B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Ramirez: Pooh Bear!
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Ramirez: Music found me and I fell in love. I don’t really know anything else.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Ramirez: It’s like an ideal relationship. If both partners (audience and artist) show up to give 100% then it’s perfect. That’s a rare occasion though so I suppose a “great” show, to answer your question, would be like an average relationship; where both partners are just having a good time.
B&L: I love the idea behind the bootleg tour – of recording each show and making it available to those in attendance. What is the importance of “documenting” live performances?
Ramirez: I just like doing different things from time to time. And because it’s recorded every night I’m kind of forced to be a little more intentional with changing set lists and not telling the same stories. It’s honestly just a fun tour and I think folks have been getting a kick out of it.
B&L: Does the recording of your show(s) add any pressure to your delivery?
Ramirez: Not really. Personally I enjoy recording. And the few moments of pressure or expectation that can come with recording in a studio are taken away in a live setting because I have an audience sharing the weight with me.
B&L: Speaking of recording – let’s yap for a second about your latest studio work, “We’re Not Going Anywhere.” What were the goals behind this thing? Do you enjoy the studio?
Ramirez: I wanted to step away from making an “Americana” record. I was getting bored and wanted to play with new sounds and do a lot more collaborating. I think we accomplished that. And yes, I very much enjoyed the studio. We had a ton of fun.
B&L: You recorded the album in Maine which is just up the street from where we’re at here in New Hampshire. What led you to choose Maine as the getaway destination of sorts to put the pieces of this album together?
Ramirez: I wanted to work with Sam Kassirer and that happens to be where his studio is located. It was beautiful and remote and the environment played a big part in communicating a lot of the solitude that exists in the writing.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of writer, or do you schedule “office hours”?
Ramirez: I don’t do office hours, but I also don’t wing it. If there is a day, week, or month that I need to be working then I’ll work. But I love the freedom in creativity so I’ll also take days, weeks, or months off just to live my life.
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Ramirez: “Let Me Put My Love Into You” – AC/DC
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn on June 13th?
Ramirez: The opening set will be performed by my friend and bandmate, Matthew Wright. He’s an incredible, charming, and heartbreaking pianist and songwriter. He’ll join me on several of my tunes as well. It’s gonna be a fun and intimate evening.
B&L: We hosted fellow Austin-ite Slaid Cleaves here a few weeks back who told everyone at his show to check you out when you roll through town. High praise. Have you met Slaid? Good dude… Great songwriter. What’s the songwriting community like in Austin? I gather (from limited knowledge) that it’s pretty supportive…
Ramirez: That’s really nice to hear. Slaid and I, as far as I know, have not met, but I agree that he’s a great songwriter. I think Austin is supportive for the most part. I support my friends and they support me. Hopefully the rest of the city is doing the same thing.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Ramirez: Gold records.
Daniel Ramirez makes a stop at the Word Barn on Wednesday, June 13th. This special performance will be recorded for a live record release. Tickets and information can be found here.