BLEND Interviews Dayglow
Sloan Struble is a freshman at the University of Texas better known as Dayglow, his self-produced and written band paving its way as Austin’s biggest up-and-coming “indie-pop” solo act. Struble amassed over 500,000 listens on the hit, “Can I Call You Tonight?” off his album Fuzzybrain released in September of 2018, and BLEND editor Blair Fielder had the pleasure to speak with him at Houndstooth Coffee about his inspiration for the album, his start in music, and how he became an overnight celebrity on the University of Texas campus.
By Blair Fielder
Blair: How did you get started in music?
Sloan: I’m in my freshman year at UT like not even through my freshman year first semester so I’m a baby, but I started Dayglow about a year ago. I’ve been producing music since I was like 10 with Garageband and stuff, but I started Dayglow about a year ago so I’ve been doing that.
Blair: You told BLEND that you were from a small town, where are you from?
Sloan: Aledo, Texas. It’s west of Fort Worth.
Blair: Has that impacted your music style?
Sloan: A little bit. It’s kind of interesting because I didn’t grow up in an art scene at all, and I didn’t have people that were influencing me really. I just kind of found things on the internet and created my own style because of that. But yeah, I think it was very unique compared to a city where there’s a lot of people around you doing art, whereas in Aledo, like nobody in a fifteen mile radius was doing any sort of art, but I loved it.
Blair: Are you the only member of Dayglow?
Sloan: As of now. If you know who Tame Impala is, the structure of how they work is it’s one guy named Kevin Parker, and he writes and produces everything in his house. (Kevin Parker) is the mind behind it and (Tame Impala) tours as a band, so I’m hoping to do that with Dayglow. I wrote and produced it all in my room and played all of the instruments.
Blair: Why do you go by Dayglow and not Sloan Struble?
Sloan: I knew I wanted it to become a band, and it just creates artistic freedom I guess. I’m really not sure, but I didn’t feel right just including my name. I feel like I would get a big ego fast if my name was behind everything- I can kind of hide behind it.
Blair: How did you come up with the name Dayglow?
Sloan: I definitely overthink things, so I knew if I took too much time thinking about a band name, I would never decide. There’s actually a guy who’s based in Austin named Brazos. There’s a song called Day Glo by Brazos-great song, and I loved it last summer. I just kept replaying it, so I thought, “I’ll just go by Day Glo”, and spell it a little different.
Blair: Who has been your biggest influence and who has helped shape you as an artist?
Sloan: My biggest influence is kind of interesting. I go through huge phases in music. There’s been times where all I listen to is Skrillex, you know, but that’s naturally middle school. There’s not a single thing I stick to for very long, and I love the Beatles. I love Michael Jackson. I really get influence from anything I listen to and it doesn’t even have to be music, like places will inspire me.
Blair: That being said, what inspired Fuzzybrain?
Sloan: I knew I wanted to make an album alone before college, and senior year was starting up and I decided that I would crank out an album. I didn’t know what I was going to do yet. About by May I had 15ish songs that I knew would fit the album and I ended up cutting it down to eight. I just really wanted to (finish the album) almost just to say that I did it alone, fully independent. I just kind of did. I don’t know really what inspired it, I guess I’m still figuring that out.
Blair: What’s your favorite song off your debut album “Fuzzybrain”?
Sloan: I think, musically, it would be “Fair Game.” It’s the song that evolves the most. I tend to feel like my other songs are repetitive, but that one changes and says a lot. Lyrically, “Fuzzybrain” sums up where I was last year; the whole feeling is encapsulated in that album. Fuzzybrain just speaks very well, so I’d say it’s my favorite.
Blair: Did you expect “Can I Call You Tonight?” to be your most popular song so far?
Sloan: I remember feeling very confident before I released it. I spent a lot of time mixing it because I knew it could potentially do well, but not to the extent that it has. I never imagined it, like a couple days ago it hit half a million streams which is something that I could have never expected. I just got very lucky with Spotify’s algorithm.
Blair: How do you think you reached 500,000 listens in less than a month?
Sloan: So how Spotify works is that there’s editorial playlists like Rap Caviar and ones that Spotify makes and personal playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar that are based off what a person listens to. I didn’t have any related artists at the time ,and I got on this blog called Honey Punch based in Tulsa , and I think what happened is that the people who listened to Coin and other big alternative artists listened to Honey Punch, so for a day or two, those were my related artists. So I guess Spotify thought I was a big artist for like two days and my amount of listeners just skyrocketed one Monday from Discover Weekly. Since then, it’s been tremendously higher the amount of listens. It was just lucky- complete luck.
Blair: -and talent
Blair: What’s the story behind your album art for “Fuzzybrain”?
Sloan: There’s a guy based in London named Wilfrid Woodsculptor and he makes very similar sculptures (to the album art) and I knew very far in advance that I wanted the art to be that style. I had finished the album, like mastered and everything, and all I had left was just the art. I had been emailing him back and forth, and I had a good price, but I realized that I had done everything up until this point, so why not make the art too. I bought some clay, went to Hobby Lobby, and I sculpted it in my kitchen like two days before I left to come (to Austin). I’d never sculpted before but just tried it and it worked.
Blair: Where do you see yourself going with the future of Dayglow?
Sloan: I would love to start playing shows. Right now I’m just getting a band together and figuring that out, but I have some songs that I’m working on that I’m really excited for. I’m just doing solo shows right now with tracks pressing play in the background and my electric guitar. It’s fun, but I’d love to get a band together and have it be the next step but who knows? Not me.
For more information on Sloan Struble and Dayglow, follow him on Instagram at dayglowband. “Fuzzybrain” is available to stream on Spotify and catch him opening for Family and Friends Sunday, October 21 at 6:45 at Hampton House’s Weekend 3.