I took you up on all of it: RFF 2011 Interviews, Pt. 9
Dan Mangan is a very lovely man.
He came over to our tent between playing a workshop at one of the free tents in Victoria Park during our broadcast on the Saturday of the Folk Festival. We were in the midst of an interview and he wandered off, coming back later on and apologizing for being late. What a sweetheart he is!
Mangan comes across as a genuine, relaxed Vancouverite, which I expect is exactly what he is at his core. He leaned casually against our table while spending a good 10 to 12 minutes chatting with our Rhonda Nye, who really could not have been more excited to talk to Mangan (he was one of the acts she was most thrilled to see this year). He has a very unassuming manner in conversation, making easy eye contact and laughing without reluctance.
It matches the tone of his work to date as well. His breakthrough album Nice, Nice, Very Nice is a collection of acoustic songs that have a unique energy, sometimes rocketing along at a high pace and sometimes moving as slowly as Slow Down, Molasses. His singing voice is acres away from his speaking voice, low and gravelly without sacrificing melody. His songs retain a sense of humour as well; you can hear him grinning as he sings a fanciful tune like “Robots” and the songs are that much better for it.
But all that seems to be set to change on his new record, Oh Fortune, which is released this week. The three tracks that have been released early are all rock and roll, make no mistake about it; electric guitars, heavy drums, aggressive tempos, group vocals, and amps-to-11 solos run throughout these three cuts. It’s not a wholesale change of direction but it stands out in a big way. It should be interesting to see if that scope follows through the entire running time.
You can hear Mangan discuss Oh Fortune, his touring schedule, and a road regret or two in the interview below.