Just wait until you hear Burnin' Snowmen's first single, "Breaking Through a Dam."
In 1996, an encounter with a classical guitar player named Julio derailed Daniel’s plans to someday dominate the NBA. Intrigued by Julio’s fingerpicking interpretation of a Nirvana song, Daniel walked off the court in the middle of a game to listen. The next day, he dug an old toy guitar out of the attic, built a “studio” in a shed that smelled of harsh chemicals, and commissioned other neighborhood kids to play Tupperware drums and milk carton maracas. Channeling a vague sense of oxymoron and metaphor, they called themselves Burnin’ Snowmen and released their first single, “Breaking Through a Dam.” After four days, the band members parted ways, blaming bad fumes, creative differences, and need for lessons. But that cart-before-the-horse style, for better or worse, would become Daniel’s M.O.
Around the same time, there was a parent-teacher conference where the teacher said, “Daniel writes pretty good.” Finding encouragement in these grammatically unsound words, he wrote his first and only book of poetry. Titled “Po-i-tree,” the book’s cover bore a crayon drawing of, yes, a tree. An apple on the ground hadn’t fallen far from it, because, despite having big dreams, Daniel knew himself to be a homing pigeon. The poems covered topics ranging from political diatribes heard at the dinner table to the existential dilemmas of a thirteen-year-old.
Other important stuff happened between then and age 22—mostly “character-building” stuff that Daniel would rather not discuss. The only thing he would tell us is that he had a beagle named Polly who would chase squirrels.
Since graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004, Daniel has worked in television, video, and music production. His work has won Emmy and ADDY Awards for writing, video editing, and music/sound design. Outside of work, he continues to hone his professional skills writing stories, as well as music for his alt-country band, New Reveille. His long-term goal is to quit chewing gum, as he is fed up with constantly biting his cheeks.
“…all the while chewing this hard, tasteless gum, thinking of the perils of lockjaw.” -Po-i-tree, 1995