‘You’re the Freshman of the Football Squad’: Dan Godlin on Opening for Howie Day, Todd Carey

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By Prathit Kadam

I recently had the opportunity to Skype interview Boston-raised singer/songwriter Dan Godlin, a rising musician who specializes in pop/rock music, and discovered how he got to where he is today. Though the conversation was constrained to a mere 30 minutes, we were able to go in depth into multiple topics such as his childhood, musical opportunities, and where his passion for music was born.

“I’m from Sharon, which is 20 minutes south of Boston,” Dan told me when I asked about his background. Although he was technically born in Texas and raised in Massachusetts, he’s now based out of New York and considers himself to be a New Yorker at heart.

After opening for Howie Day this past summer, Dan has since been touring with Curtis Peoples and Todd Carey all throughout the U.S., hitting virtually every major city from the East to the West Coast. He explained that his underground fanbase is slowly helping him become a well known, recognized musician in the industry.

When I asked him about his musical influences, he said that Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 tops his list. “His songwriting and lyrics are incredible, and his musical/melodic sensibility is outstanding. I’ve always looked up to him as a performer and singer/songwriter,” Dan said. “I also look up to John Mayer, and in terms of bands I love — the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20 — they’re all ‘90s pop/rock bands that I’ve enjoyed listening to. Also, more recently I really look up to The Fray.”

Dan’s most recent EP, In Between, isn’t just a collection of songs; it tells a story of post-college uncertainty. Dan received a prestigious college education attending the renowned New York University following his high school career. He explained how “there’s all these questions of uncertainty when you leave college, like ‘Where do [I] find a job?’ and ‘How do I start a family?’…. It’s hard to find that path, and this new EP shares my story of how to develop yourself post college.” Dan believes that the purpose of an EP is to showcase the best songs in the beginning, so that every song gets listened to rather than skipped over.

My last question for Dan dealt with his thoughts about debuting in Boston and performing at The Red Room. He said, “When you’re an opener, you’re basically the freshman of the group. You have to get the crowd going and do your own thing, then get off. You’re basically the freshman of the football squad.” Dan explained earlier that he was the captain for his football team in high school and he uses that experience as an analogy for his performances on stage. He started football as someone who didn’t get to play often, but by the end, he emerged as the captain of the team. He hopes that the same can happen for him musically, and that someday he’ll be able to host his own concerts.