Danielson Delves Into Documentary, New Album
On his upcoming album, "Ships," Daniel Smith (Br. Danielson, Tri-Danielson, Danielson Famile) recorded under the simplified band name Danielson due to the fact that he employed more outside collaboratOn his upcoming album, "Ships," Daniel Smith (Br. Danielson, Tri-Danielson, Danielson Famile) recorded under the simplified band name Danielson due to the fact that he employed more outside collaborators than ever before. As previously reported, the set is due May 9 via Secretly Canadian and sports contributions from Sufjan Stevens and members of Deerhoof.
"I started out making a long list of people I've worked with over the last 10 years," Smith tells Billboard.com. "It turned out to be more of a singular sound than I thought we'd be able to pull off. My worry [was] that there'd be this feeling of cameos, and I really didn't want that. It went beyond people who even physically played on the record to just celebrating people who were involved in the project across the board."
Also slated for release is a documentary film by Creative Arson Productions about Smith's music, "Danielson: A Family Movie (Or, Make a Joyful Noise HERE)," which has been in the works for five years. For a man whose college thesis project turned into a touring band and then the subject of a documentary, Smith understandably finds the whole thing a bit odd.
"Of course, it's very surreal," Smith says. "The fact that we got along so well with the filmmaker, and he really did become a part of our family, that made it possible. Short of that, it would've been too weird. When there's a camera in your living room, it's very uncomfortable, and I'm very protective of that space, but I'm also very pleased with the documentary."
The film will debut with two screenings in March at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and will see regular release at a few independent cinemas across the U.S. before heading to DVD. Director JL Aronson found Smith an interesting documentary subject due to the conflict between the songwriter's Christian faith and the medium in which he puts across his beliefs.
"From what I could see, most of the band's audience was this hipster crowd that wouldn't be caught dead listening to more mainstream Christian rock," Aronson says. "The film sort of grew into this conflict since they're a little too weird for the Christian music world and they're still too weird for the indie rock world."
In the months leading up to and just after the release of "Ships," Smith will release several 7-inch singles on multiple labels, including Kill Rocks Stars, Anticon and his own imprint, Sounds Familyre. Smith hopes these releases, which will also feature new collaborators such as the members of Why?, serve as a fun bookend of sorts to the full-length.
"These are other folks on the list that we wanted to work with, and the 7-inches are all limited edition, so it'll be kind of a scavenger hunt to find them," Smith says. As for touring, a CD release party is in the works for New York. "Then, at the end of the month, we're going to start pretty extensive touring across the U.S. with the whole family," he adds.