NadNavillus – Interview

Interview with Dan Sullivan (NadNavillus project mastermind) and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

DS: NadNavillus is essentially a solo project to which I invite collaborators. I like having the versatility to play a solo set in an art gallery or a with a band in a rock club.

The music perhaps most easily categorized as Folk/Rock, but there’s a great deal of diversity of sounds within that camp. I like to mix it up so as not to be lumped in with the strummy-strummy folkies.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

DS: I grew up in Maine, my parents and older brothers are musicians. I sang in a boys choir and studied piano but was more interested in drawing when I was kid. Around age 13-14 I was very drawn to the guitar and taught myself on my Dad’s Martin D-16 acoustic.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

DS: I moved to Chicago in the 90s to make music, I’ve always been inspired by this city and its music community. My wife, Edra Soto, is accomplished artist. Her work ethic and relentless creativity is a reminder of what it looks like to dedicate your life to art.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

DS: To play shows and record music that speaks to people. To connect with an audience. To find something new, unplanned, in live performance. To challenge myself, meet new people, play a new venue, have new experiences.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

DS: I’m not as focussed on getting recognition as I was in years past. Of course, it’s important to do the essentials, letting people know about a show or a release but beyond that I find it distracts me from writing and practicing.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

DS: I book my own shows, and I often book the other acts on the bill. I am about to complete a “2nd Wednesdays” residency at a small bar/music venue on the Northwest side called the Montrose Saloon. I did all of the promo, designed the posters, paid the bands from the door etc. It was a really great experience, I think I’ll do it again next year. The last show of the residency, also the release show for Forgotten Portraits”, is June 14.

 I assume I’ll play some select out of town shows this year, I had one in Brooklyn 2 months ago that was magical, my first time playing in NYC in years.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

DS: It’s the way of the world musicians operate in. Like everyone else I like the convenience of it, and I really like how easy it is to discover new music on Spotify. There’s zero dollars in it for an artist of my size, but I’m not looking to make a living from my music, which is freedom, in a sense.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

DS: My next release is a cover of a song titled “First Light” by a Canadian named Bob Carpenter who passed away 20 years ago or so. The imagery and symbolism are so potent, especially paired with his voice. Look it up, you can find it on Spotify etc.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

DS: I really have very little to do with anything related to “the industry”. I feel for younger musicians trying to break through and make a living, it seems more difficult than ever. Of course it’s easier and cheaper to record and release music, but the result is we are drowning in content. If I could wave a magic wand and increase compensation by DSPs to artists that would be a step in the right direction.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

DS: Various tasks leading up the June 9 release date and June 14 show: finishing production of the CD, dialing in the bandcamp page, promoting the show, of course practicing. When the CDs are done I need to mail one to each of the poets whose work I used in composing the songs. I’m looking forward to that!


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

DS: I have 2 albums released on Jagjaguwar in the early 2000s (Iron Night and Show Your Face), those are still available for purchase and streaming in the usual places. Mail order merch (CDs) will be sold through my Bandcamp page (

BTW, 50% of all proceeds of music sales will be donated to the Bard Prison Initiative.

NadNavillus links:
Band/Artist location – Chicago, Illinois
You Tube – Bandcamp – Instagram – Apple –
Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree
Check our page for NadNavillus