Meet the 'Dream Attic' Band

Taras Prodaniuk



What is your role within the 'Dream Attic' Band Tour?   I am the bassist and I sing background vocals.

    How long have you and RT known each other and how did you meet? Describe the same for any other band members with whom you have a history.


    I met Richard sometime in June of 2001 when he opened for Lucinda Williams at Wolf Trap in Washington DC. Michael Jerome, I met when he was playing with artist Anne Egge - who opened a number of shows for Lucinda. I think that was either in '03 or '04. Michael and I have done some playing since with another artist named Jonathan McCuen. Pete, I met when I first toured with Richard in 2007 on the "Warrior" tour. Joel, I met in February of this year for the "Dream Attic" record.


    Please list the equipment / instruments you brought on the road.


    I brought three instruments out on the road with me on this tour: a 1972 Fender Jazz bass that I've had for years, a 60's Ampeg AUB-1 Fretless Bass (that is a bit of a bastard in that it's not original at all but sounds fantastic) and a Lakland Precision Bass as a backup, which will be staying home on this UK run.  Amplification-wise I use an Ampro SVT Pro 2 and a Epifani 4X10 speaker cabinet.

    Please describe the 'Dream Attic' show visually and musically.  

    Visually it's pretty cosmic from my perspective, however I'm only getting a very minor visual spin of the whole deal. Musically the record has a very wide spectrum and is pretty dense to present nightly. For me the record has grown since we've recorded it. Every time we perform it, although they are the same tunes, the songs take on a slightly different feel and mood.


    What is your favorite track on the new album and why?


    I dig them all… I really don't have a particular favorite out of the batch.


    How did you keep in shape during the tour? Did you follow any special diet or exercise regimen?


    A lot of stretching and yoga. You try to eat sensibly.


    What do you find to be the toughest part of touring?


    Not being at home with my wife and animals and not sleeping in my own bed.

    Can you share a favorite memory of the U.S. tour?

    Wow there were so many musical moments… too many to list there. I guess when Bobby would toss up his hand to indicate that someone made a mistake and had a fine coming. I just loved that part.

    How many fines did you accumulate and what were your DA road infractions?  

    No comment… there.


    To what other RT projects or tours have you contributed?


    I got to play on half of  the "Warrior" record and toured a bit on that record. Also Richard, Michael and I got to be the house band for the 50 year McCabes show at Royce Hall a couple of years ago. We backed up the Blind Boys of Alabama and a number of different artists that night. It was a gas, yee haw.


    More About Taras Prodaniuk

    Where do you call 'home'?  

    I presently live in Sunland California, basically in the north-east end of the San Fernando Valley.  I was born in Minneopolis but moved to the San Fernando at a pretty young age. So although I feel the pull of the Midwest, I was raised as a valley kid.

    How did you become interested in music?  

    I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. As a kid I loved pop music and listening to the radio. So after seeing that the Monkees could play I figured I could do it as well.

    Who got you started? Was it with a different instrument?  

    Yeah I started on guitar and immediately was in a band "The Coming Distractions". We played for the PTA in 5th grade. Later on, in some other incarnation of musicians, we needed a bassist so there it began. I think I was around 13 or 14.  

    Please list all the instruments you play.  

    Bass and some guitar.

    Are you self-taught or formally trained?  

    Yes and yes.

    What genre of music do you consider your work to be?  

    I would say Alt-Americana. However, I worked with Dwight Yoakam for some 14 years which is pretty traditional, country based roots.  But then, I have played various forms of music from Persian, reggae, jazz to blues… Whatever someone wants you to play, you try to emulate it. 

    Who would you say are your greatest musical influences?  

    Wow there way too many to mention… I would have to say Chuck Rainey, James Jamerson, Jaco, Carl Radle, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Lighnin Hopkins, Howlin Wolf. These are living in my brain at the moment.

    Do you compose your own music?   Yes I do.
    Are you a songwriter? A vocalist?  

    Yes, however it's usually in a group setting.

    Have you recorded solo projects? Are you a member of another band?  

    Yes, I have a band project called the Mojo Monkeys and a country band called the Bum Steers that have a number of discs available. Lately I have been working with a band of musicians and we're called the Painkillers. We have some YouTube footage recorded at the Burbank Moose Lodge.


    With whom have you recorded/ toured?


    The big three would have to be Richard, Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam. There are others. If you're interested, google me and you'll find out.

    What is the strangest venue or gig you've ever played?  

    Hmm… nothing extraordinary pops out in my mind. I guess an Italian disco would have to be the oddest of all and that was with Michelle Shocked back in '89.


    What is your most memorable musical experience?


    Here again way too many to mention. Some of the last shows with Richard where pretty extraordinary. However, my entire career has been a blessing and I try to make it all memorable somehow.

    What's the most 'rock star' thing that you've ever done?  

    Flying in a Lear jet. Landing, getting picked up in a limo with police support, going straight to the gig and hitting the stage. Then as soon as we're done back to the limo and then the jet… Viva Las Vegas, baby. That's how the King rolled.


    On what dream tour would you love to play with any past or present artist/band?


    I would have loved to play in Muddy Waters band.  


    If you had to give up music - what would you do to be creative?


    I would want to be a cowboy or wrangler, work with horses out in the middle of nowhere and lead pack rides out in the wilderness.


    What advice do you have for people who want to pursue a musical career?


    Just keep doing it… and as Journey says "Don't Stop Believing".

    What is next for you?  

    I am looking forward to the UK tour with Richard. Playing with Richard is a gas and a musical adventure that so far has been unmatched in my career.

    How can fans learn more about you and your music?  

    I have a Facebook page and a MySpace page. I mostly keep tabs on Facebook. There is some YouTube footage as well, if you're interested.



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