How to Be the Life of the Party: Dan Paulus on Love, Music, and When to Wear a Cape

Dan Paulus and friends. Photo by Lauren Max.

Dan Paulus and friends. Photo by Lauren Max.

Some people are the life of the party. And then some people are the party. This week's Question of the Day host Dan Paulus is one of those people. (If you need evidence, keep your eyes and ears peeled for a rare appearance by his one-man Misfits tribute band DAN'Z ID.) 

If you're involved in Seattle's art scene, you probably know Dan as the art director of City Arts Magazine. He's also a musician, avid music fan, and a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, a position that affords him a rare perspective on local history.

We got a glimpse of what makes Dan tick by having him answer some of our past Questions of the Day. Enjoy!

What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
I don't drink coffee, so hot shower is all I got.

What one thing that you wear best captures who you are? How?
The Dracula cape my mom made for me in 4th grade. I wear it to weddings and special performances.

Give your current haircut a name.
When I first cut it this way my friend said it looked like an '80s Australian skater,' so that.

What do you say when people ask you where you're from?
'Burien, bred and spread.'

Do you have a collection, and if so, what is it and why?
I don't consider myself a collector, but I have around 1200 records. Also 20+ guitars and as many keyboards. More of a hoarder, really.

What song could have been written for you?
Hot Love by Cheap Trick

What is the most unusual compliment you have ever received?
"Are you a boxer?" 
No. 
"Are you a wrestler?" 
No. 
"....you look like a big guy...but you're just a little guy!"

What is the best part about getting older?
The family expects less of a production around Christmas.

What's your stance on selfies?
They're a good way to make yourself look really uninteresting.

Name one thing you think the world needs more of.
Shoulder rubs.

What is your go-to karaoke song?
Still of the Night by Whitesnake has gotten a pretty good reaction lately. Viva Forever and When 2 Become 1 by Spice Girls are old faves.

When was the last time a piece of art moved you? What was it and why?
Watching Joe Ross play drums for Bad Future on the night of the snowfall made me feel very alive. Go see him play at your earliest convenience.

What's your zodiac sign? Do you think the characteristics of your sign describe you?
Virgo. When people find out they say "Oh, I knew it, you are such a perfectionist!" Which I am in many things. I'm also the biggest slob in the world. "Oh, that must be because of your moon sign!" And then at some point they mention my rising sign and I just think 'You mean everybody is just a mishmash of conflicting characteristics? Huh, who woulda thought?'

What's a significant music related memory in your life?
In high school I was visiting my friend Gary where he worked at the 5 Corners Baskin-Robbins. When they closed up his older coworker Bill gave me a ride home in his early-70s muscle car. He offered me a bong hit on the way, which I didn't have much experience with. I took the hit just as he was zooming over the crest of a hill and all the blood went to my head in some sort of negative-G situation and I was instantly high af. He dropped me off at my parents' and I beelined for my bedroom, laid down on my bed with the lights off and turned on the clock radio by my head. Scorpions The Zoo was just finishing up with the fade out that has all the street noises. It only lasts 30 seconds or so, but it just seemed to go on and on and I was completely transported into that urban scene, and things were never the same since.

What's your favorite non-English word or phrase?
'¿donde es baño?'

How would someone go about seducing you in only eight words?
"Nice multiball! Now I will sit on you."

Is a "multiball" having more than one pinball going at once?
Yes. The Indiana Jones game at Twilight Exit is amazing, cuz when you hit the 'ark multi' it flushes four balls straight down the table while auto launching another four, and it feels like getting caught in a Florida downpour, all chaos and scramble.

OK, because it sounds kinda like an alien thing.
It ain't alien to me!

Anyone who knows me knows I love __________.
Paulus likes to rock now, yes he does, yes he does...

What does it take to be the life of the party?
Love of humanity, propensity to dance, and a really good record collection

Follow City Arts on Twitter & download Siren for iPhone/iPad or Android now to read and respond to Dan's questions.