Dan Kelly on reuniting with his Dream Band, expanding his musical catalogue and focusing on his solo career

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Dan Kelly on reuniting with his Dream Band, expanding his musical catalogue and focusing on his solo career

“I kind of went out and rambled for a few years without any purpose and had a bit of an existential crisis. Which I often do, it’s just a part of the process.”

Dan Kelly’s musical journey couldn’t be chronicled in this article; truthfully it would struggle to be chronicled in an extensive autobiography. Originally playing under the alias ‘Dank Alley’ to avoid riding off the bat of his esteemed uncle Paul Kelly’s success, Dan has constantly changed what musical venture he is pursuing, playing in acts alongside revered musicians such as Gareth Liddiard of The Drones, Dave Williams Of Augie March and a handful of members from Ground Components, he is constantly adding to his already incredibly impressive musical catalogue.

Over the past year Dan has found himself playing with a lot of other people. “I did the Paul Kelly record and then some shows with him up at Splendour, I did some shows with Neil Finn, I did a show with some of the members of The Go-Betweens,” he says, “so I’ve been doing a lot of playing with musicians I grew up listening to which has been incredible.”

Now returning his focus back to his solo career, Dan has been over in England working with Aaron Cupples, who has previously recorded a few of his albums. “We have started the process of doing a new record so we wrote a bunch of instrumentals and now I am back down in Melbourne trying to think about what to write about.”

Finding his way back to Melbourne, Dan is currently working through his lyrical writing process, which he tackles in a very unique way.

“I go and wander around and search for ideas. I don’t really sit in my bedroom and write lyrics, instead they are short stories in a way but I need to get the seed for the story about things I’ve done,” he explains.

“Over time I collect up all these experiences and memories, and then I turn them into songs by writing about those experiences in a non-specific way, I make it a bit more fantastical than it actually happened.

“So you couldn’t actually say that any of my lyrics are factual. For instance the lyrics to ‘Gold Coast Man’, that is not a story about me. The story is that I was on the Gold Coast when I wrote it. So when I wrote ‘Leisure Panic’ it was really an experience and experimental record and then it turned into a concept album about heading up the coast.”

With Dan Kelly’s Dream Band getting back together to smash out the Kyneton Music Festival, the excitement is buzzing from the band as well as the fans who haven’t had the chance to see the Dream Band for the better part of 2017.

“It’s pretty exciting because the band hasn’t really been together for about six months,” Dan says. “Everyone’s been travelling around and doing their thing, playing in other bands. My cousins May and Mem have a band called Saatsuma and they have released some stuff and are really cool.

“It will be really cool to get the band back together. We have really turned into a bit of a dystopian psychedelic band, the Dream Band, so it will be cool to play this festival as we have a night-time party slot as well!”

When & Where: Kyneton Music Festival, Kyneton – October 20 & 21