The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Q&A: Dayglow talks Lolla performance, new album

Best known for his indie anthem “Can I Call You Tonight,” Sloan Struble, or Dayglow, has become a must-add name on people’s playlists within the past couple of years. He released his sophomore album “Harmony House” in May and performed at Lollapalooza Thursday on the Lake Shore Stage.

We sat down with Struble this weekend to talk about his performance and what it’s like to get back on the live stage.

buzz: How many times have you played in Chicago in the past?

Sloan Struble: We have played in Chicago twice and would have been back many times, but yeah this is our third time I guess, and I love Chicago. It’s really fun.

buzz: How are you feeling ahead of your performance today?

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    SS: I’m really excited. Yeah, it’s just so fun to be here and be a part of something like Lollapalooza. I feel so honored.

    buzz: I imagine you weren’t able to perform for quite a while because of COVID. How does that kind of affect how you’re approaching today’s performance?

    SS: I couldn’t perform; I did a lot of cool things, which is awesome. It’s awesome, but not as fun, so I’m excited to be here with the crowd and stuff because, you know, it’s just good to have people. It’s what live music is about. So I’m glad it’s not on Zoom. I’m glad I’ve got people in front of me.

    buzz: I know that a lot of fans though love when their favorite artists do those virtual things.

    SS: Oh yeah, it was a different type of fun, you know, it’s like we’re working with what we got. And it’s like silly, and it’s, yeah, it was really fun to do those kind of things, but I think I prefer this.

    buzz: I want to talk a little bit about your newest album that came out pretty recently, which is super exciting. I’m wondering if you can tell me a little bit about how you think you progressed as an artist from your first album, going into this one, and in what ways did you see that playing out in the new album?

    SS: Oh, man. Yeah, I guess sonically, the best way to explain it is “Fuzzybrain” was kind of influenced by mid-2000s, 2010s indie rock, you know, like Two Door Cinema Club, Passion Pit, Phoenix, that kind of stuff. And then randomly in the past couple years, I got on this huge yacht-rock kick, like Michael McDonald, Doobie Brothers, Paul Simon, I guess, Christopher Cross, Whitney Houston every once in a while, Carly Simon. Just like ’80s music, and because I write and produce and mix everything myself, my challenge to myself on “Harmony House” was kind of making an indie take on that kind of music and approaching songs musically that way.

    buzz: So you mentioned some of those artists earlier. Who would you say are your biggest influences on this album?

    SS: Michael McDonald, not vocally because his voice is very different than mine. He has a killer voice, but I love the way he plays piano and just the musicality of “If That’s What It Takes.” That’s his first record I really listened to that a lot, and I really enjoyed that. Paul Simon, I love. Vampire Weekend is kind of like Paul Simon influenced, so kind of like double inspired by Paul Simon, like the Vampire Weekend thing. Yeah, I don’t know, just listening to a lot of music.

    buzz: Going sort of back to COVID, I’m wondering how that whole thing affected your music-making process and if you had to, I know you had to be a little more creative in ways you could share your music and stuff, but is there any other way you felt that impact while making music?

    SS: Sure. As a musician like I forget where I heard, but I was listening to a podcast thing with Tame Impala and someone else, and they were having this conversation about how it’s weird being a musician or like a producer is half of what you love to do, so my two things I would love to do is play live music, or make music, and so I didn’t get to play live music, but I still got to do mostly what I love to do. So it felt awesome and really productive to be able to sit down and really focus. And for me, the timing was nice ‘cause I would have been really overwhelmed on tour last year I think. I don’t know if I was ready to do that. But now I am stoked.

    buzz: And I know you have a tour coming up. So, how does that feel, and what are you doing to kind of prepare for that?

    SS: Yeah, well I guess these are like our shows before tour but so excited, just so stoked to be playing shows and meeting fans face to face. It’s gonna be awesome.

    buzz: Did you feel at all nervous coming back to that scene because of that drastic, immediate change?

    SS: It kind of feels like reliving what I went through because “Fuzzybrain” just blew up, and then suddenly I had this attention. So, I feel like I was, like, made for this, just like going back into it.

    buzz: I want to talk about one song in your first album that is probably your most famous song. “Can I Call You Tonight” has kind of blown up everywhere. What do you think it is about that song, in particular, that’s resonated with so many people?

    SS: I don’t know. You know, it’s so amazing to see a song just like form a life of its own. I remember making it and being super confident in it and just really trying to reference indie anthems and really focusing on “Tongue Tied,” Grouplove or “Mr. Brightside” even and just looking at these songs that just fit in. I remember writing the progression, and I was like, that could be like something people sing in a soccer anthem or, you know, anthem game. And, yeah, I don’t know I was just really confident in it, but to see it happen like I thought it would is really crazy.

    buzz: It definitely has become its own indie anthem. You go on Spotify’s indie top hits, and it’s definitely gonna be on there.

    SS: Yeah, and TikTok.

    buzz: Have you been active on TikTok at all? I know a lot of artists share their music there.

    SS: I really haven’t, no. I’ve made like one silly video or like mixed my song “Close to You” with “Congratulations,” Post Malone, and I was thinking, “Maybe I’ll remix my songs with other ones,” but maybe I’ll do that again, but I don’t have it on my phone or anything, you know?

    buzz: Do you have advice for aspiring artists who might be in college and are trying to find a way to get into the music scene?

    SS: Yeah, I don’t know, I mean, as far as advice I really don’t know what I’m doing, so. I think just having fun and, like, comparison isn’t very good for joy. It’s good to have references, but comparison is not good. So that’s where I try to draw the line between like comparing myself to other people because in a festival, there are artists that are bigger than me and they’re playing after me and that’s how it works, you know, like that’s okay to not be the greatest and biggest of all time. I feel like our culture so quickly shifted into this celebrity culture where everybody has to be their own celebrity and, you know. I just don’t think, just have fun, you know, like make music, and even if you’re five friends, like it, then that’s fun. I think weird things can happen, and your Internet can do strange things, as I’ve experienced, but just have fun and make the music you would want to make. I would say musically try to make an album that you wish existed. That’s kind of why I make music is I try to make albums that I wish somebody else is making.

    buzz: I feel like as an artist you kind of have to be, you know, the biggest fan of your own music at some times, and is that what you found with your music?

    SS: Being my own producer and everything, it is such a pendulum between super rewarding and super just “What am I doing?” because there’s no feedback. It’s just like a release into the world, you know what I mean? So, it’s scary at times.

    buzz: And then kind of looking ahead, what are some projects you’re working on, or what can fans kind of look forward to in the coming years?

    SS: Oh, I’m still making a lot of music. Yeah, I’m working on another record right now and stoked about it. It’s a really fun direction and yeah, but for now just playing the music, playing live shows. It’s going to be awesome.

    buzz: The last thing I want to ask you is if there’s anyone you’re looking forward to specifically seeing if you have the chance to see anyone.

    SS: I have some friends in a band called White Reaper, who I hope to go see. Boy pablo is a friend of mine, Nico. He came to my show last night, that was fun, too. We got to meet the first time. Tyler, the Creator would be dope to see, so yeah, I don’t know. Hopefully, I can beat bop around, but we’ll see.

    Dayglow’s sophomore album “Harmony House” came out in May of this year, and he’ll be kicking off his North American tour this fall.

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    Carolina Garibay, buzz Editor
    Greetings! I'm Carolina, and I'm a junior studying journalism with minors in public relations, Spanish and psychology. I've been writing for buzz since my freshman year, and I'm so excited to be buzz editor and further explore all that the CU community has to offer. I love to write about cool people, music, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, so if any of these interest you, drop me an email! Be sure to check out our radio show, "What's the buzz?" on WPGU 107.1! [email protected]
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