We’re happy to feature local singer-songwriter Dave Farah as he prepares for his SOLD OUT EP Release show tomorrow night at Foundation Gallery & Liveroom. As a lover of music, Dave Farah figured out at a young age that the musician route was for him and continues to do so as a result of his latest efforts, Too Dark To Fly, which will be given away at tomorrow night’s show. We spoke to Dave Farah about his inspirations, guilty pleasure musicians, his EP, and more!
A signed copy of Dave Farah’s CD will be given out with each ticket at tomorrow night’s Buncearoo show. We hope to see you there!
What was the moment when you realized you wanted to be Dave Farah: the musician?
Dave Farah: the musician. Haha! That sounds so official! I think wanting to become a musician really rose from an incessant desire to absorb music all the time. I worship a LOT of musicians. “This guy’s my hero” is a common phrase that my friends and families have to listen to. There’s something about a writer taking the chaos of worry or stress or happiness, love, excitement and translating that into sound that totally stuns me.
As I grew up, I kept trying to get my hands on any type of music I could listen to and share with my friends. I love to listen. So, I’m not sure I had a specific moment, but I can definitely say that through middle school and early high school, I found myself starting to understand how my music idols did they did, and then figured, maybe I can do that too. I’m still not there, but it’s amazing to feel like I’m on the path towards contributing my own work to the music that I’ve treasured for so long.
What musicians – past or present – inspire you to make the music you make?
This list goes on forever, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I really started with a love for poetry, sifting through Frost, Emerson, Thoreau, Tennyson, Whitman. Eventually my brother showed me a TV series called “Def Poetry Jam” which hosted these freestyle types of modern poets who would perform their work with whatever cool structure or form or flow that they’d come up with. As a result of falling in love with that show (dreaming to perform my own poetry on it one day), I started looking for musicians that really cared about what they said and how they said it. A great example is early Jason Mraz. He would string these complex thoughts together almost effortlessly and find a nice balance between lighthearted rap verses and simple pop choruses. Josh Ritter, at least in my eyes, is one of the best songwriters currently making music. That guy can tell stories and paint images with his lyrics in a way that I’ve never heard. So, I guess the simple way to put it is that the words matter to me. John Mayer, Mat Kearney, Chris Ayer, Sara Bareilles, Trevor Hall, Jamie Cullum, Anais Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Tallest Man On Earth, Joe Purdy, etc… That’s probably a good taste of the musicians love.
You’re giving out your new EP “Too Dark To Fly” this Saturday at your Buncearoo & FNDTN show – what do you look forward to most with this release?
There are going to be so many familiar faces there. Between family and friends, it’s going to be a really relaxed show. I think what I’m most excited for is the chance to share more than just the EP with a group of people who have heard for so long that I want to do music. It’ll be an awesome evening of songs and stories. The Bunces are wonderful and tirelessly host great music and FNDTN is SUCH a cool venue, where an artist can interact and relax in a way that many venues don’t allow. I think I’m just excited to share the music that I love with the people that I love.
Speaking of the EP – could you talk a little bit about the creative (songwriting + recording) process? Were there any issues during the time you put this together?
Well, this EP has been slowly coming together since January 2012. I contacted Jim Ebert, the producer, in December 2011, because I had wanted for so long to record my songs in a real studio with a band and see what we could create. A couple weeks later, we recorded ‘Skyline’ and ‘Resolution’ at Cue Recording in Falls Church, VA. I was basically a deer in headlights through those first songs because I’d never done anything like it before. Luckily, Jim is such an amazing producer that, although I was a nervous wreck, it was fluid and easy and we just had a great time through those first couple days.
In terms of writing, because the EP took a whole year to record, my style and writing changed naturally over that time. ‘Skyline’ was written in October 2011 and ‘Too Dark To Fly’ was written in September 2012. In that time, I graduated college, ended a serious relationship, moved home, played a handful of my first legitimate gigs, and decided on seriously trying out this music thing. The issues really were just trying to bring my best work over that time to Jim and figure out what kind of first step I wanted to take as a musician. In the end, I couldn’t be more excited about the final product and absolutely can’t wait to dive into the next project.
What inspired the title of the EP?
“Too Dark To Fly” was kind of a fluke actually. I was going through a break up and, about a week later, I was scheduled to record the last two songs for the EP: “Learning” and, at the time, a song called “Let You Be”. “Let You Be” was supposed to be a duet with a good friend of mine (not the person I was breaking up with), but we kept missing each other; the timing just never worked. Needless to say, the song wasn’t ready and I was in a panic, thinking I didn’t really have a last song to record with Jim. One night, I was angry and sad and confused, and wrote a song in about a half an hour: “Too Dark To Fly”. It just spilled out of me. The song was really just an extended stream of thought connecting the feelings of not being able to coordinate with my writing partner and breaking up with my best friend.
In general, struggling to maintain working relationships. As soon as I wrote it, I fell in love with it and I felt like for once, I’d translated an emotion honestly. Then I thought about the themes of the rest of the songs on the EP, and the thread of having to work your ass off for what you love, maybe coming up short but always having hope of moving forward, was consistent throughout. Then, I took the song to Jim and he loved it and, ultimately, nothing else seemed as fitting as an EP title.
Besides the release, what else should your fans look forward to this year?
I’ve been lining up some really cool shows that I’m excited about, but honestly, I think 2013 is, right now, as much a mystery to me as it is to my fans. I think if I had to make a shortlist of what I look to accomplish this year, it would look like this: new music videos for the songs on the EP, at least one tour up and down the east coast, a series of YouTube videos that will showcase new music I’ve been constantly writing, and possibly a second venture back at Cue Recording with Jim and the band. I’d really love to record a full-length album.
Who is your current guilty pleasure musician?
I’ll admit to two! When I’m driving, I secretly rock out to “Who Says” by Selena Gomez. I don’t really know any of her other songs, but that is a killer tune. I love it. Also, Flo Rida is just too much fun to pass up. “HEY, I HEARD YOU WERE A WILD ONE!” Yea, he is the man.
If there ever was a movie made about your life – who would you choose to play yourself?
A movie, huh? Wouldn’t that be awesome! I have no idea who would play me. I mean… just free thinking here, the guys I have on my speed dial at the moment… Gosling, Clooney, Pitt. Haha!
Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up! Any last shout outs for the readers out there?
I just want to thank everyone who’s coming out to the show on Saturday and the Bunces/FNDTN for hosting. I hope that they have a wonderful time and I can’t wait to hang out.