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CenLamar: Ten Under Thirty: Danny Tran Danny Tran is a graduate of Alexandria Senior High School and Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He is an accomplished musician and actor, and his band, Everyday Atlas, is currently on tour throughout the American South. Lamar: You moved to Nashville after graduating high school. There seems to be a number of people from Central Louisiana who are moving to Nashville to pursue music careers. What's so special about the scene there? The stereotype about Nashville is that it's all gospel and country music. That can't be true; is it? Danny: To answer your second question, on the surface - yes, Nashville is all about country music. If you're looking to become a country pop idol then this is the place to be because it's the home base for all the major labels in that genre. Dig a little deeper and you'll see there's more to Nashville than tight jeans and cowboy boots. Lots of independent music is being nurtured here. Pink Spiders, Bang Bang Bang, and Kings of Leon are a few who are getting a lot of buzz these days. It also seems that musicians love this city. One of my bandmates works at a record store near downtown and has seen Jack White (of The White Stripes), Emmy Lou Harris, Ben Folds and Keith Urban on more than one occasion browsing the vinyl. Another reason is the temperament of the people. I know a lot of people that have moved from larger cities to Nashville, and I think one of the big reasons is that the asshole / talent ratio is much lower than say LA. Don't get me wrong, Nashville has it's fair share of downsides. The saturation of music here makes it tougher for young bands to make a name for themselves. That, and the drivers really suck. But all in all I think moving here was a great decision on my part. I've really come to appreciate music in a much more developed way. The city has definitely inspired me to expand my tastes in music and to study it and learn how a majority of what we listen to today all stems from the same source. Seeing how music has shaped and formed from slave ships to the British invasion - from New Orleans to Memphis to Chicago - from Alexandria to Nashville. Lamar: Tell us a little bit about your music, your band, and the kind of shows you play. Who do you think your audience is? Danny: My knowledge and talent for music came originally, and still kind of does, from a very mathematical basis. Keys on the piano, strings on the guitar, and rhythms in general were always patterns I could "see". I'd like to think that as my life experience has grown so has my understanding of the other side of music, which is the emotional humanity that it has the ability to express. My band, Everyday Atlas, is sort of an attempt to combine really catchy pop based music that you can dance to, with lyrics that encapsulate emotionally poignant moments in a clever or different way. The name Everyday Atlas references more the classical character of Atlas rather than a book of maps. We are all Atlases in our way, holding up worlds that we didn't necessarily choose. But unlike the muscle-bound demigod, we are just average, ordinary, everyday people. So in a way we like to hope that with our songs, we give people a little extra support for what they are carrying. Our shows are more about the songs and the grooves than they are about the spectacle. We don't run around on stage and strap ourselves to harnesses or stage dive. I don't think people necessarily grasp what we're really singing about on first listen, and I kind of like that. I get a lot of satisfaction when people come to me with that sound of realization. "Ohhh that's what you're talking about!" I think our audience ranges from mid teens to mid thirties. Lamar: Where would you like to be in ten years? Danny: In ten years. I would like to be making music for a living. I'd like to be married and possibly have a child. I'd like to have gone back graduate school at some point. Lamar: What did you earn your degree in? How did the Rapides Parish public school system prepare you for a place like Vanderbilt? Danny: My degree was in Engineering Science with a focus in Electrical Engineering and Music. Unfortunately, I feel like the importance of AP and BC classes was not stressed enough. Many of my friends came into college with several credits. I wish I would have known then how useful it would be. I would have gladly put in the extra effort to take those classes. Lamar: Do you stay in contact with any other Alexandria-born musicians? Danny: I recently had the pleasure of working with Josey Swift who is attending Belmont University. We had the opportunity to record my band in RCA Studio B, which was amazing. In case anyone's not familiar, RCA B is where Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and many others did a lot of recording. We even got to use a piano that Elvis himself played on. Lamar: When you were in high school, you did quite a bit of acting, right? Are you still interested in a career in acting? Danny: I am interested in it, but the only way I think it will happen is if I make it as a musician and crossover. I've invested a lot into my relationship and my business and I'm not willing to throw it away and start from scratch as an actor. Lamar: When you're not playing in your band and partying like a rock star, what do you do with your time? Danny: I'm self employed and I do a variety of technical consulting jobs. I do customized web design, web hosting, song production, and database maintenance. I really enjoy working for myself because I can set my own hours and have time to pursue my band's career as well. www.everydayatlas.com: Click Here Touring: October 27th, 2006 @ 9:00PM The Prince Deli and Sports Bar Knoxville, TN Admission: $5 October 13th, 2006 @ 10:00PM The Blue Fugue Columbia, MO Admission: $3-$5 September 7th, 2006 @ TBA 10 High Club Atlanta, GA Admission: TBA August 26, 2006 @ 9:00 PM Sin-E New York, NY Admission: $10 August 25, 2006 @ TBA Grog & Tankard Wisconsin Ave, NW -- Washington D.C. Admission: $6