h

Get to know Keith David

"It was Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ that totally convinced me that guitar would be fun to play. Imagine being able to make an instrument scream like that."

How did you first get into music?  My interest in music was piqued one rainy North London day when I heard The Beatles on the wireless on a shelf in the basement where my mother kept me. I was so impressed I fell off the stool I was standing to hear them properly. I discovered the pirate radio stations soon after (Radio Caroline; Radio Luxembourg; Radio London) and spent a lot of time listening to them at night. Bands like The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and The Small Faces entered my consciousness, but it was Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ that totally convinced me that guitar would be fun to play. Imagine being able to make an instrument scream like that.

Tell us about your sound/influences. From the start it was The Beatles, The Stones, Pretty Things, The Kinks, and The Who. But then Pink Floyd came on the scene and their song ‘Arnold Layne’ took me into another dimension. When they released ‘See Emily Play’, I was blown away. After Syd left and Gilmour joined, his sounds and techniques had a massive impact on me. I think (hope) that I’ve encapsulated some of those early influences in the music I write,  particularly the feel. That said, I listen to an eclectic and diverse range of music from ‘60s Bowie, Lou Reed, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Bach, Vivaldi, Pink Floyd, through to Alter Bridge, Black Country Communion, Porcupine Tree, The Pineapple Thief, Riverside, and their alter- ego, Lunatic Soul. We are influenced by everything we see, hear and experience, but those influences do not always manifest themselves so clearly.

Tell us about your new EP.  Thoughts Around is a six-track EP comprising four songs and two instrumentals. As with everything I write, the songs and instrumentals are born from life experience and observation – grief, loss, self-discovery, childhood, loneliness. Some of them are quite dark but there are elements of humour too. Pretty much everyone can relate to those emotions and experiences. The listener can take from the songs what they will – there is no right or wrong conclusion.

The tracks were written over about 18 months and demo’d at home. They were recorded at AdAudio Studios in Melbourne with the brilliant guidance (and bass and keys) of Robyn Payne and Rob Maizels, a wonderful drummer. Recording took about a week and a further week to mix and finalise. The YouTube video for the song ‘Me’ was developed and shot over a couple of months. It took me a while to find the right people to do it, and Mark, Tom and Dean from Little Man Screaming Productions created absolute magic getting the video to such a high standard, taking it far beyond my expectations.

What do you love about making music? What is there to start with? A chord or two? A riff? A sound that evokes something in the imagination? Perhaps a line or two of words, or even just one word that captures a particular situation or moment. From that point anything is possible and you build your own world around a simple foundation. The only person who can decide what happens is you. Mind you, I think I’m a bit of a control freak. It’s very cathartic locking myself away (not literally) trying ideas, looking for sounds and tinkering around with guitars. I also like to use what I think are referred to as field sounds in my music. It helps give some context, explanation or even another dimension to songs/music. 

What can a punter expect from your live show?  Hopefully I can do some live shows starting early 2018. People could expect a similar sound to the EP but with a slightly more raw-edge, as well as a few other songs that I'd love to do live. I think (hope) people would see a very genuine person – no pretence. It’s difficult enough trying to be me so I don’t try for anything else. Oh, and there’d be a few really corny jokes bandied around to. I hate being serious about much. You know, don’t take yourself too seriously — nobody else does. Good advice that is.

 

Keith David’s EP Thoughts Around is out now, and available on CD Baby, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and most other streaming services.