Dave I.D came riding roughshod into my life in a blizzard of white noise, EBM breakbeats and dystopian synths. Hailing from London and yet sounding like not a lot else from the broken metropolis, Dave I.D is a man who doggedly ploughs his own furrow. With deeply personal lyrics that deal with loss, pain, anger and all manner of thorny issues Dave I.D is the definition of a visceral, contemporary pop musician. Not star. Cloaked in a vague shroud of intrigue (or more appropriately no “like my page for a free download” marketing tactics) he has just released his first album – Response. We discussed that, and more in an interview with the man himself.
How do you approach composition – what comes first?
It always varies. I don’t have a formula for making the music I make. It always depends on my mood. I make songs in many different ways. Sometimes I’ll have an idea and I’ll put it down, other times it will happen spontaneously. I never really want to create the same thing over and over again so it’s good for me to have different ways of making music.
Do you think imposing limitations is important for an artist?
It depends on the artist! Some artist can only go so far. I think it’s good to find out what you like and find out what you don’t like, and knowing what you will and won’t do. I feel like I’m in a place where there is nothing I can’t do and that’s an exciting place to be, but I think limitations are important, It’s like having standards.
I was told you don’t like discussing your musical influence, so maybe explain some of the other influence you channel into your music?
I guess I’m an aggressive guy – that definitely shines through in my music. I get obsessed with sound, recording techniques and music production more and more these days. I am influenced by what’s around me, and my music is a response to that. The way I feel can trigger a lot of the music make, I’m really into creating feelings with my work.
Anger and frustration seem to be two themes that run through your music, what makes you angry – in life, in general?
I get angry at the best of time, sometimes I don’t know why! I’ve always had a bad temper since I was in school! It doesn’t take allot to piss me off! But it makes me the artist I am.
How easy is it to translate your music to the stage? It seems to be very heavily treated and produced
Well, I feel like the live show is always growing and developing with each show. I think before I saw the live show as its own thing and I guess I still do to a degree, but I liked the idea of making the live show sound as close to the record as possible, and I think I’m achieving that with each show by still playing it live.
Is it satisfying to perform the material live?
Yeah, it’s great! Each show is getting more exciting, more comfortable. It’s a good release, seeing people’s faces and their reactions when I play is always intriguing because they don’t know what to do, it’s all very new to a lot of the crowds I play to. They don’t quite expect it!
Have you found anyone yet who you want to work with as a producer?
Right now my priorities lay on my own ideas, producing my own music and going where I want to go. I don’t really pay attention to a lot of the new music around because I just don’t have the time, but if the right project came along and I was excited about it, I’d be up for it.
There is something very British about the album – maybe your accent, maybe something else. Would you say that is a conscious thing?
I mean, I do what comes naturally to me, I don’t think of the consequences. I not going to pretend I’m something that I’m not. It’s something I haven’t analysed.
How difficult was it for you to close the chapter on recording an album?
The making of my album was definitely an intense experience. I was making it completely on my own and deciding everything about the record so I had a lot to carry on my shoulders. There was a time where I didn’t think I’d get to the other side, so closing the chapter didn’t come easy, because I felt very responsible for its outcome and wanted to do myself justice. But at the same time I was already thinking about the next record so that gave me an incentive to finish because I felt another wave of creativity coming. All in all, when the record was finished, I knew because I felt I had something great!
How do you know when a song it’s finished?
Usually I can tell if I can listen to it on repeat and it not annoying me. That’s always a good sign. One of the reasons I starting making music is so I’d have new music that I’d like, that I could listen to, so being able to listen to my music is important for me and a good indicator.
What else have you got coming up?
I’m currently recording new music for next year. Hopefully I’ll go on some tours, play more live shows and I’m releasing my next single soon.