Daniel Park
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Daniel Park


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"Tunes: Daniel Park blends violin, guitar, vocals for dynamic show"

Tunes: Daniel Park blends violin, guitar, vocals for dynamic show

Jenn Kistler/Pulse Editor
movie" wmode" LAS CRUCES — Daniel Park usually doesn't have a day off and often stays out past 2 a.m. only to get up for work at 6:30 a.m., but he's OK with it.

Guitarist, violinist and singer, Park, 26, works at D&G Nutrition Club in Las Cruces by day and performs his music at night and on the weekends.
Park will perform at 10 p.m. Friday at Hurricane Alley, 1490 Missouri Ave.
"I just do it all for fun, really," he said during a phone interview Monday. "Music has been good to me, so I want to give back and I enjoy doing it. I do it for pure enjoyment. I guess it's kind of a selfish thing, but if other people enjoy it too, then good I hope they listen."

Pulse: So, you got acquainted with music at a young age? How did you get started?
Daniel Park: Actually, my parents started me off on the violin when I was about, I'd say around 8 years old. So, I had private lessons for a while all the way up till high school I played in orchestra — in middle school and high school. And that's really how I got started. I picked up the guitar my junior year of high school.
Why did you choose the violin?
Three of my other siblings, they started on violin before me. I was the second youngest. So, they're like, well, everyone else is doing it why don't you try it too. The crazy thing is I'm the only one that plays still. Everyone else kind of just fizzled away. But I'm the one that stuck with it. Actually, I hated playing the violin. It was dumb. I hated private lessons.
Why did you hate it so much?
Because I wanted to go out and play with my friends. My parents would say, OK, if it's your dream you got to practice at least an hour a day. And an hour a day to a little kid is a lot. So, I'd have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. practice for an hour in the morning before I went to school. So, I wouldn't say it was easy. There was a lot of sacrifice that came down to it when I was little just to play the violin.
What made you change your mind about the violin?
What happened was when I came to college I decided not to play in orchestra. So, I actually just focused on the guitar for a couple years in college. I joined a band called Live Bait...And I started playing with them the violin a lot and I really loved playing the violin with a band. It was just the contrast between an orchestra and then playing with a band, I could kind of invent my own music instead of reading music and musical notes. I could just jam and play what I wanted. That was the breaking point when I said I could actually have fun with the violin.
What is different about performing as Daniel Park as opposed to being in a band, such as Live Bait or Kiss To Betray?
Over the years I've written a couple of songs and I always wanted to come out with a CD of my songs. I said, I have all these songs that I wrote, I might as well make a CD. So a couple years ago I went through the works of making a CD and it took me like a year to record it. But I finally did it ... And what's different about my shows are I use a looped pedal to loop my guitar and then I end up jamming my violin on top of that, so you get a different experience. It was pretty much the only way I could find where I could play and sing the guitar and play my violin with just me. I didn't need anyone else. I kind of like it that way... Everyone's always confused when I first do it, they've never seen it before, but it's really neat to hear.
Why did you decide to title your CD "These Illusions?
It's actually the name of one of my songs that I wrote. It's one of my favorite songs that I wrote, just the way I wrote it and the musicality of the song. And just my thought process while putting this album together that song just kind of put it all together.
Where do you get your inspirations for your songs?
The song's just about life in general. Some of the words are, "Let's open our eyes to these illusions around/covered like a veil upon this ground." My whole life my parents always taught me you need to go to school, get a good job so you can work your whole life. I got to thinking after a while, is that what life is really about? I think life involves a struggle or just an understanding of sometimes things could be different. What if you wanted to go travel? What if you want to do this? Think outside the box is pretty much what I'm trying to say with that song.
Is that how you're trying to live your life?
That's how I try to live my life everyday. Think outside the box. 'Cause then it's not so monotonous. You live your life a little bit more free, without worry. There's still a reality check, where you've got to pay bills and stuff like that. Try to work around that where you're happy. I have my day job, but I book shows and I've been lovin' it. Even though maybe a show will be really late and I have to wake up really early, I still do it. There's sacrifice sometimes to do what you really want to do.
So, portions of the CD revenue go to help children?
Yes. My friend in Albuquerque started the Forgotten Foundation. And $1 from every CD goes to the Forgotten Foundation. They design T-shirts and stuff like that and it's really a fundraiser. All the proceeds from these T-shirts go to help these kids in different countries around the world — third-world countries.
For more information about Park, visit www.myspace.com/danielparkmusic
Jenn Kistler can be reached at jkistler@lcsun-news.com
If you go
Who: Daniel Park
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: Hurricane Alley, 1490 Missouri Ave.
Info: (575) 532-9358 or www.myspace.com/danielparkmusic
Daniel Park performs on his violin during a show.

- Las Cruces Sun-News (NM)

"Daniel Park - These Illusions (CD)"

Daniel Park – These Illusions (CD)

Posted by James on December 14th, 2008 No Comments Printer-Friendly
“Anthropology” is the first hit to be had on Daniel Park’s “These Illusions”. Hints of David Archuleta present themselves immediately, along with individuals like Shawn Mullins, and Jack Johnston. The slightly gritty vocals of Park work perfect with the smooth arrangements that operate as a backdrop for the track. There is no reason that “Anthropology” should not be the next big track in the vein of Jars of Clay’s “Art in Me”, and this feeling is only furthered with the disc’s next hit, “DTR”. “DTR” has a lively beginning that touches on “Classical Gas” before Park’s distinctive vocals take the stage.

What is one of Park’s strongest sides would have to be the cohesion that is present during all of the tracks on “These Illusions”. This means that individuals could listen to “Missing You” or “Times Have Changed” and know exactly who is listening and what album these compositions have came from. The 11 tracks on this album form a snapsnot into Park’s life that should be enough in the way of fuel to make listeners want to pick up any subsequent releases by the man himself, and to search out any live dates that may be scheduled in late 2008 and 2009. If you like soulful rock that is bold and brilliant while holding on to the standard that have made the genre so great, you really do need to check out Daniel Park’s “These Illusions”. However, I would have to point listeners to the disc’s final track, “Beautiful”.

There is little variation in the lyrics at the beginning of the track, but this is an inspired move to ensure that listeners have the song tattooed deep in their heart. The instrumental side of things is muted for the track, but when the guitar and violin do come into focus, the track takes the next step, creeping ever closer to perfection. There is not a weak track to be had during “These Illusions”: Daniel Park has distilled what it is to be a singer songwriter in the late oughts, and in doing this, has created a blueprint that every individual with an acoustic guitar and a microphone should follow for the next decade.

Top Tracks: Missing You, Prelude

Rating: 8.5/10

Daniel Park – These Illusions / 2008 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.danielparkmusic.com - NeuFutur Magazine


These Illusions - Debut



When Daniel Park’s parents insisted on private violin lessons for him at age seven, he might have anticipated the success he achieved playing in his middle and high school orchestras. But the South Korea born, New Mexico raised performer hardly realized just how dynamically his skills on the instrument would mesh with his ultimate development as a rocker in the popular regional bands Live Bait and Kiss To Betray and now, his emergence as a powerful and emotional singer/songwriter in his own right. On his debut album These Illusions, Park plays violin and acoustic guitar in addition to reaching out to acoustic rock fans everywhere with his inimitable vocals.

Because of the mostly personal nature of the songs, the compelling 11-track collection rolls like a fascinating chronology of the 27-year-old singer’s life, beginning with tunes he wrote when he was an engineering student at New Mexico State in his now adopted hometown of Las Cruces. He was also building his catalog of songs as he played violin and contributed backing vocals for several years in two well known regional bands: the mostly cover band Live Bait and the “screamo” metalcore/hardcore group Kiss To Betray. Playing in Live Bait, his violin came in very handy for those Dave Matthews songs and it helped him take songs like Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” to a transcendent level.

Live Bait won the local college radio station KRUXFEST for “Best New Alternative Band” in 2005 and Kiss To Betray won the Las Cruces 2006 Battle of the Bands and later played at well known venues around the country like Headhunters in Austin, The Viper Room in L.A. and hotspots in Phoenix. As a solo artist, Park has since headlined regularly at local clubs like El Patio Bar and Hurricane Alley, the Albuquerque haunts the Launch Pad and Rally’s Pub on 4th Street, and in Lubbock, Texas, Phoenix and even Colorado Springs. He recently posted two live performance videos on his myspace (myspace.com/danielparkmusic), one of which features his unique looping technique which allows him to play violin and guitar “simultaneously” on the same song.

While Park enjoyed his time in Live Bait and Kiss To Betray and the notoriety he received as a featured performer, in some ways he felt he was always gearing up for his eventual breakthrough to the forefront as his own artist. In the months leading up to the breakup of Kiss To Betray, Park gathered his best material, entered what kiddingly refers to as “a local ghetto studio” and started to come to grips with These Illusions. While many of the tracks on the album have their roots in romantic relationships, the hypnotic and percussive, acoustic guitar driven title cut cuts to the core of his desire to find his own creative path in life—even if it means going against the mainstream expectations of our society. Other songs tap slightly into his lifelong search for identity as an Asian born man adopted (along with two of his siblings) by a white Ameican family.

“The song ‘These Illusions’ is really one of the deepest I have written,” he says. “I find that growing up, we’re taught to go to high school and college, then start your life, get a regular job, get married, have kids and that’s what it’s all about. But as the song says, that’s not always the way it’s got to be, and I can find my way away from here. Right now I may be following what society wants me to do, but it’s not what I really want. Music is who I am and what I want. Most of the songs are pretty personal and I would say something like 80 percent are about situations I have experienced, taking the point of view that things are not always what they seem. There’s always a mix of light and dark, and while the violin isn’t generally an acoustic rock singer/songwriter instrument, it creates a different emotional dimension in my songs.”

Other key tracks on These Illusions include the jangling, high energy “Times Have Changed,” which laments the shift in life as his significant other chooses to move on. The graceful, easy strumming ballad “What We Should Be” is another heartbreaker about learning to accept the changes in a relationship when one person leaves to pursue his or her dreams—while still celebrating the memories. Park spins a different perspective on change, going even deeper and more introspective on “Change in Me,” a song about a man who hits rock bottom and realizes his need to adjust his course.

“My goal with these songs and this album is to share my music and my feelings with more people and continue to develop my career,” says Park. “It would be an incredible thing to have the freedom to one day just be able to wake up, shut everything out and simply start writing and playing and forget all the other things that take away from that creative process. I also look forward to playing more live shows in different places. I love it when I see people in the audience singing along with me and clapping along. It’s a pretty unique show and it’s always excitin