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Danny Vash & Nite Wolf

Danny Vash & Nite Wolf

Eschewing theatrics for real musicianship, Danny Vash & Nite Wolf have carved out a reputation for hard-hitting, steel-bending rock, paving the way for their first major radio hit.

 Nite Wolf is a three-piece, hard rock power trio from the Albuquerque, New Mexico area featuring Danny Vash singer/songwriter/guitarist, Mike Alberts on bass guitar and Bill Weber on drums. Their sound and style influences ranges from Ozzy, Priest, and Rush to UFO, Mountain, and Hendrix. All self-taught musicians, Nite Wolf delivers a riveting, hard rock sound that combines influences from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, to present day. When you hear Bill Weber's hard-hitting beat, Mike Albert's thumping bass lines and Danny Vash’s wailing lead guitar sound that screams like bending steel, you're in the presence of Nite Wolf. In addition to headlining many of their own shows in the Albuquerque area, Nite Wolf has shared the stage with industry moguls such as Robin Trower, Pat Traverse, Blue Oyster Cult, Frank Marino & Mahogony Rush and Savoy Brown. Perhaps it's the fact that they write, record and produce all their own music- qualities noticeably absent in today's pop music culture- that has fans all over the world vibing to their debut radio hit 'Passion Dreamer'. Reporter Lauren Thompson caught up with Danny Vash recently to learn more about this intriguing band and their plans for the future.:

LAUREN: What events led to forming the group Danny Vash & Nite Wolf?
DANNY: Bill, Mike, and I moved to New Mexico from different parts of the country. We were all perusing engineering careers within the semiconductor industry. With common backgrounds and a love for music- we all had some experience playing and gigging with bands in the states we grew up in. We all ended up in Albuquerque working for a high tech company that was starting a new Wafer Fab. We met at work, jammed a few times, liked the chemistry we had and the sound, and so Nite Wolf was launched.

LAUREN: Your song 'Passion Dreamer' has been a big hit on radio for its third straight month.  What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
DANNY: Everyone who writes and plays their own music has that dream of one day hearing your song on the radio. It was exciting and there was also a feeling of accomplishment that just feels good. You think about a lot of things including, “will they like it or will they hate it?” If people like your work, it makes all the time and effort you put into creating it meaningful.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind 'Passion Dreamer'?  Was there someone in particular you were writing about?
DANNY: There is no one in particular that inspired that song. I like to write songs about every day events that happen to ordinary people. Things that everyone can relate to. Have you ever had anyone you know tell you they had a dream about you last night? A passionate dream? Everyone has had a passionate dream now and then. This happens to everybody no matter who you are. Our subconscious just seems to take us there when we least expect it. That was the inspiration for Passion Dreamer.

LAUREN: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as 'Passion Dreamer'?
DANNY: No I wouldn’t say the mood of Passion Dreamer and our other songs is in the same vein. The power, the sound, the style and feel, yes. It is a solid rock beat followed by crunchy guitar riffs, and vocals that tell a story. The slow part in the middle sets the dreamy mood, and it is specific to this song to set a dreamy mood. It follows the words of the song into the slow part to give the listener that connection. My other songs would be of the same genre but each has a unique theme to it.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as musicians? (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
DANNY: Dedicated and passionate about our music. We are not eccentric or deliberative, however we are competitive when we need to be, but most important we like to have fun. We get along really well and actually enjoy making music together and enjoy each other’s company. We are just ordinary guys with a love of making music.

LAUREN: Did you come from musical backgrounds?  Are there other musicians in your family?
DANNY: My Dad played in a band when I was a kid. He was a big inspiration for me. He is a grandpa now and is still the front man, singer and bass player for a blues band up in Washington state.  Both of my brothers are Bay Area musicians as well and I have played in bands with them over the years. I started at a very young age and it has always been a big part of my life. Mike and Bill both started playing in their teen years and stayed with it playing in bands and gigging. As far as I know they have no other musicians in their immediate families.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being a musician?  What do you find most challenging?
DANNY: The most rewarding part is getting a positive response to the music you write and play and know that people are enjoying it. The most challenging thing is getting the good gigs, getting your music out there, and getting someone’s attention at a record company or radio station.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
DANNY: First off, my Dad was my inspiration. Then I would have to say I have always been a firm believer in paving your own way. I can’t really think of a role model. I don’t want to sound like someone else or look like someone else. It’s more of a challenge to be original and unique. The best players have always stood out from the crowd and had their own sound and style. I believe that self-taught develops unique style and vibe. We are all self-taught musicians in Nite Wolf. We have our favorites like anyone who plays music, but I wouldn’t say they are role models.  I believe in this- what one man can do, another can do.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring musicians out there who are unsure and need guidance?
DANNY: Believe in yourself. Don’t be easily discouraged. Trust your intuitive insights and have confidence in yourself. Partner with others that have strong self-assurance and unique talents that harness the same energy level as you.  Try to always aim for new initiatives and don’t develop tunnel vision. Win others over with your talent and embrace the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Derive satisfaction from your creative genius to be original and unique. Unsatisfied needs create tension, uneasiness and stress so aim high but have fun and do it your way.

LAUREN: What's next for Danny Vash & Nite Wolf? Is there a follow-up single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
DANNY: I’m always writing new material and refining old material. I would certainly jump at the opportunity to have another song considered for airplay, and I have good songs recorded and ready. We have quite a few songs that we think would do as well as Passion Dreamer, so we are anxious to get more of our music out there to the listening audience.

LAUREN: I look forward to hearing it. Thanks for taking time out to share your story with me. I wish you and the band continued success!