Interview: Dave Hause

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes used with permission.

Any fan of punk rock music these days should know the name Dave Hause.  He is an amazing musician who not only fronts The Loved Ones, but also has been quite successful at being a solo performer.

Touring over the years with the likes of Cory Branan, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Frank Turner, and Mikey Erg just to name a few, Hause has had no problem playing his solo material to the world.  His songs are infectious to say the least, and always make for a good time.

In 2011, Hause released Resolutions at the beginning of the year and toured non-stop in support of the album.  When I saw that there was not a Cleveland date, I reached out to him for the below interview and decided to try my luck and asked him to play a house show.  He and tour-mate Branan were all about it and with help from some friends, we put on a show at the Gurley House in Akron, OH that topped my list of live shows in 2011.

It’s still early in 2012 and Hause is already touring overseas.  The guy just does not seem to stop.  All I know is that his debut solo album was amazing and I can not wait for his next release.  I would be happy with a new Loved Ones album any day, but there is just something about his solo material I am just drawn more to.

Before, during and after that awesome December evening, I had a few chances to chat it up with Hause.  Here’s what he had to say:

BHP: Last year came to a quick end, rather quickly if you ask me. How was 2011 for you?

DH: It’s been a great year for me musically, I’ve been all over the world playing songs I made up on my couch with tons of great people.

You have been touring a ton this past year with everyone from Hot Water Music to the good folk on the Revival Tour. How different is to tour without The Loved Ones?

It’s pretty different, I’m much more mobile and able to do whatever I want socially. I miss the revelry with my buds and playing loud some nights, but I do enjoy the ability to just get up and go with ease.

Is there a backing band touring with you?

Not touring with me, no. Where I can put people together for a few shows or a one off or something, I’ll do that, for instance NYC and Philly on this tour I have a full band. But not yet, I’m working towards that in the future.

You toured with Cory Branan towards the end of last year. Any reason Cleveland was overlooked?

Cory’s booking agent put the whole thing together and then asked if I would like to come along. I think he has something against Cleveland. Not Cory of course, but his booking agent.

Luckily I was able to persuade you and Cory into playing some songs at a house show in Akron. Thanks for that by the way. I hope you guys had a good time. I know some of the folk who showed up there that night were beyond stoked to see you and Cory trade off on songs.

We did, thanks for having us. It interrupted our movie marathon but was worth it.

 

Photo by Andrew Wells

Has Cory given you any tips how to shred on the acoustic? That guy is insane when he does that.

He told me he learned those from some guy with horns at a crossroads down south, and was reluctant to share them with me.

So it was just Cory and you on the road for this past tour right? Who took over the driving duties?

Cory drove unless whiskey Cory showed up. Then I’d try my hand. Whiskey Cory probably would’ve been better…

You gave a shout out to Matt from American War that night, did you think he was in the crowd?

No, I just thought of his music due to the fact we were in Ohio. He’s a terrific talent.

That he is.  So, how did the rest of the East Coast tour treat ya?

Interesting and quite fun.  Philly was great, New Haven was, well, north of New York city…

Did you see a lot of Loved Ones fans at the shows? Have there been mixed responses from them about your music?

Loved Ones fans have been way into the record and the shows. I write for the Loved Ones and I write obviously these solo songs, so it’s just minor tweaks of aesthetics that separates the two.

I heard you will be playing with Frank Turner in Europe next year. How stoked are you about that?

I am doing one enormously huge show with FT in England. I haven’t heard about any tour, but we always get together drink whiskey and talk about all of the touring we will do, so sooner or later it will happen I would think.

What made you initially want to drop a full length solo album anyways? Not that I am complaining or anything,. Resolutions is amazing. Just curious
If this is something you wanted to do for a while or if you needed to take a break from the loved ones.

I needed a break and wrote some songs that weren’t best suited for the Loved Ones and one thing led to another.

 

Photo by Andrew Wells

Who are your major musical influences that helped mold this solo release? It is safe to say this is not a punk rock album at all.

Well really not much different, writing songs for anything always hold the same basic influences. As far as the aesthetic, I love what Conor Oberst did with his 2 solo records, what Jenny Lewis is up to, Jonathan Rice, Deer Tick, Patty Griffin, etc. Just more modern songwriting acts. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires both are terrific as well.

I love how you have so many friends / musicians contributing on Resolutions. Was it easy to recruit everyone? Were there others that did not make it
on the record that you asked?

It was totally easy, everyone was so gracious with their time and really excited about the songs and the project. Some of my dearest friends and some amazing musicians played on it. Actually there were people who later said “why didn’t you ask me?”, not really the other way around. I’m a lucky girl.

You sister actually played organ on Resolutions. Does she happen to play in any other bands?

She hasn’t. She played some recitals as a kid and then The Loved Ones dragged her out on tour on Build & Burn. I keep telling her to get her ass into a local or cover band to keep her sharp.

I can hear many styles of music in Resolutions including a little country twang. With all of your punk rock history, I was kind of impressed to hear that your solo material was not just you and an acoustic guitar. Did you actually write all of the music in the album or did you get some assistance?

I wrote all of the songs, but when it comes to the specific bass lines, guitar parts and that kind of thing, I knew the people playing on the songs are amazing and let them just go for it. Pete and I sometimes would guide them in the direction more suitable for the vibe we were going for, but by and large their initial instinct governed the parts. Chris Gonzalez in particular wrote so many cool guitar parts. It was really amazing.

The video for “Time Will Tell” clearly pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s short The Big Shave. Where did you get the brilliant idea to add your own
spin on the film?

I went to film school for 2 semesters before quitting college. I have always been a huge fan of film and Scorsese is a cornerstone. Not sure where the idea to do that came from, but I must say, I’m glad the idea came. I love how it turned out.

Will The Loved Ones be releasing anything anytime soon?

Not sure. I have a whole record almost done, but not sure what the schedule is gonna be like.

Are you going to help Chris Gonzalez on his solo album? He still plans on recording something right?

He doesn’t need help, he’s amazing. I’m going to sing some on it I think. I am chomping at the bit to hear it finished!!

You are living the dream man and it does not look like you are slowing down. What’s next for you?

Making up songs, recording them, then playing them for people all over the world. That’s living the dream in my book, and I don’t want to slow that down.

Billy The Kid & Joe McMahon Song A Day Performances

So apparently Billy The Kid and Joe McMahon (Smoke Or Fire) decided to cover 31 songs in 31 days for the month of January.

Going by the title Billy + Joe, the duo has been dropping an acoustic cover a day and have been posting them on Facebook.  Not just covering punk rock favorites, the band has been selecting all sorts of songs from a wide array of artists at their, and other’s, discretion.  I guess my question is, are they going to start writing their own material?  They really compliment one another quite well.

They have been actually taking requests for more songs to cover through their Twitter Page.  With a few more days left, it does not hurt to try and throw them an idea.

Have you heard of this little project yet?  If not, you are missing out on some fun covers.  Here are a couple of my favs:

Want to see all of the covers to date? Check out their YouTube Page.

God Is An Astronaut

Can’t say that I am that familiar with the Irish post-rockers God Is An Astronaut, but after seeing their video for “Route 666” today, I am hoping to change that.

In celebration of their 10-year-career, the band recently remastered their entire catalog with plans of releasing CDs and LPs this year starting next week.  The band released this in regards to their success:

“We would like to thank all our loyal fans for supporting us over the last 10 years through some of the darkest and happiest moments of our lives. It’s been an absolute privilege to share our music with so many people over the years; this is not the Beginning of the End but the End of the Beginning.” – God Is An Astronaut

I think I am most impressed that this band had done their thing all by themselves.  Since 2002, they have been releasing their own albums and setting up their own tours resulting in building a pretty huge fan base.

If you dug the above and want to pick up an album or two, head over to http://www.superadmusic.com/god/shop.html.

Aussie Pop-Rockers Tonight Alive Tackle US with “Breaking & Entering”

Fancy yourself a fan of the pop-punk rock?  What about cute Aussie females taking over vocal duties?  If you said yes to either of the two, then you need to check to Tonight Alive.  I am pretty sure fans of Paramore will be digging this band in 2012.  Having already toured the US in 2011 including a slot at Bamboozle, the band is scheduled to return in 2012 to tour in support of their upcoming release on Fearless Records.

‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ Full Album Teaser by tonightalive

You may have already heard of the band as they covered Mumford and Sons’ “Little Lion Man” on the Fearless Records Punk Goes Pop Volume 4 and if not, you need to:

Here’s their video for “Breaking & Entering”, the band’s first single off their upcoming release What Are You So Scared Of? due out on Valentine’s Day:

Formed in Sydney in 2008, Tonight Alive is made up of ingénue-with-attitude Jenna McDougall (vocals), Jake Hardy (guitar), Whakaio Taahi (guitar/vocals), Cam Adler (bass) and Matt Best (drums). The quintet finished 2011 with a bang in the U.S. with the release of a new EP, Consider This, a viral cover of Mumford & Sons hit song “Little Lion Man” from Punk Goes Pop Volume 4 and dates on The Fearless Friends tour with blessthefall, garnering them an impressive following in the US and around the world. The band explodes into 2012, kicking off their European tour with Never Shout Never this week before heading back to Australia for Soundwave Festival in February.

Interview: An Artist That Tattoos Named Evan Lovett

Do you remember your first time?  Think about it for a moment.  Did it hurt?  I know mine did for a moment.  It was not excruciating or anything, but it was a new pain that I slowly found comfort in.  I have returned to that feeling many a time since.  I really do believe everyone should experience it at least once.

I am talking about tattoos of course.  Many of us have them and many more appreciate them.

Whether you have 1 or 100, tattoos these days are becoming a more common trend and seen on people of all ages.  I am not going to get into the ethics of tattoos or anything of that nature, I am just merely pointing out what tattoos have become.  Forget the eyebrow ring piercing…tattoos are one of the more popular forms of socially acceptable self-expression on the human body.

I’ve interviewed all sort of people over the years for this site and others including musicians, artists, authors and once even a roller derby team.  Having my own site has opened doors to so many interesting stories and events.  I feel honored to have talked to so many people from all over the states.

I, until now, had never for whatever reason interviewed a tattoo artist and I honestly do not know what took me so long.  I’ve chatted with Cleveland’s Derek Hess in the past and his art is on the flesh of thousands of fans, but not once did I ever sit down with a tattoo artist and just shoot the breeze and find out a little more about them than many may know.

If any of you have ever met me, you are probably aware that I have a huge appreciation for tattoos and have quite a few all over my body.  I certainly plan on getting many more with visions of a full torso piece getting started this year.  With such a love of permanent art, I realized that a few months ago that I should really try to incorporate something into this site about tattooing.

As luck would have it, one of my favorite people in Austin heard wind of my idea and shared with me a name of someone I should check out: Evan Lovett.

Thanks Morgan.

It was not hard to track Lovett down, thanks to the ever popular social networking, and after I saw his online portfolio, I realized that not only did I want to interview him, but I wanted him to tattoo me.  His drawings and tattoos were more detailed than I was expecting and I was immediately intrigued to learn more about this guy, let alone get something done by him on me.

With him in Austin and myself in Akron though, I was not sure if that was going to happen anytime soon…until I realized I was going to Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.  I was sure he was going to be busy that weekend but I was mistaken and on day two of Fun Fun Fun Fest, Lovett texted me and told me to stop by the studio.

After hanging out for a little bit and checking out Lovett’s portfolio, he told me that he had some fun pieces he wanted to tattoo.  I took this as an invitation for him to use my skin as his canvas and was quick to pick out something that he had previously drawn up.  So, not only did I get to interview Lovett, but I also got tattooed by him.  The experience was amazing.  I enjoyed not only chatting with him, but also watching him work.  His shading technique was unlike anyone else’s I had seen before and he basically was painting on me.  Mixing inks and blending sections together.

The result was a great afternoon full of good conversation as well as an amazing tattoo.

How did you get into the tattoo business?  Was it something you wanted to do all along or were you kind of just introduced to it by chance?

Growing up the son of a biker, I was always around tattoos and tattoo art, but the way i got into it was kind of strange.  I was an artist from a young age always drawing and my dad basically handed me over to a tattoo artist that he knew to keep me out of trouble and I spent about everyday of my life in that shop from 15 to 18 years old.

Did you ever think you would ever be tattooing?

Before i stepped foot into that shop, no.  But after my second day there ,the boss made me pick up a machine and outline a skull on his leg just to see if i had the balls.  Well I did and after that I couldn’t think of doing anything else.

You are not as much of a tattoo artist as you are an artist that tattoos correct?

Yes, I agree with that.  Not disrespecting any tattoo artist out there, but I feel to call myself a tattoo artist would be disrespecting the tradition and culture of the tattoo arts.  I wasn’t introduced to tattooing in the traditional sense.  The first shop I worked at, and in fact every shop I’ve worked at, have all been custom shops.  Since I started so young, I was fortunate to attend art school while and after I started tattooing.  I try to look at everything from a fine art perspective. regardless if its skin or canvas, although I have to admit I wish sometimes i could just tattoo!

I feel I take my tattooing too seriously and envy those tattoo artists with a sense of humor.  In fact, I think the tattoo I did on you was the most light hearted tattooing I’ve done in a long time. (laughs)

I will admit, it was a lot of fun.  So, which do you prefer more then, tattooing or drawing?

Drawing for sure.  There is a lot less pressure in drawing.  When it comes to tattooing, I try very hard to not think about the result and focus on the process.  That is why I do my best to work out the drawing as much as possible before hand.  The fact that I draw most of my tattoos directly on the skin before i tattoo is a bit strange for people, until I’m done.  I have to make the drawing as detailed as possible so I end up drawing on people for hours sometimes. Luckily for me no one complains because when I’m done, I feel they have a better understanding of what the tattoo will look like and are a lot more comfortable with wearing it.  Plus it’s fun!

When did you start doing this process of drawing on the skin over doing a stencil?

A few years ago, but only after I had the process worked out on paper first.  A good friend and somewhat of a mentor of mine, Sean Zee, made me do a red pencil sketch for every tattoo i did.   After that, [he] started making me do full color sketches with pencils.   I did this for about a year with every tattoo I did.  After a while, the tonal study was all I needed and I could replace colors in my head.  That’s when the Sharpies came into play.  They allowed me to create a fully rendered monochromatic drawing with a strong enough contrast quickly.

If I feel I still need to better understand something, I will still do a color study.  You can never be too prepared.  The better the understanding, the better the final piece will be whether it be  a tattoo or painting of whatever.

Why a Sharpie though?

I like the shape of the fine point and the fact that they’re alcohol based.

So is there a process when drawing with Sharpies? Are there certain techniques you use when drawing with Sharpies over other drawing instruments? How many colors do you generally use?

The technique is harder to explain, but I basically blend out lighter colors with darker ones.  I do this in layers until i get the result I want.  i can use any colors, but I prefer to use primary ones: red, yellow and blue.

How long have you been drawing with Sharpies?

I’ve been drawing with them for a few years now, and it kind of just snowballed into kind of a style.  It really is my favorite thing to draw with.  The techniques I use originally were just experiments in order to open up some creative doors in my head, but after a while, I had so much fun and found them so versatile that i just stuck with it.  With every shop, convention or guest spot I do, I find others fascinated by how far I can take it which is cool because hopefully by the time I leave, they have took it upon themselves to experiment and open some doors themselves.

That is kind of awesome and makes me want to go out and buy a pack of Sharpies…  So have you reached out to Sharpie yet for a possible sponsorship? I think it is safe to say they are going to be impressed.

Working on it…

Tell me about growing up outside of Philadelphia in New Jersey.

I love that I grew up in that area, surrounded by everything from tree-filled suburbs to vast farm lands and the beach also being 15 minutes away from the city.  I feel it’s made me very adaptable and well-rounded.  Artistically, the east coast can be a little segregated at least in our industry.  No one really talks to other people in shops, it’s very territorial.  Regardless, I always tried to break that stereotype and befriended everyone.  I hope it worked. (laughs)  I was also introduced to some great graffiti artists. Some of New Jerseys finest in fact!   But that’s something I’m not about to get in to.

No doubt, talking graffiti with you would be awesome but let’s stick to the tattoos – at least for now.  What made you move from the east coast to Austin?

I’ve been visiting Texas to see family for as long as I can remember and it always seemed like the place i wanted to be.  I remember my first solo trip out here, I think i was about 13 and I definitely stood out (laughs), but everyone was so nice and friendly.   I was in a store with my aunt and people started asking me questions.   Being from the big dirty, I was suspicious, but when i looked at her she assured me that they were just nice.  [It] took me a while to learn to let my guard down a bit. (laughs)  When it came time for me to finally make that move, I was lucky enough to have a few friends who already lived or moved out here, so it made my decision a little easier.

I have to say, living in Austin is a bit of a comfort. This is the only city I’ve ever been in where people don’t just assume I tattoo. I’m mean everyone is covered out here, and sometimes it’s nice to not stand out.

You still travel to Philly though monthly right? Do you find a lot of appointments for work waiting for you when you visit?

Yeah, I work at Art Machine Production in Philly one week every month.  It started out as just a guest spot, a chance for me to finish up some work on my clients that I left behind.   I guess with almost 8 years of clients there though, I was still in demand.  So I talked to my buddy Tim Pangburn and we made it a regular permanent thing. I’m usually booked solid there which is a good change of pace to my more casual Austin work habits.

Let’s talk about your art.  You had an exhibit going on in Austin that lasted 2 weekends last Fall.   Care to talk about that for a moment?

Yes.  Me and my studio-mate Nick Baxter participated in what they call E.A.S.T. or east Austin studio tour.  It’s a two-week-long open house free to the public that allows anyone to come into our private studio and see our work, checkout what we have to offer, see some cool art and meet us.  There are over 300 individual artists and studios involved, so it was good to feel a part of a creative community.  But I think the coolest part of it was just seeing our work cover the walls of our studio. They were pretty bare until E.A.S.T. gave us a reason to change that. (laughs)

How was the overall response?

Really good. [We] had a lot of positive feedback. had a lot of tattoo folk come threw artists from shops and studios around the city come check us out, it was cool. [It’s] good for people to know; just because we’re a private studio, we’re not some big secret.  We just like to work in a smaller more comfortable atmosphere and make cool art work.

This is the first time you sold prints of your work correct? How did that work out for you?

Not bad, it was a bit weird for me, but had a good response and [I] was encouraged to make more.  My drawings seem to reproduce beautifully.

I’ll say.  Do you think you will make some of these prints available to others maybe via the net?

Never thought about it before, but I don’t see why not.  If someone likes my art enough to want it, the least I could do is get it to them.

Here is the piece that Evan did on me. Hands down one of my favorite pieces.

[I] still don’t feel like I have a style that’s mine yet, but standing back and looking at everything I’ve done at the same time, I guess you can see something there. But either way, I don’t think I’ll ever perfect anything.  [I] can only hope I die trying.

Your shading and detail is beyond amazing. How tough is it to take a piece you drew on paper and put it permanent on skin?

[It’s] way easier than taking something not perfected and putting it on skin. (laughs) But on a more serious note, there are limitations to both skin and paper and sometimes certain things can be pushed farther on one over the other.  I always try to push further when someone is going to be wearing it.  It’s only fair to them.

You’ve opted out the idea of owning a tattoo parlor and instead operate in a studio. When did you decided that you wanted to be more exclusive?

It’s something I’ve always wanted, once i started working on more of a serious clientele, but never pursued it till about a year ago.  When asking the advice of my friend Nick on whether or not he thought I could do it, he told me he did and would be interested in collaborating on it with me.  So, that sold me and here we are a year later.

The studio I work at in Philly is more open to the public, but has a private studio feel.  We all work there by appointment only and do as we please working each in our own style on the things that interest us the most, so i have a good balance.   Even if i did miss the atmosphere of a more street shop,  I can and do often visit my friends at work all around the city, and it’s a honor to be welcomed in.

I am sure your work travels by word of mouth right?  (In fact, when I was on South Congress the day before I flew home, a girl stopped me and asked me who did my piece.)

Well, since I’m am absolute shit at self-promotion, due to my shyness and anti-social behavior and anxieties, yea word of mouth has been the venue of chance for my carrier to spread.   So, thank you to all of you out there who proudly wear my work and show it off.

Really, thank you!  I am trying to have a working website this year!  About time, I know…

Wrapping things up, what’s one important thing you learned in the past that you use daily when drawing or tattooing?

To slow my role! Make sure i know where I’m going with a piece before I start and that in a business that relies completely on the will of another person, that it never hurts to be nice.

What is your favorite thing to draw? How about favorite thing to draw on?

Well I don’t know why, but I really like drawing birds and nature in general with sharpies on skin.  I like to paint with oil on board, and bic pen on diner place mats. (laughs)

You need to show me this place mat art one day.  So, what’s next for Evan Lovett?

I think I’m gonna up my convention game in 2012 and try and hit as many as i can.  Other than that, keep on making art as often as I can.  I’d like also to simplify my life, although that’s what i say everyday, [it] never seems to happen.

Check out the following links for more information on Evan Lovett:

Classic Touch Tattoos (Austin, TX)

Art Machine Productions (Philadelphia, PA)