daveit ferris ~ exclusive interview part 2

In part two of our exclusive chat with Daveit Ferris, we discuss new bands, dream local line-ups and the future...

So Daveit, we've been incredibly fortunate over the last few years to see the emergence of some awesome new bands (Hot Cops, Robocobra Quartet, etc..), do you have any favourites emerging at the minute?
Unfortunately, I've barely been able to catch any shows these last two years due to working on my own music. At the end of a day, with ears ringing, the last thing I need is more decibels dancing in my eardrums! It’s a shame, but i’m fully intending on catching up in 2016. From what I have seen I really like Rebecca Harkin, she has a fantastic soulful voice and great songwriting, Jessica Doherty with her beautifully innocent voice and great songs and Chanele McGuinness with her haunting voice...are you noticing a trend? Having listened to my man-voice for so long, I’m just hypnotized with delicate female voices at this very minute. I also love Ports, Best Boy Grip, Ruairi and the Owls, Lost Avenue, Riot Upstairs and Seneron to name but a few. I’m also a little bit broken-hearted about More than Conquerors having broken up as I thought they were destined to be huge!
This is an incredibly difficult question for you I'm sure, but do you have a favourite lyric you've wrote?
That would be impossible simply because it constantly changes. Off the top of my head there’s two I really like… ‘A Fistfight with a Typewriter’ says: ‘life gave me a lemon, once, so i turned it into punch and got drunk’. I know it’s not Shakespeare, but in the context of that song it really stands out. ‘Staring at Rainbows in Gasoline’ says: ‘...his heart of gold is nickel-plated emptiness’. Ask me again tomorrow and you’ll likely get a completely different line!
In early 2012 you created Chordblossom.com, one of this countries best music websites, though it's not something you like to brag about. Do you ever miss it?
I thought I might miss it a lot, but I definitely made the right decision in passing the mantle on to someone else when I did ( ...to Robert Brown, the current Chordblossom MD and all around lovely guy)
As an artist myself, running a music website aimed at promoting musicians gave me very itchy feet to get back into creating music, so I credit Chordblossom with reigniting that fire for me. It might be a local blog, but let me tell you … when i was running the site it was nearly a full-time, unpaid, job. I put a lot into that website but I also pulled a lot of experience out of it. It was fun whilst it lasted, but the artist in me was always fighting to return. I’m happy it’s still around and doing well. I have been toying with the idea of launching something similar next year, but rather than reviews and interviews, it’ll be more resource driven and aimed at the bands and industry themselves as opposed to the listeners. I guess time will tell on that one...
I can't imagine what a Daveit Ferris notebook looks like ~ you must at this stage have a bigger back catalog than U2! Do you have any plans to get gigging again in the future?
Have you ever strapped a pencil lead to the belly of a millipede and fed it LSD? Something like that, I guess. I use notepads almost as a conversation with myself. I don’t write down perfectly written little lists or anything. It’s weird but it works for me. Yes! I absolutely plan to get back on the circuit starting at the very ground floor. I have a tonne of music to choose from now, so it’s only logical to play it to as many people as humanely possible. I do actually miss playing live at this point and can have no excuses now that endorsers such as Marshall Amps and Eden Bass Amps are anxiously waiting for me to bring this music on the road. It’s an exciting new angle for me since I’ve never really been one for playing tonnes of shows, but i’m very determined to become a part of the music culture of NI once more - it has simply been way too long. Besides, how cool does 365-alive sound as a tour name?
What does a local band need to do to get signed in the 21st century? Is there a secret formula, or is luck as important as anything?
I’ve seen amazing bands from NI with lacklustre work ethics, and I’ve seen very-average bands from NI with incredible work ethics. History usually shows that it’s the perfect marriage of being a killer band alongside really slogging it out that usually reaps the rewards. The question is though; do bands even need to get signed these days? Listen, just like every other musician on earth, I’d love to have money backing me for recording and touring purposes, but the big majors are so afraid of failure now that they meddle every single step of the route to release. A quick google search will bring up hundreds of former signed bands who talk about how their album didn’t come out like they wanted it to sound etc - simply due to meddling from non-musician execs. 
On a personal and way smaller level, we had that kind-of meddling even in the Mascara days when we were in London and it felt very uncomfortable being told how to write music by a guy in a suit who can’t play an instrument. 
Sorry, I’m rambling now. Basically, I don’t think bands who be striving for that elusive signing-on day, because it gives them an excuse to fall back on and that’s never good. Bands should be doing as much as they can for themselves and just working on their craft - influential people want to sign bands that are doing as much for themselves as they can. I remember watching Green Days manager Pat talking about why they were signed in the early days and it was because they had the drive and slogged it out... going so far as to tour Europe whilst broke and unsigned. Bands and people who are in it to be rich and famous stand out like a hipster at a Right Said Fred concert.
If you were to release a 'Best of Daveit Ferris' album, what would be the closing tune?
It would have to be either ‘My Epitaph’ or ‘Just Like Everybody Else’. The first is a song I wrote specifically to be played at my eventual funeral - it’s a very lighthearted way of saying goodbye to people through music and I have no idea where that idea came from but I’m glad it popped up... that would be a good closer. The latter hasn’t been released just yet but really takes you on a sonic journey and ends really frantically and packed full of really emotive vocals and screams. It would be hard to have a song follow it because it’s super intense. Coming to a bargain bin near you!
You've built up an incredible amount of experience in the music industry ~ you know just how cut throat it can be ~ what can we do to keep the NI Music scene united? More gigs? Meet ups? More blogs?
Tough question. When I started Chordblossom way back in 2012, my grand vision was that it’d become a connecting point for the musicians and bands of NI. The site I alluded to working on next year would be a centralised hub to connect NI Creatives with each other. It would be completely neutral too in the sense that there would be no divisive content like reviews or interviews. It would be strictly content, resources and community. It might help out a little in connecting musicians, who knows? I need to get back out there and see the health of things before i can even attempt to pretend how to improve things.
What would be your all time dream local festival line-up?
Wow. It’s genuinely something I've never thought about before so I’m just going to go with my first gut instincts!

Fighting With Wire / Berkeley / Six Star Hotel / Furlo / Making Monsters / More than Conquerors / Ash / Mojo Fury / RunawayGO / Best Boy Grip / Jetplane Landing & me!
I’m opening the show so that i can then stand side-stage for the rest of the day singing along!
Finally Daveit, what's next for you? The end of your 365 project isn't a million miles away, yet somehow we can't see you taking a break anytime soon!
Oh, I’m definitely taking a month off when this is done to recharge my batteries. I have been working on two main projects for next year, one of which is pretty much online already and raring to go and the other needs a bit more development and work. I can’t give the game away yet, but i can say one is a ‘creative marketplace’ and the other is ‘mapping out the world’. Both are businesses as opposed to mere hobbies. I’m excited about both. Lots of work still to do and I'm likely to launch one first and get that rolling smooth before even considering launching the second. I’m also really hellbent on getting out my first novel in 2016, producing an album by another band, doing a tour of Ireland and at some point sitting down and listening to song 1 through 365 of my project before closing that era closed.

I think you might have earned the chance to do just that, Daveit!

Interview by Taylor Johnson

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