Interview with Days of Change Vocalist Daniel Ysais
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
I first heard Days of Change at the Key Club last month and was seriously impressed!
I am glad that I had the chance to catch up with Lead Vocalist Dan Ysais to learn more about the band, their background, and their future.
Metal Babe Mayhem: First of all, tell me how Days of Change formed. Were you guys in other bands before? How did you all unite as Days of Change?
Daniel Ysais: Days of Change was originally a project more than a band. JT (Jeff Torrez) and I worked at a company together, and I was coming off of a long run with my former band Broken Silence when JT met a guy who was working on a movie with Jack Nicholson and they were looking for a song for the soundtrack. We decided to write a few songs to submit. Jeff and I had never worked on music together, but I soon realized that he is a great songwriter! He writes in a way that is best for the song and not just to show his chops, although he has those too. As a singer he provides me with the platform for the kind of vocals I had always heard in my head, but had found it hard to get them out in the past.
Well the movie never happened, but at that point it didn’t matter. We knew we were on to something. Scott Mac Laughlin and JT were old friends. Scott had played with Manta, and Silent Planet, and he’s phenomenal. So when we put this thing together JT called Scott. When we did the first CD we didn’t have a bass player. JT and our former guitar player Patrick Bates did the bass lines. But when we started working on the new CD we felt the material needed a strong bass player. So I called John Buck, my former. J band mate in Early Warning, and he as on board. He is one of the best bass players I have ever seen. He could be considered a lead bass player if that were a thing. Scott and John have given us a serious backbone for what we’re doing.
MBM: How long have you been together, and what have you been focusing on up to this point?
Daniel: It’s going on 5 years now. But there was a long period of non-activity between the first and second CD. Up to this point we have been focused on writing quality songs first and foremost. Songs that will connect with people right where they are, one way or another. Now that the “All Together One” is just about finished we want to take it to the street, and put on some good shows.
MBM: How is the new CD coming along, and where are you in the recording process?
Daniel: We are in the last phases off mixing. It has been a long process because we want it to be right. It’s just about there.
MBM: How would you say it compares to your first CD?
Daniel: I would say it’s a little darker than our first. There’s a lot of pain in these songs. Things we all go through and can relate to like loss of a love, losing someone close, or losing you. Still there is always at least a grain of hope. And that’s all you need.
MBM: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Daniel: I always struggle with this question as to not put us in a box. But if I had to I would say that we’re like a modern day Led Zeppelin. JT and I have been inspired by epic bands. In fact, someone once described us as epic metal and I would agree. JT’s riff-oriented songwriting combined with my old-fashioned belting pays homage to the bands that inspired us. So we try to bring the elements of the music we love into the present in a familiar yet new way.
MBM: When I saw you 8/26 at the Key Club I was really impressed, and you actually reminded me of Ronnie James Dio a little bit. And, I can honestly say, that aside from Dio himself, I have NEVER thought that before. Has anyone else ever told you that?
Daniel: Thank you MB! I have heard that from time to time. There will only ever be one Ronnie James Dio. The world lost one of the greatest singers of all time. To be compared to him in any way is an honor. I was definitely inspired by him in my formative singing years. I used to and still sometimes use “Stargazer” and “Light in the Black” as vocal workouts. I rarely make it through. Not many can. You should try it sometime!
MBM: Haha. I don’t know about that! How did you get hooked up with the 9/23 Ratt show, and are you playing it just because it’s my Birthday Party? LOL.
Daniel: Joe at Club Vodka asked us back to the Key Club after our debut there last month with Hurricane. I’m thinking you probably had a lot to do with that. I’m really excited about this show! Back in my Early Warning days I would be all over Hollywood passing out flyers. I was probably 16. Ratt was playing the Strip and had just got signed. They were huge! Still Stephen Pearcy would always take a flyer, take the time to chat with me and encourage me. He probably doesn’t remember but for me it was instrumental. So this is going to be a huge full circle event for me. The fact that it’s your Birthday Party too should make for a great night!
MBM: That is totally awesome! And, so cool that now you get to share the stage with Stephen Pearcy. What can fans expect from your performance, and how will it compare to the 8/26 show? Will you be mixing up the set, changing songs, etc.
Daniel: We’re going to go harder for this one. It just seems right. And we’re mixing up the set a bit to accommodate that.
MBM: Do you have any discount tickets left? What is the best way to contact you?
Daniel: Yes. Our upcoming shows and discount tickets are always available on our website. It’s usually over $20 bucks at the door, so save yourself some money and buy your tickets through us for $12 bucks! We’ll have them at the box office waiting for your arrival. The best way to reach us is on our Facebook page or through our website www.daysofchange.com.
MBM: Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Daniel: First I’d like to thank you Metal Babe for all your support. You’re awesome and I truly appreciate it! We have shows coming up at the Viper Room and The Whisky so check the dates on our website then come see us. It’s always a blast! Our first CD is on Itunes, and keep your eyes open for “All Together One.” It’s almost done!
MBM: And thank you Dan for your time and your interview. I am really looking forward to seeing you again on the 23rd, and am so glad that you are playing my Birthday Party.
And, for anyone reading this who want to come out to the show September 23rd, make sure to get your $12 discount tickets from Days of Change. Stephen Pearcy from Ratt headlines the show, September 23rd, at the Key Club. Tons of other great bands are playing, and it’s my Birthday! So come out and celebrate with me!
For more information on Days of change, and for Discount tickets for 9/23, please contact them at: