Episode 3: In the Belly of the Rock with Dan Wilson

Episode 3

11th February 2019

We sit with songwriter Dan Wilson! He of Semisonic and behind-the-scenes songwriting fame, and discuss everything from DIY fun and frustrations to modern biz fun and frustrations, and all the triumphs, joy, and melancholy along the way.

Episode notes

On this episode of The Art of Process, we talk to one of our favorite songwriters, Dan Wilson. From his start in the Twin Cities indie scene of the early 80s to his rise as a noted “song-whisperer,” working with artists ranging from Adele, to the Dixie Chicks, to Pink, and many others among and between, he’s displayed an integrity and a commitment to artistry that shows through in all of his work. Join us as we discuss everything from meeting in the slow bake of a hot tent with yogurt on the side (it’s every bit as gross as it sounds), to the melancholy loneliness of solo songwriting versus collaboration, experiments in ALL CHORUS songs, and the rise of streaming services like Spotify, and how they’ve become something of a new tail wagging the old dog of songwriting in ways both frustrating and potentially fun. Special thanks to Laura Swisher at maximumfun.org for being our “podcast-whisperer” and continuing to help us through the *process* of getting this off the ground and establishing some sort of flow. New episodes every-other Monday, and as always, please subscribe, download, like, etc., wherever you get your podcasts. Finally have it together enough to add some relevant links below, should you choose to dig further…
Our MaximumFun page: https://maximumfun.org/shows/art-of-process
Semisonic’s “Closing Time” official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGytDsqkQY8
AMAZING 1986 cable access Trip Shakespeare appearance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFgGinztxiY
Bunratty’s is still there, now called Wonder Bar, but I don’t really understand what’s going on with this website: http://www.bunrattys.com/
A really interesting deep dive if you want to take a left-turn into Spotify and genre creation, by Liz Pelly (@lizpelly), who’s been doing a lot of great thinking and writing on this: https://thebaffler.com/downstream/streambait-pop-pelly

In this episode...


  • Dan Wilson

About the show

The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo is the newest artistic collaboration from legendary singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Every other week, Aimee and Ted talk to friends across the creative spectrum to find out how they work. And sure, they’re friends with a lot of musicians, but weirdly not as many as you’d expect. So you’ll hear from comedians, directors, novelists, show creators – ok, yes, some musicians – writers, producers and more, as they discuss the process of turning an idea into art.

Follow @artofprocesspod on Twitter and Instagram.


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