By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"I think of Moonlight as being my new wave album," Daniel says. "So I guess this is my classic rock album. But mostly, that happened by chance. Or luck. Or, I don't know, just because that's how it happened. Because we record in a nicer studio now, or because I write on the piano a lot..." Shrug.
The shrugs don't mean that Daniel doesn't take his music seriously. On the contrary, the songs he attributes to chance or luck are the ones he spends too much time cultivating in the studio, with the band and, most of all, when he's alone.
"If I'm in hard-core writing mode, where I go off by myself and work nonstop for a week," Daniel says, "I'll have a lot of ideas recorded, and I listen back just hoping, hoping that there's something there. It's never like, 'Today I'm going to write a hit record,'" he notes. "It's more like, 'Am I going to get lucky?'"
And Daniel says that even now, as he and his band get tipped for the big time, his luck continues to surprise him.
"Every once in a while, it hits you that you've created something real or special," he says. "That happened when I brought 'Mathematical Mind' to the band. I'd written it on the piano and thought that's what it was, me and the piano. But, for whatever reason, I introduced it to the band at the very end of practice one day, and right away they came in with the beat you hear on it now. It just took off.
"And that happened again," Daniel continues, "when I heard the first playback of 'The Beast and Dragon, Adored,' when the big burst of guitar comes out toward the end. That's, like, my all-time favorite 15 seconds of Spoon," he declares, before settling back into his more typical impassive state. "I was pretty psyched."