first broke out in the mid-nineties singing, playing
and writing with all-girl band Pope Jane. Critics
in the USA and abroad heralded the band as "the
sound of the new Indie movement", praising not
only Danielle Egnew’s powerful vocal abilities,
but her producer chops. Pope Jane was the Indie shot
that was heard around the world. Through years of
independent rock stardom, touring, radio play, and
strong independent album sales, Danielle Egnew and
Pope Jane broke into the Los Angeles scene in 2002
with rave reviews. Then, while mere inches from scoring
the record deal of a lifetime after being approached
by MCA, Maverick, and Dreamworks Music Division, a
failing record industry dealt Danielle Egnew and Pope
Jane a crushing blow by downsizing. Labels and staff
were bought, traded, and sold, and the little Indie-band-that-could
remained just that, standing still and strong while
the dust settled.
disappointment of watching nine years worth of hard
work spiral down the major labels’ financial
toilet would send most anyone packing to the local
booby hatch. But Danielle Egnew picked herself up
and dusted herself off. Was her music career over?
"Of course not," exclaimed Egnew, "it
just meant that we weren’t going to get signed.
At least, not right then. We still had all our fans
all over the world. I mean, sure, it was horrible,
and it was disappointing. Everyone had spent so much
money to come out here [to Los Angeles]."
2004, a tough decision was made by the band for Pope
Jane to take a well-earned hiatus. Drummer Kristen
Coyner headed to Seattle to finish pursuing her college
degree, and Danielle stayed behind in the entertainment
trenches of Los Angeles. "It was the hardest
thing I’ve ever done as an adult, to just stand
on the curb on Burbank Boulevard and watch Kristen
drive off. We hadn’t had more than a week apart
in twelve years. I wasn’t sure how I was going
to be able do it here without her, but I just didn’t
feel finished in LA yet…" Egnew got emotional
but trailed off to a laugh.
persistence paid off. In 2007 she won Best Keyboardist
at the All Access Music Awards in Hollywood, as well
as two nominations, Best Female Rock Vocalist and
Best Overall Songwriter. 2007 also brought an endorsement
from Minarik Guitars as well as an endorsement from
Scoop Straps, a custom instrument strap company.
Egnew kicked off 2008 by signing an unprecedented
multi-tiered deal record deal with Maurice The Fish
Records, a label exclusively run by women. Rather
than making Egnew choose between her various successful
projects in different genes, she negotiated a deal
where the label produces and markets each of her projects.
Danielle Egnew achieved the unthinkable feat of obtaining
four record deals at once. Her first album to be released
is a solo project entitled Red Lodge, which according
to Egnew, is her "stripped-back acoustic ode"
to her favorite small Montana town. Egnew produces
and plays everything on the album, ranging from guitar,
mandolin, violin, bass, percussion, piano, Tibetan
Bowls, penny whistle, drums, and even a recorder.
signed, Egnew is planning to make headway in 2008
recording with a reunited Pope Jane, who on June 21st
in Billings, Montana will be playing the first reunion
show in seven years with the original line-up: Kristen
Coyner on drums, Holly (Hoagland) Shawver on bass
with Danielle on lead mic and guitar. And finally,
the ambitious Egnew is hoping to finish her album
for the alt rock project Junkie Cousin, formed in
2006 with guitarist Paul Houston, including Rich Vaccaro
on bass and Pam Jacobs on drums.
the meantime, Egnew, who carried scholarships in college
for acting, landed a starring role in the film Changing
Spots, a drama Egnew also scored and provided many
pop songs for the soundtrack. A fan of film, Egnew
is currently working at producing and starring in
her own original screenplay Imogene’s Waltz,
a dramatic work set in Montana that she plans on scoring
as well. On the theatrical boards, Egnew was part
of the VDAY WestLA 2007 celebrity cast of The Vagina
Monologues with actresses Jennifer Beals, Alexandra
Hedison, and many more recognized names. "I performed
a piece called My Short Skirt, and I wore this completely
trashy costume. I looked like a two penny hooker!"
laughed Egnew. "During the red carpet photos,
I was being shot, and this picture of me in the costume
made it into a Hollywood fashion disaster column.
They panned my cheesy costume to death thinking it
was a real outfit. It was great!"
Egnew’s formidable creative record is inspiring.
I asked Egnew if there was a secret to her seemingly
endless success. She answered, "You don’t
have to limit yourself. That’s such a lie, that
you have to only focus in one area to succeed. Just
do what you’re good at, work really hard and
don’t get jealous when you don’t get something
you wanted, and trust me, the rest will follow. But
no matter what, don’t whine and blame the world
when things don’t go your way, because people
who live in jealousy never succeed."
truth about Danielle Egnew is not merely the rock
stardom or the screen stardom. Being Danielle Egnew
is about loving where you are at right now, and about
making miracles happen, one step at a time. In the
face of obscene odds facing a singer from the farm
state of Montana with no agent and no billionaire
industry benefactor, Danielle Egnew represents the
little guy with astronomical creative abilities who
makes good. She is an important reminder that we can
do anything, be anyone, and achieve greatness no matter
what the odds. Danielle Egnew is a beacon, shining
without remorse, becoming in the process exactly what
it is that real entertainment legends are made of
Danielle on the web: www.DanielleEgnew.com