It’s finally here… Mental Chillness by Ductape Halo is now available. Released on January 21st, 2021 to celebrate a new era of peace as the new American President is inaugurated. Reviving some old favorites and introducing new classics. Listen or purchase on Bandcamp.
I play fast acoustic guitar, with songs that rock out about internal struggle and powerful vocals from the depths of my soul. I’m good with that. – Dan Victor
The music video for “Silk of the Snow” set to be the first single of the record. It was filmed during the snow storm December 16th, 2020. There were 22 takes, on 6 locations in one night that didn’t start shooting until 11PM.
The songs all tie into the advocacy work I want to do, speaking about mental health and the benefits of music to deal with mental illness, depression and anxiety. All the songs relate to experiences I have had and thought it would be a great way to entertain, while bringing awareness & fight the stigma, shame and guilt that many go through. We are not alone. We all have a voice within that we need to express. This sets us free.
Getting excited about my current live set up, seeing how my music is finally being realized. I have an album almost done, my live performance is getting very close to where I want it & confident with my creative choices.
I play fast acoustic guitar, with songs that rock out about internal struggle and powerful vocals from the depths of my soul. Ductape Halo.
I’m good with that. I don’t need to make excuses for not having a band or style or playing to what’s currently trending. I’m doubling down on myself. Whether it is currently apparent or not, I have absolute faith that the music is undeniable. My skills continue to improve as I practice every day. I see where it’s leading and it is making sense. I’m going down a path I know is the right one, confident I don’t need to rethink my approach.
There is no time limit. There is no comparison. It simply is. So grateful I came back to singing, playing guitar and sticking with practicing the songs over and over.
The practice has taught me so much about the arrangement, solving issues I didn’t realize were there, taking time with it daily. Technique has improved where I thought I had plateaued.
In closing, I was always second guessing myself and calling it critical thinking. At some point, choosing a lane was necessary, I was just uncertain to what it was that would make me happy, so I tried on many hats. Then I looked back at my life and recognized it was performing my own music that gave me the greatest joy, and I now believe putting effort into that with intense consistency has and will improve my quality of life. Grateful for so much. Thank you to those that support me and God for guiding me through some dark times.
Yes, I relate to the pressure to produce content for validation of its value, to test response, with likes vs. reach. Placing meaning in that can be a trap as considering the source of that judgement, the reality of its true exposure and the format of the platform. There is etiquette to observe and it can all be too much.
I do as much as I can, as an artist not just in content but as a publisher. It is a balance between respecting the audience and my own goals. I seek to produce things that I want to exist and then share them. Is it successful? Does it resonate with someone else? Did I optimize people’s ability to find it?
As I write this, it is an answer to a question I have been asking myself. Why do I create?
I think you are expressing yourself very well and understand not wanting to be judged on appearance. There is something else that I want an audience to consider. Does it still matter if there isn’t a face attached to it? Does it matter on its own? I believe it should.
I think we are in an accelerated social experiment, learning rapidly what works and doesn’t in real time. Social Media is a reflection of our society, exposing its weakness, effecting itself, a record of our impulses and careful planning. Putting an appearance of ourselves that looks authentic, yet is composed with consideration to how someone might perceive it, is a clear example of our process to deceive with the intention of being liked.
There is a true transparency when we step back and distance ourselves for perspective. I don’t want to absolve myself of how I participate, but attempt to be mindful of my contribution to the human narrative. I am not just the star in my own movie, but a member of an assemble cast of the largest blockbuster epic to come out of this universe.
Happy Halloween! Celebrating 10 years today. “Amongst the Dead” EP by Ductape Halo. Dan Victor (vocals, guitar and bass), Shamari Rocka (keys), and Stevie Kings (drums) played on this album, which kicked off a musical relationship with Steve for many projects and years after. Michael Benham joined on bass soon after. It was recorded at Steve’s apartment in Bushwick at “The Castle”, right next to the band called U Say USA. It was a 5th floor walk up and he lived at the top floor. All we did was play music, smoke weed, drink coffee and beer. The album release was at Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Halloween 2010.
There was something magical at that time, instant nostalgia. It was the beginning of something. Occupy Wall St was still a thing, unemployment lasted years, and jobless even after it ended. Best and worst of times. Really got to make a documentary or something. Through adversity we find our strength. It is still true today. You can find the EP on Bandcamp.
Friday, April 10th, will be a year since I was admitted into the Phyc ward of Beth Israel. It’s been quite year and I’m definitely better than I was then, but feeling some kind of way about it. Instead of letting it get the better of me, I decided to perform Ductape Halo acoustic on the anniversary.
In the wake of all this noise in the world, I am reclaiming something I lost long before last year. I forgot about the voice, talent, and passion for music within me. I put it in a drawer and filed it away. Self-doubt has stolen precious time. So, before any more time gets away from me, I’m going to perform all the hits and more.
Songwriting and recording has been cathartic in dealing with mental illness, joy and pain. Music was the answer God gave me when I asked him for a reason to live 20 years ago. He was not wrong. It has been such a gift, I share with many of you.