INTERVIEW: Noah Church (DAVE THE BAND)
Named for the abundance of good Daves in the world, Newcastle trio Dave The Band embody the affable everyman their moniker entails. A "Dave", according to the band themselves, is that epic friend who makes sure everyone gets home safe after a big night out, or that old bloke who's out swimming in the water every morning (yep, even in winter). But prior to Dave becoming the band they are today, the group bubbled away in high school, with frontman Noah Church and drummer Gabe Argiris teaming up to give it their all in a battle of the bands. And while the group's cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit didn't take out the crown on the day, the group would eventually come gloriously full circle, going on to work with legendary Nirvana producer Steve Albini and culminate this year in the release of their long-awaited debut album Slob Stories.
Harking from the iconic musical stomping ground of Newcastle, Dave The Band may have previously been the steel city's best kept secret; but now the secret's out, the gloves are off and Dave are perched ready to rattle their raucous energy from the underground in their own DIY and heartfelt fashion. And now that the dust has settled on their first album release, today Tiana Speter catches up with frontman Noah to chat new music, Newcastle and, of course, some iconic "Daves". Interview below!
TIANA SPETER: Hey, awesome to be chatting to you today! Firstly, congrats on the brand new album, ‘Slob Stories’ offers up some grand everyman rock, and it’s been a work in progress now for while now. How does it feel to finally have this bad boy out in the world finally?
NOAH CHURCH: It feels great! It was a long time coming but we’ve been stoked on the reception so far.
TIANA: As a band, Dave The Band have cultivated quite the reputation for raw and rollicking rock, and the band’s history stems back to high school and a Nirvana cover song I believe. In terms of evolution as a band since those early days to now, was there a game plan for the band you always wanted Dave to come? Or have you just let it evolve naturally along the way?
NOAH: It’s evolved naturally. We’re just trying to stick to what we love and follow our intuition. The more you think, the more you stink.
TIANA: And growing up in Newcastle, undoubtedly it’s played home to a lot of iconic Aussie bands, and even the new wave of talent bubbling away there…it’s insane! Do you feel like it’s a positive environment there at the moment (pandemic issues aside) for a band to thrive?
NOAH: It’s a great environment. There’s enough opportunities to get your name out there but it’s still a small enough scene that everyone knows everyone. I don’t know why there’s so many great Newcastle acts at the moment but we feel very lucky to be a part of it!
TIANA: In terms of how a Dave song comes to life, I believe there’s a lot of solitary writing initially that results in these crunchy tunes. And in a ridiculously beautiful tale of things coming full circle, from Nirvana cover songs in high school to working on your new album with Steve Albini, aka legendary producer for Nirvana and many, MANY others….how did working with Steve ultimately impact the Dave process and sound? And how did this collaboration actually come to be?
NOAH: The collaboration came about through us emailing their studio. I think Steve will record anyone as long as they pay the deposit. We’ve always loved Steve’s sound and ethos. As soon as we got to his studio it felt right. It was what we’ve been looking for in a studio our whole life pretty much. There wasn’t much talk of the process or sound. He just did what he does best and we did what we do best. It felt natural and easy.
TIANA: There’s a lot of weighty emotives amongst the boisterous fun on ‘Slob Stories’, and there’s a nice blend of vulnerability and grit pumping throughout the album. For yourself, do you find yourself turning to music to find solace when the world has gone mad? What helps you work through things when life cranks up the challenges?
NOAH: I’m stoked you can hear that in the music. I definitely find comfort in music, whether its listening, jamming or writing. Surfing is also helpful. I’ve written a lot of lyrics in the water.
TIANA: As someone who has played music since a young age by the sound of it, what actually kick-started your interest in the whole music caper? Was there a particular artist or band who really grabbed your attention early on that inspired you to start this adventure?
NOAH: I remember hearing ‘Best Of You’ by Foo Fighters on MTV when I was about 10. Although Mum and Dad had always listened to them, it wasn’t until then that it clicked for me and I was able to make my own sense of it. It was around then that I stopped playing drums and started learning guitar. There haven’t been many days go by when I haven’t played guitar since.
pic: Ruby Boland
TIANA: Before we wrap it up for today, let’s quickly jump into a hypothetical parallel universe; if Dave The Band were stranded on a desert island with only one other band for company, who are you bringing and why?
NOAH: E4444e because I play in it and the less people stranded on a desert island with the better.
TIANA: And lastly, as a notorious band of “Dave enthusiasts”: who is one iconic Dave in your life who has had a massive impact on you, whether it’s a mentor, a mate or just a random who made a lasting memory?
NOAH: I think it started with Dave Grohl. I’ve already mentioned Foo Fighters but I don’t think they get enough credit because they’re a stadium rock band now and they aren’t cool. He is just one of many though. No two Dave’s are the same!
DAVE THE BAND'S NEW ALBUM SLOB STORIES IS OUT AND ABOUT IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, FOR MORE INFO HEAD TO: www.facebook.com/davebandnewcastle
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BY TIANA SPETER