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The GINterview with Dan Bereza

Gin, Music and Near Death Experiences ~ Feb 5, 2019

Vancouver's Gastown District  is a great spot to talk about gin, music and whatever else come up.  Dan's a student at Nimbus School of Recording and has been out here for about a year and a half.  He's originally from Ottawa.  Dan and I caught up at Virtuous Pie for a bite before diving into things over gin at Juniper Kitchen and Bar around the corner.

We ordered some G&Ts to get started.

Dan had Juniper's signature G&T - a Bombay Sapphire East with juniper berries and limes (Dan's new favourite).  I went with a Japanese Kazuki-style gin from Sheringham Distillery made on Vancouver Island in a G&T with lemon peel. 

GinTraveler: Okay, first things first: what's your favourite gin?

  • Dan Bereza: Your going to hate me for this. I basically know two gins cuz I’m broke. Bombay and Tanquerey.

GT: No worries.  Everyone starts somewhere.  What's the music scene like here in Vancouver? 

  • DB: Coming from Ottawa everyone said to come out here. When I got here, the people here said I have to go to Toronto! The scene here is eclectic and diverse. People are really out there. I've played 3 events. Once at the 333.  I had to recruit people to play my music cuz I can’t play everything at once like I do in IG. 

GT: You're from back East.  What do you love most about the West Coast?

  • DB: Obviously the weather. It’s warmer. Vibe and atmosphere. Mountains. You gotta appreciate where you are but Ottawa is so flat. Waking up here, there’s something about big mountains and ocean.  It makes you feel great. I literally felt like that this morning. 

GT: How do you describe your music?

  • DB: I don't know.  That's so hard.  I guess it's a fusion of R&B, Funk and Alt Rock.  I grew up listening to alt rock then went back to dig into classic rock. Now enlightened, I've started to dive into R&B and Funk.  

GT: So, who is the first person that you share your work with for feedback? 

  • DB:  My older brother, Josh. Always honest but not brutal. He genuinely likes my music.  I have buddy named Alex, from France, that I met through school. He’s brutally fuckin' honest with me. I don’t know if that’s just cuz he’s from France or what, but, yeah. 

GT: I've watched your posts on IG and you're a bit of a renaissance man in that you play every instrument yourself, sing and produce.  How did you pick everything up?

  • DB: Josh used to play for me then taught me how to play guitar and read tabs. Then my dad bought me a Best Buy Guitar - super not legit - I wouldn’t use it in a record or anything but it has everything there to learn.  I started writing stuff and then recording it. Writing and recording have always been intertwined for me.  Someone had to play this stuff, all the parts, but I didn’t have anyone so, one-by-one, I just taught myself. 

GT: What kind of things were you into growing up? 

  • DB: Matthew Good band was huge. Chilly Peppers for all of high school. Nirvana obviously but that’s basic stuff. Then I back-tracked. The obvious like Zeppelin, Skynyrd, Beatles, Blue Oyster Cult. 

GT: So can you play cowbell?

  • DB: Definitely. (Laughing) So can you!  You may not know it yet but so can you. 

GT: What else were you into?

  • DB: I was really into skating. Entered competitions. Came second in a Volcom competition one time. I played Tony Hawk Pro skater.  That had so much really good music - so much inspiration came from there. 

GT: When you think about today's music landscape, talk to me about the struggle to be noticed.

  • DB: Music is so accessible these days. Everyone has access to everything. Super cheap. Also music is a lot easier to make these days because of technology. There's people who don’t know how to play a single instrument but can make a hit song. Because of that, I think there's an over abundance of amateur music. 

GT: Are you trying to "get noticed"?

  • DB: Yeah. Definitely. Trying to take advantage of social media. That's definitely an advantage. Beyond that, I want to play more shows. Find guys to play with. Playing shows is a very intimate way to get fans. 

GT: Ever had a near-death experience?

  • DB: Yeah. When I ran my own foot over in High School. I had stepped out of a reversing car that I thought was in park. Split my foot open had so much blood loss! There was a pool of blood this big (arms wide). My buddy put me to bed with my foot up. I honestly think he saved my life. I woke up in the morning and went to the hospital. 

GT: Who's on your playlist?

  • DB: Tom Misch.  FKJ.  Masego. John Mayer for his song writing and guitar play. Mateus Asato and amazing melodic guitar player. Mac deMarco. He’s pretty good.  That’s the shit I’m into these days I’d say. 

GT: What's in the works for Dan Bereza?

  • DB: Currently working on a jazzy-hip-hoppy thing with my buddy from France.  So far what we do is pretty dope but it’s going to be a stretch for me.  Other than that I just have a bunch of solo work that I plan to release over this year. 

GT: Can't wait to hear it.


Find Dan at:

Instagram: @berezy

Spotify: Dan Bereza 

AppleMusic: Dan Bereza 

SoundCloud: Dan Bereza  

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