It’s been a hell of year so far for 21 year old Dan Evans. For NBC’s The Biggest Loser fans you may remember the Frankfort, Illinois native, camp counselor, and musician was eliminated earlier this year after losing a whopping 136 pounds in weight. Within 2 weeks of leaving the show he was recording his first country-rock album in Nashville with top producing and writing talents, Russ De Salvo and Jim Kimball.
He is set to embark on a country-wide “Purpose of the Pain Tour” which promises a night of inspiration with artists who’ve experienced similar hurdles and life changing experiences and there’s even talk of a health and fitness TV show that he and his mum will co-host. Dan initially weighed 310 pounds and although he has been a musician since his teens, his weight was an anathema to his dreams. He was accepted on to the show with his mother on the Biggest Loser Couples, Season Five and the rest, as they say, is history.
I caught up with Dan in Los Angeles where he’s promoting his debut release, “Goin’ All Out.”
Ginger: It’s been a hell of a year for you so far. Could you have ever imagined any of this twelve months ago?
Dan: No way. This has always been my dream. People come up to me and say, “You’re such an inspiration,” and I wouldn’t get it because I’d look at them confused because they were thin. Then I realized that everyone has something to overcome in their life and that’s why I have such an effect on people and why I love what I’m doing.
G: How would you describe your music and who are your heroes?
D: My music is contemporary country-rock and my influences are Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and Jason Aldean.
G: Have you received any feedback from fellow musicians?
D: I’ve had great feedback while putting the record together. I’m working with A-list players. These guys got my vision and so far the record has been well received. I had an awesome time in Nashville recording my music. Two weeks after I finished The Biggest Loser I was tossed in the mix of it all and I proved myself that I belonged here.
G: You play guitar and piano; did singing come naturally to you?
D: I played music at church, I played and sang. Then I studied in music school in Phoenix. I excelled musically but I was very overweight and found it hard to play on stage. With music, a lot of it is about image. I wouldn’t allow myself to put myself on stage. Finally I conquered this in my life. A lot has changed in that period of time and I’m goin’ all out, which is the title of my record. Now that I’ve lost all this weight I’m confident on stage. There are no excuses now. It’s all about the music. The first time I went on stage after my weight loss, I was a little nervous but I stepped up to the plate. Something clicked and I know this was where I belonged. I love it.
G: What do your parents think of your life?
D: My parents are a hundred percent supportive. They’ve always taught me that if there’s something in your life you want to overcome, you have to work for it until you get it. My mother started the “Reach Out for Life Youth Foundation,” which looks after kids home-alone after school. In 5 years it has grown from 12 kids to 750 in 22 locations.
G: How do you like LA?
D: I’m really enjoying it. I’ve met so many great people in the businesses who are just trying to live their dream. Today I was shooting a video. I’ve had vocal and stage coaches. This is it for me. I love performing on stage and I love sharing my story and inspiring people. I was in Kinko’s the other night and a girl came up to me. She said she was an actress and that she didn’t like reality TV but she watched the show I was on and she said she was extremely proud of me.
G: That’s great feedback.
D: I got on the show because I wanted to lose weight. It was for me. I was having lunch with my trainer and he said it wasn’t just about me anymore. So many people need help and I had a responsibility. I am an inspiration to many people.
G: Do you feel pressure?
D: Not yet, I’m taking it one day at time and I have a supportive family.
G: You said in a previous interview that you have your life back now. Tell me what you mean?
D: When you’re overweight you try and cover it up with clothes. You focus on the way you look and the way you feel. You focus on hiding then you forget what you want in life. Now I have my life back.
G: You said you want to be able to wear leather pants.
D: I wanted to look like those rock n’ roll guys on stage who wear tight leather pants. The leather pants are a symbol. I’m no longer a size 44 jeans.
G: Thank you Dan for speaking to me. I wish you lots of success in the future.
D: Thank you.
Dan Evan’s debut release, “Goin’ All Out” is due in stores on September, 30th 2008. Fans can pre-order the album on www.danevansmusic.com