Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Dan Baker Of Jordan Red

Artwork for “Freak Show.” Courtesy of Crazy Pug Music.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

United Kingdom-based alt-rock outfit Jordan Red calls out the mainstream media for its tabloid-esque agendas on their recently released fifth single “Freak Show” from their upcoming debut album ‘Hands That Built The World.’

It was recorded at Long Wave Studios in Cardiff, mixed and mastered by Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, Don Broco) and accompanied by a lyric video produced by 12 Inch Media.

Comparable to the likes of Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin and Billy Talent, Jordan Red was formed by frontman Dan Leigh and guitarist Dan Baker, whom were joined by bassist Conor O’Keefe and drummer Dave Fee (As Lions) for ‘Hands That Built The World.’

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Baker about what they’ve been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – Was there a particular moment that directly inspired your new single “Freak Show”?

Dan Baker – “So, what you’re saying is did we watch one particular car crash, hit piece ‘interview’ by a journalist on Channel 4 in the UK that went viral and seemed to capture everything that is currently wrong with the mainstream media?” Absolutely! The news is no longer the news when it’s activism masquerading as journalism. We don’t want to hear your opinions. We want to hear facts without bias or hidden agendas. The new single “Freak Show” is our response to watching the endless media circus turn every day into another… “Freak Show.”

Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?

Dan Baker – When we formed Jordan Red, we wanted to hold a mirror up to the world and reflect the reality around us. We wanted to create music from a place of truth and needed a name that defined that purpose. The name ‘Jordan Red’ was inspired by Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and combined with a reference to taking the “Red Pill” as shown in “The Matrix” movie.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Dan Baker – Here’s some quick-fire albums I’ve been playing on heavy rotation – Bring Me The Horizon ‘Post Human: Survival Horror,’ Ocean Grove – ‘Flip Phone Fantasy,’ Asking Alexandria –  ‘Like A House On Fire,’ Papa Roach – ‘20/20,’ Bleed From Within – ‘Fracture,’ Architects – ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ and Five Finger Death Punch – ‘F8.’ There has been a lot of awesome new music released recently, but I’ve got to shout out Ocean Grove for putting out ‘Flip Phone Fantasy.’ That has been my go-to lockdown album for the last year! It’s got massive hooks, great songs and some welcome nostalgia, all produced with a modern edge. I can’t wait to catch them on tour when the pandemic finally ends, because I missed them in the UK at the start of 2020.

Music Bugle – When did you decide that you wanted to be a musician?

Dan Baker – I think the moment I knew I was going to be on this path for life was during the first concert I saw in an arena – Slipknot on the Iowa Tour. That settled it for me. That’s what I wanted to do! I originally wanted a drum set, but was told it would be too noisy. Eventually, my Dad picked up a secondhand guitar and I was noisy anyway!

Music Bugle – How would you describe the United Kingdom to someone who has never been there before?

Dan Baker – A place that is far better when it is actually united and would do well to remember that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?

Dan Baker – It all comes down to how these platforms are used. At the end of the day, it’s just a tool and it’s worth asking the question – “Do you use social media or does it use you?” When writing our album ‘Hands That Built The World,’ my phone spent most of the time switched off in a drawer because I didn’t want the distraction of constant notifications interrupting the creative process. It’s impossible to get anything resembling “deep work” done when you’re connected to the world 24/7, so I just shut it off and felt far better for it. When you’re trying to reach your audience or promote releases, there is simply nothing else that compares to the power of social media, so using it in a way that helps create awareness for your work is positive. Just don’t let it take over your life.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?

Dan Baker – The way that heavy music brings people together is unmatched by any other scene. No matter how many times we’re told rock is dead, it always finds a way to evolve and survive without any major mainstream support. It thrives in the underground because of a dedicated fanbase that doesn’t want to listen to the radio repeat the same 10 songs all day. Rock is a genre that’s made to be played live. It has the kind of energy and power that transcends boundaries and cuts through any illusions of division the world is trying to force on us.

Music Bugle – What was it like making your album ‘Hands That Built The World’? 

Dan Baker – We worked with producer Romesh Dodangoda at Long Wave Studios in Cardiff and were fortunate enough to be joined by Conor O’Keefe and Dave Fee of As Lions on bass and drums. The initial idea was to record a few singles, but when we started writing music together, this soon evolved into an EP and eventually an album of material. Once we were in the studio, the whole process was fairly smooth, as we had done a lot of the pre-production before we arrived. This gave us time to really bring out the best in everyone and get creative with the musical layers of each performance. Our third single “Hands That Built The World” was recorded at the midway point of these sessions. It later became the album name, as it seemed like a crossroads for many of the lyrical themes running throughout the songs and captured the attitude in a way that felt timeless.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Dan Baker – The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. We haven’t been able to get in a room and rehearse as a band for over a year and after the release of our debut single “Beautiful Monsters,” we also had to abandon our original plans to tour last Summer. We don’t like to dwell on negative situations without looking for positive solutions, so with that all said, we have been setting up creative spaces to write more music and adapt as best we can going forward. We are also busy planning the release of our debut album ‘Hands That Built The World’ for later this year and are looking forward to recording some extra songs in the summer!

Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?

Dan Baker – I hope that we can all forge a successful path out of the constant cycle of lockdowns and find our way back to something resembling normality without anyone else infringing on our individual rights and freedoms. We would also love to see the return of live music and touring on a massive scale, so we can share that experience with everyone that’s supported our journey when we release ‘Hands That Built The World.’

*Photo Credit – Marianne Harris*

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