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April 2, 2022

Interview with Dave Cavalier

We had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Cavalier over Zoom video!
Dave Cavalier recently released his first full album, “Civilianaire” (3/18/22). The Chicago native’s music style has been described by The Huffington Post as “Jack White merging his...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Cavalier over Zoom video!
Dave Cavalier recently released his first full album, “Civilianaire” (3/18/22). The Chicago native’s music style has been described by The Huffington Post as “Jack White merging his talents with those of Robert Palmer...his music defines what is known as the carnal arts - sexy, sensuous, gritty music.”. Billboard has even gone as far as to say that Cavalier has some of “The greatest tracks you’ve never heard of”!

Cavalier has shared billings with Buddy Guy, Eddie Vedder, Don Henley, Aloe Blacc, Kendrick Lamar, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Amos Lee, Band of Horses & many more at festivals across the country, continuing to fine tune his sound in the process. His songs have been featured in numerous Netflix, AMC, MTV, and Amazon television productions. Dave is an award-winning film composer and has been the focus of both national and international marketing campaigns for brands such as Peugeot, Volvo, Best Buy, Harman Kardon, HTC Vive, Las Vegas & San Diego Tourism, and more.

About Dave Cavalier:

Dave Cavalier, born in Chicago, Illinois on January 23rd, 1987, grew up knowing he was going to be a musician. After graduating from York Community High School, he took his talents to the highly esteemed Berklee College of Music, in Boston where he refined his musical talents. Upon graduating, Cavalier headed west to pursue his dream of having a career in music. He became an instant draw in the local Hollywood music scene as a solo artist.

In 2014, Dave recorded his debut solo E.P. “HOWL” with Grammy nominated producer Hal Winer. This opened to the door for Cavalier to perform at numerous festivals across the country sharing the billings with names such as Don Henley, Aloe Blacc, Kendrick Lamar, Manchester Orchestra, Local H, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Amos Lee, Band of Horses, and many more.

Dave Cavalier's musical style has drawn comparisons to Gary Clark Jr., Jack White, and Robert Palmer. Cavalier creates an emotionally raw and visceral live atmosphere for audiences with an undercurrent that is seductive & stylish. His style has been deemed "LA Blues" for its frequent lyrical references to the unique tribulations of life in Hollywood.

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Transcript

0 (1m 58s): It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Dave cavalier over zoom video. Dave was born and raised in Chicago and he talks about how he got into music. He actually grew up in a music shop. His dad owned a music store, so he had free rein to all the guitars and drums and all the instruments that his dad was selling. So he talks all about that was always drawn to the guitar. His favorite musicians were all guitar players. He tells us about going to Berkeley school of music. Berkeley really wasn't on his radar until his mom ran into one of the members of rascal flats at the airport. 3 (2m 42s): And she was doing the mom thing like, oh my son's into music. And this member said, Hey, you know, Berkeley school of music is where I went to college. So Dave ends up going there after graduating college. Dave moved to Los Angeles. Dave told us about the band. He joined once moving to Los Angeles, putting out his first solo record and all about his new album, which is called civilian air. You can watch the interview with Dave cavalier on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. 3 (3m 23s): And if you're listening to this on either apple or Spotify or Google podcast, it'd be awesome if you follow us there as well. And if you have time, leave us a five star review. 4 (3m 34s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 3 (3m 40s): We're bringing it backwards with Dave cavalier. Yeah. So this podcast is about you, your journey music. And we'll talk all about the new record coming out this month, right? A little later this month. 5 (3m 52s): Yeah, yeah. It's yeah, we got the first single coming out Friday and then you have the new album coming out on the 18th. So 3 (3m 60s): Very cool. Awesome. So talk to me. I did born and raised in Chicago area. Is that what I saw 5 (4m 6s): Born and raised in Chicago currently based in Los Angeles. Damn man. Been out here for like 12 years. So definitely, definitely don't really do winter anymore. 3 (4m 20s): I'm from San Diego. I know, I know the weather there. It's beautiful. Yeah, 5 (4m 26s): Absolutely. I mean, my brother-in-law lives out there, so we get down not as often as we'd like to, but, but more than, more than not. 3 (4m 32s): That's cool. That is cool. Yeah. We actually moved to Nashville but A year ago. Yeah. But I born and raised in San Diego, lived in California, my whole whole life up until February of last year. So 5 (4m 44s): I love it. Yeah, dude, I'm a, I'm a Berkeley kid from Boston school. So, you know, we've infiltrated your new hometown now. Pretty significantly I think at this point. 3 (4m 53s): Oh yeah. Cool. Well, 5 (4m 60s): Yeah man. Well, I mean, was Chicago the thing really for me when it comes down to that is like some basic things just like that Midwest hospitality, you know, just the way that we interact with people is something that like I so kinda miss not living in LA that's the one thing for sure is the people, but you know, it's also within balloons, right? Like that is at the core of who I am as a musician, even though some people can kind of pull it from the music from the roots, you know, you're gonna hear a lake here and there, something like that where you can pick up on it, but as things have modernized. So we say, you know what I mean? Maybe not as much, but, but that's where I come from, man. It's all blues. 3 (5m 39s): Okay. Okay. And were you in actual, in the city of Chicago, is that where you grew up or out in the outskirts? 5 (5m 45s): Yeah. Yeah. So I, I did, like, I grew up in the burbs a little bit outside for, for a little bit. And then coming back in Boston for, for college, you know, mom lived in the city and so you got to live kind of near Wrigley field a little bit area there and do kind of the city life. So if, you know, you got a little bit of the best of both worlds, you know, get to run the corn field and play tag and guns as a kid and things like that. But then, you know, fast forward to when I'm a little bit older and you're obviously, you know, a bar hopping on Clark and things like that, so 3 (6m 13s): Right on, right on. So obviously very musical upbringing. And if you made it to Berkeley for college, so tell me, where did your musical journey begin? Like how'd you get into music? 5 (6m 23s): Yeah, man, for sure. So I mean, my dad's music store, I mean, that's really like the biggest part 3 (6m 30s): For me. 5 (6m 32s): Yeah. So when I grew up, I mean he owned this really awesome music store, limited Illinois, just outside of Chicago. And you know, when I was like, I don't even know how old, I mean, it started taking me to work with them and it was just like, you had to spend eight hours a day just kind of hanging around, entertaining yourself. And there are these walls of guitars everywhere. So it was just like, just grab a guitar, go plugin and go have fun, go do whatever. You know what I mean? That became like my little child playground was just getting used to like being in this environment, surrounded by instruments that were just always kind of available that I could just kind of pick up and to around with and, you know, head downstairs where there was a drum set at and stuff, you know, as long as there were no lessons happening around there, I could just bang around and don't give me any flack. 5 (7m 17s): So that was really kind of, I think one of the most transformative sort of like subconscious kind of items that made music, definitely part of it, mom always was, you know, playing at a James and Nina Simone and BB king and stuff like that. And we were at home together and things and you know, so that was definitely part of the influence for experience as well. 3 (7m 37s): Okay. And all your dad obviously owns a music store, owned a music store. Did how many instruments that he like and how did he get involved in that? That's pretty amazing. 5 (7m 47s): Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, I think every musician, you know, 90% of them, right? Like their parents did something or there was some kind of like roots in there. And my dad was a really incredible guitar player, kind of a folk guitar player. And he never, to my knowledge, at least that he's told me, chased it professionally. But you know, even into my adult years, he was still gigging and you know, we'll play in the church bands, you know, every Sunday that was kind of his weekly gigs sort of thing. And so it was always just really cool to, again, just was the guitars at work, but then there was racks that guitars at home that all belongs to him. And so he had that kind of consistent, strong influence. 5 (8m 29s): And again, accessibility to all of this stuff is really what is a game changer for a young kid, right? Like you can want to play guitar and, you know, stare longingly through a shop window. Right. But if you never get your hands on anything, there's definitely, you know, that barrier of entry to an extent for like the minute phrase that was not there for, you know, for me, it was like as much as you want me to get down on this, like have it. And so that was really cool. Yeah, for sure. 3 (8m 58s): So the guitar was, was that the, I mean, obviously learning guitar, was it something you were able to take lessons to the shop and did you play any other instruments or was that the one that you were mainly focused in on? 5 (9m 10s): Yeah, no for sure. I mean, definitely guitar has always been my number one. You know, I think the big thing for me was always that I learned piano, you know, and I think I would tell people pretty regularly that if you have the opportunity to learn an instrument, like definitely learn that first. It's just Easier. Of course, you know, and I can play drums. And of course, since I played guitar, I played bass, but it's just all the coolest people when I grew up were all guitar players, you know, I grew up on BB king, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, you know what I mean? Those are the four pillars of my electric church. And so like those dudes writ. And so for me, as much as I wanted to be able to do all these other things, just to be kind of versed somewhat as a musician and a tinker around that was very much always like what really hit home, you know? 5 (10m 1s): Yeah. 3 (10m 1s): Okay. Was there a guitar that you would like go to at the, at the shop that eventually got sold? 5 (10m 9s): That's actually, that happens so often to my dad too, because like, he was one of those guys who, you know, there'd be the $3,000 like Gibson dove guitar on the wall. And you would think that he wouldn't let a ten-year-old with whatever extended ability to like pluck that off, but it would be more like those are just the guitars I would still love to play. I could just, he would have to be kind of like with an eye around 3 (10m 35s): Them. 5 (10m 36s): Yeah, for sure. No, but it was, it was really kinda cool. Cause I don't, I'm embarrassed to say, I don't remember what age it was, but you know, eventually I think like most parents off-leash too for their kid is make sure the interest is fairly solidified before you start purchasing instruments, you know, nice ones. But you know, once he really could tell that it wasn't just something that I think a good way, that it was something that a really genuine interest in, you know, that it became like, okay, you know, take a look at my wall. Like, what do you, what do you want to have be your first guitar? You know, and ignore the Gibson dove over here. You know what I mean? Like 3 (11m 14s): Within this price range <inaudible> 5 (11m 19s): And it was funny because there was definitely a Stratocaster that I recall, you know, had this kind of like crystallized. It was like blue at this sort of crystallized kind of pick guard on it. And it just, I played it all the time and it sort of, you know, most musicians will say, you know, are instruments that are the right ones. So to speak kind of speak to you a little bit. And this one, I definitely had a connection to. And then a couple of days before I was, I was going to bring it home. All of a sudden there was this switch and apple, Les Paul was the one that like this go, it's actually that one over my shoulder with podcasts. So I don't know if people can see it, but this that's my first guitar. We 3 (11m 57s): Use the video W we'll use the video. So the one right above your left shoulder. 5 (12m 3s): Ah, yeah, this, this boy here. And so, and yeah, man, it's, it's, it's ironic now because you know, I've had a great relationship with Gibson over the years. My main guitar of choice as a touring performer now is very much my Gibson, Les Paul, which was also a gift from my dad. I don't have a guitar by the way that wasn't given to me from my father who is just really kind of epic. Like I will fully admit, I am spoiled as hell. You know what I mean? Like, like I didn't them on and guitar. It's always this, you know, Hey, there's this for repairs and then no one came and picked it up, you know, would you want it? 5 (12m 46s): And then now, wow, Over here that's like, you know, my experiment guitar, like I have a nitty pickup on it. So I can like kind of tool with new sounds with that one. And like, and then eventually the, the Epiphone Les Paul of often did the Gibson, Les Paul, because that one used to be my dad's Les Paul. And so, you know, he didn't play it as much. He knew that was like really what I was into. And he just was like, okay, I think it's about time. It's not mine anymore. It's yours. You know, and that was, I think that's what also makes it like, just even more special to play, you know, it's like for me, that connection always exists between my dad and I, every time I kind of strapped up and, and, and that's really obviously special to me. 5 (13m 27s): So 3 (13m 29s): That's so amazing. Yeah. That one just I'm I would imagine you don't play the Epiphone behind you anymore. It's just kind of like 5 (13m 36s): First 3 (13m 36s): Guitar, like, 5 (13m 38s): And respect to my Epiphone people. But once you get to hand out a gift saying that, like, you know, let's be honest, but I've also souped up that Gibson quite a little bit. So it's sort of my, my little Ferrari, but yeah, I think it's, I get pretty precious about instruments. Like I have, you know, out of frame here or whatever, I have a cool little cigar box guitar that I just picked up at like a flea market here in LA from just a guy who just had an amazing vibe and the thing plays incredible. And I like have recorded with it. And it's awesome. I have above it on the wall over there is this, this tiny Stratocaster that my dad made, like literally made whoa, 6 (14m 17s): The sun is shining. Flowers are blooming. Birds are singing and everything seems fresh and new. It's the best time of the year. It's time for spring savings at your local public store. Pick up a spring savings coupon book from the public's information center at the store's entrance, or ask customer service for a copy. You can save over $90 on your favorite brands, including GSK Energizer, Colgate Palmolive, Kimberly Clark had more, but hurry, the sale only lasts through April 15th, happy spring savings from Publix. 3 (14m 47s): Hey, everyone. We wanted to tell you about another music podcast that we've loving the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands. Sit down with the artists you'd love for unparalleled creative insight into your favorite music. You'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zonar, who talks about her big plans for her dreaming indie pop band, Japanese breakfast. This April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin. 3 (15m 34s): They share stories and songs from the new album, and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts, 5 (15m 48s): It's it plugs in it like it's fully functional as a guitar. It's just like a half size thing. And you may want for me and one for my brother and my brother had a Telecaster and there's a video of me at like two years old, you know, big glasses, all chubby as hell, standing there. This thing like at my knees, sort of singing Lebombo, you know, rocking out and, you know, my mom always used to give me shed. It was like, if there's going to be a before they're rockstars video, like this is going to be the one I'm going to have to 3 (16m 17s): See 5 (16m 18s): Just me in a t-shirt and a diaper, just go into town on this thing. But, But yeah, so I'm really sentimental about, about each and every instrument because I have this personal connection to them, you know? And, and so with that particular one, it's always cool to have, you know, once you can kind of maybe get a different tone out of and things like that, but I'm not like a tome junkie. So that one really to me now is kind of, like you said, it's a little more like a trophy for lack of a better phrase. It was sort of, you know, the, the one that started at all 3 (16m 50s): Right. You mentioned your brother play. Does he? He plays guitars as well. Does he call it? 5 (16m 54s): Oh man, I, God loved my brother. He has tried every instrument under the sun because he wants to be able to play with me. You know what I mean? But the musical bug did not bite him as naturally the same way as it, I was lucky enough to get gifted with so, but I he's, I mean, he, he's a next level human being, I mean, he's like two tours purple heart soldier. Like he's, he's got his own stories that are well, well beyond kind of what I even, you know, could imagine doing with a guitar. 3 (17m 28s): Right, right. Wow. 5 (17m 29s): A-plus human 3 (17m 31s): Sounds like, yo, how did you play in bands growing up or Pre pre Berkeley I'm talking like, did you like in high school or middle school or, and I'm sure he probably played in what the jazz band and band at school, 5 (17m 44s): Believe it or not, man. I was a three sport athlete. So a lot of my high school, like I I'm, you know, I was always try to be this well-rounded individual, you know, I'm sure the mom just, you know, being awesome and well rounded herself and kind of pushing me in that way. But I love sports. So I was a three sport athlete, but as I got into sort of my later years in high school, I sorta realized what my path was starting to be. You know, my commitment to music was really, really solidified once I kind of was looking at it, Overland to Miami and all these spots, you know, I visited Berkeley and it was just a next level thing for me. 5 (18m 26s): Like something felt like home there in a really special way. And once I knew I was going there, my whole senior year, just detoured, like I left doing didn't play basketball to play baseball. You know, I w I was inquire, I was taking AP art classes just to like, like something that part of my brain, I was, I'm trying to think. We didn't really even did like musical theater and like my quack, like, bro, you gotta get into this. I'm not doing this show unless you're into it. And I was like, okay, you know, and so, you know, future, future rocker, I was Judas, which makes a lot of sense. 3 (19m 10s): I'm looking back. Oh, wow. Well, that's interesting that you decided to go, I mean, the Berkeley route being that you were playing three sports and it sounds like that was kind of more of your main focus was like Berkeley, you said it was kind of like you went there and it kind of changed it for you. Like what made you go? You know what? I should just go check it out. 5 (19m 32s): Yeah. Well, I mean, was it a baggage though? The way we heard about burglars, my mom's had a baggage claim after taking a flight maybe from Nashville. I don't even remember where it was. And lo and behold, she was talking about it just was having a conversation with this guy, you know, and kind of that beautiful, nice way that a mother would. You know what I mean? Where like he's a musician, oh, my son loves music and dah, dah, dah, you know, that kind of thing. And the members of rascal flats and know, 3 (20m 2s): And 5 (20m 3s): Forgive me for not remembering specifically which one, but she was completely oblivious of course. And, and he had just called out like, yeah, well, you know, if he's looking at colleges, I went to Berkeley college of music. This is incredible spot in Boston, dah, dah, dah. And he should check it out. And that was genuinely how it got on my radar. It was one of the guys from rascal flats. And so then when I looked, I mean, you know, you do all these visits, you check things out on paper, you use college fairs. And I remember talking to like university of Michigan, all respect to my Michigan people. But I remember telling them like, if I don't do math and science, my senior year of high school, cause I was doing some AP stuff didn't have to do to graduate. And I did art because I know I'm going to pursue music at your university, but you hope to me is essentially the kind of application process. 5 (20m 52s): And they were like, definitely finish your math and science. And I literally never applied. I was just like, that's a hard pass for me. Like I know where I'm going and you're not there to help me get where I'm going. Then it's not the right place. And Berkeley was actually the only place I applied to. 3 (21m 8s): Wow. And did she have to do like an audition process or was it a time when you didn't have to, I've heard so many different stories about getting in that school. 5 (21m 16s): Yeah. I don't, I don't want to age myself too hardcore, but, but at the time you didn't have to audition. So it was this really interesting process of like teacher recommendations and you kind of, I respect it in a way, I think they've had to formalize it of course to some degree now because they're trying to level up even more than they already are. But at the time I just remember them saying like Bob Dylan and John Lynn wouldn't get into our school if we just auditioned everybody the same way that everybody else does. And so their evaluation was to try to include some of the best performance and capable, capable musicians, but also, you know, somehow loop in this X-Factor, you know, these people, thank God for that because, you know, I was technically accomplished, but I'm not a world-class technical player, in my opinion, at least, you know, I was, I was recording artists, you know, I was a songwriter and a performer and those things thankfully were skills that I, I very much was able to cultivate in there. 3 (22m 24s): Okay. And while they're like, how did you ended up getting to Los Angeles? Like what made the move to LA from Berkeley? 5 (22m 33s): I got in a plane. No. 3 (22m 36s): Did you all with all your stuff in the plane 5 (22m 40s): Now that it was, you know, I think I did what a lot of people do, you know, you, you get out of school and then you kind of turn to a place either dramatic, you know, like, like you've been from Omaha, you go to school and then you go to New York city or you, you come back to someplace that's maybe a little bit more familiar. We have some roots to build off of, for me being from Chicago, that was really kind of felt a lot, like an easier progression, right? Like let's, let's come out of school, let's go back to this big city and let's, let's start to cut our teeth a little bit. I was so green, you know, it was in, I mean, looking back on it now, after all the years of the touring and just kind of hustling, it was like just so green. 5 (23m 24s): But at the end of the day, it was really beautiful because I, I, you know, played shows, dealt with, you know, fair share of rejection. Like of course everybody does, but it led me to working with Jim, Peter, Rick is a songwriter who wrote it's tiger, you know, and, and has a whole, I mean, hold on loosely vehicle, you know, all these other, you know, classic tunes and, and there's more, I'm sure it was resume that I'm of course not thinking of now, but, and he and I had a really co-working relationship and he produced this kind of demo essentially for me, totally. Just like, I didn't pay him a cent. 5 (24m 4s): He was just so supportive of what I was doing. And we were friends and he just a mentor and this demo, and it kind of broke my heart a little bit when I left for LA really just cause I had to tell him that that was what my move was going to be. But I think unbeknownst to him, like I wouldn't have been able to do it without him because that demo was sort of like what teed me up and that confidence of working with him was like, now I can make this shift. I can make this move and I can use this demo is like my new way to introduce people to what I can do. And you know, that was essentially what I, what I shopped around for opportunities when I first got to town. So. 3 (24m 42s): Wow. And then w from, from landing in LA and having this demo, like, what was the next phase for you and your, 5 (24m 48s): Yeah, it was a lot of, a lot of acoustic shows. You know what I mean? Like, you know, there was no band in place or anything like that. I obviously played with some guys when I was in Chicago that were great, but they didn't come with it. Wasn't that kind of vibe. And so, you know, just a lot of, a lot of just shaking hands, kissing babies, trying to, you know, get bookings, shitty rooms, cause you didn't know better, you know, that kind of thing. And, and, and again, cutting teeth in a new town and learning the city and learning the scene. And, and I think the big thing for me was I've never been, I mean, probably to my detriment, some degree, you know, but like I've never been like just a glad-handing kind of musician, not in the way where I wouldn't like want to go out and meet people. 5 (25m 31s): Of course it was just, it's the Midwest part of me. Like if they connect, like I want to be friends, I want to be actually homies. You know what I mean? And you know, just sort of, if you were a booking a room and you were an asshole, like I just didn't want to play that room anymore. You know 3 (25m 48s): What I mean? 5 (25m 49s): And so that was just kind of how it was for me. So I think those, those first couple of years, and I'm sure a lot of actors who moved to the town feel the same way. It was really tough finding like who your people are, you know, like who you can surround yourself with that can make you feel as though you can continue to be creative. People can support you. Other people who are creative so you can support them. It wasn't always musicians, you know? And, but I was lucky enough to find that I had a great crew dudes who were kind of my ride or dies those first couple of years. And so for instance, this day and you know, yeah, it was, it was a special time that way, but again, so green. 5 (26m 30s): Oh my so green. 3 (26m 32s): Yeah. Tell me what I knew 5 (26m 34s): Then what I know now kind of thing. 3 (26m 36s): Right, right. I mean, so you put out what hollow is that your first EAP was that 2015 ish? 5 (26m 42s): How else? So, well, actually right before then, I was touring with a man called stamps and there was this incredible pop outfit. It was a duo of actually funny enough, the story behind this one, because there always is one, right. Is I went to high school with a guy named Bob Morris who was a really, really talented and profoundly motivated individual. Like he's one of those guys who, you know, I'm sure he'd even be the first to admit. There are people who were more talented or they would not work as hard as him. And he just would barrel opportunity forward. And he had, he had some really great bands, you know, over the years. And he had started this one stamps and basically they needed a second guitar player. 5 (27m 25s): And we had been friends since high school. The drummer was actually someone I played ball with in high school. He was just all of us around. So it was just kind of, you know, small community that somehow just managed to migrate all the way over together. And, and so he just kind of hired me to do a gig, like Viper room to sit in and, you know, we knocked it out. We had a ton of fun. I vibed with the rest of the guys and girl Ren Patrick was the lead singer. She's phenomenal. And then sadly Bob and Ren and the whole crew kind of disbanded shortly thereafter. And so I just sorta raised my hand and was like, Hey, if you guys are going to keep moving forward with this, like I'm having a lot fun, like I'm down, you know, just let me know. 5 (28m 11s): And I already knew the set, maybe that was easier. So, so that started like two and a half years of, of playing with them. And you know, that was really a lot of fun. It taught me a lot about simplicity. You know, playing pop music is, you know, it's, it seemed to be with country. 3 (28m 30s): Hey, everyone. We want it to tell you about another music podcast that we've been loving, the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands, sit down with the artists. You'd love for unparalleled creative insight into your favorite music. You'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zonar, who talks about her big plans for her dreamy indie pop band, Japanese breakfast. This April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin, they share stories and songs from the new album, and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts 5 (29m 32s): Kind of thing. You know, pop music is, can be really simple with a focus on production, of course, but I was doing like acoustic fingerstyle like Michael hedges, like kind of really elaborate alternate tuning stuff prior to getting with the band. So it dumbed down my plane into a way that was, was again, like I learned a lot from it, but we were playing, you know, 30 shows a month or 25 or 30 shows a month, two to 3000 people to show. I mean, we were having a freaking blast. And that was, that was like the bulk of my early touring experiences of that outfit. And then, and then yeah, once we got out of that and that kind of, sort of, you know, whatever the phrase would be, it kind of went its course or what have you then how was my first where I was able to like really, really feel like I, I could make a record or even that case there was really reflective of what you would think is like a professional record. 5 (30m 30s): Like it wasn't a demo anymore. Like this was real stuff. And how Weiner who's a Grammy nominated engineer is, was the one who produced that one. He was an incredible mentor for me, his big piece for me. And that was really transformative was in the way of, this is how to do it as a quote pro you know, like if, if you want, so let's see, <inaudible> like, this is the materials you're going to have to chart all these things out. You now have to get these things ready for these guys. We only gonna have two days. We're not going to make up any more days. This is all the time you got, so be ready for it. And, and so he just kind of taught me how to be pro. 5 (31m 13s): And that was really, again, impactful in a way that it just has completely carried with me throughout my career. And I was like the blues rock stuff. Like that was when I was like nitty gritty, like, you know, black keys kinda, you know, just guitar bass, drums balls. Like that was kinda what that was. 3 (31m 34s): Okay. Okay. And then from that record, were you able to continue on touring and now as a solo act? 5 (31m 40s): Yeah, yeah, that was, I learned so much about being on the road, kind of the practical sides of just what that entails. And then also just like, you know, caught the bug for wanting to be out that definitely began doing a lot more fly dates. We were doing the NACA circuit, you know, playing college shows and things like that. Doing some regional touring, you know, it didn't have a J so couldn't really do it the way that stamps was doing as far as like the really long runs, but we definitely got out of LA and it was, I think just kind of own some of that, you know, like when I was in stamps, I don't write that music so I could kind of be a part of it, but I wasn't a writer like this is the first time I could see people like on a larger scale, really getting into music and, and giving you that feedback live of stuff that I really believed in that, that I had written and produced and put together with my team. 5 (32m 35s): So, so that was really, really a nice thing. Yeah. 3 (32m 38s): That's awesome. Your new record is coming out a couple of weeks here. Yes. Civilian air. I love it. I love the title. Yeah. I'm curious to know when this record began, like when did you start writing it and did that was like, did COVID or how did that affect, you know, how the outcome of the album was, or did it not at all? Cause maybe you started after the fat 5 (33m 3s): Oh man. A hundred percent. And I, you know, I think it goes out of, it took so much from so many people. I am one of the lucky few, or at least I'm just grateful to be able to say that like COVID gifted me a lot. And I think I had gotten to a place after I did how I released another EAP called rumor. And that was my first and put something a little, you know, it's been this whole sort of journey that I've been chasing about how do I take, like again, like blues roots, these kinds of soul, these really organic visceral elements to this, this, you know, style that love, but sort of package it, if you will, in a much more modern contemporary sort of radio friendly kind of sound, that one was really slick. 5 (33m 53s): But in doing that and him putting that out, I had really been pushing myself to a place where I was losing a lot of the joy that I was having all throughout the years with music. And I think, you know, there's a lot of musicians out there that I'm sure can, you know, relate to that area of things where you're just like, is this fun still? You know, like, or am I just doing this because this is what I've always done and when COVID hit or world parts. And so that keeping up with the Joneses that I think so many independent musicians and people still on the rise and on the hustle, you know, that struggle, you go through trying to not compare yourself to other people, but it's inherently impossible. 5 (34m 40s): Most of the time, you know, all that stress and all that kind of anxiety that was paired with that, like kind of disappeared and the timeline of it all just sort of sit still. And I, I just kind of stopped, you know, I was like, I'm going to start doing music for a little bit and I'm just going to like focus on something else. Cause it's not, it's not serving me. It's not bringing me any joy. And then slowly with COVID in the time I was able to kind of dive back in and I think the real awesome part about what became civilian air was, all these songs were never meant to be an album. 5 (35m 21s): They were literally meant to be. I took the time and the extra coin I had. Oh yeah, what's up there. You can ask them. 3 (35m 28s): Oh no, no, no, no. I said, that's. I said, that's awesome that you, you know, they weren't going to be an album that it ended up being an album. I was just commenting like, no, 5 (35m 36s): Yes, it was, I had you, we weren't going out. Right. So like I had a couple extra pickles and so I put it into developing a home studio. And so all these songs became me really. Like I'd always had some really beautiful engineers and co-producers who can quote, turn the knobs, but this was like my first stab at being like, right, I'm going to do everything. I'm going to turn that off. I'm going to get these skills for myself. So I can just make things that make me happy instead of trying to continue to make something that makes other people happier that fits some genres or some sellable product. Right. And like in doing so, like I just had all this time on my hands to just create and the whole goal of all of it. 5 (36m 22s): And I had literally said this to myself out loud and more than one occasion, I was like, you are making something that no one's going to hear. So just enjoy it. It was purely like for my enjoyment, you know, and all of a sudden I had all these songs that weren't finished that were predominantly instrumental. And I had my drummer over one night and we were just having dinner at the house and I was like, Hey man, I'm gonna play you a bunch of stuff. And you just give me thumbs up, thumbs down, whatever. And whenever you, like, you feel inspired to want to collaborate on, you know, like we'll finish. 5 (37m 2s): And we went through, I don't know, probably 13 songs or something like that that were relatively done or not done. And there was nine of them that he was thumbs up. I'm like, I really like this. And then by the end of the night, we sort of looked at each other like, holy cow, do we have an album? You know, like, like we have enough to like do something. And, and that became after that, that was about finishing these nine songs. And it was wild. It takes that long. I think that's because, you know, life still continue to bet. And I was still figuring out what the sound was, but it created this interesting thing. 5 (37m 41s): And it was a long-winded answer of course, but it was interesting because every song sort of has a level of through line because there's certain instruments that are very characteristic of me, but at the same time, because each of them was made in this vacuum individually, they're all exist on the, around the same time. Now it's not like we did pre production thing where it's like these six instruments are going to encompass 10 songs for this album. You know, it was a lot of experimentation and pushing my son personally into places that I wasn't comfortable going just to see what would happen. And it kind of put together this record, that again, I'm just super proud of because I think it's, you know, since I produced it all on my own, it is very, very much me attitudinally sonically with the influences, both recent and past, you know, I can just, I hear so much of myself in it. 5 (38m 42s): And there was a lot of years of trying to put together music that I was like, how do I fit me into your box? And this is the first time I was like, there is no box, fuck the box over the box. Like, and again, wasn't really supposed to be an album. And then now it's something we're just so, so proud of. 3 (39m 1s): That's so cool. That is so exciting. And the first song single from the record, the hold, why did you choose that one as like kind of the lead off? 5 (39m 9s): Yeah, well, I think, you know, there, there are some practical reasons and there's some very like, you know, artistic and more emotional reasons. Candidly, the more practical side was I had done some artist development stuff on the label end when I was kind of paused and not really performing for a little bit and developing acts for a Warner brothers subsidiary. And like I kind of candidly saw and was, you know, really reminded about the amount of money it takes of course, to make like a hit artist. Right. I don't think anyone listening to this podcast is going to be surprised that I didn't have a million dollars to just drop to support independently my own project to make that happen. So I decided that instead of trying to grab a track that was going to be quote, like hit ready for something like that. 5 (39m 57s): I wanted to put her to track that. I just thought it was interesting that something on a much more smaller, much more regional, if you will, scale bloggers, things like that would find different and just sort of interesting and be like, Hey, this doesn't sound like everything else. I'd be down to write about this right down to talk to you about this. The hold to me is, sounds so much longer and epic in its scale. Then the three and a half or three, four, you know, three minutes and 45 seconds. That is it from start to finish. I mean, it's, it's not a long song, but it goes a lot of places. And so practically speaking, that was kind of what I was I was doing. 5 (40m 38s): I just wanted people to get interested and then on to talk about it on a much more kind of emotional level is, you know, through the pandemic actually entered into sobriety, which was something that I really publicly, you know, didn't do a lot of talking about. I'd always kind of had thinly veiled metaphors and things like that to that struggle for myself in my music. But the hold was a really, really fairly literal kind of depiction of what that kind of journey has been like for me and sonically it's full of tension and release and like really big crescendos. 5 (41m 20s): And, you know, when I listened to it, I think of it visually as like a battle or a war. Cause like that's how it felt like to me dealing with what I was dealing with and then in the pandemic, I think like a lot of people, you know, they realized they took a lot, it looks at themselves, you know, realize what their actions were. They serving me, are they not, am I drinking too much? Am I not? You know, and I'm part of the journey of making this record. Lyrically was exploring a lot of those complicated, complicated emotions. And I'm thankfully now on a healthier kind of opposite side of things now. 5 (41m 60s): So I can look back at the record and really kind of appreciate it is this snapshot of this in-between stage, you know, this transitional kind of period. And to me, the hold, is it really kind of like the cornerstone to, to that whole arc, if you will, you know, cause it's just sits right in the middle of that tension. 3 (42m 23s): That's incredible. I mean, congratulations on the sobriety. I've I've I'm also a member of the sober. 5 (42m 31s): Oh, nice man. Good 3 (42m 32s): For you. 5 (42m 33s): Yeah, for me third, time's the charm. So 3 (42m 37s): The same with me. 5 (42m 40s): Good luck for that, bro. Stay on it. 3 (42m 42s): Yeah, I've been, I had done it for a bit of time now, but congratulations. That's so that's so awesome. 5 (42m 48s): Thanks man. You know, it's, it's really interesting. I, I shied away from talking about it for a long time and I think, you know, if, if obviously if you have experience with this, you know, you can connect on some level. I'm sure this, as far as a recording artist, it's, it's really easy to talk about some soups and immediately a cliche. You know what I mean? Someone could hear that and be like, oh, I know that your story already, you're like this guy or this rocker, you know, just dah, dah, dah. And I know that everyone's experience with substance abuse, no matter what it is, is a profoundly, profoundly individual experience. And you know, I have found through this process of promoting this record and talking about it more than I ever have, that it has been way more cathartic than I thought it would be. 5 (43m 39s): You know, and 7 (43m 41s): Progressive presents forest metaphors about bundling your home and auto 8 (43m 45s): And sports. Three goals is a hat trick. And when you bundle your home and auto with progressive, you get a hat trick of great savings and round the clock protection. So you might be thinking, wait, that's two things. A hat trick is three, but in this metaphor, great savings counts as two goals and sodas round the clock protection. So it's like four goals and that's more than three it's basic math, 7 (44m 5s): Forrest metaphors presented by progressive bundle and protect today. Progressive casualty insurance company and affiliates discount not available in all states or situations. 3 (44m 11s): Hey, everyone. We wanted to tell you about another music podcast that we've been loving, the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands. Sit down with the artists you love for unparalleled creative insight. Your favorite music you'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zonar, who talks about her big plans for her dreamy indie pop band, Japanese breakfast. This April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin. 3 (44m 59s): They share stories and songs from the new album and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts. 5 (45m 12s): I had to kind of come to grips with the fact too that like it more than ever before with my music, like it is an integral part to the story of this album. You know, I think it influenced things in the past, but it is very much a main character in this album. So I'd be remissed if I didn't talk about it. Cause I wouldn't, I'd be not giving people the full picture to where the art came from, but I think it also, you know, music's not as a songwriter when we make things and we put them out into the world that they're not ours anymore. They're from whomever wants to listen. You know, Livingston Taylor at Berkeley, he was the one who instilled this. I mean, he was like, if you want to make music for you, sit in your bedroom, play in front of a mirror, never fucking leave the house that's for, you know what I mean? 5 (45m 58s): It's like the moment you get on stage and the moment you make it a record and you put it out and you want someone to spend their hard earned money on it, it's not for you anymore. It's for them. And so I've, I've taken that with me, for sure in my whole life and you know, songs about dealing with the struggles songs that, you know, essentially helped me cope with being cool with being sober again, I hope, you know, and I don't, I, you know, I'm not, I'm not a superhero, you know, people are going to do what they're going to do and address things the way that they should on a very personal level. But if anyone can take even a little bit from my record and my experience to help them, you know, that that is what music is supposed to be there for, you know, to that connection. 5 (46m 41s): And so people can, can find themselves in the art. And so, yeah, so I've, I've, you know, begrudgingly at first, but slowly but surely, you know, and be more comfortable about talking about it publicly. 3 (46m 52s): Yeah. That's, that's incredible. I, I felt the same way when, what I decided to do that or, you know, stop drinking and be sober. And I didn't talk about it for a very long time. Actually, the first time I ever talked about it was I was on this podcast with, Well, here we go, because she was very open about it. And I'm like, you know what? Okay. Like, I have been sober since the 25th of June, 2017 and yeah. And I mean, I was, I came from the radio world and I didn't tell anybody I worked with or, you know, it was just something that I just said, oh, I don't like, I don't drink. I don't like drinking kind of like, that was my old thing. Cause there's like a weird, it's really weird. 3 (47m 34s): Like, especially when you first start, it's like D how do I present this to people? And I don't know everything, but I've never had an experience where anyone was like, oh, you're weird, man. Like, it's never been like that. 5 (47m 46s): It's, it's really interesting what I found more than anything. And again, this is, this is, you know, it was my third time being sober. And so I've, I've gone through this process and sort of had gradually had these conversations over the years. So when you tell people you're sober, there's usually kind of, you know, three reactions either. It's completely doesn't matter. You know what I mean? And like kind of goes over sad or whatever it's completely relevant, which is totally fine with me. I love that. Yeah. That's great. You know, cause I also, and not detained too far, but like, I don't want it to be my story. Like I won't eat beans as much about me. 5 (48m 28s): Like, it's just a part of me, but it's not who I am. And like, but when you talk about it, it's like some people it's like, oh cool. That's great. So what's the weather, you know? So that's one thing you have other people who are like, wow, that's really impressive. Like how did you do that? You know? And then you also get, people get really weirded out. And I really think that the latter two more than the first have to do with the fact that when, you know, the unintended circumstance that comes about when you say that you're sober is I think a lot of people kind of reflect on their own actions, advertently or intention, some people. 5 (49m 11s): And again, I mean this with all respect to everybody, but like some people aren't ready to deal with that. You know, like there could be someone who knows in their heart that they are like pounding the sauce way more than they would prefer to. And all of a sudden you come in and you're like, yeah, I'm sober. You know? And they're like, oh, that's weird. You want to shop bro, you should have a shot. And it's like, 3 (49m 33s): Yeah. 5 (49m 33s): They're like, you just want someone to make you feel comfortable. You know what I mean? And like, that's not that to me. And again, everyone's journey is so incredibly personal that even people who are in the harshest of that particular situation who want to like push booze on someone who's sober, whatever. Like I got love for you, you know, because you're still figuring out whatever you got to figure out. But I did find it really interesting over the years that, you know, as you talk about sobriety, a lot of people, usually it's one of those three things, you know? And the ones that I love though is that second one, that one we 3 (50m 8s): Were like, 5 (50m 10s): Yeah, we're, we're all of a sudden, the dialogue opens up in there. And then you, you kind of realize that people reveal themselves a little bit, but like they've thought about not drinking or something like that, or for a variety of reasons. Some people it's just like, I want to be healthier. How did you stop doing that? How are, you know, I don't just don't want to spend all my free time at a bar. I'd go to a museum. How did you that with your friends? You know? And so, you know, and that's really cool because then all of a sudden you get to, you get to tell people what your positive experience was and feel like maybe you were able to help them figure something out or a little bit more comfortable that if they made that decision, they would not be alone in it. You know? And I guess, and again, just to bring it all together, it's like in some small way, by, by being honest about it and putting a record out, they kind of, you know, addresses that head on. 5 (50m 57s): In some instances, I hope people can, you know, kind of connect with that on that level. 3 (51m 2s): That's incredible. Yeah. I didn't even realize the record was about that. I'm glad I, that you spent, I mean, it's one of the another option with, with you're talking about the three ways people can react is they're like, oh, so am I, and then it's like, oh 5 (51m 14s): Yeah, that's true. 3 (51m 15s): Now. It's like, oh, okay. I get you. Like, you know what I mean? Like you have this thing in common. The one thing I was always afraid of was the, it was just my own, you know, personal like character defect. It would be like the judgment of like, oh, like what? Like you can, you don't, you can't drink. Okay. Well, why not? Like what terrible things do you do? You know what I mean? It's like, you know, spins into that. And I'm like, yeah. And that's never really have happened to me. Like, I've seen it a couple times in my life, but like, that is so, so minuscule, but it's like, and then it goes back to, well, why are they really concerned about what I'm doing and why do I really even care what they think? 5 (51m 56s): Exactly. And it's really funny too, because there are so few things in your life as a normal human being. And I think anyone who drink or don't drink, like, think about this for a moment. Like you really have to prepare a response for in your life. You know what I mean? Like that is the one thing in my, in my life that I've like, oh, he's kind of have a replied for him my back pocket. You know what I mean? Like, and, and sometimes it's, she, you know, and makes light of the situation because you can tell is uncomfortable. You know what I mean? Like other times you can tell someone's being a little more genuine and inquisitive and you can be real. And you're like, well, honestly I have some friends I'd rather not share. 5 (52m 40s): And, but they're a part of, you know, to, to use that kind of line. Like, it's a part of my truth, you know what I mean? Like my wife and I's relationship would not be the same if she wasn't the partner, she wasn't helping me get through that. You know, my relationship with my family wouldn't be the same if they didn't support me the way that they did. And, you know, have gone through some of the experiences that we've gone through as a family or his partner and my friends, the exact same way, you know? I mean, so many of my friends who my drummer is incredible about this, you know, when he met me, I was sober when we started playing together, I was sober. And then I relapsed is not the appropriate word that I use, but started drinking again at some point. 5 (53m 24s): And you, then we had incredible experiences, you know, bar hopping together. And we also had some pretty miserable ones, you know? And then when I went sober again, I was kind of scared. I wasn't sure I was back in that new territory again about like, can I do this? What's this going to be like, and I just remember him telling me, and it meant a lot to me where he's like, I thought you were the coolest person when I met you and you were sober then, you know, and I've known you this way and I've known you this way. And I just want you to know, like, I think you're a bad ass, no matter what you decide to do. And like that stuck with me, that was so cool. It gave me permission to like, be cool with myself and you have to find that for yourself, you know, but I think one of the hardest things to try to tell people, you know, around you, who don't have this role as there is how important that permission can be, you know, but like, I don't need you to tell me and to be sober for me to be cool with it, but if you're cool with it, God, that makes it a lot easier for me because I feel so support system, you know? 5 (54m 35s): Totally. Yeah. It's, it's really being alone in it, you know, but when you're not alone in it, that's, that's awesome. So 3 (54m 42s): That is so, I mean, again, that's congratulations. I am glad, I'm glad this opened up and, and in this, you know, we're able to talk about that with the record. That's so cool. Yeah. And I appreciate your time, Dave. This has been awesome. Thank you so much for doing this. Well, I have one more quick question for you. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 5 (55m 2s): Oh, a hundred percent. I think, you know, death to ego is definitely a really good one, but just, you know, it takes a village. It, I was one of those people who really, really thought I couldn't own my success early on unless I did it all myself. And the fact of matter is the older I got, the more I learned that you can't do it all by yourself and you know, find good people who think you do cool things and who are good humans and, and, and ask for advice. You know, when people say go buy someone, a cup of coffee and you know, people love to give advice more than they love to do favors. So don't ask for favors, you know, just, just go and learn, make friends, you know, if you like venue, don't try to make friends with the booking guy. 5 (55m 46s): Cause you want to get booked, make friends of the booking guy, because you just want to know anybody. You know what I mean? The booking, I promise you will come. If you make a lot of friends before you try to make a lot of like colleagues, you know, just like go out there and be a part of the scene. That was tricky for me at first, you know, cause I had an ego and then, you know, the moment you get out there and you just do a lot more to support other people, and ask questions.

Dave Cavalier Profile Photo

Dave Cavalier

Music Artist

Dave Cavalier, born in Chicago, Illinois on January 23rd, 1987, grew up knowing he was going to be a musician. After graduating from York Community High School, he took his talents to the highly esteemed Berklee College of Music, in Boston where he refined his musical talents. Upon graduating Cavalier headed west to pursue his dream of having a career in music. He became an instant draw in the local Hollywood music scene as a solo artist.

In 2014, Dave recorded his debut solo E.P. “HOWL” with Grammy nominated producer Hal Winer. This opened to the door for Cavalier to preform at numerous festivals across the country sharing the billings with names such as Don Henley, Aloe Blacc, Kendrick Lamar, Manchester Orchestra, Local H, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Amos Lee, Band of Horses and many more.

Dave Cavalier musical style has drawn comparisons to Gary Clark Jr., Jack White and Robert Palmer. Cavalier creates an emotionally raw and visceral live atmosphere for audiences with an undercurrent that is seductive & stylish. His style has been deemed "LA Blues" for its frequent lyrical references to the unique tribulations of life in Hollywood. Dave is releasing his first full album "Civilianaire" in March and is excited to share his new music with his fans.