Wailing City Spotlight: Interview With Danny Fleet

Published February 22, 2024
Interview by Meghan Killimade

How did you get started in music? How about the band – how did you all come together and who are the members and instrumentation? 
The band started back in 2016, but everyone in the group has been playing most of their lives. Personally, my first experience was with my high school trio Sonnie and learning how to set up sound for shows in our gymnasium. Like many people, these were formative years that taught me how to pursue music in different forms. Fleet has gone through multiple iterations, but currently I'm honored to be joined by Christian Brunelle on drums/vox, Noah Greenleaf on bass/vox , Max Kelly on lead guitar, and Noah Feldman as our co-lead vocalist/ keyboardist/ multi- instrumentalist. As mentioned, we've all been playing most of our lives and have a rich history within this corner of Southeastern CT. Some of us had played in previous groups together or supported each other's projects, so this band has just felt like a natural extension of that.

How would you describe the kind of music that you’re creating to someone that isn’t familiar? 
The easy answer would be "indie rock", though we enjoy experimenting within different genres, if it be funk or blues or progressive rock. This is certainly a band full of players, so it's hard not to dance around and try a little bit of everything.

You have a couple new singles out, “ReBloom” released last month and “What Remains” released last June. Tell us about the songs and what the songwriting process is like for you and the band. 
"ReBloom" and "What Remains" are two sides of the same coin. "ReBloom" is a brick house of a track with synth, crunchy guitars, and strange rhythms blended together. On the other hand, "What Remains" is more of a roots-rock tune with the slide, acoustic interplay and a sense of urgency that runs through the song's brisk 3 1/4 minutes. They're very different vibes, but overall I think they still firmly represent the same band.

I'm generally the principal songwriter, but we co-write and it's still rare for me to have a song 100% complete before bringing it to the rest of the guys. That's the joy of playing with people, they can interpret the material in a completely different way than originally envisioned.

Fleet also released an official music video for “What remains” – which has an old-time-western-gambling theme. Tell us about the video and how it all came together! 
"What Remains" was a lot of fun. The director, Jonathan Burnett, is my childhood friend and the first person I had artistically created anything with. Leveling up from handheld camera movies in the backyard, to seeing him become a professional filmmaker brings me a lot of pride. Jonathan is one of the most talented visionaries I know.

We knew we wanted to do a story based music video for a long time, and both of us had been huge fans of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, so a poker game gone wrong seemed like the perfect hat tip to those influences. Once we had that, the next trickiest part was finding the right location and to our luck, Strange Brew Pub's downstairs fit perfectly. Amazingly the whole video was filmed in just one day. The planets really aligned for that one.

In addition to Fleet, you also play out solo, sit in on drums with 2 other bands and host the monthly open mic at Strange Brew Pub! Tell us about all of your awesome side projects! 
My solo acoustic sets are always a blast, I love seeing what cover songs really connect with a crowd and creating that atmosphere is a totally different thing. Sometimes I'll get an original song request, but I'm perfectly happy playing well known songs for kindly strangers.

I'm behind the kit for two New London based bands, A Former Friend and Victim or Victor. AFF is sorta Gothic-Americana and scratches that itch that reminds me of Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits. While VOV has more of a Grunge-Rock vibe, so I really get to slam with those cats. Both bands will have new recorded material out this year.
I've been hosting the Strange Brew Unplugged Night for about 7 years now and it's always such a wonderful mixer of local musicians. I think I keep doing it cause that's how I seem make most of my friends these days. I'd high recommend anyone to come down on a Tuesday if they're looking to network with other creative types.

Any advice for new musicians starting out in the gigging circuit? 
Only advice I have is to keep playing. Play out, play in, just enjoy the craft. I know this scene will always be hungry for new artists, and they are essential in keeping local venues thriving.

In relation to the arts & music scene, what do you think this area needs more of? Less of? 
We need more original artists. I know there are voices in this town, I just hope they're never afraid to stand up. And also cool venues, there are certainly some great spots around here, but where's my punk rock diner that serves flapjacks until 2am? Give me one of them!

Any memorable stories or influences from playing in the area over the years? Bands? Shows? 
I mean, our Locals Live experience at Mohegan Sun was pretty sweet. Besides winning and getting to play such a legendary stage, we were fortunate to become friends with this charming local group called Crossroad Crooks. It was super chill chatting about Star Wars with them in the green room before the show.

Any favorite local bands/musicians, venues or businesses you want to shout out? 
Strange Brew, 33 Golden, Oasis, Garde Arts Theater, The Knickerbocker, Askew, The Barn, Sneekers, Cafe 9, The Pumphouse, The Social, and Toad's Place to name a few are some fantastic local venues that are essential to our community.

As far as bands, Mad Mesa gets mad love. Pocket Vinyl are some of the most unique and wonderful human beings around. Llama Tsunami still gets me dancing, Geoff Mitchill has performing some awesome original tunes, ElecticElectric from Providence are must, James Burke has been killin' it as a promoter and musician, it's great seeing Marvelous Liars back out on the town again and my dear friend Peter Gaulin has been inspiring me to taste the biscuit with his wonderful writing.

What’s up next for you and for the band this year? Any new music or big gigs coming up? 
We're currently putting the finishing touches to our 3rd record, we hope to have another single drop before that, but I'm beyond excited to finally let everyone hear what we've been cooking.

Anything else we missed or you wish we would have asked?
Not that I can think of. These were some great questions and as mentioned before, your support of the local music scene has been such a gift. Thank you Meghan!

Danny solo

Sat 2/24 @ Oasis Pub - New London
9pm / $10 / 21+

Fri 3/1 @ Daniel Packer Inn (DPI) - Mystic
Danny solo
9pm / 21+

Sun 3/17 @ Lansdowne Pub - Mohegan Sun
Danny solo




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