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An Interview with Wesley David




I have been joined by Wesley David who has answered some questions about his musical career so you can find out a bit more about his music!


Welcome to Totally Music would you like to introduce yourself?

HELLO TOTALLY MUSIC I’M WESLEY DAVID

….

Hi from near Philadelphia PA here in the US where I am right now, in my Dad’s basement, with his cat Anna. This is the glorious life of a rock star in between live dates.


What got you into music?

…It’s sometimes tough to know how to answer this, or, if the answer is cool enough (it definitely isn’t)

In a way, 2 main influences as a kid - neither having much to do with Rock or Pop - helped me discover how much I loved music: One was classical (cassettes - yes), I had a handful from my Mom as a little kid. The other was video games, and we’re talking early Nintendo and Sega here. I just remember being enthralled with the music to like, Super Mario 3 on NES as much as the actual game. It was truly entering another world. And Vivaldi or Beethoven, I would fall asleep to almost nightly from Kindergarten age onwards.


Where do you get your inspirations from for your music?

This one is a little easier (kinda), maybe not any cooler…

There’s a feeling I had ever since I was a kid, listening to a favourite melody - it could be from a John Williams soundtrack or it could be some U2 song - but call it ‘hopeless hopefulness’. It’s some deep feeling there I internalised of being courageous against the odds, of living in the moment, of what Nietzsche (yes, quoting Philosophy like an asshole now) would think of as ‘greatness’.

There’s this larger-than-life thing there, of feeling overwhelmed at life and in awe of things as they inevitably conclude. I could listen for endless hours just stuck in this feeling of ‘seeing life as a whole’, like…it begins, it ends - you’re part of the beginning, you’re there at the ending……and melody brings it home. A great chorus brings you there. And the best bands somehow knew how to channel it, just right: I’m thinking, say, Queen.

I’m even embarrassed (but not really) to admit just how drawn my ear is to major-scale choruses; it’s why I can love a Taylor Swift song as much (almost) as a hall-of-fame Rock band’s.

My biggest songwriting hero in this world is Noel Gallagher; coming of age in the 90s definitely pigeonholes me here in terms of liking pop-friendly melodies but heavy guitars or synths, and I just thought Oasis was the greatest circa 1995.

So I draw heavily on 90s alternative but also the usual classic Rock from the Beatles (especially Paul McCartney’s piano songs) to Led Zep.


What is your creative process like?

I usually write to a melody, and that emerges from strumming chords on a guitar. And I usually…feel out a melody and chorus first, before any lyrics really come. In 2020 (the year which shall not be named) I wrote prolifically and the best of the songs ended up on an album I made from my apartment in LA. It had been some years since I really made myself write and re-engage, after slogging it out in bands and not really getting anywhere.

I’ve been re-dedicating myself ever since to (attempting) to make writing more of a routine; it’s tough when you’re older. I’m a wandering artist type, my instinct is to only write when I’m feeling it. The problem with that is, if you’re not feeling it, entire years can go by.


You have just released your latest single 'Don't look down' . Would you like to tell us about it?

Don’t Look Down emerged from a synth-piece I wrote for the Paula Poundstone podcast, and something about it stuck out to me. I just liked the motif which ended up as the chorus; it sounded like something Oasis might write if they had been a true 80s band, or maybe Tears for Fears.


What are your favourite set of lyrics from the song and why?

In the second verse there’s a line ‘You can check what score’s the game - or you can go out and make the plays’ - and then ‘this tightrope walking dream scares your faith’.

I’ve been on a long journey coming full circle of thinking about ‘process’ vs ‘outcomes’ in life. My instinct for a long time has been to expect the best from myself, and expect success - which I normally do, except - putting out music, or anything creative, brings you face to face with one difficult reality: you really have no control over what happens. You have *influence over a lot, and your process - and whether or not you go play live, do social media, etc. But at the end of all of it, you’re not totally in control over whether or not you “succeed”. You can keep checking the score but…in reality, you need to just make ‘a play’, then make the next one, etc. That’s the part you control. Life of a modern musician, working Spotify, going one step at a time instead of trying to “win” at the outset, which isn’t…really a thing, maybe unless you’re freaking Billie Eilish or someone.

Tough lesson for me. The solo thing is still new for me after years in bands. Writing and playing is the thing I love; you just come back to some humility and maybe trust that it will take you somewhere cool if you hang in - you just may not know where that is yet.


You've recently been on tour in the UK. What was that experience like?

Amazing, and humbling.

I met some great people. I got to see a lot of the country and I got to perform at Cavern Club in Liverpool (the rest of my bucket list should just give up now).

The UK is home to many of my musical heroes, so…definitely a trip I won’t forget and psyched to come back.

I packed way, way too much crap also…good life lesson. “If one plans on taking the Tube a lot, one should pack as if going into a sweaty jungle”


Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?

Living? Dead? Tough one. A few come to mind…Trent Reznor, since he did Ghosts is just on another level of creativity to me…It would’ve been a 90s rock dream of mine to work with Chris Cornell as well. Any of the Spice Girls…

To do anything one day with (either) Gallagher brother would probably take the cake.


What has been your favourite musical experience?

This is also a tough one.

I think the FIRST time (bear with me) I heard the opening theme to ‘Jurassic Park’, as a kid, might to this day be my all-time favourite musical experience. It was just mind-blowing. The feeling of it, that’s the feeling I write to. The sense of ‘awe at life’, at ‘how are we here!’, at ‘hold on through and get to the end’ and it resolves! Or something?

Playing experience - I was a teenager in a band with my sister (who sang) and we got to do a house party in our basement once for friends and family which truly, to this day, half-a-million+ folks-I’ve-performed-to-later, made me feel like a rock star. This one girl (much, much older than me) from our ‘church’ wrote our band name on the back pockets of her jeans. I thought I was already famous, haha.


What's next for you?

I’m playing some scattered US Northeast dates this summer and working on more music, and looking at doing a full album for next year. Also not done being in the UK, my spiritual-home-away-from home…

The versions of a glorious freaking post 90s band which didn’t quite go anywhere in Los Angeles, I have visions of doing version 2.0 in London or North UK in the years to come and see what happens.

As always my theme is - you might not be in control of “the outcome”, but - if you believe in yourself, you don’t really need to worry about it. You just need to show up and go do what you do, all-in. The rest will follow.


If you would like to check out 'Wesley David's' Music you can find his music here:




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