21st Feb, O2 Ritz, Manchester
Bury Me In Philly has recently dropped. In promotion of the record, Dave Hause is on tour in the UK with good friend Brian Fallon. With that I have had the pleasure of interupting his sound check pre show in Manchester. Asking him some questions about the album, creation, lyrics and his love for punk.
First of all, welcome to Manchester, if you’ve not already been asked… United or City?
I think Noel Gallagher is Man City, right? But you know what, I’m going to stay out of it. I don’t need anybody not coming on account of a football team I don’t even know anything about. All I know is our football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl.
Let’s move on then, you were down in Birmingham last night with Brian. How has the tour been so far?
It’s been great, it was the actual start of the tour. Then maybe a week ago we got asked to do the Kingston show. So, if you bought a copy of Brian’s record you went to a show… something like that. So, they asked us to play Monday night but we had landed Monday morning. That was kind of like a warm up show to 1000 people. It was a little harder, just because we were jet lagged and stuff. Last night was really fun in Birmingham. It went really well. Looking forward always to Manchester, it’s been good to me and us… super psyched to play.
Preparation and nerves
In terms of tonight, are you nervous?
Yeah, the older I get, the more of a reference I have for the amount of time and effort it takes to get to a gig. You’ve got to get a babysitter, to get off work, whatever it is, there’s circumstances that get in the way… and so when the people do make that commitment you want to be good. My heroes are really at the top of the game. I’m always thinking how would ‘fill in the blank’, how would they deliver the show, so I do get nervous.
There’s that story about some upstart singer who’s getting ready to get out on stage and Liza Minnelli is stood next to her. Maybe it was an award show or something. She’s about to play in front of millions of people on television. Liza asks ‘you nervous?’, ‘Nah, it’s not a big deal’ was the response, she was really flippant and arrogant. Liza Minnelli says ‘it’s ok hunny it comes with talent’… You have to respect the magic you’re trying to make. You’re doing something extraordinary, it should make you a little nervous.
Do you do anything in particular to help with the nerves, like preparation before show?
Tim and I will do the pre-stage hug. We do that in The Mermaid as well. We all get together before the intro and have a big hug. Each person hugs each person, so you’ve made contact. You have to get rid of whatever aggravated you about that person earlier in the day, you know, it’s tough. You’re right on top of each other, so even if you have the good fortune to get on a bus. You are really, living in a tube together.
I know you are close friends with your tour mate Brian. What is it like going on tour together?
We mostly just talk about music, it’s kind of the only time we really get to hang out, so it’s always really sweet. It’s great we get to pack in all the missed [times]… we might miss each other for like a year or something and then we get back together on tour and like (hand clap). There’s not many people on this this trip. Me and my brother, his band and three crew, so there’s plenty of room. It’s really comfortable, they’ve been really good to us.
Solo plans & his brother
I’ve read previously that you’ve always wanted a musical soulmate like Lennon and McCartney. Citing your brother Tim as that person for yourself. How important is he to what you do?
Well it was like a light switch went on. I had The Loved Ones and we toured, made records and started to make a splash, then kind of dissipated. When I went out solo it started picking up steam and then I did the Revival Tour. That was like another light bulb going off. Then a few years later, my brother was sort of floundering in college, not knowing what he wanted to do. He was doing well but wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep going. So, I said well if you want to come out on the road, I can show you what this whole life is, and then you can figure out if you like it or not. He took to it like a fish to water. Now he’s just always working on getting better.
So it was like another light switch went on – Oh I can do this with my brother. We’re far enough in age that there’s not like a jealously or competition. It’s like a mutual love and admiration, and a deep care. We can take more chances and be braver and just be comfortable with each other. It’s a great nucleus for the music and then for the band. The band understand there is this chemistry and they all work into it as well. It was like we were able to start our own little family and so far, so good.
In recent years there has been more and more ex punk band members venturing into solo careers. Was this always your plan?
No, I assumed The Loved Ones would be a band that would be forever. It just didn’t work out that way. I thought that I might do a solo record on the side. I love singer-songwriter music, I love acoustic music, I love to deviate. At that point I thought The Loved Ones would be a rock vehicle, but you know, the best laid plans saying. That was the plan but the plan always changes. But thankfully I was willing and able to pivot. Thankfully there was people who want to listen.
Bury Me In Philly
Speaking of being solo, Bury Me in Philly has recently dropped this month. Are you happy with the record?
I am yeah. There’s always a couple things you might change. Especially because we put together a band and started to play the songs and live in them a little more live. They grow and change, and that’s kind of what you hope for. You hope they get a life of their own outside of the record. But yeah, I am happy with it. I’m happy it happened. It gave me the courage to keep going and keep making songs, keep playing shows, it’s always like a good shot in the arm getting it out.
Do you see it as an improvement on the last record?
There’s snapshots of where you’re at when you make them, in terms of improvement. You hope that overall, you’re improving in terms of your execution and vision and all that stuff. I couldn’t say that any of those records are better than the others. I just think their like links in a chain. We’re building out a long conversation, hopefully for the audience and for ourselves. I kind of want to make each a little different enough to be creative and be free. So yeah, it’s like another link in the chain.
In terms of song meanings, Dirty Fucker seems quite interesting?
Originally, I stepped in dog shit. There were fireworks on at a beautiful park and my friend said ‘it’s always some dirty fucker, isn’t it?’ Yeah there’s always someone who’s not willing to clean up after themselves. When I started to write the song, there had been an oil spill just north of Santa Barbara. It wrecked the beaches and it was some corporate shit head who didn’t care and wrecked the sea life and beach front. Then in Philly there’s always trash, people leave trash on the ground, and it will fuck with the river. There’s an oil spill in the first verse and the second verse there’s that scary element. A big town that’s beautiful and a great community, where people will fuck with you or they will leave their trash behind so that’s what it was about.
Then Trump got elected. It became a lot more pointed – the actual or the biggest dirty fucker, the classic, snake oil salesman. He’s almost the antithesis of what it means to be human. He’s the fucking worst. It took on a new a meaning accidentally when he got elected. We played dirty fucker every night and pointed it at Washington.
It always personal stories that inspire your songs, like stepping in dog shit?
It’s always some different little nugget that gets the thing going. It could be the melody that inspires the lyric, it could be the other way around, it’s always different. I wish there was a way to go back and figure out what made something work and go back and repeat it. A lot of time it doesn’t work. There’s some element that is outside of you, that you’re channeling, so it’s always different.
Explain the lyric from ‘With You’ – I need a friend right now that remind me of home?
Well home is anything. The idea with that song – I was missing my wife at the time and missing my family, I was on tour. When I come over here to Europe, I’ll stop in Philly on the way over. To [see] my sister, nieces, nephews and my dad and stuff… I miss it but you know I’ve kind of reset in Santa Barbara with my wife, all our friends and my wife’s family. So, I get a good dose of both. It’s sort of like three homes. One in Santa Barbara, one in Philly and one on tour, so it’s a nice treat.
But then that song can be pointed at the audience to. I mean, I need a friend here. We do this in order to connect, and this feels like home. Like I said that three home kind of thing. When you’re always missing somebody but you always feel somewhat comfortable. So, it’s kind of just about longing, wanting to not feel alone.
The Love for Punk
Where did the love for punk come from?
I always liked rock and roll as a kid. I was raised in evangelical Christian kind of setting. Punk became like a steam valve, a release. A place where ideas were cherished and delivered. Theory was you can do what you wanted and you didn’t have to listen to the man and all that shit. But eventually you realise, you have to meet the new boss. So that’s when I fell in love with it.
Then it became this sort of thing you could do without being extremely good at music. You could get up there and put a show together, with a couple chords and a melody. Instead of having to be like Eddie Van Halen or having to be Joe Perry, or Whitney Houston. You didn’t have to do that. You just put together a couple chords and mean it. That was the way to get into the frame… then you got to learn how to play.
Are you achieving what you set out to?
The fact that I already make a living off it is much further than I ever could have dreamed. Keep the pedal down, keep going, keep trying to grow and connect with people. I just do my thing and hope that it does connect with people. You want to be a link in the chain for human beings to be creative. If I can do for someone what Patty Griffin does for me or Brandi Carlile does for me, that’s amazing. I can’t even quite wrap my head around it, it becomes like a weight. I just try and do my thing and see what happens.
What do you feel is Britain’s greatest Punk export?
The Clash…The Damned and The Clash I guess, to me, Joe Strummer is a saint. But in a way The Beatles, were like a ripping little punk band when they started. Rock and roll was like a culture defining movement… you should replace the royal family with the McCartney family or the Lennon family… I don’t know if The Crown would be as interesting if it was Ringo… I think it would.
Anything coming up soon?
I will be back again for sure. We are doing like a birthday show, I’m turning 40. We’re doing a revival tour style show for my birthday in Santa Barbara, with Chuck [Ragan], Dan Andriano and Cory Brannan.