Ska Vet Dan Potthast of MU330 Returns to the Living Room
Image courtesy of Dan Potthast and Asian Man Records Dan Potthast brings his living room tour to Scottsdale this Friday, August 8
Over a career spanning two-plus decades, Dan Potthast has never been short on new ideas. From six full-lengths with "psycho-ska" outfit MU330, to two full-lengths with indie-rock group The Stitch Up, five (soon to be six) solo records, an album leading the California traditional ska collective The Bricks, and an upcoming rock record alongside Rick Johnson of Mustard Plug, Potthast knows how to keep busy.
After separate tours in 2013 with ska-punk royalty Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto, Potthast was looking for a change of pace, and thus the living room tour was born. What began as an open call on social media for hosts has turned into a 66-date nationwide tour in two legs, which arrives at a Scottsdale-area home this Friday, August 8.
In-between lengthy solo drives, Potthast found the time to catch up with Up on the Sun to detail the tour, and this year's three (!) full-length releases.
Up on the Sun: How did you come up with doing this living room tour? I know it's becoming a thing that a lot of bigger-name indie rock artists are doing, and it's very professionalized with their own ticket websites and everything. How did you come up with doing your own version?
Dan Potthast: I had just gone on a couple of tours last year with Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish, and had a pretty good year. And I thought, "I want to go out on my own and put out a new record and support it." I felt like the best way to do that was to do a living room tour, for a couple of reasons. One, it's different, and it's kind of exciting. You play clubs and venues and bars and kind of know what to expect. But, going to people's houses, every night is totally unpredictable. You don't know where you're going to be, you don't know where you're going to be staying, and the settings can be really cool. ... And the other reason is that, you know, if you get 20-30 people in a living room, that's a really good time. But, 20-30 people at a bar, that's kind of sad, that's a sad time [laughs]. So, I just thought it was a better route for me to go.
It seems like it's given you the chance to play in some out-of-the-way cities, and parts of the country that don't have a built-in promotional mechanism.
Yeah, that is true. Say there is a bar or club that has shows four nights a week, that promoter is trying to get people in their door 20-plus days a month. Whereas if I go straight to a fan who has been listening to me for a couple of decades, and they're psyched to have me come to their house, they're going to get all their friends to come. And I just want to play in front of people; that kind of built-in network of friends is what I'm hoping to get to play in front of. And it's been working out! I've been playing some cities that I had never played before ... places that are out of the way that you end up skipping over, just not going to with a band.