We chat with Dan Drago about his life in the music industry and his local podcast, which recently celebrated its 200th episode.
Dan Drago has been an online champion of local musicians for over seven years. And when he wasn’t a lawyer, he was a participant, playing guitar and bass in various touring groups until 2013. A year later he recorded his first episode of 25 hours. Now the oldest podcast in the Philadelphia music scene, it recently celebrated its 200th episode.
MLT: What’s your connection to the mainline area?
DD: I was born on City Line Avenue and spent a few years in King of Prussia and Norristown before my family moved to western New York. I came back in 2004, and have been here ever since. I live in South Philly.
MLT: Did you grow up in a musical family?
DD: None of my parents play instruments, but there was always cool music around me: Tom Petty, the Who, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell. My family was part of a popular evangelical Christian movement so there was also a lot of Christian folk music in the house and when you are a child there is no difference. It’s just music. I had great music teachers in school and I was in choirs. I loved to sing. When I was a teenager, it was the early 90s, with grunge, big hair and loud guitars. I convinced my parents to buy me one of these guitars.
MLT: When did you decide the life of a touring musician wasn’t for you?
DD: It was in 2013 and I was almost 33 years old. When you’re in a group, you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall. In the end, it’s almost lightening in a bottle. I definitely gave it away. But as I got more and more involved in the industry, I realized that it would always be a chore.
MLT: So how 25 hours to arrive?
DD: I listened to a lot of podcasts on tour so thought I would start mine off by chatting with some of my artist friends. They would come to my house and sit at my kitchen table. We had lights installed and we were going. Then my friends started making recommendations. Next thing I know is I have guests I’ve never met before, and people are contacting me.
MLT: Any recent favorite podcast interviews?
DD: I have a lot of [WXPNâs] Interview with Helen Leicht for episode 200. She has had such a long and incredible career in radio, and not just as an on-air personality. She’s responsible for breaking up a ton of bands in Philadelphia. She is turned on by things and wants to share them with the world.
MLT: Looks like you can relate to that passion.
DD: Sometimes I wish I could just listen to stuff and let it overwhelm me. But this ship sailed a long, long time ago.
Related: Live Music Is Back This Year At People’s Light In Malvern