We had the good fortune of connecting with Leo Dolan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leo, why did you pursue a creative career?
Music has always been the center of my life. It didn’t matter if I was in a stage of frequently playing live and making most of my income from it or if I was in a stage of writing, recording, and rarely performing, music is the Alpha and Omega of my life. I spent years trying to trick myself into thinking I could be personally fulfilled taking another, more stable and conventional, career path, but over the last year it has become abundantly clear that music is my only way forward. I was watching the Ken Burns History of Country Music documentary with my Dad this summer, and in an interview with Kris Kristopherson, a William Blake quote was brought up. Kris was talking about when he realized he has to make music for a living. The quote reads, “If he who is organized by the divine for spiritual commune, refuses and buries his talent in the Earth, even though he should want natural bread, shame and confusion of face will pursue him throughout his life to eternity.” This quote really resonated with me. Music has a highly spiritual quality, and this Blake quote crystalized exactly what feels so divine about music to me. I now know that music needs to be the center of my life if I want to live in a way that is genuine and open-hearted. This is why I am pursuing an artistic career.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Music and words are the medium I work with, usually together, but not always. My favorite songwriter are ones with a slightly strange, dark bent to their music, but also have the capacity to make the listener feel. I think my lyrics have been more focused and surreal in my recent work, and it is southing I take a lot of pride in. Ive been a been touring musician, played bars and all sorts of other sub-optimal venues, taught guitar and even played 5+ hour shows, and it all has helped me distill my art into what I want it to be.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Now this is the type of question I want to answer. We would have to go down to the Venice boardwalk and stroll; one of my favorite things to do. In a different, Covid-free world we would go to Amoeba and then spend a night in Silverlake seeing some live music. For eats we would find a taco truck in a random, obscure location. I have found that the stranger the taco truck’s location, the better the food is, something like a Lowes parking lot would be ideal. We would stay away from Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, as these areas have no soul, but an afternoon in Highland park would be ideal. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am gonna give my shout out to a pair of music educators. My high school music teacher Reno Holler was massively influential to my path. He was an ex-rock n’ roller himself, and always told me I had the chops to be a professional songwriter. Additionally, my current Guitar instructor, Albert Minette has offered me similar amounts of advice, mostly of the business side. He has offered a lot of practical, real-world experience about being a professional musician in Los Angeles, which has been absolutely invaluable.

Website: https://www.leodolanmusic.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leodolanmusic

Image Credits
Photographers: Kyle DelFatti, Ashla Razzano, Fiona Dolan

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