by Daniel Gonzalez
At an early age Dustin Prinz found the best way to express himself was through music. In his new EP titled Feeling It, he sings about newfound love, being awkward on the dance floor, and more. Many people are gravitating to his music for his unique playing style and creative writing earning him over 5,000,000 views and 27,000 subscribers on YouTube. Feeling It is available now exclusively at dustinprinz.com.
What was your inspiration when writing Feeling It?
The first song written for the new EP was “Mr. Twiddle Thumbs” and it was inspired by the legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher, a documentary about a particle accelerator in Switzerland (yes, I said Particle Accelerator), and a group of hecklers at a gig in Reno, Nevada that insisted their friend was a great guitarist and I should invite him up on stage. But I think he was way too drunk to make it to the stage – LOL…
The title cut “Feeling It” was inspired by an awkward experience at a popular Austin, Texas nightclub called The White Horse. I did what I always do and took my place at the bar and proceeded to enjoy the evening as an innocent bystander when I was accosted by a cute Austin girl that dragged my awkward ass onto the dance floor and the rest is history.
“No Need to Know” and “First sign of Love” were inspired by a short relationship that ended before it started, I obviously thought there was more going on than she did… LOL
How is Feeling It different from songs you’ve written in the past?
I feel that I have grown as a songwriter and guitarist over the past few years. I am very pleased with my work on this project. I decided to take a more guitar centric approach to my creative process on Feeling It and will be placing more emphasis on my guitar arrangements in the immediate future.
Does one particular song on the album mean more to you than the others?
“No Need to Know” kind of fell into my head with very little effort as I was riding the emotional high of a new relationship. So, with that said, the force is strong with this one.
How long did it take you to write Feeling It?
About 20 to 25 minutes – just joking. From the time the idea for Feeling It started bouncing around in my head until I actually started to develop it in earnest, probably about ten to twelve months.
What gear did you use in the recording of Feeling It?
I used a variety of gear to produce this project. My primary rhythm guitar was a Cort NDX50 but I also used a plethora of other guitars that were available at Power Base Studio in Wisner, Nebraska (you’re welcome Dan Kane) including Gibson, Epiphone, Martin, Fender, Alvarez and Ibanez. I string all of the guitars with Dean Markley strings. Amplifiers included Mesa Boogie, Marshall, Fender Twin and a vintage Sears Silvertone. All of which were turned up to ELEVEN. Microphones included AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, Rode, Audio-Technica, Peluso and Neumann.
How did you come up with the ideas for the videos and did you enjoy creating them?
Lyric videos are currently very popular so I decided to use some basic ideas and enhance the effort by incorporating stop motion and animation elements into the process. I always enjoy producing my videos and the use of the notebooks in the production was an attempt to engage the viewers and invite them into the thought process used to create the works.
What influenced you to first pick up a guitar and make music?
My parents bought me two Cerwin Vega speaker cabinets, a receiver and a CD player when I was 13. I spent that year playing air guitar to Metallica, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, and Deftones. After I had perfected my air guitar skills my parents rewarded my efforts with a real guitar on my 14th birthday. It was a pawn-shop Kramer with a tiny Crate amplifier and it made me feel like I was the king of the world. So the short answer would be my parents…
What musicians are your biggest inspirations?
I have drawn inspiration from many of my favorite musicians: Michael Einziger of Incubus, Bon Iver, Travis Meeks of Days Of The New, Tommy Emmanuel, Rodrigo y Gabriella, and Dave Grohl.
How should someone picking up an instrument for the first time go about developing as a player?
I started by learning songs from musicians that I personally enjoyed. Then I began to document ideas for new guitar riffs on my cassette recorder. This audio catalog of ideas kept me engaged and enabled me to become the player I am today.
Why did you decide to make Feeling It available exclusively on your website rather than making it available on other digital platforms?
I decided to make my work available exclusively on my website to avoid any confusion regarding payment for sales. There seems to be a problem with many corporate entities and their accounting departments. They seem to be losing sight of the fact that artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.
Can you talk about your unique playing style and how you came up with it?
When I finished my first record back in 2009, I had not yet launched my solo career. The album was a full production – drums, bass, guitar, and backing vocals. I wasn’t entirely sure how to pull it off in a live environment. Out of necessity, I started trying to figure out how to incorporate some of the percussive elements while playing and singing. I wanted the songs to have the same energy they had in the studio without having to hire four other players. Honestly, I was just trying to avoid the complications of working with several other musicians when I didn’t even know what stylistic direction my music was going to take. I had to figure out how to incorporate all the percussive elements while doing what I already perceived as a challenge, simply playing my guitar. Years of mind numbing practice and experimentation led to my style “Parapicking”.
How has YouTube helped you as a musician?
I’ve been posting videos on Youtube since 2006. In that time I have grown as a content creator and as a musician. Each video presented a new challenge. I now, not only had to play the song but I also had to learn how to effectively create and edit video.
What do you think the future holds for the music industry?
The jury is still out on that one… I really have no idea. I feel that the industry is in a transitional period, and I’m totally unsure of what the future may hold.
If you were stranded on an island and could only have three items, what would you bring?
I don’t know, how big is the island?
Have you noticed people treating you differently after you grew your hair out?
Fewer people say I look like Jack Johnson.