MusT's Dave Ireland Tells Us How It Is
Mike Hess
6/2/2002 4:16:33 PM

"London can be sloppy, but it’s also very indie in its approach"

Since coming to America, MustT's lead singer Dave Ireland has been doing pretty well for himself. His band has signed with the hottest indie label on the planet, Wind Up Records, and their album Androgynous Jesus has been getting serious kudos from the press.

We caught up with Dave on a fine day in late May, and here's what he had to dish out:

What are some of the differences between the London music and the scene here in the US?

When we came over, England predominantly was pop. The way it is now, it’s changing. There’s more rock going on in England, and it’s quite diverse and healthy. It’s mutated from what it was really. Much like the US.

Is there a different work ethic learned overseas?

Musicians want to get out and play their music. The music itself is very regional to where you are. In America, there’s a somewhat New York style, which seems to be sloppier than others. In Mass., bands are pretty polished, and they’ve got their stuff down really well. London can be sloppy, but it’s also very indie in its approach. It’s more based on the cultural side of it. Anywhere you go, there’s great musicians. I think right now America has better guitarists, but oddly enough, the greatest guitarists have come from England.

Are your musical influences mostly British, or are they more US?

It’s really a bit of everything. All of us comefrom different parts of the world, so we’ve picked up things from all over.

I mean, I love AC/DC and Zeppelin, but we’re also influenced by drum-and-bass, and American rock bands themselves. Again, it’s as broad as it possibly can be. There’s so much good stuff out there, why just listen to one style. A lot of the hip-hop scene we like, and I’m personally into the background parts and beatmaking. Limp Bizkit came around and really worked that angle.

The album is very diverse in its stylings. Was the intention to run the gamut of sounds?

It wasn’t the conscious decision to do that. We approached each song as its own thing. We always felt there was a thread going through it that was strongly us. We just wrote each song as a concept song, rather than an album as a concept album. For this record, most of the songs I’ve written myself.

Do you lay out the lyrics first, or do you write the music to begin with?

My approach will always be music first, and then a melody will come and I’ll work lyrics to that. The other approach is just plain jamming in the room, where we’ll go off and do what comes naturally.

Is living here different from London?

Before we came we to America, a lot of people were saying that Manhattan was quick and intense, and we came and it felt like London was much quicker. We’d be walking in NY, and it felt like everyone was walking very slow.

Describe your live performance, and what you look to convey?

The intention is a three-pronged approach. Reach it on a physical level, but while the whole set doesn’t comprise of high-energy songs and we want to hit the emotional/spiritual side as well. So it’s a physical/emotional/spiritual. That’s the best praise we can get live, when the people come up to us and tell us how inspiring and touching they think our stuff is. .

How has it gone working with Wind-Up Records?

They’ve been great. They’re very patient, and seem like a smart company. They take time over things. They won’t stress something, and they’ve always got a good reason for doing what they do. They’ve got a good amount of clout, but they’re still an independent record, which is great..

Who are some current bands that you really like?

I dig Groove Armada, Nas, Portishead, DJ Shadow. System of a Down’s Toxicity, man, for me it was like the best rock album since Nevermind. It’s crazy intense and focused with a brilliant melodic take on it.

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