Balto is an outstanding pure rock-n-roll band with a grand story, filled with evolution and endless adventure. From conquering cities across the globe to playing a shitty poet’s show in Venice Beach (without getting paid), Balto has grown from a folky songwriting vehicle to raucous rock, and continues to dance across genres as if compelled by the spirit of music. Lead by Daniel Sheron, who is a sweet storyteller with the heart of a novelist, penning lyrics full of sharp observations of the modern world with humor, a heavy dose of hopeless romanticism, and a subtle slug of whiskey. Dan plays music and crafts songs with his soul, and getting to bother him was a kismet honor, because not only is he an inspiration, he is also a good friend.
1. Do you have a favorite quarantine/pandemic snack?
Two things – I’ve been tweaking a recipe for Mapo Tofu for the past six months or so – getting a balance of black peppercorn and szechuan peppercorn – it’s a sodium bomb but it’s also addicting. The other is a takeout spot near my house that does a killer shredded, stewed Lamb barbacoa taco. They send you home with a cup of goat broth that’ll put hair on your chest. Had that last night – still feeling it.
2. Would you rather have to play a Theremin once, Bagpipes for a month or a Keytar for a year?
Have to? How about get to!
3. Who is the fastest runner in your band?
Seth, our drummer – I’ve tried to run on a track with him before and he smoked me every time. But that said, two of us are tall, two are short, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Aaron (guitar) run more than a few steps – I bet he can burn if he wants to though.
4. How is your laptop charger cord stored, in knots or rolled up nicely?
A consequence of my general approach to cable tangling is that I’ve severely damaged my laptop charger – I’ve done a number of solder repairs on it and have nearly started electrical fires in about a dozen coffeeshops.
5. Who is your favorite Russian?
That’s a really tough question. Probably my buddy Viktor – he’s a monster drummer and a dear friend, exemplifying all things Dostoevsky-an and paradoxical about the Russian spirit.
6. What’s the last thing you doodled?
My visual art skills are second only to my basketball skills in terms of awfulness – so I’m gonna go ahead and say I tried to draw a human head and it just looked like a potato.
7. What’s your best (funniest, weirdest, strangest, etc) van story?
There are just so many. Probably this one run we did up to Seattle – our roommate was TMing/Driving and was very stoned and pushed the engine too hard. It blew up on us and stranded us a little under 100 miles from the gig. Our AAA membership got us a 100 miles of towing so we loaded the van up and showed up at the venue about 30 minutes before our set on the back of the towtruck. The driver came to the gig and then drove half the band back towards Portland.
8. Seattle’s Best or Starbucks?
Seattle’s Best. I visit Starbucks out of necessity but wish I was more thorough in my ability to boycott it. Sadly, the coffee addiction is real and one way or another I’ve gotta get some.
9. Who do you think has the most iconic mustache in history?
This is a real tough one, Ryan. Let’s go with Yosemite Sam – his eyes are subsumed by the great caterpillar.
10. If you could travel back in time to any year, when would you go and what would be the first thing you’d do?
Question is could I get back. If I can get back in my time machine, I think it’d be pretty rad to check out either some big prehistoric mammals in pre-human North America – wooly rhinos and shit… maybe some dinosaurs too if I got a double jump. There was this children’s book I had in which a young caveman smoked some wooly mammoth ribs on an open fire… But I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck alone out there. It’d be lonely and I’d probably survive about as long as a domesticated rabbit would in 2020 Los Angeles.