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Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:10

Wired in #2: Dav

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Dav is a trio from Hungary. Whilst reporting from Budapest, Matt (Editor of Sixth Sense) stumbled into a bar and heard them playing tracks from their album "Point of View". Blown away by their sound, music that incorporates pop music influences with cool jazzy and experimental elements, he got them to write their email address down on the back of a scrap of paper... E&M interviewed their guitarist and singer David Szesztay about their latest work and what they're up to next.

E&M: You've had quite a few changes in the band's composition, can you tell us a bit about how the band got together and what instruments you have in it right now?

DS: Originally, the band as started as a trio in the end of 2004, but it took a long time to find the right partners and the right direction for the band. In 2008 we found the current combo with a horn section (sax, trumpet and trombone), and we recorded our "Point of View" album in 2009 as a sextett.  Since the summer of 2010 we've been working as a trio again, with a pretty basic line-up: drums (Csaba Németh), bass guitar (Dániel Szerető), electric guitar and vocal (Dávid Szesztay).

E&M: What's characteristic for your sound? Do you have a clear direction you're going in? 

DS: I think we have our own specific sound, although at the beginning I didn't really have any exact plans; the goal was just to make interesting, exciting pop-rock-jazzy-melancholic stuff. The ideas for more specific directions came later. I had to realise that we couldn't do that many things at once. Looking back at our last album, it became an interesting indie-jazz-rock album, with some nice lyrical songs. In the future we'd like to make a more conceptual album with less instrumental parts and spend more time in the studio getting the right sound for the songs.

E&M: And what are you working on right now? 

DS: Our latest project with Dav was a theatre performance. Actress and director Annamari Láng asked me to write songs for a show of hers called SYD, and Dav became the band which performed live during the show. It was fun and a great experience to do something else with the "Dav guys". I personally also created some atmospheric music for another theatre production in Nyíregyháza, and co-wrote music for a children's play. Besides these kinds of things, all of us play in a couple of different bands (Santa Diver, Specko Jedno, Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene...) and the others are teaching music as well.   

E&M: Can you tell us what a day in the recording studio is like? 

DS: There can be a lot of ways of to work in the studio. With our last album, we worked kind of like a jazz band. We wanted to record a nice sounding, but almost live album. I think it's really decisive, how much time can you spend in the studio. Since we didn't have very much time there, we had to do all the rehearsing before. Once in the studio, we recorded the drums, bass and the guitar parts at once, then the horns and finally the vocal and some piano. We invested most of our energy in getting the songs to sound fresh, I think you can find some cool improvisations and solos on the album.

E&M: Do you prefer recording songs or playing live? What can we expect from a Dav show? 

DS: It's hard to rank these two things, both of them are equally important for us. Especially these days (in Hungary it's almost impossible to sell a CD), we have to play live as much as we can, it gets the band together and gig by gig we gain a lot of experience and learn what we should sound like, or how to play the songs. We work a lot on our tunes and almost every concert brings us a little closer to what we want to sound like! It gives me inspiration for how our next album should sound, which tracks we will put on it etc. I really can hardly wait to record them! I think there's a special power when artists on stage have to get the best out of themselves to make things happen, and in a trio you have to play like that.   

E&M: Some of your songs are quite jazzy, others sound more like alternative or pop, so what inspires your music?

DS: We're open to almost any type of music, but I believe it's very determining what you listend to from age of about 16 to 24. In that period I listened to lots of alternative rock groups like Smashing Pumpkins, Deus, Suede... So although now I don't really listen to pop-rock music, somehow I would like to stretch the limits of it, and to put some elements of "jazz", "experimental" or even "free" in it.

E&M: What's your song writing regime like? Do you write write the songs together as a band? How do you come up with your lyrics?

DS: By the time I show a song to the others it usually has already gone through lots of phases. And of course also from then on, there are many more steps. Sometimes I also only show the band a guitar theme and we write the rest together. I write lyrics like it was a free poem. Sometimes I don't write for weeks, and some days I write three or four of them. When I look for a lyric to a song, I search back through what I have already written and try to find the best for the specific song. If I find one, I re-write it for the music. I write in Hungarian; a friend of mine helped to translate the lyrics into English for the "Point of View" album.

E&M: What's your favorite European city? And in which city would you most like to play a concert?

DS: Unfortunately I haven't travelled as much as I would've liked to, but the most memorable journey was a visit to Paris. I was really amazed and charmed during that one week I spent there. It would be very exciting to play in London, and also in Oslo, I've heard a lots of inspiring music from Norway.

E&M: And finally, what does Europe mean to you? 

Dav: The possibility of a free flow of culture and arts. I always thought that musicans have to show what they do beyond the borders of their home country. It would be nice to do that more often.

E&M: Thanks for the interview David!

For more on Dav, check out their profile at http://www.myspace.com/davcompany.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2011 15:50

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