David Myles presents his new album ‘So Far’, a selection of some of his best acoustic songs recorded with his band. A pure and natural sound that takes the audience closer to the warm atmosphere his live sessions have. David talks about his childhood idols, his passion for Jazz, Hip-Hop and records from the 50s. We’re going through some of the brightest highlighted moments of his long musical career, like getting to discover his radio speaker facet, his hobbies and his great curator skills through ‘Romantic Picnic’, a playlist created specially for indiemono. David Myles and his small talk with the monkey crew is here.
‘So Far’ is your 9th album! Do you feel the same excitement as you felt with your first releases?
I do. Releasing a record is always exciting. But this time, it’s particularly exciting cause just like a debut record, this is my introduction to a new audience. This is my first record to be released in the US. The benefit in this case was that I was able to make 8 records and write tons of songs before I introduced myself!
The truth is we can consider you a multifaceted artist – you’ve explored a huge variety of genres with brilliant results. We can talk about jazz, rock, hip-hop or country. In this case, with ‘So Far’ we can enjoy a fine selection of your best songs in acoustic. How did this idea pop up?
I felt like is important to present the songs in some sort of consistent way. For me, that meant performing them with my band, the guys I play with most nights of the year. I had considered doing a compilation but things just jumped around too much. I wanted this to be a record. Plus over the years, the band and I have developed a sound in our live shows, which is acoustic, lots of harmony and I’m really into it. Felt like this was the right way to pull together all the styles I’ve messed with over the last many years.
The recording process of the last EP has been different than the one of your previous works. This time, you recorded with the full band in the same room so in the end we come to enjoy a really close sound, faithful to your style, which takes you to the state of mind you could expect of an intimate live session at home. How was the experience like? Are the results satisfying for you?
I’m a sucker for records from the 50s. I got into music in a big way through jazz. And those records were made with everyone in the same room, lots of vibe, ambiance, and a feeling like people are playing and experiencing things together. I’ve always wanted that sound. And over the course of making records I just kept getting closer and closer to ditching headphones, playing in the same room into a few mics. With this one, we went whole hog and I loved every minute of it. It’s such a rush to be doing a take when everyone is involved. Harmonies, solos the whole thing. When you get a good one the excitement is totally palpable.
At which point in your life did you know that music was about to become your professional career? What do you think you would be now if not a musician?
I’d say the minute I finished writing my first song was when I knew I wanted to give being a professional musician a shot. I’d always dreamed of it as a kid. I played trumpet and loved music more than anything. But it wasn’t until I bought a crappy guitar while living in China and wrote my first song that I knew I didn’t have a choice. I had to try it.
If I wasn’t a musician, I’m not sure what I do. I studied political science in university and even worked in politics for a while. I just couldn’t take the partisanship. It drove me nuts. Now politics and world issues is kind of my hobby and music is my profession, it’s way better that way. I also have recently become a radio broadcaster and I totally love doing that.
You became a dad three years ago, right? Is it safe to say you have the best fan at home? Congratulations by the way 🙂 What were your first music idols from your childhood?
Thanks so much! Being a dad is the best. I know it’s cliche to say but really there is nothing that compares to the love of your children. It’s magical.
My first musical idols…that’s tough. I’ve always loved R&B. I remember loving Bel Biv Devoe and Boys to Men as a 12 year old (still do by the way). I also loved Elvis. My first time performing was doing a lip synch contest to Heartbreak Hotel. I loved the energy of what he did (still do as well). But really my first total music obsession was probably Miles Davis. I was in junior high school and I played trumpet. I got super into jazz through his records and that was the gateway to so much more great music. It was really the first music that I felt I discovered on my own (not through my parents or my brothers, etc.).
We know you host a popular CBC radio program called “East Coast Music Hour” The program is dedicated to Atlantic Canadian music and music makers. Who were the biggest musical surprises you encountered through this radio program?
The joy of this program is that I get to share music that comes from where I live. This is the community that I’m super proud to be a part of. So to be a the guy on the radio celebrating it is an honour. I’m lucky enough to know most of the musicians already through having lived and worked here so long. There’s been some super sweet records that have been released over the last year – Old Man Luedecke, Hey Rosetta, Jenn Grant, Mo Kenney. All totally worth checking out.
Your collaboration in 2013 with hip-hop artist Classified on “Inner Ninja” became the best-selling rap single in the history of Canadian music. Have you ever thought that rap/hip-hop would give you one of the greatest achievements in your career and over the music history of your country? What do you think were the reasons for that huge success?
The whole experience of that song was amazing. I grew up loving hip hop. Maestro Fresh Wes “Symphony In Effect” was one of my first CDs and I knew every word. And that was the first truly massive Canadian hip hop record. When we won a Juno Award for Inner Ninja, it was Maestro that came up and congratulated us first. Amazing. The best part of being a songwriter is that you can go wherever you want musically. Classified and I have worked together for quite a while and from the beginning it felt like something special. There was just an amazing energy in the studio. So to see it all coalesce with the huge success of Inner Ninja was a massive thrill. I think people really responded to the positivity of the song. But perhaps even more than that was that it was different. It really didn’t sound like anything else out there. We had the best time making that song and I think it came through in the recording. And I think people felt that. I hope so at least. Cause it sure was fun.
What do you think about streaming services?
I’m a bit concerned from the perspective of songwriters that streaming services are going to greatly reduce revenue. That obviously freaks me out. And I think we really need to think about, as a society, how much we should be willing to pay creators of music and art in general for what they do. That being said, as a music fan, it’s amazing. I love it. I’m on Spotify, Tidal and Rdio. Each of them lead me to discover new and different music which I totally love. I used to discover so much music through the public library system. I would just take a risk on something and that would lead to a lifetime love of that particular artist. It feels a bit like those days for me. For that reason, I don’t think it’s something that is going to stop. It’s too good. It’s just a matter of what the correct royalty rate is in order to properly compensate writers, producers and performers so we can continue to make music.
Do you play videogames? Tell us about it!
I don’t actually. I used to play them tons (first generation nintendo and computer (king’s quest 1 styles!!) but haven’t for years. Too busy with the kids to be rocking that stuff. Especially since I already have a major music listening obsession to tend to.
What would you name your monkey pet? And how would you dress him/her up?
I’m thinking Sergio. I have no idea why. And maybe I’d give him a sweet italian suit. Every monkey deserves a sweet italian suit.
We would like to challenge you! We find your songs really chilling and full of joy, so we link those things to the topic ‘Romantic Picnic’. Do you think you could make a playlist related to that feeling?
I certainly can.