Tell me a little about the time after "See You in The Sunshine" came out and why did you go back to those themes in "Follow the Summer""?
DD: After “See You in the Sunshine” I had a totally different kind of album in mind. Something very avant-garde but at the same time still very melodic. While I was thinking about this, songs like “Today”, “Miss America” and “Every Day Song” which had an overtly retro-pop feel were still popping into my head and I really didn’t know what to do with them. When I started writing “Hide and Seek” with Derek Holt, everything changed and I pursued a different direction where I could finally use those 3 songs in a place where they would fit. I saw the whole thing as a conceptual tribute to my musical heroes (Derek being one of them!)
What is the story behind "Happily Ever After"? Is it all fairy tales?
DD: The title actually came from an email correspondence with Derek about the music biz. I think he ended one with “then we can all live happily ever after” and I thought that was a great opportunity for a song. We all have this vision of what “happily ever after” actually is and I think most people never really find it. The difficult thing is that sometimes you chase what you think it is with so much ambition that you actually pass other possibilities along the way. But… it’s still important to keep chasing!
What current musician inspires you and who do you wish you could tour with?
DD: That’s always been a really hard question for me. I think anyone still alive and making music today is still “current”. I wish the music industry felt the same way. So answering on that basis, I’d like to tour with Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson etc 😉 Derek said he would be in the band btw! Even if I said Radiohead (who I love), I think that might even exceed some people’s definition of “current”. All depends on your perspective I guess.
Obviously, Beatles and Beach Boys are high on the influence list. Who else are your musical heroes?
DD : That’s a list that grows longer every day. Here are some of them…Derek Holt, Todd Rundgren, Badfinger, Gerry Rafferty, Queen, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, The Who, Stevie Wonder, Eddie Van Halen, Yes, Nick Drake, Brahms, Allan Holdsworth, Bee Gees, Burt Bacharach, U2, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bach, etc. Really could keep going on and on but you get the idea.
Any good experiences on the road you’d like to talk about?
DD: One of the most memorable so far was in Liverpool. I got to perform “Strawberry Fields Forever” at the Cavern Club while the people of Liverpool sang along with me. A very magically mysterious experience!
How did you hook up with Derek Holt?
DD: His song “I Love You” has always been one of my all time favorites. Just one of those magical songs that I fell in love with the first time I heard it. To this day I still consider it to be one of the greatest songs ever written. At any rate, I got the rare opportunity of telling him so and how much I was influenced by that song. From there we started talking about other great songs and writers. Then he dropped a bomb on me and asked me if I wanted to try writing one with him. We wrote “Hide and Seek” and then three more. Still blows my mind to think of it.
Do you plan to play at any music festivals?
DD: I’ve played IPO twice and had a great time at both. I’m sure some very cool things are on the horizon.
Any plans yet for a follow-up?
DD: My plan is to finally record the album I conceptualized before “Follow the Summer”. The ideas are there so we’ll see what happens this time around!
Thanks for interview, David – can’t wait for the next one!