On one hand, there’s Lady Gaga and Kanye West, artists who seem to treat nearly every thought and action as important pieces of information that must be shared immediately through all forms of media.
And then there’s Dave Goddess, who is very selective when it comes to revealing details about himself.
This much is known: Goddess is a New York-based singer, songwriter and guitarist. He used to lead a group called the Daddy Licks Band. These days he fronts the Dave Goddess Group, and its debut album, Something New, was mixed by Ed Stasium, who made a name for himself through his work with The Smithereens, The Ramones and Talking Heads, among others.
“I have no strategy,” Goddess says. “I just hope to follow this to its logical conclusion, play really loud, publicly explore my deepest depths, sweat profusely and connect with an audience.”
Goddess recently fielded a handful of questions about Something New, tunes that happen to share the same title as his latest album and other topics.
Medleyville.us: There’s an old-school rock sound throughout Something New. Talk about the studios you used to record the album and whether you went the analog or digital route.
Dave Goddess: “If my record sounds old-school, it’s just a result of my doing things the only way I know how. I tried to capture the spirit of the songs I wrote, to play with feeling and to sing with abandon. Beyond that, I had no plan.
“I recorded the album in a few different studios. I don’t believe that any of them had any bearing on how it came out. I think the drums were recorded on tape, and the rest was done digitally. I had a great engineer, Konrad Carelli, who helped me immensely in getting the sounds and capturing the performances. The legendary Ed Stasium mixed all the tracks, and he did a great job in translating my ideas into a finished sound.”
“Lucky Guy” is about your wife, who had asked you to write a song about her. What steps did you take to avoid traveling down a corny lyrical path?
Goddess: “I’m incapable of writing a silly love song — not that there’s anything wrong with that. In ‘Lucky Guy,’ I tried to explore both the dark and light side of our relationship. I’m not perfect, she’s not perfect, our relationship isn’t perfect, but I’m lucky to have her. Like everything else I do, I just thought about it a lot and tried to be honest. I know honesty can be corny, but soul-bearing is my stock in trade.”
Describe today’s New York music scene in one sentence.
Goddess: “How about one word: diverse. There are so many people here that there’s an audience for everything that’s noteworthy. If you’re a great bagpiper, there are enough Scottish people here to support you.”
Traffic, The Smithereens and Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Dino Valente are among the artists who have recorded songs titled “Something New.” Other than yours, which one is your favorite?
Goddess: “OK, you cost me three bucks to download those tracks from iTunes. Never heard any of them. Didn’t like any of them. But The Beatles‘ album of that name is good.”
What are the band’s touring plans for 2011?
Goddess: “I love to perform live. I have a great band, and we’ve got a lot of opportunities right now. I made my CD, and the next step is to go out and connect with audiences. Look for me in your town. Invite me to a party after the gig.”
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
Dave Goddess Band on tour (schedule subject to change):
* April 23: The Firehouse — Bethlehem, Pa.
* April 30: The Living Room — New York