Dan Mangan hits the road on his first Canadian tour in four years

Dan Mangan discusses touring and new album, More or Less, with Vancouver Weekly

Photo by Vanessa Heins

Vancouver’s Dan Mangan returned this past fall with his fifth album.

Titled More or Less, the album is his most mature work and finds the singer-songwriter at a different place in life than he was four years ago with Club Meds.

Mangan is now the father of two boys – five-year-old Jude and two-year-old Hayden – and has spent the better part of the past several years working from home on TV and film soundtracks.

2018 saw the return of Mangan, however. Starting with the release of the tragically romantic, “Fool For Waiting” last April, followed by the thoughtfully infectious “Troubled Mind” in June, and culminating with the full-length album this past November.

After spending Christmas at home with his family, Mangan began his first Canadian tour in four years, starting on the East Coast in St. John’s on January 23rd.

Photo by Vanessa Heins

On day two of the tour Vancouver Weekly spoke with Mangan, who was in Halifax,  about how it felt to be back on the road.

“It feels good…it feels really good,” Mangan said with a chuckle. “There’s a lot of new vibrations; there’s a new album, a new band, and a sort of revitalized energy from myself.”

When Mangan toured for Club Meds in 2015, there were highlights, but also some drawbacks, he says.

“My head was lost in the exhaustion of having [a baby] and I feel like I couldn’t really give that album or that touring cycle the attention that it needed.”

The four years away from touring clearly gave Mangan the time needed to refuel his passion for the road.

“There’s a new-found mojo in my step. I’m feeling really connected to the folks that want to hear my music. I’m in a good place.”

2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of arguably Mangan’s most well known release, Nice, Nice, Very Nice.

Mangan was 26 at the time and he remembers it fondly.

“That record really changed my life. We went from playing in little coffee shops to theaters and getting tons of radio play on CBC.”

Mangan recalls seeing his picture on newspapers in every town they visited on tour.

“It was like being in the eye of a storm. It got to the point where we couldn’t even keep up.”

Ten years later, a lot has changed in the music scene and Mangan is no longer the new face in indie soft rock.

Photo by Vanessa Heins

The question is, how does More or Less fit into today’s musical landscape?

“Every band says this about every record they do. I think this is my best work. I feel like the quality of the response that I’ve received from people who have listened to my music over the years or people who just found me, it’s been amazing. And it’s really affirming for people to gravitate to these new songs,” said Mangan.

Though there’s a new generation of listeners out there following new musical trends, Mangan seems satisfied with the feedback from the album.

“Every time you put out a record, you hope and dream that it goes totally stratospheric and all over the internet, and all the sudden go to play to huge rooms all over the world. But you’re also constantly just trying to push forward and trying to write better songs.”

After spending time in the past worrying about album reception, Mangan says he now tries to concentrate his thoughts elsewhere.

“It’s not very good for my head. I try to just stay in total gratitude of the fact that we’re on tour, a lot of these shows are sold out, and there’s people that want to hear these songs and that’s incredible.”

Mangan is currently making his way west and will be stopping in Vancouver for a sold-out show at The Vogue on February 12.

“I’ve got a bunch of family coming out. It feels like a bit of a homecoming. It’s been a while, since 2015 that we did a big hometown show, so it’s about time.”