With Jet Electro, Craig Daniel combined two common childhood dreams -- becoming a rock star and a superhero.
Daniel is not a child but a Fowler man who has played music since he was 10. He's played in a number of bands since the mid-70s, including Cyrus, THC, The Playtonics and most recently, Poplord, a local band he's still a part of.
But Jet Electro is something different. It's a concept album in which Daniel assumes the role of Jet Electro, a 17-year-old who becomes trapped in time when a lightning bolt hits his house as he's in his bedroom playing his electric guitar. The only way to free himself is to write a hit song -- "the one that will always be played somewhere on Earth."
Comic book undertones aside, the music fits best into the "power pop" category, with an obvious '60s/'70s influence and Daniel's knack for catchy songwriting.
We talked to Daniel to find out more about Jet Electro, his musical upbringing and more.
Let's start with the mythology: Jet Electro is a band? A person? A fictional character? Jet Electro is a dozen local players performing one writer's songs. I wrote and sang the tunes and got a talented variety of extras to realize the music. The Jet Electro album is my life story. It came out great.
Where did the idea for Jet Electro come from? Jet Electro is a comic book/daydream. The name came from a "Leave it to Beaver" episode. I didn't want a "Craig Daniel" album. Being someone other than yourself is very liberating. Jet Electro can compose without any constraint.
How does writing a conceptual album like this differ from writing a straight-ahead rock album? It was very easy to write the music and very difficult to write the lyrics. It took more soul searching than one likes to do. I wrote the album in about a month in my bedroom on an acoustic guitar.
OK, now a little about you: How did you get started playing music? When I was 10 my dad showed me three chords on his Martin guitar. The kid across the street had a drum set and a JC Penney cassette recorder. Very little has changed. I play and record music.
Who are your greatest musical influences? My dad, Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath and Todd Rundgren ... in that order.
What kind of response have you gotten to Jet Electro so far? The album has received great reviews in the U.S. and Europe and has received a lot of airplay, and even has a song in a short film. It's pretty stunning.
Where can people find the Jet Electro album? There's a terrific video on YouTube. The music can be purchased on iTunes, but I suggest purchasing at CD Baby so you get a hard copy with all the artwork. Plus I have 200 copies under my bed.
Where can people see you playing live soon? I'll be playing with Poplord at the Rogue Festival in March, doing a Bee Gees tribute at Audie's Olympic. Otherwise I have started recording four new songs for the next Jet Electro album. I am releasing the 'Fowl Tone Sampler' (a concept CD) this summer, and finishing an album with the Playtonics from San Francisco.
Know a local musician more people should be familiar with? Send details to Mike Osegueda, firstname.lastname@example.org.