DJ Dan - Stop Fist Pumping, Start Dancing

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 7/11/12 8:51

DJ Dan - Stop Fist Pumping, Start DancingIt’s fun to catch up with the old veterans from time to time. Established legends with big time support but not drawing the buzz anymore like the latest models. Guys and gals out there with nothing to prove and just doing their thing. DJ Dan is still perhaps one of America’s top dance music artists playing sold out shows not only in the expected big markets but also the small regional spots like Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Reno, and Sacaramento. That’s the true litmus test for making it as musician in such a big place like America – are you on the decks at a sold out party in Lodi or are you stuck there again washing dishes?

DJ Dan continues to remain as positive as ever about his two decade plus career and with his new album Future Retro finally poised to grab the the big brass ring that guys like Morgan Page and Kaskade changed their entire sounds for. DJ Dan, however, remains the same as he ever was – big funky house that is kid-tested and dance floor approved.

It’s been a couple of years since your debut full length Future Retro, what made you decide that 2012 was the year to do make your second album?
About a year ago I decided I wanted to make a record that returns to the proper roots of house and the art of sampling. Having toured Australia recently with DJ Sneak and then collaborating on an EP together for his label Magnetic, I was inspired to do a full length album that represents everything I love about the spirit of house. Funky bass lines, great sample hooks, and solid techy drums. I wanted to do the album for Guesthouse since they are one of my favorite San Francisco based house labels, I am very proud of the end result. It's colorful, funky, and represents everything I love about dance music.

How long did the album take to make and where was it recorded at?
The album has been in the works for a little over a year now. I have worked on it mainly at my studio in L.A. but I also worked on some of the tunes in Boston with my very good friends, J Paul Getto. These guys are making some of the funkiest stuff out right now and it was a real pleasure collaborating with them on some of the tunes.

What are some of your favorite tracks from the new album and why?
Fist Pump Broken is one of my favorites because the sample sounds like it is saying "Fist Pump Broken". Since I encourage more dancing and less fist pumping, this name seemed appropriate. “Disco Dancin'” is another one of my favorites. It sounds Michael Jackson making disco in outer space. If I had to pick a favorite though I'd have to say "Out Of Nowhere" is the winner. The vocals on this track are very positive and uplifting and it always puts me in a good mood. I started playing it about six months ago and since then I have had people singing it to me asking me what it was. It's a great feeling.

Are there plans to tour in support of the album, what are some of the places you are looking forward to playing?
Yes, I am currently doing a tour around the album and have already done some amazing tour dates in San Francisco, L.A., Philly, Boston and Toronto. I have some really exciting shows coming up in Cabo San Lucas, Detroit, Denver, Albuquerque, Indiananpolis and New Years in SF. I am still in the process of confirming more dates as well. For further updates, you can go to 

Where are some of your favorite places to play in the US?
I love playing all over the US but if I had to pick 3, I'd say my favorites are L.A., San Francisco, and Denver. Mainly because these were the first cities I started traveling to regularly and I can really feel the loyalty and the passion for the music in these cities. There's nothing better than playing to a crowd that really understands your music and your story as a DJ. I've been very fortunate to be able to play exactly what I love and keep a very strong following over the years.

Do you think the sudden commercial success of electronic dance music in the US is a good or bad thing, has it directly affected you in any way?
I think it's a great thing. It's definitely opened up many doors for all of us that are passionate about dance music and I think it's just the beginning of great things to come. Like it or not, there's always going to be the commercial side of things as well as the underground side, which is where I think I will keep it healthy and strong. I'm looking forward to watching it grow and mature now.

What else can we expect from you before year’s end?
I have a new tune coming out on my label InStereo with TJR called "Jak'd Up Funk". It's a real dance floor stormer with a familiar sample that I know everyone will be very excited about. There are also new remixes coming out in November of the MTYS track I did with DJ Mes by Jerome Robins and Mike Balance which are amazing. I will also be releasing remixes of my album tracks over the next few months on my label InStereo so keep an eye out for those. There are some great mixes being done as we speak!

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