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Baby Dayliner Q&A

I don’t hide behind anything

You wouldn't think a quintessential 80s singer could have started his career as late as 2004. The one man band Ethan Marunas aka Baby Dayliner owes a lot to artists who actually made music during the neon period, think New Order, David Bowie and others. He honors these pillars of 80s synth and pop on his second release, Critics Pass Away. His honest, intelligent and sometimes humorous lyrics are truly one of a kind. We had a chance to chat with Ethan via email to find out more about what fans should expect from his upcoming show.

SF Station: It seems that with Critics you made more of an effort to stick with a theme for the album as a whole. Was this something you thought about when making it?

Baby Dayliner (BD): All the songs on Critics were written in sync with my one-man show, so they have a certain intensity that unifies them. High Heart and Low Estate is a collection of songs I wrote without the stage in mind. It wanders a bit. High Heart is a really personal album, where Critics is a lot more available to the listener.

SFS: You began playing the violin at an early age. What made you move away from this? How did this come about?

BD: Well, first of all, to succeed in the classical world you have to need to practice eight hours a day. The competition is stiff, and it’s a relatively small world, so you’d better love it with all your heart. I didn’t, and I walked away. The other thing is that, as a whole, I didn’t like classical musicians. They always seemed very pathetic, nasty, and maladjusted. They had soft, sweaty hands. They made me feel crappy just to hang around them. There are exceptions, of course. I loved a couple of my teachers. After I stopped playing the violin, I came back to music as a songwriter a few years later. I find it much more interesting, and it turned out to be my predilection, finally.

SFS: Who is the funniest man on the planet? Where is this man getting his

BD: It’s gotta be George W. He gets his material from the well of ignorance.

SFS: Can you tell me about your first performance as Baby Dayliner?

BD: Yeah. It was awkward, but people really liked it, so I stuck with it.

SFS: Did you have a directorial or visual say during the process of making
your music video, “Silent Places”?

BD: No, the whole thing was conceived by the director, Daniel Bloomberg. I had little or no input.

SFS: Have you ever produced someone else's music? Would you consider it?

BD: Yeah, I’ve produced a couple things for other people. It’s good exercise.

SFS: What should someone expect coming to your upcoming live show?

BD: People should expect a one-man cabaret performance of my own material.

SFS: What is it about your music that makes people feel like everything is going to be O.K.?

BD: I don’t hide behind anything and a number of my songs encourage finding one’s place.

Baby Dayliner opens for The National and Mobius Band this Thursday at the Great American Music Hall. Show starts at 9pm, tickets are $15.