You started The Weight a couple years back. What happened with that? Are you guys still playing together at all?
The Weight was a bunch of my friends that I called together because I had some songs that I wanted to record. That album probably would have been more aptly named, ‘The Weight’. The artist should have been ‘Dave Yaden’. They were and are my great friends and some of the very best players I will ever play with and they did me the favor of coming together and helping me put together my first album. So much work goes into an album and even a live show, unless it’s just me showing up and performing by yourself, it feels really silly to me to say “Come see Dave Yaden. Come see Dave Yaden!” You are going through an experience that is created by more than just one guy. Yeah, maybe I am the ‘ring leader’. But the sum is greater than the parts.
When you do play full band, who is behind you?
For my CD release, I had Michael Miley and Darwin Johnson. Slim Gambill was in Nashville. Todd Beauchamp, who produced the album as well, wrote and played all the guitar parts on the album, and played with me at the CD release. It’s a revolving cast.
You and Slim have been playing together for quite some time now. How did you guys meet?
A friend brought me to his house in college because he was having a giant party. I met him at the party. The cops actually shut the party down. There was a camera crew there, too, to come to think of it.
What is like to play with Josh Kelley?
It’s a blast, it’s fun. Josh enjoys music. He is a lot of fun. Music is not serious for him when he is on stage. I am not painting him as not serious, but music itself to him is fun. Performance with him is fun. He is not having fun unless everyone else is.
What is the smallest crowd you ever played for?
The smallest crowd. (Laughs) I don’t know. I have played too many shows. I am sure it’s like 5 or something like that. I think, actually, the smallest crowd that I ever played to might be like 50. But 50 at a place where the capacity was 1,000. Those are the ones that are depressing.
What is the largest crowd you ever played for?
The biggest crowd (thinks for a moment) maybe (continues to think) when I was touring with Joe Firstman we were opening for Sheryl Crow. She opened for Bon Jovi. We played a 25,000 capacity venue. It was full.
Did that make you nervous?
The more people there are the less nervous I am.
Why is that?
When there is that many people they become faceless. You can not identify with any one of them. It’s more unreal. If you are sitting in a coffee shop, you can look up and see in their faces, watching you, when you get done, you are not going to go backstage. I feel much more pressure in that situation.
What is the one thing that you want to be remembered for more than anything else when it comes to your music?
Huh. There are so many things. Well, that’s a lie. There are so few things in life that are important. You know, above all else, I want people to say that my music was full of truth.
You and Curtis have done quite a bit of work together. What is like working with Curtis?
Curtis is the nicest and most humble person that I know. You know, my musical experiences with him are always wonderful. Plus we are friends, and we get along really well. It is always a blast. I look forward to it.
How did you meet?
We met when he was guitar tech for Tyler Hilton.
When was the first time you ever touched a piano?
It was in the first house that my parents moved to in Texas. In Spring, Texas. That is where I remember playing the piano for the first time.
What was the defining moment when you knew that music was going to be your career?
It is bit of a difficult question. I never thought that music would not be a part of my life. I can answer when I decided when I was going to give it a run as a career, but honestly music, from the time I started playing on, has been something that I loved very dearly and devoted a lot of time to it. There has never been a point in my life where I have said, “you should do this for a living” and I was making money doing music before I needed to be making money for a living. I have just always done music.
Who is your one biggest influence?
I love Billy Joel; love him. I love the way he tells a story.
If you were to star in any one Broadway play, what one and why?
(Laughs) I don’t know enough Broadway plays to answer. I couldn’t name them. I don’t know what a Broadway play is.
When you are playing what are you drinking?
Oh, scotch if i can get it.
What kind of scotch?
I prefer Laphroaig . They are thanked on my album, actually.
What is your favorite wine?
You know what, Rissa and I found this really good, cheap wine at Trader Joe’s. It’s called Velvet Moon. The only reason I don’t drink wine at bars, is they always have crappy wine and it gives you terrible breath. Old fruit breath. Somehow I prefer whiskey.
What is on your iPod right now?
I do not listen to my iPod; it’s broken. I will tell you what is in my play list on my computer. Right now I have Paramore, The Killers, The Faces, Modest Mouse, Andy Davis, and Citizen Cope.
What are you doing on a typical Friday night?
That is always different. You know, it’s funny I have the tendency to not want to go out on the weekends because that’s when everyone else goes out.
If you could meet any one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
Where do you write most of your songs?
My house. In my living room in front of my piano.
Your voice is in a class all of it’s own. What is one word that would describe your genre?
In a perfect world, who is opening up for you at Madison Square Garden?
What are you doing 5 years from now?
Music. Being a father.
You have so many people on your album from Keaton Simons to Skyler Stonestreet. What is your ambition in working with so many people on a single album?
I asked them to do what they do because they do i
t better than anyone else.
Any last thoughts?
Let’s see here. Something, something. I am trying to think of something all inclusive. Eat more vegatables. (Laughs)