The Obelisk Questionnaire: Morgan McDaniel of Mirror Queen

morgan mcdaniel mirror queen

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Morgan McDaniel of Mirror Queen

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I would say I play the guitar like trying to figure out which is the right doorbell. I enjoy few things more than music and am delighted that I have been presented opportunities to travel and deal high volume riffs to those who wish to listen (and otherwise). I came to do it and continue to do it with an all encompassing word — persistence. You must always work towards whatever it is you want and never be disillusioned by fear of failure, expectation or convention.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first real musical memory is my father introducing me to the Doors and The Kinks at a young age. While that didn’t kick me into full musical gear at that age it certainly left its effects as the latter remains one of my constantly favorite groups to revisit.

The first one of significant impact was the first lesson with second guitar teacher (since clearly the first one didn’t motivate me) Tor Synder, showing me the very barebone basics (string tunings and partial chords). Then before leaving me he (having played an acoustic for the duration of the lesson) asked to see my “Ion” brand strat knock off my parents had bought at Urban Outfitters for $100 (a real quality instrument). He then proceeded to play all of the Hendrix riffs at his disposal. I remember all I knew about Hendrix at that time was the name but I knew exactly whose music I was listening to and that was the thing for me. Side note, the week following he introduced me to Scorpions (Uli Jon Roth years), UFO and Rainbow. The world needs more people like that fella.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Opening for Deep Purple [with The Golden Grass] at Capitol Theatre. Besides the obvious reasons for that being something I look back on fondly, what sticks out most was watching Deep Purple play from every possible vantage point. At one point I found myself watching from the staircase on the balcony (trying not to obstruct any views) when someone tugged on my shoulder. I had figured it would have been a “hey buddy, get out of the way” but was pleasantly greeted by an usher who gave a solid “that was a great set,” then I promptly thanked them, watched for a second longer and got out of the way.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

My first European tour. As a 19 year old with no steady employment, no (formal) college education, a sprained wrist (as a bass player auditioning for a power trio, that was quite the intimidating predicament) and maybe a little over a month to rehearse. The idea of (in a sense) escaping the lack of (in a sense) purpose ‘back home’ was a welcome thought. However, when the reality sets in, relationships break down and at times you don’t know if you are really enjoying yourself then you are really forced to contemplate on whether you made the right choices. Luckily the verdict on my end was it was and I would do the same a hundred times over.

The last show of that tour was to a packed house in the Green Room stage at Roadburn which is a close second on the fondest memory front and the beliefs of right and wrong were null.

Where do you feel artist progression leads?

Up, down, left, right, all around. It leads wherever you want it to and even where you don’t. The ultimate destination being discovery, realization and enjoyment for oneself as well as others.

How would you define success?

Being happy, content yet ambitious in any venture one decides to embark on.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

One stands out vividly but I will save that for my book….

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

The perfectly disguised pop song. An unconventionally structured, familiar but new monstrosity that is as easy at it is to listen to as it is to analyze. Then I’d hope to write a few more in that vein.

Also working on a film score sounds like an arduous yet rewarding project.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

The most essential function of art in my humble opinion is the freedom of interpretation it emanates (solicits/elicits). The term “universal language” is as justifiable as it is cliché when describing music as it acts as a healer, reminder of distant memories both good and bad, an equalizer of interest and anything/everything in between.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Travelling, hanging out with all my friends in a dirty bar, oh and giving my mom a big hug.

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorqueennyc/
https://mirror-queen.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com/

Mirror Queen, “Inviolate” official video premiere

Mirror Queen, Verdigris (2017)

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply