Krakower Group Spotlight: Danny Jacob

Danny Jacob

History & background

I’m an LA guitar player. I started playing at 12 years old. I starting gigging at 16. I played every bar, wedding, bar mitzvah in town. I got to be a session player and did many tours with many great artists. I always love taking apart hit songs and later, scores. I was able to make the transition into producing and composing.

What influences has music had on your family?

My father played me all the great classical music from Beethoven to Mahler. I still have his records. My home with my former wife and current business partner Marylata was filled with music as our son Aaron was growing up. We played him lots of Zeppelin, Miles davis, and movie scores.

Biggest non-musical influences 

Well. hmmm. Music and les paul guitars was my leisure. My family loves going to movies. I love paddle boarding and skiing

What do you do with your limited free time?
I recently just binge watched “Better Call Saul”

What is the most extreme thing you have ever wanted to do?

I rode a motorcycle till I hit the pavement and fractured my thumb. Greatest rush of my life. But maybe not the smartest thing to do.

If you could travel to any period based on the music, when would you go?

The big band era during Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman. And the early 70’s when Led Zeppelin was peaking. And at the same time “Weather Report” was selling out big venues.

Current Influences

Alan Silvestri, Jeff Beck, Dasha Charusha, Henry Jackman, Bruno Mars
Past Influences

Led Zeppelin, Cream, Stravinsky, Djanjo Reinhardt

Favorite current composer

Bear McCrary, Alan Silvestri

Best scored movie you’ve ever seen?

Jeez-Maybe Jaws. I also love the score to “Hoffa” by David Newman

What’s your composing method?

I start at the computer with cubase and all my samples. I have my guitars at the ready and all my amps. Some cues I do by myself. More and more I get out and use live players after I sketch something out. It’s a good combination.

When did you discover that you wanted to pursue film music?

When my partner Marylata was running the music department at Dreamworks, she introduced me to Hans Zimmer. He was gracious enough to let me in his world and throw some song production work my way. Harry Gregson Williams and John Powell were there as well. I learned a lot and it was the beginning of the transition from working guitarist to composer/producer. But even before that I was ghosting for a few people and doing peoples songs.
What makes your sound unique?

Bringing my real world experience playing with great bands and musicians my whole life. Fusing that with modern samples and synths.

How did you first get involved writing music? What challenged you most, and what rewarded you most, as your résumé evolved over the years?

I’ve written songs my whole life in bands. Doing the theme song to “The Road To Eldorado” written by Elton John, with Hans was my biggest challenge at that time cause I had to sound like I knew what I was doing with orchestral instruments. Becoming the composer to Disney’s “Phineas And Ferb” over the last decade was the most rewarding and really turned me into a composer.
What do you do to get away from it all? What do you like doing outside of the studio?

I go to the ocean, Anywhere where their is an ocean. And I love to go to movies. I love to read books.

Who is your favorite fictional character and how did they influence your music?

“Dr Doofenshmirtz” from Phineas and Ferb. I made him into a Wagerian Eastern European bad guy. Most of the bad guy music Alan Silvestri composes I love and get inspiration from.

Best concert or musical appearance you’ve ever seen?

“Paco De Lucia, The Godfather with a live orchestra, and “Holtz’s “The Planets” at the Bowl.
What is your favorite song that you’d rather not admit?

“My Perogative” by Bobby Brown