Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Ubick.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, I started out listening to all kinds of music in the house growing up – my dad was a jazz bass player so I listened to lots of Miles and Stan Getz while my mom played lots of classical music and the Beatles, my sister Chris was into Bowie and the English Beat, my brother Jon was super into Yes, Genesis and Steely Dan, my sister Jennifer loved Prince and then my little sister Nina turned me onto all kinds of rap music in the 80’s….BDP, Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, etc.. Then in school I had friends into all kinds of stuff so I listened to metal, soul, funk, two-tone, reggae, British rock like The Kinks and The Who, LA bands that were happening at the time like Fishbone and Jane’s Addiction and some punk rock like Bad Brains, The Clash and The Misfits. Basically, I had a bit of everything.
Anyway, all the while I was practicing guitar and playing in local bands but my first professional band was Breakestra with my longtime friend Miles Tackett. Through Breakestra I got to travel around the States, Europe and Japan and basically met everyone in the LA soul, funk and hip-hop underground…DJ’s and musicians alike. People still made mix tapes so I’d get cassettes filled with amazing stuff. I got schooled in where all the samples in rap songs come from and just turned onto so much great music.
I played in Breakestra for 7-8 years then decided I wanted to start producing my own music ’cause I felt like that was really where my talents lay. So, I bought a cheap cassette 8-track and started recording demo’s with me playing drums, bass and guitar and roped in some friends on horns and keys and played them for my buddy Eothen Alapatt who said he wanted to put them out on his Now-Again Records imprint. Eothen or “Egon” thought it a good idea that I created some band members since I was playing almost everything so I used the nickname “Connie” my brother gave me (my middle name is Constantine) and started Connie Price & The Keystones.
It was off to the races from there…..I’ve slowly but surely upgraded my gear over time into a fully operational analog and digital recording studio (The Lion’s Den) and have now recorded everyone from my group s The Lions, Keystones, Mad Geezers and Night Owls to artists like Macy Gray, Sharon Jones, Big Daddy Kane, The Pharcyde, Mike James Kirkland, Kelly Finnigan, Aloe Blacc, Eamon and many others up here.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
(Laughs) I don’t know one artist for whom the creative life is a “smooth road” but it’s the only road I know and one I am so grateful for. The creative life is a series of hills and valleys but I’m still here making new music all the time and things just keep building cause I always do good work, treat people fairly and follow through. There have been MANY times where I thought “what am I doing?” and fallen into blue moods but then, just like that, a call comes in or a new project arises and things turn around. Just last week I got a nice surprise when the awesome blues guitarist/singer Gary Clark, Jr. kindly posted a video on tour and the music he had on in the video post was a song of mine (“Fuzz & Them” from Wildflowers by CP&The Keystones) and I instantly got like 200 new followers on Instagram because of it. Grateful to Gary for putting some wind in my sails last week!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Well, my main job is writing and producing music (like the new Connie Price & the Keystones LP “Lucas High” out 6.21.19 via Fat Beats Distribution) in my studio The Lion’s Den but I am also an obsessive record collector and DJ. I spin vinyl all around town at clubs like Funky Sole, The Good Foot and The Townhouse in Venice but also do lots of weddings and private parties. I’m happiest when I’m learning new songs/practicing, recording in my studio and listening to records.
- Website: www.DanUbeProductions.com
- Email: ConniePrice71@charter.net
- Instagram: @DanUbeProductions
- Facebook: DanUbe Productions
Piero F. Giunti, Jonathan Mannion and D. Ubick