Premiere: Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, Grammy-Winning Adele Collaborator, ‘The Rules’


By Steve Baltin

Before he won the Oscar in 2015 for Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, J.K. Simmons was that character actor that you recognized and appreciated for all his work, but you didn’t know just how much he had accomplished or how respected he was.

Dan Wilson might just be the musical equivalent. As the lead singer of Semisonic, who still tour, Wilson scored an early hit song with the ’90s anthem “Closing Time,” a familiar favorite for its use as the farewell song on many a hit TV series finale, like Rules Of Engagement, or on the shows The Office and How I Met Your Mother, as well as in many movies.

So you know the Grammy-nominated song, you may just have not known that Wilson wrote and sang it with Semisonic. Just as you may not have known Wilson is a frequent collaborator with Adele and he co-wrote “Someone Like You” with Adele.

He’s also co-written the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice,” and written with Mike Posner, John Legend, Steve Perry, Josh Groban, Pink, Leon Bridges, Halsey, Bishop Briggs and more.

Though Wilson has become one of the most successful and in-demand writers in pop music, he is not giving up his own performing career. He is currently releasing a series of songs, one a month. Here is the premiere of his latest, “The Rules,” a song he says has a slight Fleetwood Mac influence.

I spoke with Wilson about the song, why he is releasing one a month, working with so many great artists and living in the San Fernando Valley.