Danny Santell, the bass guitarist of the band Paper Tongues has had the chance to experience the fast pace life in New York and the relaxed celebrity life in Charlotte. With his catchy bass lines this Paper Tongue member definitely catches the ear as he sits down with us.
How long have you been playing the guitar? Have you always wanted to play?
DS: I first started playing bass guitar when I was a sophomore in high school. I actually just wanted to get involved in playing music. I went from playing the guitar to trying to play drums, which didn’t go so well. Bass is just something that stuck with me. I started playing in church; and it just seems like bass players are really needed in a lot of areas. Like the church for example or other places that need bass guitarists. I stick with the bass and I love to play my instrument today.
Do you come from a musical background?
DS: Yeah. I do come from a musical background. My family has always played music. My brother in law has been in my life since the beginning. He plays drums and his brother plays the keyboards and I was always around that. And also just having a passion for music, and wanting to be involved.
Were you born and raised in Charlotte NC?
DS: No. I was born in Bronx, New York. I moved here when I was eighteen to pursue music.
What artists inspire you to do music?
DS: Wow, there are so many artists that inspire me to do music. From hip hop to rock and roll to retro. I would say maroon 5, J. Cole which I’m listening to on my computer right now, underground artists such as Pigeon John, and last but not least Pharrell Williams with the Neptunes; they literally inspired me on my production, making beats, and just developing my talent as a musician. I can definitely say that Pharrell has played a big part in my music career.
Where would you say you get most of your music style from?
DS: Musical influences, would be, again Pharrell Williams, Pigeon John, and many others.
How did you meet your band? When did it develop?
DS: When did I meet the band Paper Tongues? Actually through my sister, my sister went to school with the lead singer of the band. She was going to school in Charlotte at the time. The lead singer was looking for a musician and he remembered that I played bass. He flew to New York to see my sister and later gave me a call telling me he was forming a band. I flew out as soon as possible and never went back to New York. Despite the fact that I was a college student, I am now technically a college drop out.
How does it feel to be a successful band coming out of North Carolina?
DS: It’s amazing to come out of Charlotte, North Carolina and have such potential. It’s kind of an honor because there are a lot of people doing it today. People like J. Cole who’s from Fayetteville and the Avery Brothers.
How did it feel when you played your first big show with the band?
DS: Oh man! Nerve wrecking. I was only eighteen I’m definitely the youngest member in the band. I remember we played in this rinky dink bar, people were getting drunk and we were the last band to play. We went through sound check and didn’t go on until 1 am. I was ready to play I wasn’t old enough to drink yet and I didn’t know many people in Charlotte. I just wanted to get on stage and do my thing which I do best. Perform. I play my heart in music.
What was it like opening up for Switchfoot and Muse?
DS: Oh gosh! Opening up for big bands like Linkin Park, Switchfoot, and Muse, it showed us how to be humble and at the time you never think that you would get a chance to share a stage or even be in the dressing room next door to them. It’s awesome because you get to meet these bands and these are people you look up too. It was definitely a dream come true.
What advice would you give upcoming bands in Charlotte?
DS: I would say just stick to your sound, stick to your beliefs and your music. Bring back the passion and love of making music into an art. Don’t be afraid to push and fight for your words and music to get out there.