Atlanta Indie Fest 2012: Cousin Dan Interview

Cousin Dan, fresh from Destin, Florida where he’d played the previous night, was on his homemade stage belting out sleazy auto-tune funk for a group of roughly thirty early birds at Atlanta Indie Fest. By “early” I mean 5:30pm, when the sun wasn’t close to setting and beamed through the windows of Terminal West’s balcony onto the stage and floor. But it didn’t matter to audience, who latched onto Dan’s every move even without the copious smoke machines and lasers that define the Cousin Dan live experience. It’s the music and sheer stage presence that’s made a fan out of practically everyone that sees him. After his much-too-short set I pulled Daniel Scoggins aside for a quick chat about what’s next for the man and his must-see live show. Also, feel free to call his codpiece a God-piece.

You’ve performed with your current live set-up for a few years now. What about performing as a one-man-band with all the equipment on your outfit?

“Actually I think that’d take away from the show. When you have to control everything you’re so focused on that that you can’t really perform. I like to get into it for people. I mean I try to do as much as I can live. You see producers behind laptops just twisting knobs, but I want to do something that makes folks go ‘What the fuck is this?’…I want to blow minds.”

So the Cousin Dan project as a whole is still evolving, right?

“I think I’m at a pretty good spot…I’ve written a lot of new songs and left myself a lot of room to go anywhere with it. I know my stage show is ‘funny,’ but I’m not a joke band. I’m a better songwriter—more lyrical and a more mature version of what you see now. I’ve got ballads coming…power ballads, you know.”

Any plans for expanding the stage set-up, visually?

“I’m trying to build a Cousin Dan sign with neon lights that I can control behind me.”

Do you want to stay solo or bring on other folks?

“I’m planning on doing an all-live Cousin Dan Band at some point…four or five people, who knows, plus some back-up singers. But I’m not ready for it yet and what I’m doing works for me. At some point it’d be cool though—I’m curious to see how it would all work out.”

Would the band play in costume?

“They could all be dressed the same and I’d have my usual outfit or they could be individual characters, who knows? Cousin Dan’s Spandex Army?”