RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SOUTHEND ARTIST DAVID WOODCOCK
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I grew up listening to music around the house and started playing from a young age so it was a natural thing.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I’m David Woodcock. I’m a singer-songwriter who formerly did two albums on Blow Up Records and now I’m releasing my third album ‘Pictures of Me’ independently on my own label Thank Dog Records.
On drums is Joe Blamey, guitar Mark Elliott and on bass is Wendy Solomon who is also Jem Lea in Slady, the world’s only all-female tribute to Slade.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums?
Tricky to get that down to 3 but off the top of my head.
Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins
Revolver by The Beatles
The Bends by Radiohead
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I genuinely can’t remember, I think it was probably just having an upright piano in the house that steered me into music and then later elastic bands wrapped around shoe boxes which led to guitar.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Before I was signed I was very proactive but not massively getting anywhere outside of where I played. Then I got signed and things moved a lot further afield but I was less proactive because there was less I could do because I was signed.
Now I’m technically doing worse but feel a lot happier, because I’m proactive again and I feel I’m pushing towards something that is more within my control.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
This is something I really don’t have any experience with. We have a female bassist and I have always felt she has been safe at gigs as an audience member and at gigs where she is playing but I can only gauge from my own experiences.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
No, I’m still getting to grips with the social media side of things.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I haven’t eaten pork for over a month. I haven’t drunk alcohol for over a month. I haven’t had a shower for over a month.
What’s your thought on Spotify monopoly on the music industry?
I am not well enough informed, I obviously think they should pay the musicians more and I don’t personally have a Spotify account because I resent paying for music when the money doesn’t go to the artist.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Maybe, who knows what the truth is these days?
What was the worst experience on stage?
Probably years ago when I was in an old band. The co-frontman threw a pint of Guinness over my keyboard that I’d just had a brand new set of keys replaced in. I wasn’t too happy but he didn’t do it again in a hurry.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
I never went to school.
Joe used to be a professional male stripper.
Mark once got so excited in a guitar solo he had an accident.
Wendy didn’t know anything about Slade until recently and is in Morrissey’s ‘Everyday’s like Sunday’ video
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think it’s the songs. I think they are easy to access, and memorable but not annoying and sickly.
They come from a real place but I’m not up my own backside. They have a warmth to them, it’s not trying to be something it’s not or be music by numbers.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
I’m really excited about the album, I really think it’s a strong body of work. It’s been 3 years in the making because the pandemic holding things up and going independent. I raised 4K in a Crowdfunder which paid for the vinyl and CDs to be made and I genuinely know it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I liked my last album but early feedback from some fans who have got the new record on preorder says that this album is a step up. More mature and has a better sound. So I know it’s not me being biased, it fits really well as a theme. The first album in 2014 was like the greatest hits of everything I’d done before I was signed.
My record label cherrypicked strong singles to make the album. They rerecorded everything again or polished up the original lo-fi recordings. The 2nd album ‘Normal Life’ took a long time to get completed but had a story running through it, I was going to turn it into a musical stage show, but I needed some help with writing a script and never found the right partner but I think if I could get round to doing that one day, it would bring another layer to that album. This album ‘Pictures of Me’ I just think everything fits together better, it’s not taking a track that was written 10 years ago and sticking it next to a new one or a two-year-old one. Also, the band had time to experiment with ideas before we recorded live in the studio and the musicians on the record are mainly my live band. The whole thing fits really well.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
I bought a 32-track recorder at the start of the lockdown. With no work, I had time to write and record as I went. It kept me motivated. After trying so long to get ‘Normal Life’ out, lockdown basically killed any chance of that album getting picked up in the same way the previous one had. In a way that was refreshing because I can’t control radio play and getting reviews and listens but I can control the making of the music and it all came down to me. I think it was a time of adapting but I just focused on trying to write the best album I could. The bar that I set was to write and record a better album than Revolver.
What was the recording process like?
After those original recordings on my machine, the band learned the songs and despite a lot of attachment personally to the demos, I felt the songs could sound better as the band playing them in a studio. We hired my friend Joe Lamb’s place for a Friday and Saturday and bashed out 17 tracks for drums, bass, and rhythm guitars. I then overdubbed the rest gradually over the year. I regret we couldn’t have moved quicker on the overdubs but Joe had to keep canceling and had to relocate his studio, so it took a lot longer than it needed to but there wasn’t a lot I could do about that.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I suppose, doing those demos as you can work out what works in the preproduction.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
You can go to my website HERE which hopefully will be kept up to date.
My new album and the two previous ones on Blow Up Records are available there as well as videos/merch/gigs/news etc