photo by Per Olav Heimstad/POHphoto
Dan Baird is most well known for his work with the Georgia Satellites and his solo album, “Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired.” The album released in 1992 featured the song “I Love You Period” that peaked at # 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has worked alongside artists like Will Hoge, The Yayhoos, and the country band, Trent Summar & the New Row Mob. He is currently working with his own band, Homemade Sin. I recently had the pleasure of catching up with the artist on his latest projects and favorite pastimes.
Maximum Ink: At what age did you know first know you wanted to be a musician?
Dan Baird: “I was pretty young when I first wanted to play. (10/11?) I’m not sure if it was any one particular thing that made it happen for me. Might have been seeing a local band play, or The Beatles/Stones on TV or the radio. I just thought I’d like to sing and play like those guys ‘cause “they were cool”. Yes I was 1/2 of Beavis and Butthead. You figure out which one. Being a “musician” was not a goal until much later and I’m still not there.”
MI: Who were some of your influences?
DB: The A.M. radio was so huge back then as were local bands. Atlanta did not have national touring acts come through often prior to 1970 but there was all kinds of “little local gigs” played by little local bands, and we all thought they were so hip and we asked them which records to listen to, what amps they liked, all that stuff that young players want to know. I also had WAOK which was the bad-ass black station in town. You had to be there when Alley Pat did his show. Ouch! Now my mom was pretty hip in the light of time and played Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Dave Brubeck , and Frank Sinatra around the house. So really all the stuff ya hear and see comes into play.
MI: You used to play with The Georgia Satellites? Do you ever miss it?
DB: Through the 1st year of success (that’s what I’m guessing you’re asking about) it was beyond our imagination (yes everything you wanted and more), then the balloon let us down and we didn’t like that one little bit. Individuals appeared where there was more of a “band” mentality prior to the let down. Difficult times were these, and they led to my leaving. Do you miss your 1st wife/husband? Not really.
MI: How would you describe the “Dan Baird and Homemade Sin” sound?
DB: Pretty intense rock and roll, played by guys stuck in-between an anachronism and a hard rock place.
MI: What can fans expect from the live shows?
DB: Intensity, fun, soul, Keith Christopher?!?!??!?!, Old shit , new shit, borrowed and blue shit. Hopefully makin’ something go where we didn’t know it could go that night. No set list.
MI: Do you enjoy touring outside of the U.S?
DB: It’s the only place I do tour right now. And yes, I like it very much.
MI: Are you still in the band the Yayhoos as well?
DB: Yes, but that band was designed to be everybody’s 2nd band at the same time, so it stays plenty of fun.
MI: Do you prefer the road or the studio? Why?
DB: I like both. They are different. I like different. One is makin’ movies. One is doing a play. If you’re an actor you should like to do both.
MI: What do you like to do when you are not working in the industry?
DB: Let’s take out the word “like” and it’s much more interesting. Interviews, play on line Poker ,watch my favorite teams play, take out the trash, do the grocery shoppin’, and smoke.
MI: What would you say is the best advice any aspiring musician could get would be?
DB: 1st - get real good at your craft/instrument to the point you can express yourself without screwin’ up everybody else in the band. In fact, help create a groove, atmosphere, vibe, solidity, some damn something so that the other guys want you to come back the next day. Then, try real hard to do what it is you are called to do by your inner voice that is much, much smarter than your brain (which is a fine repository for endless lyrics and chord changes, arrangements, phone numbers, crossword puzzle answers). Soul is better than “talent”.
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