Blending folk, rock, classical and funk, Miles to Dayton, aka “M2D,” are regular headliners across Long Island. A family band led by a husband and wife team, M2D has acquired a large grassroots following and has sold out the Boulton Center in Bay Shore. They’ve also appeared at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington as well as at numerous other Long Island venues. Half of the husband and wife duo at the heart of the band, Jonathan Preddice, lead singer and principal songwriter, spoke with Dan’s Papers and told us about the origins of M2D, what they enjoy about performing together, their new album Forces Unknown and what they are looking forward to for their upcoming show at Patchogue Theatre on September 23.
How did M2D find its sound?
We started playing music about 10 years ago as an acoustic trio. It was my wife Krista and I, and her brother David on the bass guitar. We started playing at coffee shops and open mics, and did a lot of three-part harmonies inspired by Crosby, Stills and Nash, and acoustic artists more modern like Damien Rice and Martin Sexton. Some years later my little sister came home from college and we decided to add violin to the band’s sound, and around that time we also added a drummer. We’re now four albums in. Our sound has definitely gone through a few different transformations. We try with every project we make to think outside of the box and not limit ourselves to creating the same type of material.
How did you come up with your band’s name, Miles to Dayton?
In my senior year of college, my grandfather had passed away—his name was Dayton Preddice. He was such a big force in my life, so our band name idea is the miles that you travel to see someone again. It’s basically the road of life, and for me it’s trying to be a good person, and to try and follow in my grandfather’s example.
What’s it like having your career, family and passion intertwined?
It’s wonderful. It’s just the fabric that keeps us tight. It’s something that we do that keeps us close. And for me, it keeps me very fulfilled.
Where do you find the inspiration for your lyrics?
It’s a bit of a journal of our life stories—reflecting upon something that’s been bothering me, or writing about something that could make a difference that I’m feeling inside. It’s easier to get up there on the stage and deliver a good performance when you can really live the song.
Can you tell us about the creative process for your new album, Forces Unknown?
My brother-in-law David was a major writing force on this album, and we co-wrote four of the songs together. It’s just an honest mix of where we are as artists.
Miles to Dayton is a regular headliner at the Patchogue Theatre. What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming performance on September 23?
Well, opening for us is Kirsten Maxwell, a rising star in the folk scene. She’s such a beautiful voice, and she’s going to play an opening set of acoustic material. We’re looking forward to performing the entire album of Forces Unknown. The last time we were on that stage I proposed to my wife, so it’s a special place, and the Patchogue Theatre is kind of where, when we first started playing, it was where we dreamed of playing—and then it happened. So now it holds a special place in our hearts. It’s one of our favorite venues on Long Island.
Miles to Dayton performs at Patchogue Theatre, 71 East Main Street in Patchogue on Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit patchoguetheatre.org or call 631-207-1313.