5 Questions with Daniel Martin Moore

This weekend, Kentucky singer-songwriter Daniel Martin Moore will be performing twice in Wisconsin. On Friday night, July 29, Moore will be part of WMSE Radio Summer Camp at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn in Milwaukee, hitting the stage around 11pm. Tickets for Summer Camp (including Sunday’s Backyard BBQ) are availble here. The next night, Saturday, July 30, Moore will hit the stage at the North Mendota Supper Club in Madison for an intimate house show. Doors open at 8pm, with opening act Count This Penny starting around 830pm. Tickets are $10 each and 100% goes to the artists. To RSVP, please send an email to nmsc1402@gmail.com. In advance of these two shows, MoB sat down with Moore to discuss his new Sub Pop record, In the Cool of the Day, his relationship with My Morning Jacket, and one of his favorite causes, ending mountaintop removal coal mining.

1. talk a bit about your new record, in the cool of the day, and how it came to be. what has it been like promoting/releasing a record with spiritual undertones to a predominantly pop/indie audience? what has the response been as you play these new songs in a live setting?

Thankfully, the response has been welcoming.  I’ve never imagined this album as a religious record, and I don’t think many people have heard it that way.  It’s a collection of songs that I hope is presented in a way that transcends any specific interpretation.

2. on your records and in a live setting, your sound is at once sparse and including full sounding. how did you come to develop the unique dmm sound?

That spareness of production is something I gravitate toward, not sure how it developed, it’s just sorta always been there.  I love a big production, too, though, to be sure (George Harrison’s, “All Things Must Pass” is one of my very favorite albums, and it’s hard to imagine more going on in a recording!).  So it’s really up to each individual song, and up to each collection of musicians, to determine how it will all come together.  Some songs lend themselves to an epic treatment, and some are best left more spare.

3. we can’t very far into an interview without asking you about your relationship with jim james and my morning jacket. how did you get hooked up with jim, how do you both – as great songwriters – talk shop and make music, and what was it like to open for mmj earlier this year?

Ben Sollee introduced me & Jim when we were all thinking about the Dear Companion album.  What a wonderful musician he is – all the guys in MMJ are beyond words.  Sharing the stage with them is pure joy.

4. i became aware of you and your music through the dear companion record and the strong stand you take against mountaintop removal coal mining. what has the response to the record and your efforts been like in your home state? is there growing support for ending MTR or is it still an uphill battle?

The response has been tremendous, even thought he album is just a small part in a much larger movement.  Support for ending MTR has grown & grown over the last 4 decades.  Dear Companion is one more voice in a rising chorus against the thoughtless destruction & corruption.  Kentucky’s citizens are mobilizing & getting educated around the issue more and more all the time.  It’s an inspiring thing, and we’re happy to be a part of a shift toward sanity (because what comes next, after everything is destroyed?) & for basic human rights (shouldn’t folks have water that isn’t poison?).  I think that as we all learn the truth about what MTR is & what it does to our communities & health, we will come together to put a stop to it.  That day is growing closer all the time.

5. right now – july 19, 2011 – what are the five records you have been digging lately?

1.  Gramma’s Boyfriend, S/T
2.  Guitar Party, Birthday
3.  Maiden Radio, Lullabies
4.  Nic Jones, Penguin Eggs
5.  Neil Young, On the Beach

Buy: Daniel Martin Moore – In the Cool of the Day

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