Dani Battat is the keyboardist of Connecticut-based band Eggy. Dani adds a lot to Eggy’s sound, creating warm textures with his grand piano sounds and melodic organ playing. He’s also very skilled with his Moog Lil Phatty synthesizer, taking inspiration from Dopapod’s Eli Winderman, which he talks about in the interview portion of the article. Check out Dani’s playing from this opening set Eggy performed at FTC StageOne in Fairfield, CT this past September, footage courtesy of mkDevo.
Nord Electro 3 and Yamaha S90Signal Chain: Nord Electro 3 > Loundsberry Tall and Fat > Roland KC550
Left: Yamaha FC4A (sustain and Leslie fast/slow on Nord)
Center: Rhodes sustain pedal (came with S90)
Right: Yamaha FC7 expression pedal for volume and wah on Nord
Moog Lil PhattySignal Chain: Moog LP > TC Electronic Polytune > TC Electronic Flashback Delay > TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb > Roland KC550
Roland KC550“Each board runs through a DI and then through to my Roland KC550 keyboard amp with the “low” knob rolled all the way off. I like to keep my stage monitor clear for vocals and the rest of the band.”
Photo credit to Andrew Fredericks
Behind the Gear: Did you take any inspiration from some of your favorite artists when you were building your current rig?
Dani Battat: The colossal rigs of my earliest influences such as Page McConnell, Richard Wright, and Rick Wakeman, take years to build. So to be able to get a taste of everything they had in one neat box, I purchased a Nord Electro 3. To get the grand piano feel and sound, I opted for a Yamaha S90. While synthesizers had always been apart of the music I’ve enjoyed it was Eli Winderman of Dopapod who showed me the possibilities of using them live. Seeing Dopapod and hearing his use of the Moog Prodigy for leads, and as texture, inspired me to go out and get a Moog of my own.
As far as crafting tones, I got the Loundsberry Tall and Fat clean boost pedal to give my Nord organ, clav and electric pianos some extra bite, something I love hearing from Kofi Burbidge and Kyle Hollingsworth. I’ve only had this pedal for a few weeks, but it has added a new dimension to my sound.
BTG: Who are some of your inspirations as a guitar/bass/Keys player?
DB: Bruce Hornsby has been leading the way for about two years now. He can straddle and integrate so many genres with immense fluency in his own songwriting and playing – from pop, to straight ahead jazz, 20th century classical, bluegrass, and American roots – and sing the hell out of any tune. Conceptually, guys like Garth Hudson, Joe Zawinul, in my view are masters of texture and space. Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans have been huge jazz influences on me, whether I can remotely play like them or not. Then there’s Bill Payne, Brian Mitchell, Richard Tee, Matt Zeiner, and a host of other guys that make me grateful for music, and make me want to practice!
BTG:Who are some of your favorite contemporaries on the scene currently?
DB: Tyler Adams (The Jauntee) and Paulie Philippone (West End Blend) are both really intelligent players and musicians. They know how each instrument is supposed to be played, whether it is a Hammond, Rhodes, or Clavient – and more importantly, can fix them! Jordan Giangreco (The Breakfast) is a fantastic player, and works his ass off. I’m also a big fan of Beau Sasser (Kung Fu), Mark Mercier (Max Creek), and Joey Porter (The Motet).
BTG: What is the one pedal on your board you couldn’t live without?
DB: My tuning pedal – if my Moog is out of tune, I become my least favorite person on the stage.
BTG: When was the first time you were exposed to the world of effects pedals?
DB: It was probably in high school when Jake (from Eggy) and I were messing with his then new BOSS GT10. That thing has it all – and now I have it!
BTG: What goes through your mind when you’re deciding which effects to turn on while you’re playing?
DB: Aside from the tuner, my pedals are pretty much always on. The reverb usually stays put, but I’ll affect the delay type/rate/mix, depending on the song, or whatever I’m hearing at that moment. The clean boost stays on with the Nord, as it gives the clavinet and organ a nice smoky flavor.
BTG: What are some of your go-to settings on your Nord Electro 3 and Yamaha S90?
DB: I primarily use the Nord Electro 3 for Hammond organ and clavinet. It also plays the pad patch in our song “Golden Gate Dancer” which is a staple in our repertoire. The Yamaha S90 is fully weighted so I mainly use it for its pianos. For acoustic piano I favor the preset patch called “PowerGrand”. My go-to Rhodes is dubbed “Sweetness”, and plays that Donald Fagan/Richard Tee style phase shifter tone, heard on our song “BubaGum”. The onboard Wurlitzer sounds cut through the mix very well, and I use those for our song “Onitsuka Tiger”.
BTG: Which waveform combo on your Moog do you like the most?
DB: This might be a bit of a copout answer, but lately I’ve really enjoyed the single oscillator Saw wave. I love the timbre, it reminds me of a reed instrument with a bit of a nasal quality. It’s clean, and allows the ability to build on top of it.
BTG: Why did you go with the Little Phatty instead of a more knob-per-function Moog like the Sub37?
DB: I opted for the Little Phatty because at the time, I was brand new to synthesizers and the Sub 37 seemed too intimidating. As I’ve developed my understanding and ear with the Little Phatty, I find myself wishing I had a knob per function. However, I got the Little Phatty for a great deal, so I can’t complain too much!
BTG: Any shows/projects you want to plug?
DB: Eggy is currently working on our first full length studio album, which is the most exciting musical endeavor I’ve been apart of. On April 14 we’ll be at The Acoustic in Bridgeport, CT supporting the Magic Beans, and on May 4th we’re playing with Goose and The Heavy Pets at The Wall Street Theatre in Norwalk, CT. This summer we’ll be at Tumble Down with Twiddle and a host of other amazing acts!