Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with the one and only Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot, solo artist) and learn more about his creative process, musical interests, and more!
Read through the interview, and find out how to win an autographed copy of Danny’s new album The Long Road Home! Winner will be announced on June 1st!
1) Performing seems to come naturally to you along with a very bluesy undertone to your work. Can you tell me about your history with the blues?
I grew up on the blues. My grandfather sang blues, and I grew up listening to the blues. At the end of the day, since day one, every album I have released has just been the blues. Sometimes it has just been louder than others.
2) Can you name a few specific artists that have influenced you?
I try not to take influence when I’m going in to write. I try to shut myself off from music because I don’t want to replicate, or end up ripping off something that has already been made. When it comes to aspirations of who I would love to reach the musicianship or prowess of, John Mayer is always up there, BB King, and James Brown, who is one of the greatest performers of all time. I try to just do my own thing and not try to take too much from the music I listen to.
3) Do you believe in genre’s?
No, I believe in the blues.
4) So Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot, and now your solo work is all just different projects for you?
They’re all different animals. When I go in to write a song, it’s the same regardless of whether I’m doing an Asking album, a Harlot album, my album, or whoever I’m working with. I approach it the same way. I’m just writing from the soul and from the inside. It just varies how it sounds afterwards.
5) Do you collaborate with anybody on your different projects, or is it all you?
I’ve got some great co-writers that I did stuff with on this record (The Long Road Home). With Asking, usually Ben will sit and work on the music, then I will do some of the music, and I sit by myself and do the vocals. With Harlot it is just me and Jeff these days. I’ve collaborated with a lot of people over the years. John Paul White from The Civil Wars, he’s the guy who wrote “Prozac” on the album. It is the only song I have done that I didn’t write.
6) You’re going to be working on music with all three of your projects this Summer, correct?
Kind of. I’m not in Asking Alexandria anymore, but I work with them here and there. I’m going to go in and write their new album in June. Jeff and I are going to be doing a new Harlot album. For the most part, it’s just going to be me and Jeff at this point. It kind of opens the doors to do a lot more acoustic stuff and build a new type of show and sound. Neither one of those things particularly tour anymore. There’s like one Asking Alexandria tour a year.
7) So are you going to bring anyone new into Harlot?
I don’t know. I don’t want to name names and blow it up before it’s done, but there is a few different musicians that have approached us and said that they would love to do a song, so we’ll see. Harlot is very much becoming like my John Mayor trio where it’s just a cool, groovy thing that I get to do and have fun.
8) The visual aspects of The Long Road Home really interest me. How much say do you have in that side of the art?
100%. I have a hundred percent say in everything, which is why I love doing this so much.
9) So, can you explain the thought process behind the videos you have released so far?
I mean, I write and semi-direct anyway, so when I’m writing songs, I’ve usually got a video in my head and I’m creating a visual component at the same time that I’m creating music. I’m more writing a soundtrack for a video than I am writing a song.It’s usually like at the same time when I’m writing, I’ve got a separate notepad where I’m writing the story-line for a video.
10) Are you going to do videos for every song?
That’s the plan! The only thing is videos are very expensive, and we’ll see if the money is there to do a video for every song. I would love to have videos for every song.
11) Between all of your projects, do you ever struggle to find time to relax, or do you crave the busy lifestyle?
I never relax. Not for one single moment of the day. I’m constantly going, and constantly moving. i’m always trying to come up with what the next thing is going to be. I figure do it now, so that in my many years, I can sit back on an island. I can not wait to be boring!
12) You are also a part of the world of photography. Can you tell me more about where your interest towards photography came from?
It was my way of getting off of heroin. I did the Warped Tour back in 2010 or 2011, and it was something to fill my time with rather than drugs, so I bought a camera before the tour and started clicking away. I wasn’t very good, but I thought was. From there, my ego took over and I was like “I’m going to be the greatest photographer in the WORLDDDDD!,” so I blew a bunch of money on equipment and then realized I don’t know how to use any of it. Then I had to sit and learn. I started taking it seriously and shooting in 2012 or 2013, and that’s when I started working with like Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Zakk Wylde, and all of those people.
13) Do you ever want to open a gallery of your work?
Yeah! I’m starting an art representation agent company right now out of Berlin, and I definitely will be doing that. Galleries are a money pit, but I’ll do it anyway. Most of the things I do are money pits.
14) What is your dream camera setup?
I have been very fortunate to own all of that stuff. The years have been fortunate to me, so I have got to spend a bunch of money on things I don’t deserve. One of my favorite rigs was the Leica Monochrom, which I flew to Japan to pick up, and it was an incredible piece. I have since gotten rid of it, but I really loved that. Honestly, I just shoot with a pretty simple setup. I own a (Canon) 5D Mark II and the standard lens setup, 24-70, 70-200, and a couple primes, my favorite of which being the 135 mm f/2. It is the crispest lens ever.
15) What is your favorite subject to shoot?
I have fun with a lot of stuff. I don’t really do much street photography. I do if I’m traveling in South America, but for the most part, I do a couple studio things, but it’s mostly live music. I’m shooting the new Asking Alexandria album next week, and that’s going to be a huge production in studio, which will be my first big production shoot with basically whatever budget I wanted.
16) Is there anything you want to say to reader’s?
Buy my fuckin’ album! Buy the album, come to concerts. It’s a whole lot of fun. I have spent a whole lot of time, and poured my heart and soul into creating The Long Road Home, and I was very eager and excited to share it with people, and to take the energy that myself and this amazing band that has come together and sharing it. i have kind of crafted an interesting set format in which I can start off with all of the really depressing stuff, and then cheer people up with all of the fun stuff right before they blow their brains out. Then for the rest of the show, everyone just gets hammered.
Pick up a copy of The Long Road Home on Danny’s website.
If you’re feeling lucky… enter to win a SIGNED and PERSONALIZED copy of the album!
Share this interview on social media
Comment on the post with your email when you are done
Winner will be randomly chosen on June 1st, 2017!
Chosen winner will be contacted through email and will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen