Day six of quarantine [at the time of this interview]. Daniel Sloss’ only relief from the mundanity of his hotel room are the escape his Xbox offers, and the prospect of a tour run upon his release, of his new show, 'Hubris’.
“My past shows have followed a similar theme – 60 minutes of stand-up jokes, 30 minutes of ‘here’s something sad that we’re all going to talk about, a darker subject’, more 'taboo' subjects,” Daniel begins. “'Dark' was about death, 'Jigsaw' was about toxic relationships, then I did 'Socio' which was about paedophilia, and 'X' which was about sexual assault.”
“I could just see, when I was on stage and I’d get to the 65-minute mark, people in the audience would be like, ‘He’s about to do it! He’s about to make us sad! Everyone prepare!’ Now, I don’t want to be f...ing predictable.”
Instead, 'Hubris' sees Daniel do the opposite of what he says has made him successful. He explains, “I’m going back to just stand-up, man. The last two shows, there wasn’t much creative freedom, and it made me feel like I was in a prison of my own making, and I don’t want to feel that again.”
“I’m just excited to be up on stage and tell jokes and say horrible things I don’t really mean, justify unjustifiable things.”
In performing the opposite to the way that has garnered the Scottish comic his success, Daniel doesn’t seem to think it’s a dangerous move, nor does he harbour any sense of apprehension. Rather, he knows there are people who will be ready to make brutal comparisons to his past work, and not be happy with what he’s doing now. “Each show is its own thing; people prefer one show over another. Some prefer dark, some people prefer light. I’m funny without it.”
“I talked about those subjects at the time and got into those topics because it was what was going on in my life at the time. Whereas now, I don’t have some horrible thing going on that I need to talk about cathartically on stage.
“Some people are like ‘you should do a show about this next, or a show about this’ –motherf...er, I’m not a jukebox. I say whatever I want to say and this is what I want to talk about.”
Lacking in a negative experience or dilemma at this point in his life (in fact, happily, Daniel just got engaged), that in turn is allowing Daniel to grasp at that expressive freedom it sounds he’s been after for a while. “Aye! I just love my job – and there was a point two years ago when I didn’t love my job – and it’s so nice to be back in the shoes of self-awareness; just how f...ing lucky I am. I walk out on stage in front of strangers who love me for whatever reason and I get to make them laugh.”
“I’ve never been shy about admitting I want to be one of the greatest stand-ups ever. When I’m 60, 70 [years old], I want to be considered one of the best that’s ever done it.
“To do that, my stand-up itself needs to be good. I need to be able to do a show that doesn’t have a hook. I want my stand-up to be able to stand up on its own.”
Daniel Sloss Tour Dates
9 April – Adelaide Festival Centre 10 April – Arts Centre Melbourne (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) 11 April – Home Of The Arts Gold Coast 13-14 April – Enmore Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival) 15-18 April – Arts Centre Melbourne (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) 20-22 April – Brisbane Powerhouse 23-25 April – Enmore Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival) 27-28 April – Canberra Theatre Centre 29 April – Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide) 30 April – Astor Theatre (Perth Comedy Festival) 30 April-1 May – Regal Theatre (Perth Comedy Festival)