Dan Vogl isn't living to work 

Fresh from Melbourne, the singer-songwriter has quickly gained attention in the resort

click to enlarge Dan Vogl has only been in Whistler a few months, but you can already catch him on stages around the resort. Photo submitted
  • Dan Vogl has only been in Whistler a few months, but you can already catch him on stages around the resort. Photo submitted

When Dan Vogl moved to Whistler last November, he inadvertently ended up living out his own song lyrics.

In his single "Gifted in Gold," the Melbourne musician laments that we all seem to fall victim to the rat race when we become adults.

"Working to live til we die/ Living to work til we die/ So we play by the rules as we start growing old/ In the hope that we are gifted in gold."

Vogl was living a comfortable life in his home city and starting to make headway with a music career there. But as it began to seem possible that his future might hold the marriage/house/kids route, he realized his chance to live, work, and play music abroad was now.

"I'd always wanted to do the snow season thing," he says. "It was time to do it and make the most of it while I have minimal responsibilities."

When I point out the parallels between his life and the catchy, upbeat indie-rock track, he seems surprised.

"I guess it is something I do believe deep down inside," he says.

Arguably, the life of a musician never falls into that 9-to-5 trap. To that end, Vogl set himself on the right course at the age of 10 when he first picked up a guitar. A few years later, he started writing his own songs and joining different bands.

"I did a solo thing then went to another band," he says. "Then kind of got to a point where I was like, 'I'm constantly relying on other people who aren't as committed and want this as much as I do.' I decided to make the band myself."

After high school, he went to college to study musical performance where he met an array of high-level talent. "I handpicked the best drummer, guitarist, and bassist I knew and asked them to play with me and a few of them said, 'Yes,'" he says. "We formed a group where I was the worst musician. They made these songs sound shit-hot. We did that for a couple of years and that led up to me writing."

He launched a GoFundMe and successfully raised $5,000 to record some of those tracks. With another $5,000 he saved on his own, he hired a well-known music producer in Melbourne and in 2019 he released the EP, also titled Gifted in Gold.

The five-track record is smartly produced with songs that straddle the line between rock and pop, steeped in heart-felt lyrics—much like his cited influences City and Colour, and Mumford & Sons.

When Vogl left Australia, some of those tracks were getting played on radio stations like Triple J, and he could fill 100-person rooms. "There was a bit of a shift before I came over here when I realized, after that last EP, I noticed people coming to my shows that weren't just friends and family, which was an exciting milestone," he says. "These people had found my music however, listened to it, and decided to come to the show."

In Whistler, he had some friends who put out a few feelers with clubs and bars on his behalf (not to mention helping with housing), but Vogl also hit the ground running upon arrival to try and secure shows. Remarkably, in the last three months, he's managed to snag a weekly gig at the Longhorn Saloon every Monday at 7:30 p.m. and, until the end of February, at Tommys Whistler on Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m.

He has also played a handful of après shows at the GLC. While you will hear his original tracks at those gigs, he also plays covers that range wildly from Elvis and The Beatles to Green Day and Justin Bieber.

"I brought over my acoustic guitar and I'm just playing by myself," he says. "I think to make it a form of employment in this town, [with] the price of living, to earn 100 per cent of the money from each gig allows me to work another job one or two days a week and do music the rest of the time."

For more information, visit danvoglmusic.com.

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