Q & A: DAN HEATHCOTE



PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. My name is Dan Heathcote, I'm a singer-songwriter from Nottingham in the UK. I started playing guitar aged 17 in 1996. I am in an alternative rock /modern prog band called Zadkiel.

We are a 4 piece. I am a Vocalist Rhythm Guitarist. I write stream of consciousness / abstract lyrics with a poetic sensibility. My influences are Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and Nirvana amongst others. Zadkiel have released 2 Eps (Inverted Heaven & The Ethereal Fear) and an album called The Saturn Return, on Unit 24 Records.

I have also released my debut solo acoustic album Limbic System online, and the CD release is due in August of this year via The Public House Brand label. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE? Limbic System is an acoustic album, stripped back, honest and unadorned. It is the sound of me in the room with the listener. It's a chilled out version of late night terrors. I wanted the record to be home spun and mellow, some of the lyrics are stark and strange, almost nightmarish, and some are dreamy and happy-go-lucky. The contrast makes for an intriguing emotional journey. Needles and Thorns was written about an ex girlfriend who had drug problems. Hive Mind the first single is about rebellion against the system, and corruption with insect and angel imagery. The music video for Hive Mind was released on Youtube in May.. and further plays on these themes, with surveillance cameras and a paranoid feel, inspired by Darren Aronfsky's first film Pi. WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE? Limbic System is named after the part of the brain that processes emotions, lizards apparently don't have one. This inspired me to use Chameleons and Brain scan images for the album artwork. Designed by Doug Robson who also recorded and produced the album. Limbic System stripped down approach was inspired by records such as March of The Lonely by Martin Grech, and Jeff Tweedy's recent solo records. I wanted the voice to be very clear and present, and for it to be as close to the experience of seeing me live with just acoustic and vocals. CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS? Ambient, Psychedelic, Escapist, Emotional WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY? Jeff Buckley's Sketches for my Sweet Heart The Drunk changed my life. It was posthumously released a year after his death and was considered unfinished. It's a double album and the first disc sounds immaculate and fully realised.

Despite the fact that Buckley himself apparently wasn't happy with it. It has some of his best songs such as The Sky Is A Landfill. Jeff sadly drowned in a river in 1997. When at 19 I heard the lyrics 'Throw off your shame or be a slave to the system.." from beyond the grave (not literally) it shook me and made me realise that life is to short to not pursue the things you love doing. The system is cruel and arbitrary. You can be processed by the meat grinder and end up spat out and used up.

This is our experience.. we need to be fulfilled to be happy, to avoid becoming unhappy. So I decided to become a musician, a singer-songwriter no matter what. Writing my own songs.

Limbic system is another kind of system. Music is the art form that allows us to process our emotions the most. It is a thing of beauty and an art form that must continue, the more original and honest the better. It can't be a hostage to fortune in terms of being all about money. Capitalism is not the answer to or meaning of life. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?

Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana is an incredible, original and disturbing music video.

Vivid, heartfelt and almost an uncomfortable cry for help.


A stunning fever dream that dabbles with dark religious imagery. The crucifix and orchid /poppy imagery in it is haunting and high art. Kurt Cobain was a visionary lyricist and unfortunately hooked on drugs. He succeeded against the odds with Nirvana selling a lot of records without compromising their vision. It's a shame he died as well. I think dark music is important and if it can help you to feel less alone and know that others have been through hard times there is comfort in that. If music was just pop and happy sounding it wouldn't reflect the full spectrum of human emotions. Dark for dark sake can also become too nihilistic and I'm not fully into metal as a genre. It has produced good bands, but it can sometimes go too far towards everything being doomed.


Grunge had light and shade, that gives depth. We need music to represent the whole picture of being alive and what that entails.

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