Dave Hanson – 20 Questions
- Tell us about your new EP, please – seems as though you wish one of your main strengths to be the songwriting.
Actually, I feel my main strength is in my guitar playing! I’ve been playing for 25 years – since age 8! But alot of my heros were also masters at writing timeless songs – Clapton, Knopfler, JJ Cale. So yes, I put alot of time into crafting the songs on the EP – adding hooks and melodies as so to be accessible to people who might not normally listen to blues(y) music. I’m also a sucker for good lyric, and try not to take myself too seriously! I have a habit of getting myself into the most surreal of situations so I always have a wealth of experiences to write about!
- You receive two free tickets to a festival – where would you prefer this to be ? and what three acts would you like to see?
I’ve always fancied Benecassim in Spain. I don’t really do Festivals in the UK as I’m averse to camping in the rain (I blame 5 years in the boy scouts). But a week in the sun watching my favourite bands would be great. I would have to say the three acts would be Gary Clark Jr, The Black Crowes, and Aerosmith.
- The radio is playing…what song would you cross the room to turn UP and what song would you cross the room to turn OFF?
Turn up – Tom Petty Won’t Back Down
Turn Down – Sam Smith – Stay with me
- The third track on an album is often a gem – can you think of any? (artist/title/source album)
Beatles – Sgt Peppers – Lucy in the sky with diamonds! Lennon at his psychedelic best!
Led Zeppelin 2 – the Lemon Song – probably one of the greatest & underrated bass lines every cut to disc!
Guns & Roses – Appetite for destruction – Nightrain – I learnt to play every song on that record from a guitar TAB book as a teenager. Nighttrain was one of the easier solos to master!
- Name a song or instrumental that fades too early, for you (artist/title )
JJ Grey – Ol’ Glory – that jam at the end is just cooking and you can tell it went on for another 10 minutes. The band were really going for it! – Still a fade at 7.32 isn’t bad for a modern track!
- Which song – any artist, any title – would have made a fine single release ? IF it had been a SINGLE ! – why do you think this?
Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin. It was 60’s power pop with thunderous drums and guitars!
- A recording that makes you laugh ….intentionally or otherwise! (artist/track/source album)
I love the 4 yorkshiremen sketch from Monty Python live at Drury Lane. Reminds me of listening to people in the pub in Leeds. Grumbling old yorkshiremen!
- Favoured instruments for stage work? What strings? What tunings?
I have a Fender Stratocaster. It’s a 60’s reissue model. It’s had the paint stripped off it. I use standard tuning for electric shows, and Eb for Acoustic. I use D’addario strings 09-46
- David Bowie and Annie Lennox record a duet and you lead the band – what song do they sing ? and who do you bring in on the session?
They re-record Dancing In The Street. I bring in the Daptones. We send all copies of that 80’s Mick Jagger / Bowie version on a rocket ship into outer space, and erase from the history books.
- An acoustic gem? What song / tune and who by? What’s the appeal?
The acoustic version of Hendrix Hear My Train A Coming. A very impromptu version he played on an upside town 12 string, out of tune. But its captured an honesty and integrity that he wouldn’t have been able to put down in the studio at that point in his career when he was super obsessive about perfection.
- Suggest an ‘expanded edition’ album release where the additional cuts impress you…and why?
I love the Beatles Anthology series. It really influenced me as a songwriter, being able to see the tracks in their embryonic forms. Also as a producer to see the songs broken down into their composite parts and knowing the final versions really inspired my production style on my album.
- Name an actor or actress who made a listenable song recording – and what’s the appeal?
Stephen Seagal?! Ha No … but seriously, maybe the blues brothers original soundtrack. That was a very influential album in my youth – I had it on cassette and loved the version of She Caught The Katy. Steve Croppers guitar playing on that record is awesome.
- Where are you planning to tour next?
I am planning a UK & European tour for spring 2016. Details will be announced soon on my website davehansonmusic.co.uk
- Which artist did you go to see perform with low expectations but ended up impressed? Where and when was this?
Crosby Stills & Nash – Manchester Arena. I thought they would be past it and unable to sing, but they blew me away with how tight the harmonies are. They still got it! And I hadn’t realised how a great guitar player Stephen Stills was until then.
- Where in the world in your opinion is live music best received? What venues appeal?
I love playing all over the world. I’ve found that American audiences seem to really dig what I’m doing. Sometimes in England you get people at your gigs that spend the night chatting to their mates at the bar. I don’t get why people would spend money on a concert ticket to do that?! Surely wetherspoons is a cheaper option?
- Has a radio DJ anywhere ( and any era) ever impressed you and if so why?
Bob Harris continues to impress me. He is someone who after all these years in the business, is still passionate about new music and supports artists that might not have the commercial appeal for mass mainstream marketing but are still creating amazing and relevant music.
- Name a recording (an album maybe) that really ‘grew’ on you and has ended up as essential listening? What is it about this recording that you value?
James Bay – Chaos and the Calm. I didn’t get it at all, but then after a few listens his songs were ingrained in my brain. I love the production and he has a really great voice. He’s also a very talented guitar player.
- Everytime I get a ‘Best Of…’ of anybody, there’s a song or two missing that I wish had been included….can you think of an instance of this ? what are the missing items that you would like to have seen included?
Two or three songs with great actual endings (not fades) by The Who or The Kinks ? or both acts !
Won’t get fooled again – classic who power chord ending!
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion – they book end the song with that classic 12 string guitar riff!
- Is there a book or novel that you would like to create songs or the score for? Why is this?
I don’t really read that many novels, but I produced my album to have a cinematic feel to it. I always said that I’ve produced a collection of songs that would make a great Tarantino soundtrack album. Very eclectic and not all sounding the same, but with a concurrent train of thought throughout the whole record.
Which is the best sequenced album- any artist, any genre – that you really rate and why is this ? any favourite songs or pieces on this album? (I like the running order of Spirit’s ‘ 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus’,,by the end a lot of ground has been covered)
I think the Beatles Abbey Road is the best complete album – the tracks just run seamlessly into each other and the side 2 medley is pure genius. Not a bad track on that record, and yes I know Maxwells Silver Hammer & Octopus’ Garden are on there… 😉
Did you enjoy school? Whether you did or not, which song reminds you of schooldays ( artist / title / source album )?
I enjoyed school. I learnt to play guitar at school. I would say Johnny Be Goode by Chuck Berry would remind me of that. It was the first song I played live with my band, in a school assembly at age 14. I thought I was Marty McFly!
Dave Hanson’s new EP ‘Blind Faith’ is out now. For more information visit: www.davehansonmusic.co.uk
(Thanks to Dave)