December 3, 2023
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Daniel Jordan “Dark Night of the Soul” Interview

The Dolemite knighted punk rock vigilante emcee known across the globe as Daniel Jordan has taken over the underground once again with his own raw emotional hip-hop you can relate to. This time with his most personal record to date “Dark Night of the Soul”! Paving the way with helping kick off the Dark Night of the Soul’s instant underground success is the records first single “I Don’t Wanna Be Me Anymore”. A powerful track that may cause tears to shed upon first listening thanks to the track brutal honestly with Daniel Jordan lyrically spilling his guts deeply about his personal struggles. The lyrical content is the man who loves misery diving straight into the depths of hip-hop hell by channeling his early despondency controversial musical roots over his own production that sample’s the legendary gothic metal band Type O Negative. The official video behind Daniel Jordan’s “I Don’t Wanna Be Me Anymore” (filmed by Dope Scorsese)  is a heart-wrenching emotional psychological visual that features Mr. Jordan strapped to a cross battling his inner demons while spitting raw lyrical hip-hop his die hard fans have grown to love, especially the super supporters whom have straight up become obsessed with Daniel Jordan’s career by collecting every piece of music memorabilia the man releases. “I Don’t Wanna Be Me Anymore” pushes Mr. Jordan towards new skyscraper status musical heights within the underground, proving that the man who loves misery still has another twenty years of music creativity that’s strictly for the misfits of society! We here at love the hell out of “Dark Night of the Soul” and we urge the underground to bump the LP until the dead wake! Now please enjoy this special exclusive interview with Daniel Jordan  below!



Chad Thomas Carsten: How exactly has creating music saved your very own life?

Daniel Jordan: I don’t know if it’s saved my life, it possibly has made it worse. I fell into this rabbit hole of constantly analyzing myself and my emotions, bringing them out into the forefront and having to dig deep. If I was blissfully ignorant to my own soul and emotions I may be much happier. But I am in a good place, just understanding myself more, and with understanding comes growing pains. I actually have been practicing stoicism for the last two years and it has done wonders for me. The subtle art of not giving a shit about anything, I needed this my whole life.

CTC: Do you feel you’re precisely where you want to be musically as a recording artist right now?

DJ: I’m in a peculiar but envious spot in my career. Let me elaborate on that: I never got too famous, I always maintained relative obscurity with a cult following. Music has not been my only source of income, I have other investments and businesses. Music is like a glorified hobby that pays me well at times. The fact that my spot is envious is because I will always have something to prove as long as I’m not too successful. People forget about me, only when I have a new album out is when they remember. After enough time they will forget again, but I can always remain on the cutting edge of what I do because I have that hunger that comes from never getting too big.

CTC: Can you recall what may have sparked the choice on why you wanted to venture into creating punk rock hip-hop in the first place?

DJ: I have done punk rock at times, and I have done hip-hop at times. Faithful to both genres in my own way. But I suppose the middle-ground is what we are talking about; that unique space which I reside in. The ethics of punk rock will never leave me: DIY. Always willing to put your cards on the table and not fear the outcome. I guess in the hip-hop world I’m a punk rocker, always was and always will be.  The backpackers never accepted me. Before I got with Reel Life Productions I was doing a lot of shows with Anticon records (a well esteemed label in the hip-hop scene, backpacker type of hip-hop). I never fully got embraced in that scene, my style wasn’t “hip-hop“ enough. I had straight up punk songs and they didn’t understand it.

I had a situation where a guy tried to assault me on stage and I hurt him really badly, in front of everyone in attendance. It basically got me blacklisted from the hip-hop scene, I couldn’t even book a show in Arizona because I stabbed the person on stage. It was fucking crazy at the time. Truth be told before Esham signed me I couldn’t even book a gig, but once I got with RLP I basically leapfrogged that whole scene and did it without them and gave them the big middle finger in the process.

CTC: What are your true thoughts behind major labels collapsing on themselves?  Do you feel releasing music independently is the way to go for every recording artist?

DJ: I was never a fan of major labels, I got offered one major record deal with Universal in 2010 and it was a really bad deal so I didn’t take it. I always treated my own little label like it was major. I try to give things a professional look, sound good, always conduct myself professionally and promote myself as a worldwide act, not just a local act.
I’ve always been about ownership, and I never cared about being famous. I just wanted to keep my art, so independently was the way for me to go. In retrospect it was a smart move because I know people who got signed and recorded albums and if they label didn’t want to release it the band couldn’t do anything about it. They are stuck in a contract and their careers die.

I’ve literally seen it firsthand. I was roommates in Hayward in 2005 with members from the band Insolence (who were on Maverick Records), they had a minor hit (Poison Well) in the early 2000s, when they submitted their second album the label didn’t like it and shelved them and they were stuck in a contract for five years. By the time they got out of their contract the world moved on.

CTC: I know this is a personal question but how challenging is it to balance a full on music career and still be a great father?

DJ: Because I involve my son in every aspect of my life. I treat him like a person, I treat him with respect. He appreciates that and is a respectful young man. He is in the top of his class, in the 98th percentile, that’s on his own, just from the little bit of game that I give him. So I told him to just continue what he’s doing, and he won’t have any problems from me.
The one major thing I told him was to treat School like a business. If he wants to be successful and make good money he has to stay on top of his grades and that will ensure a successful future.

CTC: How does it make you feel that you’re the only person to have a track that features both Godfathers of hip-hop Blowfly and Dolemite? And its the only track where the two of them worked together?!

DJ: It feels great, it was a historic moment in my life, and now it’s a historic moment in hip-hop. But I never wanted to just be known as that guy who had Blowfly and Dolemite on the same song, I just wanted that to be a feather in my cap. I’ve worked as hard as I could to lay down a legacy that will stand on its own. Because who better to learn from the two of the greats?

Looking back I was just a young kid who had a lot of crazy dreams and I figured why the hell not? I think Rudy saw that in me and was willing to work with me. If you notice he doesn’t work with just anyone, only a few people and I am one of those few.
Blowfly was on board once he heard I had Rudy in the studio. Blowfly and Tom Bowker (his drummer) thought the idea was crazy as hell and they loved it! The craziest part of that song is I didn’t even have a song ready, I just wanted Rudy and Blowfly on a track, and I didn’t know what the track would even be about. We just made that shit up on the spot, it’s really a song about nothing just talking shit back-and-forth.

CTC: Is your history with Dolemite going to be officially included in his upcoming biography?

DJ: I have not read the biography yet, but I did a lot of consulting with Mark Murray (author) for it. In that particular part of Rudy’s life I’m one of the only few people that has actual stories with him so I would imagine it’s going to be in the book. I basically had to release that info to them. I keep coming across old pictures and footage of us together that people are just seeing. I didn’t know him for a long time but I did spend a good amount of time with him for the short time that I knew him. I do consider him a dear friend and I know he considered me one as well.

CTC: You’ve just recently dropped what underground fans are haling as your most personal record to date “Dark Night of the Soul”! Do you agree that its your most personal record to date? How so?

DJ: All my albums are autobiographical, as personal as they could be. “The Stranger” is just as personal as “Killed By Love”. “Killed By Love” is just as personal as DNOTS. However, musically and lyrically I think I go to places that I’ve never ventured before in my previous releases because as I’m getting older I’m getting a better understanding of myself, therefore I’m able to articulate it better if that makes any sense? I think that’s what you mean by most personal, so I would have to agree.

But I do believe it’s my darkest record, because we are living in dark times. You can’t just give me a year like 2020 with nothing but a drum machine and a pen and pad and not expect me to get inside of my head with it. It’s a very hard album for many people to stomach.

Daniel Jordan (@ItsDanielJordan) | Twitter

CTC: Are you able to break down the true meaning behind the album title for “Dark Night of the Soul” and its symbolic meaning in regards to your own life?

DJ: Yes, the dark night of the soul is a philosophical term: It means once you’ve reached a certain stage in your life, usually around your 30s, you are coming to an existential crisis, a better understanding of the world, seeing things as they truly are, and you can slip into a dark depression.
But the depression is just a phase, like an initiation for you to graduate to your future self; who you truly are. Any man that has lived a fulfilled life must go through the dark night of the soul. If you’re lucky you will as well if you haven’t already. It is the final initiation process. I’m just able to document my process with this album.

CTC: You usually collabo with other producers within your albums. Why did you decided to produce “Dark Night of the Soul” from start to finish by yourself?

DJ: Because the music is within me, and sometimes it takes your own hands to creative the soundscape in your mind. I have worked with some very talented people along the way, and as a student I would learn their tricks and adapt them to my own shit.
But bottom line: I am a disciple of P-Funk, I am a son of the P, the music is within me. I started out my career producing and playing my own instruments, and that is how I will end it. I challenge any artist who is a true artist to use your own talents to create your music, let it speak on multiple levels, more than just your words.

CTC: What did you learn from producing “Dark Night of the Soul” in general for future music projects?

DJ: That I was able to take such a shit year like 2020 and make it work to my benefit. My business brain kicked in: never let a good tragedy go to waste. I spent so much time in my house with just an MPC and a pen and pad and this is the result of it. I need more years like 2020, I jumped some major hurdles in my mind and physically with this album. So many times I would hike to the top of my mountain with my headphones in, listening to my songs, listening to nature, listening to the universe telling me I was on the right path. I trusted in the journey and look where it took us?

CTC: Which other past records from your own music influences inspired the creation of “Dark Night of the Soul”?

DJ: I drew so much inspiration from The Twilight, The Stranger, and Killed By Love. It is like the love child of all three albums, it has elements of it all in there.
I call it the Love Sex Death album aka LSD. Cause all the songs are about those three topics, some songs have all three in them at the same time, like Jodi Arias.

CTC: The song Jodi Arias is interesting. Why did you pick her as a topic on your album? What is the song exactly about?

DJ: The song is about fatal attraction, pure and unadulterated obsession. Have you ever had that for someone? It’s from the first person perspective of Jodi Arias. In the song I am speaking from the point of view of a woman. (Even though I mention a woman as my love interest. Like the Joker I am an unreliable narrator). I believe women have revenge fantasies more often than males, because they are not as physically strong they must be more cerebral. I have been threatened to be killed many times by women.
I actually fear that my demise may come from a woman, I have hurt many in my life and continue to do so, therefore it is just a matter of time before I hurt the wrong one and it is over for me.
The song is like an illusion, the protagonist is slipping in and out of reality, going insane recalling an intense love affair like she is right there in the moment, but quickly realizes she is in a jail cell and cannot go anywhere.
The sobering truth is in front of her but she would rather pass her time living in this fantasy because that is all she has left. I believe Jodi Arias is sitting in her jail cell at this moment fantasizing about Travis Alexander as if he still is alive and in love with her, and the tragic comedy is the fact she killed the man she loves and is forever doomed because of it.


CTC: Why did you choose “Death of Michael Corleone” as the first official single for “Dark Night of the Soul?”

DJ: I just wanted to give people a little something to let them know the storm is coming. The new cut of Godfather three had just released called “The Death of Michael Corleone“ and I think it’s a fascinating movie, people shit on that movie but they just don’t understand it. Sure it’s not as good as part one and two but there’s a lot of shit going on in there if you just look. The song is about going so far into the dark side where it’s too late to turn back. Even if you become so successful you can buy the Vatican, but you can’t buy forgiveness for your crimes.

CTC: Can we break down the behind the scene details for the the music video for your single “I don’t Wanna Be Me”?

DJ: That video was seriously torture, but a labor of love, we spent three days filming that video, one or two hours sleep, going to different locations. By the time we got to the final location where I’m carrying this 200 pound cross on my back through the desert I am just exhausted. It’s summertime in Phoenix, over 100°, I hadn’t slept for three days and now I have to carry this big fucking thing. I felt like I was gonna die out there, you can see it in my face. I look half dead. But it was all worth it. You got to be willing to go the extra mile for your art. That cross was not meant to be carried by only one person but Dope Scorsese was like “pick that fucking thing up and carry it”, and through the power of Christ, or whoever, I was able to lift that thing up and perform with it on my back. The cross is chilling in my backyard right now. I’m never getting rid of it.

I didn’t wanna be disrespectful towards Jesus in the video, I believe in God. But I wanted to re-create his crucifixion just to get a little taste of what he went through though I could never fully comprehend his pain. It was my way of showing man’s struggle and spiritual fall from grace. Understanding Jesus his final moment of doubt in pain like the Rolling Stones said.  The real MVP of that video is my man uncle Phoenix and his wife, I asked them to be a part of the video and help me construct a cross and they did, him and his father who is a Carpenter put it together for me and it was unbelievable. I can count on that man for anything. Uncle Phoenix really holds me down in Arizona.

CTC: After the final results of completing “Dark Night of the Soul” what rushed through out your mind and body upon completion?

DJ: Relief, I couldn’t wait to get this godforsaken period of my life over with. To purge out this darkness and negativity that I have taken in from the world around me. It felt like a cleansing. I’m so glad that this part of my life is over now.

CTC: Where do you see yourself as an recording artist in the next 15 years?

DJ: I don’t know, probably dead in 15 years. I’m surprised I made it this far. But if I’m still doing this shit at the age of 50 I’m probably too old, and if I’m still feeling these feelings I must be tortured inside still. And I hope that I am at peace, getting fat on a beach somewhere with my beautiful young wife pumping out some babies.  I hope in 15 years I find enlightenment, peace within. That’s what I’m striving for today. These albums are just conversations with myself asking the eternal questions, hoping to find it out. That’s all I am on this earth for, I am just a messenger, I might not be meant for happiness, but I’m striving to understand what this all means.

May be an image of Daniel Jordan

Interviewer: Chad Thomas Carsten



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