Mr. Bad Luck is the solo project of Denmark-native Daniel Rosenkilde, who describes his music as Rock & Roll with a little psychedelia to go with it. He discussed the origin of Mr. Bad Luck and he offered advice for up-and-coming musicians.
The name of the solo project came about when Rosenkilde and a couple of friends were having a hard time coming up with a name for a different band they had just started, and thought the best way to go about it was to name themselves after a song of an artist who had inspired them musically like The Rolling Stones did.
“So we made a list with a bunch a different artists and a bunch of different song titles from these artists, one of whom was Jimi Hendrix and his song Mr. Bad Luck,” said Rosenkilde. “Now since we were several members in the band, the name Mr. Bad Luck didn’t seem to fit, but I thought it would be a great name for a solo act, as it’s a bit self-deprecating, a bit humorous and references one of the arguably greatest guitarists and rock stars of all time. So when I decided to write music on my own, the name simply seemed like a good fit.”
With the name in place, Rosenkilde set out to create music as a way of self-expressing himself.
“The music I write and play as Mr. Bad Luck is the type of music I’ve always wanted to play, but never have been able to in the various bands I’ve played in,” said Rosenkilde. “I make music because it’s simply one of my favorite things to do and the most natural way for me to express myself.”
He added he would like to make a living making music, but never writes music with the mindset of having to make money.
One Mr. Bad Luck song is titled “A Tribute to the King,” which a response that Rosenkilde felt to the news of B.B. King’s passing, who was one of his idols.
The freedom to write his own songs such as “A Tribute to the King” is what Rosenkilde found great about being in a solo project. Rosenkilde originally got into song writing when he started playing in bands and felt the satisfaction of playing something he wrote himself, which Rosenkilde said is not the same as playing something he didn’t have any part in creating.
“I actually started out playing classical music, but I quickly grew tired of the restrictions that came with it,” said Rosenkilde. “When playing classical music, you have to play it exactly as it’s written because there is no room for interpretation or self-expression and to me that defeats the whole purpose of playing music.”
Currently there aren’t any Mr. Bad Luck albums or EPs recorded. Rosenkilde is focusing on making each song one at a time, using his ‘Cruise’ Les Paul to record a riff or certain chord progression whenever he comes up with something good. He records and mixes all tracks directly on his Mac computer, using GarageBand.
“I almost always come up with a riff or a chord progression first and then build the rest of the song around that,” said Rosenkilde. “Once I have the main riff of a song I usually record it, loop it and then improvise over it for a bit to help find a melody or a more structured lead guitar. Once I got those elements in place, the rest, such as drum patterns and song structure, usually comes pretty easily.”
Rosenkilde said it is important for a musician to experiment with many different styles and genres that may not initially appear as useful to the musician’s goal, meaning that if someone wanted to be a jazz musician or a rockstar they should always try to play and listen to music that goes beyond their style of preference.
“That’s how artists such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Santana got their iconic sounds, by mixing elements from blues, bluegrass, rock, jazz and a well of other genres and making it their own,” said Rosenkilde. “But I will also say that creating your own sound is something that takes time and happens as you grow more experienced as musicians. Most of the musicians that we today call iconic or revolutionary didn’t start with the sound we associate them with and didn’t develop it until years after their career started, so while it is important to stand out as a musician, you shouldn’t be discarded if you haven’t found your ‘voice’ yet, it will come naturally as you try and improve as a musician.”