Behind the Song
An accomplished veteran of the Pittsburgh, Midwest, and East Coast music scenes since 1965, Dave Molter counts The Beatles as his primary influence. Dave's latest EP, "It Was You," is a compendium of styles, from Sixties power-pop to country and contemporary rock. The title track debuted at #1 in the UK two days after its release in December 2020. "It Was You" is a finalist for Album of the Year at the 2021 International Singer-Songwriter Awards.
For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!
Eclectic. Melodic. Unpredictable.
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
I think I'm equally turned on by performance and recording. There's nothing like being in a band where everyone listens to each other, works together, and plays off what someone else is doing. And of course, it's gratifying when people respond favorably to your original tunes by paying attention or dancing. But I'm becoming a big fan of "listening rooms," where the guideline requires attendees to stay seated during songs, silent cellphones refrain from small talk during songs. Artists may write dance tunes, but that doesn't mean they don't put great thought into the lyrics and want you to listen to them.
Recording is also a great experience. You can do things in the studio that can't always be accomplished onstage. But even if you make an effort to keep the songs stripped down, it’s still a cool thing to hear how something that existed only in your head comes out when it's played. The Beatles discovered the limitations of playing live and became a studio band because, at the time, the technology didn't exist to recreate an orchestra or electronic effects. Now it's entirely possible for Paul McCartney to go out with a five-piece band and recreate the very nuance of his most elaborate songs.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
Time flies when I record. I can easily put in 8 hours and not realize it. It's great to be in the studio with a producer who is on the same page as you and have him come up with things on the fly to improve a song. Al Snyder, my current producer, is great at this. Buddy Hall, who produced my first CD, "Foolish Heart," was more methodical. He liked to spend hours on a song and throw every trick in the book at it to see what stuck. They are decidedly different approaches, but both seem to work to my advantage. I'd have to say that a great studio session is much more satisfying than playing a four-hour gig of cover tunes.
Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?
I'm also a writer, and I have a humor column that runs every other week in a local newspaper that I worked for a reporter in the 1990s. I've won awards for column writing and a 2017 published compilation of columns that I'd written over 25 years. It's called "Gimme 15 Inches" and is available through Amazon. I've done a number of things, from retail work to editing and playing music. I also enjoy video gaming -- mainly first-person shooters although I have never shot a real gun in my life and have no desire to own one. And I like to read -- either history or historical fiction --and watch movies, everything from Fred Astaire musicals to modern blockbusters.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
I enjoy newer groups such as The Bros. Landreth from Canada. Joey Landreth is a remarkable slide player, writer, and singer, and I've had the pleasure of meeting him twice at small clubs. I also love The Lickerish Quarter, which is a trio of former members of Jellyfish. They are heavily influenced by the Beatles, Queen, and pop music from all eras, as am I. They're not afraid to experiment, and production is flawless. I've also had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Kevin Russell, aka Shinyribs, and his band of Texas misfits. Kevin writes great, catchy tunes with sometimes humorous subjects. The band is a mix of New Orleans and Tex-Mex funk as well as the soul. Concerts by them are a great time. If you can find their Austin City Limits PBS special on Youtube, by all means, watch it.
Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?
For me, the most emotional thing I've written is "Late December." It's a story of a love falling apart because it is in the wrong place at the wrong time, about the feeling of desolation that occurs when someone you love suddenly turns cold toward you. The male protagonist sees that no matter how good the relationship may be going, the woman can only see the negatives. Her mind is stuck in a bleak, dark, frozen winter -- "Late December." I admit it's autobiographical, from a love affair that took me years to get over. The lyrics tell the story very well, I think -- "the things you say tear out the heart of me, don't turn away, you're still such a part of me ..." It's s a powerful song, almost 8 minutes long because we conceived it as an album ender. We wanted listeners to feel drained at the end, caught up in the emotion. From the audience response, I think we achieved that.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
Al Snyder and I are still in the studio with the same crew that appears on the "It Was You" CD plus some new faces. The songs are again of no set style. There's a funky, Donald Fagan-like tune with horns and a guest appearance by a wonderful female singer from Nashville, some love songs, a few rockers, and a couple influenced by Phil Spector's production. Eclectic. Melodic. Unpredictable.
Tell us where fans can access your music.
Stream on Spotify
Connect on Facebook
Visit my website