, embracing it and not letting yourself sink into it, but rather, through that recognition, growing, finding solutions, making yourself better.”
On Friday’s release day, The Dan Asio Band will put those songs on stage for the first time as part of Homegrown Arts and Music Festival creator Aaron Williams’ debut of his new Local Nation Presents showcase at BaseCamp Pub in Lisle.
The excellent lineup brings together five bands — many of whom are Homegrown alums — lead off by an acoustic set by Williams. Catch the sounds of Curious Grace & Black Rabbit, Hanging Cities, The Dan Asio Band, Jacks and Atoms and The Vultures.
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Local Nation Presents
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26
Where: BaseCamp Pub, 5750 Lakeside Drive, Lisle
Tickets: $8 at homegrownartsandmusicfestival.com