Rockford Rocked Interview: Dan Curington, lead singer of AudioDrive
RRI: Let’s talk about how you got involved in music and wanted to become a singer in a rock’n’roll band. I understand you have been at it since grade school.
DC: I was exposed to music very early. Everyone on my mother’s side was musically talented and could either sing or play an instrument and their band would play at all the family gatherings. My mother is an excellent singer and when I was four I found my dad’s Elvis Presley records and right there I knew I wanted to be a singer.
RRI: Did gospel music have an influence you early on?
DC: Gospel music had a huge influence on my life when I was younger. I was raised going to a southern Baptist church when I was growing up so I was exposed to all the old gospel classics. I guess you could say I cut my teeth on those songs.
RRI: What was the music scene around the Rockford area like in the 1980s and 90s? Were there a lot of clubs and venues to play at?
DC: I remember having a lot of fun during the 80s and 90s but I also remember that being in a band didn’t pay very well. I guess it didn’t matter too much as it was mostly about having a good time.
RRI: You are currently the lead singer in a popular area band called AudioDrive. You guys have done very well for yourselves and developed quite the following. What do you attribute the popularity of the band to?
DC: Luck and hard work. We have worked very hard at what we do and put a lot of time into practicing. We are going on eight years together and it has definitely been a great ride. Our formula is do the songs that the girls want to dance to and everything else will fall in place! (laughs)
RRI: It’s no secret that you have a great love and passion for the 80s band Journey. Rumor has it that you even moonlight as lead vocalist for a Journey tribute band out of Chicago when not performing with AudioDrive. Where and when can we see you perform?
DC: Well actually I have two Journey tribute bands, one in Chicago named Arrival and one here in town named Raised on Radio. I also perform with the band Arra In Chicago (Their former lead singer was hired to replace Steve Walsh in the band Kansas.) so as you can see I keep myself very busy.
RRI: What’s the largest crowd to date that you have played in front of?
DC: I guess it would have to be the time Audiodrive played at the Metro Center at an IceHogs game. They had a stage set up on the second tier and we played before the game and at each intermission and then after the game. I remember the IceHogs were playing the Los Angeles farm team so the place was packed – I’d say about 7,000.
RRI: Let’s have some fun. I’m going to say a word or phrase and you respond with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Coronado Theater.
DC: Jerry Seinfeld, 1992.
RRI: The year 1985.
DC: My first concert, Motley Crue at Alpine Valley. What a blast.
RRI: Robin Zander.
DC: One of my idols.
RRI: The Pier in Beloit (former club).
DC: I can’t tell those stories because I’m married. (laughs)
RRI: Favorite album.
DC: The first two Ozzy and Van Halen albums then maybe “Raised on Radio” by Journey.
RRI: Favorite song to perform live.
DC: The ones that really move people seem to be my favorites to sing.
RRI: You have won “Best Male Vocalist” a few years in a row at the Rockford RAMI awards. Will you withdraw your name from the ballot this year so people don’t get sick of you or think “the fix is on”?
DC: I’m up for it this year and would love to win it. After five years they stick you in the RAMI Hall of fame and you are no longer allowed to win.
RRI: What’s next for Dan Curington?
DC: Well I have a couple more months performing with Audiodrive. Then I will be moving on full time to perform in the Chicago market. I will still be performing in the Rockford area with my Journey tribute band Raised on Radio and possibly some select AudioDrive shows but yes, I am leaving AudioDrive.
Just one more thing: I really appreciate you asking me to do this interview and thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing as its great for Rockford, Rockford music and the Rockford music fans.