Dan Deurloo’s interest in music began when he started drum lessons in high school and honed his skills throughout college. While studying music at North Central University, he got a job at Tonesmith Guitars working side-by-side luthier Kevin Smith. During this time, Tonesmith was commissioned by Korg/Vox Guitars to reissue the Phantoms, Tear Drops, and Mando guitars. In the two years of building for Vox, the pair built close to two thousand guitars that were played by a number of high profile musicians like Tom Petty, Mike Cambell, Ted Nuggent, Bruce Springsteen and numerous others. At the same time, Tonesmith was also doing much of the work for Nechville Banjos–another Minneapolis-based instrument manufacturer. Many of these instruments found homes with the best bluegrass and country players in the world, from Bela Fleck and Allison Krause to pop artist Travis. This time period was the catalyst to Deurloo’s music career outside of building instruments. Learning from this “behind the scenes” look at the music industry, and the interaction with the industry’s greats, was a priceless opportunity.
Deurloo’s professional music endeavors began by playing drums in a Minneapolis-based pop-rock band (Epic Hero). Epic Hero toured nationally for 10 years—as many as 200-250 days out of the year. Epic Hero had the opportunity to open for such bands as The Heartbreakers, Switchfoot, and Ben Folds—among many others. He also developed a friendship, as well as a close working relationship, with Grammy-winning singer/song writer, Dan Wilson (from Semisonic)–known most recently for his work with Adele, Keith Urban, and other A-list artists. Wilson produced two of Epic Hero’s records and has been a major influence on Deurloo.
Because of his background and interest in building instruments, it was a natural next step for Deurloo to accept an opportunity to become co-owner of Risen Drums – a custom drum company in Minneapolis. While he used to build drums on his off days from touring with Epic Hero, you will no longer find him in the shop on a daily basis. He now works behind the scenes handling online sales and artist relations. Risen Drums’ roster includes many notable artists such as Lester Marzette Estelle Jr.(Kelly Clarkson), Steve Goold (Sara Bareilles and Owl City), and Randal Harris (NEEDTOBREATHE).
Deurloo’s interest in the music business didn’t stop with drumming and building drums as he began the next phase of his career– managing and producing artists. He soon realized that he was much happier with the production side of music and began to focus on helping artists reach their full potential by helping them create the best songs possible. Along the way, he learned more about his craft by working under producers such as Dan Muckala, Dan Wilson, Brown Banister, and a slew of other extremely talented producers and engineers. Spending time in Nashville opened up invaluable opportunities for him to work with artists like Vince Gill, Amy Grant, MercyMe, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Brandon Heath, The Afters, Mandisa – even earning a pair of gold records for his work on Chris Tomlin’s And If Our God is For Us and MercyMe’s The Generous Mr. Lovewell.
Deurloo’s strength is pulling the best out of each artist with which he works–helping them to work in their strengths as artists. He works toward the goal of the artist and the label, crafting a collection of honest and viable songs for that artist.
Deurloo’s standard of excellence doesn’t stop at partnering with artists to create well-crafted songs but extends into his knowledge of the studio gear itself. For the past four years, His desire to get unique tones that are tailored to his palette has pushed him to delve deeper into the DIY side of studio equipment. He has acquired numerous custom pieces of gear for his own personal studio (Reverb and Echo) and has also worked as a consultant (doing research and development and basic design) for other studio owners and product developers, both nationally and internationally. He has helped to bring to the marketplace a number of pieces of gear that he saw a need for in his own daily work. Deurloo has also started a small DIY case company called Collective Cases.
While Deurloo enjoys the technical/gear side of the studio, his real passion is to use all of his knowledge for the ultimate result—a great song! After all, it was a love for music that brought him to this point in the first place. Currently, Deurloo wears many hats—producer, mixer, freelance engineer, gear developer, husband, and father.