danwaczay

ASBURY PARK’S DAN WASZAY: SMILING A SAD SMILE

I first met Dan Waszay one day when he was outside The Santander in Asbury Park checking out my motorcycle. I had seen him and his girlfriend Sarah in passing, coming and going from the lobby on many occasions. Usually we exchanged a “hello”, “or how’s it going?” Anyway, I jokingly asked him if he wanted to take it for a spin and we got to talking about vintage bikes and cars. I had no idea this guy was the talented musician he is.

I moved out of The Santander not long ago and one day was browsing the internet as I so often do. I can’t remember how I found it but I was watching this music video for a song called The Dark Unknown which was filmed in various parts of Asbury Park and immediately recognized Dan and Sarah as my former neighbors.

Actually I was pretty blown away by this dude’s voice. One of the best vocals I’ve heard from anyone local.

And as I learned more about Waszay, I started to understand the root behind that somber and mysterious voice of his. Born to Russian/Ukranian parents from Paraguay, South America, Waszay lived in a very strict, conservative religious household. He rebelled in school and got mixed up with drugs and alcohol early. Eventually his family lost their home, and Waszay’s mother passed away from cancer when he was 23. All the while music was the one force keeping his head above water. That, and his son. “I’m clean now. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. If (he hadn’t been born) I probably wouldn’t exist right now.”

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His mother gets credit for laying that musical foundation. When Waczay was 6 she got him piano lessons. Then it was onto the violin. “My mother bought me a little electric guitar from a flea market when I was 11 and I dropped everything after that and just taught myself how to play from listening to tapes and CDs, ” says Waczay. “So you could say I learned to play by ear.”

Ultimately Waszay taught himself to play the bass, acoustic guitar and drums. “I have my brother to thank for subjecting me to good music as a kid (Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure, Abba, Beatles, PJ Harvey, Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, etc.). I’d say between the ages of 12 and 16 I was heavily into old school British and American punk rock.”

All of that has shaped the music Waszay creates today. His sound is a little rockabilly, a little blues, a little garage with tons of soul with a loungey vibe. “I love that ‘So Cal Desert’ kind of sound ya know? I don’t know what it is but I’m addicted to it.”

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Waszay was 17 when he started recording music. He recently recorded his first album and is working on getting it professionally pressed. His song “The City (kill kill kill)” was recently included in a compilation put out by Little Dickman Records along with bands like Wreaths, TV Tramps, WOLFCOCK and Pretty Blue Ribbon.

“I make music for one reason only. I love (it). I don’t want to get big and famous or make a lot of money. (I want people to have an) emotional connection to (my music). That to me is the most gratifying feeling.”

For more information or to book Dan Waszay, email him at lowkeymotel@gmail.com. Here some of his music at https://soundcloud.com/dan-waszay, www.reverbnation.com/danwaszay and add him on facebook @www.facebook.com/danwaszay.

One Response to “ASBURY PARK’S DAN WASZAY: SMILING A SAD SMILE”

  1. Dan Waszay says:

    Hey folks, if anyone reading this would like a free download of one of my songs, click here > https://soundcloud.com/dan-waszay/thecity

    Thanks for listening – dan

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