Dante Palminteri interview: On new music, and the intersection of music and acting

Dante Palminteri

Music fans may first recognize Dante Palminteri from his acting work, such as co-starring in Sharknado 2 playing Vaughn Brody, Fin Shepard’s (Ian Ziering) nephew. But he’s also making an equal name for himself in music, and taking several big steps forward in 2020 as he releases plenty of new songs.

Following the release of his recent single “I Don’t Even Know You” he took time to chat with me about whether acting or music came first in his life, how acting has influenced his songwriting, and all the things he has on tap this year. Get to know Dante Palminteri better in our interview, then give his latest music a listen on iTunes!

Brittany Frederick: Which came first for you – the interest in music, or the interest in acting?

Dante Palminteri: Acting was first. Just because I’ve been around it since I was a baby, since my mother was pregnant with me. I was on movie sets and going to premieres, and doing all that stuff. But once music hit me around, I would say I was 11 years old, acting was still a passion of mine, but it sort of took a back seat to playing [music].

BF: Have any of your acting experiences, or characters that you’ve played, influenced your songs?

DP: I find my acting has really influenced my songwriting, because I’m able to take a situation that isn’t that interesting or compelling, but keep going with that in my own imagination and write in my head how I would like this scene to go. And then soon I have sort of this imaginary world where I am finding inspiration to write upon.

A lot of times I’ll play a song and people will go, well that’s not what happened. I’m like, yeah, well it doesn’t need to be what happened. It started from something true, but if I just wrote about the truth, there would be no song. But you’re able to take other experiences and sort of put that in a mundane moment, and write from that.

BF: You’re another artist who prefers to release music in smaller doses instead of full albums. Why go that route?

DP: Because nobody listens to albums anymore, and that’s really depressing. The only people who listen to albums are extreme music fans and other musicians. That’s 100 percent of the reason why you see artists doing that.

You want to get one single on the big playlist. You want to get one single on a movie, a TV show. [And] it’s expensive to record an album. A lot of people who aren’t in music, they don’t understand how long it takes, how hard it is, how many people need to be involved and how much money you end up losing. It makes no sense in a day and age where people aren’t listening to albums anymore to record 12 songs, release them all, and then focus on one and have nobody hear 11.

It makes more sense to record 12 songs and then release those 12 songs as singles over six-week intervals. That gets people more excited. People release albums once they have the following; that’s still a thing. But to get that following, for most people, albums just don’t really [work]. I’m sure you’ll find some stories where they’ve released an album and it’s a massive smash.

Another thing that really kind of lends itself to single releases is every artist now has to have a stance or a brand. And when you release a couple of songs over time, I feel you can hone in on that stance a little more. That’s my take on it.

BF: You’ve played live at some excellent venues including 54 Below and Rockwood Music Hall. What’s the most interesting show you’ve played?

DP: I have a good one. It was supposed to be a food festival in New Jersey, and I show up to the show, and it turned out to be a Bed Bath and Beyond parking lot with like three stands that all sold sausage and pepper. And then they had one generator that was supposed to power the whole band and it kept shutting off, so our bass player had to keep kicking it to turn it back on. And while that was happening, there was a guy in a Batman costume that didn’t fit, and he was walking around going up little kids asking them to go to this sandwich shop. That was probably the most interesting, very strange thing that has happened to me so far.

BF: Have you planned any 2020 tour dates yet?

DP: There aren’t any dates right now; I’m working on booking them. I spent the last three months in the recording studio and I wasn’t really playing out. But now that I’m releasing more music, I will be putting out a lot of show dates. So if anyone wants to know when I’ll be playing, they can just follow me on all my socials and I’ll be blasting them out when they’re booked and in concrete.

Be sure to check out Dante Palminteri’s catalogue on iTunes and stay tuned to his social media for updates about tour dates and new music releases!

Article content is (c)2020 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr.

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