Daniel Shultz has been plotting for quite some time now. The Bowling Green native (yes, indeed, he’s the younger brother of twice Grammy-nominated alternative rockers Cage The Elephant). The assumption, however, that he’s riding the coattails of the fame garnered by Cage isn’t quite the case.
“I think I’ve struggled a little bit defining and forging my own path,” Shultz admits.
The 21-year-old has been playing in bands in Bowling Green for the better part of a decade. “When I was 13 and 14 my songs were dog shit,” Shultz said with a laugh over the phone. Shultz started writing lyrics at 13 but admits it took years before he was remotely confident in the work he was producing.
“I just couldn’t find what I wanted myself to sound like,” Shultz said.
By the time he was a Greenwood High School senior he was playing basement shows with his band Maelle at his house, aptly named The Gnome Home. The sets were rowdy affairs, sweaty teenage bodies moshed to the sounds of a band reveling in its youth, far from perfect, but on to something. Teenagers huddled their sweaty bodies violently, spilled their beers belligerently and passed around joints. That was until the affairs got too out of hand and The Gnome Home, like countless house venues in Bowling Green, closed its doors.
I know this because I was a senior in college at Western Kentucky University completing a senior project that profiled the music scene in Bowling Green. That was the fall of 2014. I was a tad too old to be in attendance, but the shows were worth the 3-buck admission. Maelle is no longer active. Shultz now fronts Dan Luke and The Raid and is prepping the release of debut EP “Be Good”.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” Shultz said of seeing his hard work pay off, booking gigs with acts like Twin Peaks. “I never expected to be playing a show with Juliette Lewis, but it’s a good feeling.”
Shultz said the EP has a tentative release date for Spring 2017 and will feature five tracks. Dan Luke and The Raid’s debut release was recorded at Thunder Sound in Franklin, Kentucky. The producer for “Be Good” is Donny B and the recording engineer for the project was Matt Schenk. As of now, Shultz couldn’t comment on labels expressing interest.
Shultz described Dan Luke and The Raid’s sound as “desert, with a psychedelic touch, with a hip hop backbeat.” Artists like the Strokes, Television, Public Access Television and Leonhard Cohen have been influential in shaping the band’s sound, but just scathe the surface, Shultz said.
The frontman said he is most proud of tracks “I’ll Fake A Smile” and “Tragic Symphony” that will appear on “Be Good”. The latter is dedicated to the memory of close friend, late Nashville-based Bad Cops guitarist Alex Harness, who passed away at 27 in August of 2016.
“I remember hearing he had been doing way too much over indulging, and then I got the news,” Shultz said. “I sat down and started playing my guitar, just trying to tell his story. I changed all the he’s to I. The song is me telling his story through my point of view.”