What if everything in your life was going great…an amazing wife, happy children, a new career, and a successful band. Then in a blink of an eye, you fall into the depths of despair, with a crippling mental illness. This is where That Dan Thing‘s story begins.
In 1995, Dan Coté was in a car accident that resulted in a closed head injury. Over time, he began experiencing auditory hallucinations, depression with psychotic features, high anxiety and frequent panic attacks. To top it all off, he severed the tip of his middle finger of his guitar fingering hand. He sought help and began a yearlong series of experimental brain treatments including ECT. As a result he suffers lingering side effects including tremors and memory loss. Despite this he is traveling the road to recovery.
Dan attributes his climb out of despair to the love and support he receives from his wife Julie and his children, Parker and Natalie. He focused on raising the kids, taking care of the house and eventually relearned how to play guitar, piano and bass. He began to use his songwriting as therapy and cathartic release.
The genesis of That Dan Thing began in 2008, when the principal of Dan’s children’s school asked him to write and record a theme song for their school. The school song project was a fundraiser, which provided a unique opportunity for students and their families to participate in a recording studio experience. He would go on to write and record several other school songs, raising several thousand dollars for those schools. Ultimately, the writing and recording of this school song was his re-introduction into the studio.
Meanwhile, he went on to lay down the basic tracks of over 50 songs with the help of long time friend, recording engineer and musician Jeff Forrest. His son, Parker Daniel Coté, had been rapidly developing as a musician in his own right. Under the tutelage of Dan and others, Parker learned piano, drums, bass, guitar, and the various instruments of a gamelan orchestra. At this point, Parker and Dan began working closely together on various instrumental arrangements to flesh out their songs. With Parker on board the band was officially born.
That Dan Thing, with the addition of daughter Natalie and wife Julie on backing vocals, released their debut album The Spotless Mind in 2013 to great critical and commercial success. It’s about the journey to find peace and sanity in this crazy world through the power of love, hope, perseverance, and a little help from your friends.
Now That Dan Thing have just released their new album, Someone Said… Sweet Dreams, produced by the band. It features Parker on bass, drums, piano, vocals, guitar and organ, Dan on vocals, guitar and electric piano, Natalie on cello and as art director, and Julie on vocals and as Dan’s muse. It’s about our dreams: sweet dreams and nightmares, daydreams, hopes and dreams, the person of our dreams, and how they influence our lives and the paths we choose. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did!