We had the opportunity to interview Dada and 7Horse! While we call this an interview, it was more of an expansive discussion into all things music, while we got to the questions occasionally, because the company was too damn good. Check out our interview below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
So, we did a 25th anniversary tour last year (for Dada), recorded a couple of tunes, put out of a vinyl 45 first first time. We've been in the studio since 2007, and that was the first new music we put out since since then. We really kind of ran around the country and did a lot of work last year.
But as of now, I mean, I guess you could say we're still kicking. You know, Joie and I have another project that we've been working on since 2011. 7Horse -- it's more of a blues influence. Cosmic country influenced, Rolling Stones influenced kind of rock thing. So, you gotta check it out.
We released a single from the first record. We're doing it all ourselves; we get a little radio promotion on on a song called “Low Fuel Drug Run” that got into the top 35 at the Altar at the AAA radio. But, “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” was not as successful at mainstream radio, but it did get some play at the satellite radio on The Loft Sirius satellite radio. A guy named Mike Malone, a great DJ, kind of championed our project.
And then one day out of nowhere, we got this email from representative of a (Martin) Scorsese saying, “Hey, we'd like to license your song in this upcoming movie called The Wolf of Wall Street.” And at first, we we thought, “Is this some kind of a joke that came out of the blue?” We weren't sure just like some kind of phishing scam, some gray area or something. They asked us for a bank information right, but we followed up on it, and it was legit. And after some negotiation, we were able to come to an agreement, and you know, they used the song for almost five minutes in the movie. We were in the trailer and the second trailer for the film, so it was a lot of exposure, and it was a real break for us.
I mean it was literally the first thing we recorded as 7Horse after you know about a 20 year run as Dada.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
You know, the blues is where it all began. We had been listening to a lot of blues and a lot of classic country and me loving The Stones and playing, you know, the way they approach the blues and country is kind of our approach. It's a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but you know, but we do pay homage. We kind of take it to a new, kind of hybrid, into our own kind of flavor. And, yeah, people really responded to it.
It's been cool; we played The Troubadour the other night, and then, we were in Vegas last night. And now tomorrow night, we're going to do a show where we're going to do 7Horse, but in the middle, we're going to do a kind of reinvented little mini set of Dada songs and we really want to try to put it all under one big roof, so we'll see what happens. We'll see if that works out.
Well, we've got a bass player with us, we've added a guy to our live lineup, and we did it as a two piece for seven years. Now, we're doing it as a trio. Now, we've got a great musician, Brian Whelan who kind of cut his teeth in the Dwight Yoakam band for five years. He's a singer songwriter as well and kind of an American artist here in Los Angeles. Fantastic player man. He's a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar and keyboards on our new record and is playing bass with us live. The sound is killer.
I'd love to see 7Horse continue to expand and to be a four piece or five piece. I could see doing a lot of different things with it -- like kind of what The Stones have done adding horn sections, and, you know, if we have the money to pay for it, because that's the tough part.
But, we're having a great time with them. We're really excited about this new record that's coming out. And, you know, it was really fun last year to go out and do 25th anniversary and play in front of second generation fans, because people brought their kids. That was a lot of fun, but we feel we feel like we're writing our prime as opposed to looking back.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
The Mississippi Blues guys was where I was really listening when we started this thing. I mean, Muddy Waters and Alan Walsh and all those big boys shatters. I love that stuff.
I love John Lennon and the early Beatles. John Lennon as a rocker is untouchable.
But, I love all kinds of singers, man. Frank Sinatra. I listened to him a lot. Oh, you're listening to, “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell. I listen to everybody. I can be influenced by so many different people and also your influence as a vocalist by instrumentalists when you hear people play solos and the way they phrase it, and again, kinda ingest that and kind of spit it back out.
But, I can never get away from the Beatles. It's just part of my DNA from when I was young even though I didn't get into them until after they already broke up. But, I was turned on to the music by an older cousin of mine at a very impressionable age, and it made such a huge impact on my life that it just shaped a lot of what I became. Millions of people feel this way, right? But you know, it really did have a big impact on me.
But yeah, I listen to a lot of Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. I love what she does. So as always, you can learn something from everybody. Right?
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
I've been playing this drum set since I walked into the professional drum shop in Hollywood about 15 years ago, and there was Ludwig Burgandy Sparkle. I have a thing about
Ludwig because Ringo. Yeah, I'm a big Ringo guy, but the drummers that really influenced me when I was the little was Buddy Rich, Ringo, and then Stewart Copeland because I love The Police.
But, I walked in the pro drum shop, and I saw this Ludwig, which was a kind of a Mitch Mitchell or Buddy Ray setup, which is a 22 inch thirteen rack tom and two 16 inch four tom. When Buddy Rich played that set up, you would put a towel on the second floor, Tom wouldn't play it, he would use it as table. Mitch Mitchell played with both four toms. You can see that a lot in some Hendrix footage.
But, I saw this thing, and I had never seen that color before. It was a used drum set from 1967, and it was in excellent condition. I had them redo the edges on it. And it was just like, my, my baby, it was a dream drum set for me because of the vintage era, you know, the late 60s; it's just a classic era. I played that thing on every Dada tour, and I played it in every 7Horse tour.
For the last 15 years until this one right now, on this last 7Horse record, I have this little Gretsch that I bought for practice with at home. It has a 12-14 inch Thompson and an 18 inch kick drums a small little like Jones kind of bebop sort of setup and I brought that thing in the studio. We got such a great sound on the 18 inch kick drums all over the record. And then, I started thinking about playing live with it because I wanted to be able to bring the drum set down front even further and get closer to the audience. I thought, you know, I'm going to look bigger behind a smaller drums that people can be able to see me more. So, I'm out. I'm out there.
Most guys playing Rock and Roll music are looking for bigger drums, you know, 24 inch kick. Bonham used a 26 inch kick drum -- big big drum, and it looks powerful and badass. I’m out there with these little sports car in comparison to the big beefy trucks, but having an 18 inch kick drum in these little toms, it sounds huge, and I'm big behind it. And as a front for the band that really is kind of helpful because people can see me, and I can see them, and I'm not hidden behind a bunch of gear. So, I really kind of like it right now. I've only done two gigs with it. But we're gonna take it out for the rest of this tour. So, it's really a break for me from the gear that I've been using for a long time.
I've been with Paiste cymbals since right when Dada got started. So, I have a pretty vast array of Paiste cymbals I've acquired over the years, but I'm using you know a few different ones right now. It’s a big difference from moving on these little Gretsch drums, and that's the first time career that I've been doing something like that.
Joie is a guitar fanatic, and he uses a lot of different tunings in 7Horse. He plays in open tunings a lot -- open G.
Yeah, but the upshot of all that is, unless you're really quick, and you're gonna retain everything on the fly, which kind of slows the show down. You got to have different guitar, right? Kind of locked and loaded for that. So, he's got three Teles , and they are tuned different. He's got a couple of big Gretches and you know those are in open tunings.
We're doing a 45 minute opening slot, and we've got six guitars that are being shuttled out there for changing guitars. So when you play an open tunings, you need a lot of guitars, or you need to grow quick on the the tuning. He’s got some beautiful instruments though.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
What still is worth something is a band on a stage live and in person, and you can pick up their t-shirts after the show. So, right, live music more than ever before is the stock and trade of a band. You got to be out there; you have to win fans over. That's what I love about what we're doing. Now opening, to go out in front of an audience full of people who are coming for the headliner, who have no idea who you are is a weird feeling.
After being in the business, as long as I have, it's kind of mind blowing to go out there and impress people. I’ve around for a long time now, and I've been in a band that's had some success. But in this world, people don't know who I am. These are not 90s alt fans; these are more country rock fans. And here I come with a with a band they've never heard of, and we've got to go out there. We got 45 minutes turn people on. So hey, you know, that's a challenge. You have to really get up for that.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
The current state of the arts -- there are pros and cons to what's happening right now. You just try to walk through the minefield and and find a way to make it work. There's an audience out there who really is looking for what you do, and you just keep trying to find them. And if you can find them, keep giving them the truth, keep giving them legitimate, the best that you've got. Make it real. I think people appreciate that. And they'll stick with you, and it will grow.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
Check out www.7horsemusic.com; that's a good place to start. Get connected with the band, and see where we're going to be. We're on all the social media platforms.
Go back and check out a record we made. Even the records made in the 90s because they do hold up, and people can still talk about them. You can see the progression of what has happened over the last 25 years. Kind of interesting.