David Lynch: Music Maker & World Traveler

Written by on December 15, 2011 in December 15, 2011, Interviews - Comments Off on David Lynch: Music Maker & World Traveler

“Just like the movie director paints outside the lines with his creations, this David Lynch does exactly that on this multi-genre style album… a unique mix of Blues and Folk, with a little bit of the (California) coastal sound… to say his music is diverse would be an understatement… “Beautiful Blaze” and “No Way To Judge” are great examples of his balladry, and the closing title cut is the shining example of his writing.”


David LynchWhen American musician David Lynch decided he wanted nothing better than to go Down Under and play his songs for music lovers in this wonderful part of the world, he came up with a novel idea: Take his family with him and document everything on film. Thus far the exciting sojourn has taken the eclectic singer/songwriter from sunny California through the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia, with Europe and Asia to follow.

All Access Magazine (AAM) caught up with Lynch (DL) while he was in Australia

AAM: Who is David Lynch?

DL: He’s the guy who will happily spend countless hours tuning a guitar and making up little guitar riffs, that get added onto other little guitar riffs.

He’s the guy who is always scribbling in little notebooks, and transferring those scribbles into bigger notebooks.

The universe somehow fuses the scribbles into the guitar riffs, and if David Lynch can get his ego out of the way the process results in 3 minute glimpses of what it’s like in his psyche.

AAM: How did you segue from an award-winning sound editor to being a full-time musician?

DL: The Emmy and Golden Reel awards I have won sound editing have been rewarding because it is very creative, especially in cartoons and shows where you are allowed the freedom to push the limits of reality. For some shows it’s “see a car, hear a car” for others it’s “Can you make this car be funny, give it personality, and make it slide into frame and stop in 3 seconds?” I believe the reason why I have been able to stick with it as a career is because it is similar to songwriting in its creative aspects. I have been writing songs non-stop since I was about 11 years old. The “segue” is simply the fact that I started making enough money and attracting enough attention performing and recording material of sufficient quality.

AAM:Talk about some of the songs on your latest Cd, I Can See Sound.

DL: The title track “I Can See Sound” has special meaning because of my years in the sound business and the transition from film to digital workstations. The sparse treatment really worked well, brushes and some background vocals really brought out the sentiment.

I had to do Buddha’s Belly with some power, even when the nay-sayers said they liked the original version on “Good Wood” (my second album) better.

Einstein came alive with the drum tack!

The cool retro feel on Mahatma is right where it needs to be, kind of a beatnik feel. We added all kinds of things to it, and I actually thought we were going to have to scrap the song. Then we started to pull things out and found it. I knew the song had potential because I had great results with the version I recorded for Dozen (my 3rd album).

I am really happy with how every track on this album turned out. I absolutely cannot pick a favorite track.

AAM: You and your family are currently on a several-month trip overseas to Australia and New Zealand, where you have played some live shows. How has that experience been?

David LynchDL: This is not a “several-month trip.” We have sold almost everything we own in California and we have already been out 3 months. We have many more countries to explore. I think we will head into Indonesia and Asia next, we are looking for some warm water waves without crocodiles or box jellyfish. From there I have my sights set on Europe, as I am getting good radio play and album sales there.

To answer your original question I had some fantastic gigs in New Zealand, beginning with the Guitar Association of New Zealand (GANZ). It’s amazing to find there are a group of guitar players 5000 miles from home with such similar interests. The last gig I played was in a Mongolian Yurt at The Free House in Nelson, which is a great venue. It’s run by a British ex-pat named Mic. I found audiences in New Zealand extremely supportive.

I met some great musicians and played some fun places, especially in Auckland.

Aside from the music, we’ve had many incredible experiences in New Zealand, from hiking remote jungles and beaches alongside snowcapped peaks, to 4 days camping with “Occupy Auckland”, in support of the Wall Street protesters in the states. We’ve only been in Australia for a week, and there isn’t time enough here to tell you about the things I’ve already seen.

AAM: Who do you count among some of your main music influences, either alive or deceased?

David LynchDL: Reply: Not in any order, I would have to list the Beatles, CSNY (Crosby for songwriting, Stills for guitar playing, and Neil Young for being Neil Young). Of course I would also have to list early Joni Mitchell, specifically Blue and Court And Spark. I was into The Band, some Leon Russell, early Elton John (really early), currently I dabble in all kinds of music, but it’s usually one song per artist. I just don’t see any one with a full ablum’s worth of music I like. I tend to buy one song at a time and play it incessantly until I move on to the next song. Rarely do I get tired of a song once I’m hooked. Some of my victims have been Nelly Fertado, TLC, School of Fish, Alanis Morisette, MGMT, Richard Thompson, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bruce Cockburn, Sara Bareiles Mazzy Star and Joan Osborn. I’ve also lately been reintroducing myself to Sly and the Family Stone, Procol Harum and “Reflections of My Life” by Marmalade. For whatever reason I am inspired by a lyric or musical passage and I crave it like a drug.

AAM: What’s the current state of the live music scene up in California’s Central Coast, where you live?

DL: In the middle of selling everything we owned and making traveling arrangements, I had a crazy schedule of gigs almost every day. My last band configuration was really fun (Standup bass, Mandolin and full kit drummer/percussionist) and we were having such a great time none of us wanted it to stop. The Central Coast has different types of venues, but the winery gigs have been especially good for me. Even after the so called “recession” there are a lot of venues around for good original performers. In general I prefer to play smaller towns and rooms where people are willing to hear a new song, they are willing to risk a personal connection and decide for themselves without reading a review. The Central Coast is a great place to find that kind of venue.

AAM: Where do you see your career being, say, five years from now?

DL: This year I had a song picked up in an independent film score. I was amazed at how well the piece worked. I have been approach by several people about contributing for synchronized work. I am excited to move in that direction, as well as continue the way I have my entire life: hours of daily guitar playing and writing the old fashioned way with pen and paper. I would like to finish an album every 1 to 2 years and combine that with 3 or 4 months touring per year. I enjoy meeting people and playing intimate shows. It’s not the “rock star” approach, but it’s a business model that suits me. I would also like to have people covering my songs. I also have a financial goal in my mind, but maybe I should save that for another time.