Interview: Dan Patlanksy talks

Interview: Dan Patlanksy talks about his success, blues-rock and his upcoming UK/European tour

Legendary South African guitarist Dan Patlansky sat down for an in-depth chat about his upcoming UK and European tour, his love for a guitar and Justin Bieber.

Interview: Dan Patlanksy talks

Dan Patlansky has been on the music scene for quite some time now. You might know him as blues-rock giant and guitar legend in South Africa. He caught our attention back in 2014 with his critically acclaimed album, Dear Silence Thieves and luckily it doesn’t look like he will be hanging up his guitar anytime soon.

After Dear Silence Thieves was voted top album in the world in 2014 by Blues Rock Review, Dan returned to the studio to record his latest and eighth studio album, IntroVertigo, which also received rave reviews. It came as no surprise when this album also landed the number one blues-rock spot on Blues Rock Review.


Born in South Africa, Dan Patlansky grew up listening to blues, classic rock, jazz and other roots music. He started playing guitar at the age of 12 and has been doing it professionally since the age of 16. At the same time he also began singing, even though for him “the guitar has always been the thing”.

“I see myself personally first and foremost as a guitarist and then singer and songwriter. My first love is electric guitar and playing in a band”.

At the moment Dan is currently finishing off a solo acoustic tour in South Africa, which he says “is very different, but cool”. With his South African tour finished, he will go on to perform a solo acoustic show in Dubai on April 13 at McGettigan’s JLT & The Baggot before jetting off to the UK and Europe with his band for a second tour of IntroVertigo. 

To coincide with his tour, Dan launched a new video for Sonnova Faith, a track from his album IntroVertigo on April 7

Speaking about the audience’s reception in different parts of the world, Dan says there’s a stronger established scene for what he does in the UK, otherwise it is quite similar to South Africa because “a blues-rock fan is a blues-rock fan”.

“I’ve seen the genre grow tenfold in the last 20 years. When I started playing, the kind of people that came to my show were only people of my parents’ generation who grew up listening to this type of music. Now it’s a far broader spectrum because of bands like The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Jack White who did a blues thing marketed in a more commercial way and younger people are more interested.”


After his tour, Dan will return to SA to host his annual Guitar Weekend in Clarens. Thirty guitar players join in during which he teaches them the different areas of playing guitar. “I do workshops. There’s a lot of jamming – the biggest thing is getting people together who share this passion for playing guitar.” He will do more of these weekends during the year in Clarens (again) as well as in Stellenbosch.

He attributes his success to “sticking to what I do and not necessarily playing music that I don’t want to play just because it is commercial”.

For him that is something. “If you look at anyone who is successful, it is because they are passionate about what they are doing. I’m not a Justin Bieber fan but I believe he digs what he does. That’s why he’s so successful. Doesn’t matter how niche it is, if you’re passionate about it I’m sure you will be successful.”

And it seems he’s not planning on stopping any time soon: “In ten years time I will definitely still be doing this – I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and I will always find a way to make it work!”

Remember to follow Dan Patlansky’s Facebook page for more!

Three questions: 

  1. What song would you play over and over again if you are to be stuck in a time lapse?

Still Wanna Be Your Man – a song from IntroVertigo. The nature of the song is a very natural song for me to express on, because a lot of my stuff is improvised and the solos is improvised and different every night. That slow blues platform is very natural for me.

2. Who is your top three guitar players?

Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Gilmour from Pink Floyd was a massive influence on me. A current guy would be Derek Trucks who is a very inspirational influence.

3. Who would you want to collaborate with?

David Gilmour – that would be an awesome dream come true!