Dave Hanson has left band The Dunwells and gone solo. Armed with EP ‘Blind Faith’, he’s opted for a laid back blues sound with a lead single of soulful acoustic music. We caught up with Dave to find out more about why he left The Dunwells and what’s in store for fans now.
There’s plenty of life in the old dog yet…
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
I’ve always been a rocker at heart, and Led Zeppelin were definitely one of my earliest influences. I was also greatly inspired (and still am) by Eric Clapton. I love that although he is a phenomenal guitarist, he has written an amazing catalogue of timeless songs. That’s something I definitely aspire to.
Tell us how you came to be in The Dunwells. What was your highlight when in the band?
I actually formed the band with Joe and Dave Dunwell back in 2009. Plenty of Dunwells highlights for me - a couple of our songs hit the Billboard top 40 in the USA, and we performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. We also did alot of touring and played festivals and venues such as Red Rocks, Lollapalooza and ACL.
Why did you choose to go solo?
I had written so many songs which I knew probably wouldn’t see the light of day within the group, so I had no option but to go it alone.
What have been the challenges since going solo?
Well… the extra female attention you get from being the lead singer is certainly a challenge ;-)
Your debut single is ‘Blind Faith’. What’s it about?
Blind Faith was written at a time when I’d left the band and was at a crossroads in my career. Should I go it alone, or should i disapear into obscurity? It’s kind of self biographical from that point in time. There’s plenty of life in the old dog yet…
How has the music-writing process changed?
It’s not changed much - except I have to finish the lyrics off myself now rather than relying on someone elses chain of thoughts. Which opens a whole new can of worms…
If you had to describe your sound as a personality, how what would it be? Somebody once said to me: “Dave - you’re so laid back, you’re almost horizontal!”. So I would say my music is very much like my personality.
What would you say makes your music unique?
That I am a blues guitarist, but I write songs with chorus’s, catchy melodies, and honest lyrics.
Somebody once said to me: “Dave - you’re so laid back, you’re almost horizontal!”.
How do you create your music? Is there any kind of routine that helps?
All my songs start life on an acoustic guitar. I think if a song can’t stand up to being performed in such a naked way, it’s not likely to be a great song… Then I will rehearse with my drummer and bass player and we’ll cut the track live to Analogue tape - no click tracks. Then we’ll continue the process of overdubs until the final song is finished. I’ve had the producer Tim Palmer work on the mixes for this album. He’s mixed some of my favorite albums of all time including Pearl Jam” Ten & U2’s “All You Can’t Leave Behind” - and he’s been able to give the album a retro vibe but still sound modern and current.
What was the most significant moment of 2015 for you and why?
Releasing the video for my debut single Blind Faith. The reaction to the video has been amazing - people have really taken to it - and it’s so good to finally be able to let people hear the music after working on it for what seems like a lifetime!
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Would have to be Ed Sheeran. I’ve read that he’s a fan of Eric Clapton and would love to do a bluesy collaboration. So Ed - if you’re reading this and Eric is too busy, call me up!
If you could pick any venue or festival to play, where would it be and which slot would you most enjoy?
I’ve always wanted to perform at Glastonbury. I think that every artist should have the opportunity to shout those immortal words “Thankyou Glastonbury!” at least once in their career!
How is 2016 shaping up for you? What are your goals?
2016 is shaping up good. I’m planning a UK tour around the album release in May in conjunction with Caffe Nero - who have been big supporters of my music and are playing the single every day in all their stores. I’m also in talks with Jared James Nichols about doing some European shows together in the Summer. I opened up for his UK tour in 2015 and we had so much fun. Will be great to get back on the road with him! We’re hoping to have some US dates scheduled for later in the year. I’m very much looking forward to getting back to play in the country that influenced my music so much!
Watch ‘Blind Faith’ on YouTube: