Danny Bauer carries many eggs in his horse mask. Bauer studied underneath the late great Mark Flugge at Capital University from 2010-2014. Additionally, Bauer was apart of an ensemble known as “Safety Squad” which creates Adventure Jazz. Bauer has released singles independent of “Safety Squad” such as “Eggboy”, “My Favorite Pen,” and “Horoscope Girl.”
Mustard had the pleasure of talking with Danny about turning 30, favorite type of eggs, Safety Squad, and so much more! Mustard hopes you enjoy this interview. You can find Danny Bauer at: Spotify, Tiktok, and Apple Music.
- First and foremost, Mustard would like to wish you a happy belated birthday. Their human intern also recently turned 30. Will this milestone play a role in your music? Additionally, if you had to write a song about a number; what number would it be and why?
Thank you! I am excited to be 30. My friends in their 30s all say great things about being in your 30s. I feel like my 20s was a lot of guesswork and now that I’m 30 I feel far more confident in who I am and what my goal in life is. As far as writing a song about a number, I don’t know exactly but I have been thinking about what my musical “I’m 30” Tag will be for some of my videos! On 2 videos in the last few months, I used the tag “I’m 29” as a funny punchline, and I don’t have a melody yet for “I’m 30”, but I hope to soon!
2. How does comedy influence your music and content?
Comedy is a huge influence on me! My oldest musical memories are dancing in my bedroom to the Weird Al “food album” on cassette tape! I’ve always loved to laugh and tell jokes, and I’ve been into funny music since I was a child. I’ve loved stand-up comedy for a long time too! When I was in high school, I got really into bands like Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats, which both have some hilarious songs (The Aquabats write the funniest lyrics I’ve ever heard!)
Bo Burnham and Tim Minchin are big Pianist/comedian influences, and as far as more edgy out-of-the-box stuff some of my favorites are MadeByJimBob and Owen Benjamin.
I think people take their lives far too seriously often, and I want to poke fun at things and give people an opportunity to laugh outside of the binaries the TV presents. I feel like I really hit the sweet spot when it’s unclear exactly who my songs are making fun of (The Pro-lifers metal song comes to mind, as does my one about gas prcies)
3. Scrambled, over-easy, or fried?
I love me a good over-easy egg!!!
4. Could you tell us the origin story of the Horse mask.
Haha! Yes! I had just moved to Chicago in August of 2019, and one of my friends/musical compatriots called me to play a gig at Denison University near Columbus Ohio. The theater department performed an episode of “Bojack Horseman” and they needed a band to play the opening/closing song of the show. I sang the “back in the 90s” outro song and wore the horse mask. I don’t know exactly why, I think Pete just wanted me to wear the mask. I ended up keeping it and 2+ years later it has become a staple of my videos!
5. You’ve been making daily videos on TikTok. Mustard loves the meme music you create. Are these videos planned ahead of time? Or do you put them together on the day?
Today (March 24) is day 79! My goal is 100 videos in 100 days! I try to get 1 day ahead (at least), so usually the video I am posting is the one I made the day before. I have been living off of savings (minus some gigs here and there) and spending basically all day brainstorming ideas. I write and record the song, film the video, and then edit it all together over the course of about 5 hours usually. Sometimes I know exactly what I want it to look like before i start and sometimes I am guessing my whole way through!
6. Poached, boiled, or baked?
Baked eggs? Or is this about potatoes? Honestly as far as eggs this is all new territory for me! I made deviled eggs for the first time in my life for the “Eggboy” video and I totally destroyed them they were nasty!
7. Mustard wonders if you have a favorite place to perform. Why?
I have to give a shout out to Dick’s Den in Columbus Ohio. It is the ultimate dive bar. My pals and I played hundreds of shows their throughout our 20s, ranging from straight ahead jazz to completely improvised weirdness, driving funk and crazy comedy music. I have spent many hours jamming into 2am with some of my oldest music buddies and that venue will always have a place in my heart. Their slogan is “Why not?” And I wrote a rap song for them in Jan 2019.
In Chicago my favorite spot to play is aliveOne. The band Bonzo Squad plays there every Thursday and they are an amazing jazz fusion project, and I’ve gotten to play there several times in the past year!
8. You were a part of an ensemble known as “Safety Squad.” that created “Adventure Jazz.” How did you all come together? Any plans to release music in the future?
Yeah! Safety Squad was my baby for 6+ years. I went to music school from 2010-2014, and in the 2012-2014 era the band Snarky Puppy was really blowing up online. My friends and I were all obsessed with that group. I noticed that it seemed like everyone did a Snarky Puppy song for their recital at school, so between all of us I realized that we had the sheet music for 7+ Snarky Puppy songs. I went on their website and bought a few more and we had enough music to do a Snarky Puppy tribute show. The name Safety Squad came about as a response to my old ska band “Team Danger”. Team Danger always joked about having a rival band called Safety Squad. I don’t think TD was very good, but I knew I wanted SS to be good, so I figured it made sense to call it Safety Squad. After a few shows of Snarky Puppy cover music, I started writing songs in that style, and that became my main composing and performing vessel.
We went on a few tours and played a lot in Ohio, and ended up recording/releasing 4 albums of music. The band changed a lot over the years, and between moving to Chicago in 2019 and the lockdowns in 2020, that was the nail in the coffin for Safety Squad.
Since being in Chicago, I have brought the Safety Squad music to a lot of different Chicago musicians and we have played the music here a lot. Recently I have decided that I want to write more music in that style and release it online under the Safety Squad name. Safety Squad has 40+ daily listeners on Spotify so I figure if there’s people who want it, I should make more of it!
9. Do you plan to bring “Danny’s Morning Minutes?” to TikTok?
Oh wow! You dug deep 🙂
Honestly, no I haven’t really considered it, but I do love inspirational kind of stuff. I think a message of positivity/inspiration does come through in some of what I do, and as I get more comfortable uploading videos of me talking/sharing my life that kind of message will come through
10. Mustard loves alliteration and is curious to know more about “Porch Power.”
Porch Power comes from the most brilliant thing I ever did! In April of 2020 when everything was locked down, I set my keyboard up on my front porch and started playing music. A few neighbors came outside to give me money and requested I keep playing. 6 months later I had played every night with some of the best musicians in Chicago, and we had gathered crowds of 500+ people on several busy summer weekends! The Porch Power album is a recording of one of those nights. Here is the Chicago reader article about it
11. What advice would you give to musicians joining TikTok?
A few random pieces of advice
– Your judgement of whether the thing you make is good or bad is really flawed. For years it would take me FOREVER to write songs because I meticulously tried to get everything perfect. Forcing myself to make a TikTok song every day has made me surrender to saying “well this is what I’ve got”. Sometimes the stuff that I think is amazing gets seen by no one, and sometimes the stuff that I think is horrible gets a bunch of views!
– The more you can have fun with what you are doing the better! It can REALLY suck when you put your heart and soul into a video and no one cares, but at the end of the day if you can look back and say “I liked that one!” That’s all that matters and that’s what will keep you going!
– Some people are going to think what you are doing is completely stupid. Ignore them. Most people think TikTok is “dancing 12 year olds” and scoff at the idea of trying to “make it” on TikTok. I still haven’t “made it” but I’ve learned a lot, and created a lot of art that has inspired and entertained people!
12. Do you have any upcoming projects or anything you’d like to promote?
I am working on my album of “pop rock” tunes – think a cross between Bo Burnham, Ben Folds, The Aquabats, and Jukebox The Ghost. I am hoping to release the first single from that in may so a follow of my spotify account would be excellent.
Otherwise, I think the Safety Squad music is some killin’ jazz fusion and I want to write more music for that. The two sides of Danny Bauer I think are driving instrumental jazz and sarcastic pop-punk-rock. I am hoping through my 30s to develop and grow audiences for both of those!
13. Mustard has no idea how to look for a horoscope girl. Could you help?
I am currently in a phase where I have deleted all of my dating apps and I make a point to ask a girl out if I’m at a bar, or at least go up to a pretty lady and tell her she’s beautiful. I wrote “horoscope girl” for a girl I was dating who was into horoscopes but currently I do not have a Horoscope Girl of my own!