by Danielle Holian
How and when did you get into music?
As a child, I learned how to play tin whistle in school and then moved on to singing in the choir. At age 13 my aunt gave me a guitar and from there I tried to learn from my musical heroes. I bought a Tascam cassette 4 track at the age of 15 and started recording my first self-composed songs. From there I started performing my songs live and since then I have been trying to better my craft.
What is the story behind your name “Default Man”?
Default Man is the pseudonym I now create music under.I have played many shows over the past decade and every time I would perform in any country outside of Ireland there was this difficulty. Nobody could spell my real name or pronounce it if read. I could be playing in Melbourne or London and trying to promote “Darragh J Glennon” (my real name) and people would be typing the likes of “Derek Jake Lennon” into search engines. I love my name but it didn’t do me any favours abroad! Default Man works for me now as I can play shows solo or with a band and the moniker works. I also love video games and it’s an homage to the default player you’d usually get lumped with.
Who or what are your influences?
Growing up, I fell in love with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Jimi Hendrix and many seventies acts. As I started writing and learning more, my tastes broadened. I love anything that has been produced well. I listen to anything from Tom Petty, Sly and the Family Stone to Vulfpeck, Radiohead and everyone in between. From time to time, I take out this big fat book of old jazz standards and pick a song that I’ve never heard. I’ll read the notation and figure it out. Once I’ve it learned, I’ll google it and see how far off I was. I’m a nerd that way. I also enjoy listening to new music and seeing what is new in the world of music production.
Can you briefly tell us the background of your newly released EP “Full Moon and Fire”?
The EP was recorded in my room and contains the weirdest songs I had at the time. I tracked the drums (performed by Stephen Shanley) in my local army barracks and then mixed and mastered it.My intention is to record more and just keep sharing the art. The EP is free on Bandcamp and as a nod to the oldies, every song has a fadeout. That’s as brief as I can be without going full music technology geek.
How has your music evolved since you first began?
Certainly elements of the music have evolved. The essence of what I do is the same but yes, it’s constantly evolving in some way. The songs are recorded and sound one way, but over time they are brought to life in different ways on stage. I could take a previously recorded stripped-down ballad like “I’m on the Way” and play it with a full band with huge production. As long as the essence of the song remains, I welcome it’s evolution.
What advice would you give fellow musicians?
I’m not very good at giving advice. Do what you’re good at and love what you do. The industry has greatly changed since I began playing and it can be easy to get caught up in the business side of things. Do what you want to do. Get out and do it live. If people like you they’ll come back. If they don’t, that’s okay too. Write for you and if you putting on a show, include the audience if you can.
Do you have any plans for the rest of 2016?
I have a few key performances lined up for the last quarter of this year as well as a few festival dates in Ireland and in the UK by the time Santa arrives and next year, Europe. I perform in two residencies per week so that keeps me busy and it’s an excellent outlet for my songs.
Any last words?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I rarely do this so it was a pleasure. If anybody wants to learn more then they can check out Defaultman.com or Facebook but ultimately I don’t have any more last words. Except maybe, H’on Westmeath