Daniel Lanois

A single search through newer music history and his name shines bright. Although he often stands in the background while others shine, you can’t get around Daniel Lanois’ great influence on the modern musical expression – regardless of style and genre.

His sonic fingerprint makes it possible to recognize Lanois’ attributions and qualities, acoustic or electronic, folk music or wild futuristic, underground or pure mainstream pop.


Daniel grew up in Hull, Quebec, a city that is most known for it’s gambling and drinking ‘’on the other side of the tracks’’ as he puts it. His family was not wealthy, but from the beginning there was a strong musical foundation. His dad plays the violin, his mom sang and there were regular family meetings centered around live music. "We didn’t have money to go out’’ he explains ‘’and there wasn’t too much going on. So what we did was get together and everyone, uncles, aunts, anyone in the family, would play music together. It’s just what we did.’’
This put him in the middle of a living and breathing roots- and folk music tradition, all the while he was discovering his own taste from the pop culture of the time.

As his childhood continued he listened to Motown, R&B and rock n roll. After the psychedelic explosion and when high school was approaching, he was already fixated on music as the only path worth following.


Lanois has been experimenting with music ever since. His unique work has inspired many and given him the opportunity to work on some of pop music’s best selling releases – his work with Brian Eno was one of the most popular. Together they have worked on legendary releases including Eno’s Ambient series where studio technique and instrumentals flow together like unique sounds, great soundscapes unfolded in vast tempo and unbelievable measures. A work, that still lays the foundation for some of the current beats on DJs decks.

One of the Eno-Lanois collaboration’s greatest accomplishments was their groundbreaking work with U2 on their gigantic hits The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

Lanois also produced Peter Gabriel’s ‘So’ and continued to work with Bob Dylan for many years.


Daniel Lanois has released several albums under his own name. The latest, ‘Goodbye to Language’ completes the picture of his great musical gift. The album takes you on a journey from his childhood music, the ever-changing experiments with Eno to the passages of the most elegant parts of contemporary mainstream music. 


Completely constructed from his pedal-steel guitar the music is built with a composition that recalls the 20th century’s dream landscapes from Ravel and Debussy. With a sense of constructed futurism in the sound and yet maintaining the playfulness that can only come from someone who is manifested in centuries of folk music traditions.


’’I operate under the banner of soul music. Music that feels right and originates from a truthful place.’’ When musicians with so much expertise and experience as Daniel tells their own personal truth, you should really listen.


Photo: Marthe Amanda Vannebo