Dan “Danalogue” Leavers

The Comet Is Coming’s Dan “Danalogue” Leavers takes on our quick-fire question machine

Photo: Yukitaka Amemiya

Hello, Dan. Where are you right now and what can you see?

“Porto, Portugal. The airline just lost all our luggage, so we’re driving through rural villages to pick up a spare Juno-60!”

What’s on your agenda today?

“We’re playing at a festival called Paredes De Coura near Porto.”

Your ‘Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam’ album was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. What was that like?

“I’ve never seen so many outboard compressors in one place. Being in a large studio felt like a real progression from our earliest DIY recordings. There was a huge mixing desk and my dream tape machine – the Studer two-inch 24-track. We took Kristian Craig Robinson, who has engineered most of our records, to keep that sonic through-line, ensuring there was plenty of edge and colour to the sound.”

It’s a blinding record, with tracks like ‘Code’ and ‘Angel Of Darkness’ summoning an “end of times” energy. What are your thoughts on the state of the world at present?

“It’s the best of times and the worst of times. An evolution of consciousness and inspiring technological advancements set against a backdrop of environmental collapse, corporate greed and narcissistic leaders.”

The album has real cosmic energy, too. What’s your star sign?

“Haha, love it. I’m an Aries – first sign of the zodiac, ruled by the fiery war god of Mars. I’m not sure how much to read into personal horoscopes.”

You’re an established act now, but how did you first meet?

“Me and Max [Hallett] met in Brighton and almost immediately started a band. We’ve now been playing together for over half our lives.”

Didn’t you share the same saxophone teacher with Shabaka Hutchings at Guildhall School of Music?

“Shabaka and I did share the same teacher, but didn’t know each other at the time – we probably unknowingly passed each other in the corridor!”

Do you have a favourite jazz/fusion record?

“Mahavishnu Orchestra’s ‘The Inner Mounting Flame’ or Herbie Hancock’s ‘Head Hunters’.”

Your name appears regularly on our pages, thanks to your work as a producer and with other groups such as Soccer96, Flock and Floating World Pictures. How do you find time to sleep?

“With The Comet Is Coming and Soccer96, I’m obviously much more involved. Writing, recording, arranging, mixing, producing, touring… it’s all-encompassing. Production on the new album totalled just over four months. With the other groups, it’s more ‘turn up and play’ on the day of the recording. I have developed the ability to sleep anywhere, though.”

If a comet really was coming, how would you spend your last day on Earth?

“I think by gathering together the biggest group of friends possible, playing music and getting into that altered state of consciousness. I’m hoping we’d be able to play cosmic pool and knock a comet off its course.”

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