Danny Boone of Rehab Breaks Down the Difference Between Big Labels and Being Independent

by Jonathan Howard

Talking with Danny Boone of Rehab, you can tell he’s been there done that, especially when it comes to the labels. Since the beginning, he’s done music he wants to do. Boone and his various collaborators over the years have been signed.

That’s why there are so many versions of “Bartender Song”. Labels. That’s also why the group has a Double Platinum single. And, that’s part of the reason why Rehab is now enjoying its independent status now. No pigeonholing, no having to define the music, none of that.

Now that there’s some freedom, things have changed but also stayed the same.

“It’s a lot more free,” Boone said of their current label situation. “We always prided ourselves on doing different kinds of things all over the board, you know what I mean? We like a lot of different kinds of music, but it’s hard to do that with a label because they don’t know how to plug you in. And I get that. There’s a lot of genre-specific things that you gotta do.”

A band that was influenced by artists ranging from Public Enemy to British “trip-hop” group Portishead has a lot going on. So, labels shy away from it.

“As you get older as well, it’s just, their [label] machine has to keep running and mine has too as well. [Now] I felt real free to do any kind of music I wanna do.”

That’s likely a big reason why Sand Castles, the new album from Rehab, has such a different sound. It’s clearly a Rehab album, but it’s more mature. Still, it pulls its style and influence from multiple genres. Something that has allowed Boone to stay true to himself artistically.

Rehab’s Danny Boone Has Fun Making Music

There’s one reason why Danny Boone is still making music… he loves to do it. He has fun and enjoys it. You can tell that he is passionate about music through and through. Sand Castles is a collection of songs that reflect Boone’s life. It’s observational. Not necessarily political, as he says he’s “not an activist.”

Now that he’s fully in control over what goes on the record, it’s a feeling that he can serve more than just what the charts want. He can scratch his creative itch.

“I feel like I can give more back to who I am as an artist. No doubt I paid attention to the charts and made things that would hopefully work, but that s**t’s no fun,” he said. “It is really no fun to just try and follow a menu, you know what I mean?”

“I try to, just try to make one sentence make sense with the next one,” the singer-songwriter claimed about his writing process. He just couldn’t find the right words. “Sometimes I don’t care, like most of the time – I just wanna damn rap! But when you’re writing a song, something like ‘Sand Castles’ or stuff like that…it’s gotta be about something and the obvious…” he trailed off.

While he couldn’t quite find the words about his writing process, the energy was there. You can tell that Danny Boone and the Rehab guys just love to play music. Check out the new album Sand Castles. And, try to catch a Rehab show if you can.