Dennis’s job has given him a new understanding of what “true” rock ‘n’ roll is about: getting into the spirit of the music. “You don’t really know what the song is about,” he says. “You just go in with your own interpretation.”
In a way, rock ‘n’ roll is less about the lyrics and more about the vibe that the music gives off: something more spiritual, something that helps you grow.
But with so many different types of musicians and genres out there, it’s hard to identify what a rock musician means. There are a lot of different influences, or “tweaks”—what Dennis calls “the real, unguarded things”—that can lead to one “real” rock singer or guitarist, he says.
For example, you’ve got Bob Dylan: “He was always doing this really high-pitched and a lot of that-ass guitar,” Dennis says. Then you’ve got Elvis: “He kept getting up there and playing in a really funny place.” With Marilyn Manson, Dennis says, “there’s this weird vibe and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, so the bands just end up making their own band.”
“All music is about you and your experience. If you could just sit there and experience the entire experience and really look at all of it, that would be the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll experience” – Dennis’ music critic John Cusack.
There’s the difference between Dennis talking about his favorite bands and what bands he’s known personally for years. But he’ll say that someone who truly cares about what they’re creating is someone who truly understands what makes the music they listen to come so truly alive.
“The best thing I can do is try to make sure the band that I love is playing this album every day,” he says.
He’d like to think he’s helped people understand what it means to create great music, but for now, he just enjoys seeing people get in the spirit with themselves.
“If you’re really into it, you’re going to have an amazing time,” he says. “Don’t try and be so serious about it. If something feels really off, you can put things aside to just be yourself.”
Photos: Dennis Mihalascu, Jeff White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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