5. Dave a.k.a. Warrior Bob
**Morgan:** [00:00:00] Dave, welcome to Zeitgeist Radio. Hey,
**Dave:** how do you do Morgan? Thank you. Hello.
**Morgan:** I'm so excited to have this conversation with you. It's gonna be really fun. Oh
**Dave:** yeah, it's gonna be great. I'm happy to be here.
**Morgan:** How, who are you and how would you describe yourself
**Dave:** musically? Okay, so let's start there. So, I'm Dave.
The, gosh, how, how do you describe yourself musically? Everybody I'm sure has these very, you know, elaborate answers to this question. At the end of the day, I am a nerd who likes music a lot. I especially like, you know, electronic music, technology, music, that kind of thing. , I just enjoy mucking about with it.
Yes. So I'm not, you know, I'm not trying to establish myself as like, you know, an artist with a capital A or anything like that. I just. go, but
**Morgan:** you know how to do some pretty complex things. , I've learned a couple tricks. , you've, you've learned a couple tricks. So let's, if you don't mind, let's just start at the beginning.
Where did you get your start and what was the first thing that drew you to specifically electronic music?
**Dave:** Oh, man. Okay, so I love talking about this. The thing that made me want to be a musician is this, Computer art subculture called the [00:01:00] demo scene. Love it. Any . If anybody listening to this is familiar with this, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
So what this is, is people in generally speaking, the mid nineties was when I was paying attention to this, were making art with computers, which were a fairly new thing at the time, and there were a number of tricks that computers could do that were an emulation of. Elaborate technology that you would see in studios.
So like samplers, you could record a short sample of music and you could pitch that up and down and you could turn a little in individual recording of some notes into a whole song full of those notes played at different pitches and people went absolutely to town with this. Nice. And there was a group that made art in this scene called Future.
that had two lead musicians that I listened to so many times that I finally just said, okay, I want to be like these guys. Like, what, what are they doing? I wanna do this. This sounds
**Morgan:** awesome. That's amazing. So are we talking like Doss here? Like how, what, what were you using?
**Dave:** Yeah, so the, so this was all Ms.
[00:02:00] Doss. So the, the project they made that got my attention, which apparently got everyone's attention at the time, was called second. And the music was by purple Motion and S SCN were their artist names, Yona Valan and Peter Haba, I think is how you pronounce their names. That was 1993, all on Emma STAs.
And a friend of mine brought it over on a floppy disc one day.
**Morgan:** I was gonna say, how do you find this ? Because I was in, I wasn't getting shared in 1993. . Yes. Like, there was no Napster even then, right?
**Dave:** There was no Napster. No, I wasn't even on the internet for another, oh gosh, five or six years. Right, right.
**Morgan:** So these were just being passed around floppy disk.
**Dave:** So in Europe there was actually a scene for this and people would attend events where people would share these things. There would be big productions and a huge party and everything. And I had only heard of this, you know, secondhand. So did this
**Morgan:** get put onto what?
A cassette tape then?
**Dave:** Well, I got it on a floppy disc, right? I got a series of files you could
**Morgan:** execute the people. But how did, how did, when you say people heard about it, how broad? Segment of the [00:03:00] population. Are we talking here?
**Dave:** Oh, I don't think it was that broad. I think it was more normalized in. in the United States, or at least in the corners, you know, at least where I lived, it was something that only, you know, computer fans would hear about.
**Morgan:** Yeah. So you started making music then. What did you use ?
**Dave:** So I tried so the people who put this production together actually made a program called scream Tracker three. And th this is, gosh, how , where to begin with this, this type of music is coffin composed in this software program called a.
And what it is, is you might be familiar with MIDI or anyone listening might be familiar, which is sort of like digital sheet music. Like you send notes and a device interprets those into sounds. Yeah. This is kind of halfway there. Yeah. You had the note data, but you, the computer didn't come up with its own sounds.
You actually had the sound data together with the note data, so it would play the same on different. But it was much more limited. You could only play the tiny little recordings that were included with the file. Gotcha. And so the [00:04:00] software that composed these things was collectively called Trackers, but it looks like, you know, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
With notes in it instead of, you know, dates and calculations.
**Morgan:** Oh, that is wild. See, I had no idea any of this happened. . Oh, what's
**Dave:** going on? Oh, this is my jam. Yeah, so, so the, so the, the quote unquote sheet music would would be in these vertical columns,
**Morgan:** like sheet music? Yeah. Like Excel sheet . Yeah.
Spreadsheet sheet music. Okay. My brain just exploded. Yep.
**Dave:** So, so vertical. So, so just like a mixing board where you have all the different individual channels for each instrument. Yeah. Top to bottom, each column. The music would flow top to bottom and in each row of the spreadsheet you would have what note to play, which instrument to play for that note.
And then you could do little articulations, like vibrato or they had a couple little commands, like, you know, take the current sound that's playing and pitch it up, you know, do a, do a volume slide up or down. So you could make these really expressive. Sounds, and a lot of the music I was listening to would double down really hard on these expressive pitch slides because that was an effect you could [00:05:00] do.
That sounded amazing. Yeah.
**Morgan:** So you would plug the spreadsheet and then the program would pull the mini, the the knot mid the the tracker
**Dave:** you said? Yeah. Yeah. So the tracker was the program that, so it read the
**Morgan:** spreadsheet. Yes,
**Dave:** it was. And you made the spreadsheet. Well, I was just downloading other people's spreadsheets.
Okay. I was trying to make my own, but, well, I mean, , have you seen that, that picture on the internet where it's the dog with the the chemistry set and the goggles and it says, I have no idea what I'm doing. Yes. That was me, , and I was Oh gosh, 15 years old.
**Morgan:** Yeah. I mean that we all start there though, right?
Like every one of us who's, it doesn't matter, even if you're playing like a physical in. You always start not knowing what you're doing.
**Dave:** And there was that too. I had tried to learn to play the piano, but I didn't know what I was doing there either. So I could see the notes and I was aware that other people's notes sounded good together and I could not figure this out for the life of me
**Morgan:** So. So let's go to complex spreadsheet music. Okay. So fast forward a couple years, then. What was after [00:06:00] trackers?
**Dave:** Yeah. Yes. Tracker music or you, you, you if you Google for the tracker scene or tracker module music, the people are still making these today. What was really after that for me was high school.
I didn't really learn much music at all. Okay. And then a lot of years later, I discovered midi. and discovered sequencing software and long story short, ended up on Ableton Live, which is a very popular sequencer
**Morgan:** today. Yes. So I've seen, I've seen what it looks like and I've seen what you're able to do in it, and it seems like a very big jump, technologically between a.
A spreadsheet and then Ableton. So like what was, so what was in between for you or did you just dive, you took that big of a break that Ableton came out and was fully fledged as a software. I guess it's been around for a while.
**Dave:** It's been around for quite some time. You know, that's not wrong. I kind of did take a large break.
Yeah. I didn't study music or anything like that. Right. I studied math . I took drum lessons for a while in. ,
**Morgan:** which, yeah, that's that , that's a whole [00:07:00] nother story we'll either talk about later or on a different, you may have to
**Dave:** come back , but I didn't learn, you know, pitch theory there either. Right, right.
I learned how to hit things. That was great. So what
**Morgan:** did you, what attracted you to Ableton ?
**Dave:** So I was looking for some software to work with these, you know, more modern constructs that I was used, used to. So Instead of manipulating samples, you know, synthesizers where you would send them a note and it would actually synthesize a note based off some base principles where you had you know, oscillators, filters, all the, all of these things where you weren't just taking a pre-recorded sound, you were making a brand new sound.
I thought that was very cool and I was looking for some software to do that and, This sounds so silly, but the demo of Ableton Live was so much fun to play with that I decided, okay, this is the one I want to learn. Nice. And the the thing that really sold it for me is if you have a keyboard with some knobs and sliders on it, they make it really, really easy to make those fun
And that, that was the that was the hook. [00:08:00] Nice.
**Morgan:** So you still play some keyboard?
**Dave:** I do, yeah. Yeah. I play it standing up a little bit more. key. Tars. . Fewer sliders. .
**Morgan:** Okay. Yeah. So side note, Dave plays the Keytar .
**Dave:** I do play the Keytar. Now, I did learn to play notes.
**Morgan:** So you've actually started making some, some pretty serious stuff like you made an album, right?
That or you're in the process of making an album?
**Dave:** I'm, I'm laughing. It is technically true that I have written an album. It is not true that I have published an album. Okay. Okay. That project has been in the works for long enough that there's a genuine question whether it'll ever happen, but I'm glad I did it.
**Morgan:** So even though you don't consider yourself a, you know, a professional musician, mixer producer, you know how to do all of these things at a very high level. Do you also fall prey to I I've met several audio engineers. The most intense perfectionism, , nothing is ever finished. Is this album not finished because, not published because it's not finished?
Or [00:09:00] is it not finished because of the perfectionism , is that even something that you deal with?
**Dave:** It is both not finished because of perfectionism, but it's also not finished because it just wasn't finished. Sure, I, I was trying to do a lot of things all at once and for my first go it was too many things, but I never really learned to do those things near.
to the level that a lot of people have, and I've never quite crossed the gap between how they do it and how I. I can perform a mixdown. Yeah, I know the fundamentals.
**Morgan:** Okay. But, so let's take that, that phrase Yeah. Because I don't think people know what that is. What's
**Dave:** a mixdown? Okay. Yeah. So, so mixing, broadly speaking is the process of taking all of your recorded tracks.
So all of your different instrument sounds, all of your, think of a tape machine where you have, you know, three minutes of guitar, three minutes of drums, keys, whatever you have, you all the different component parts of the song are being played back the same time, and you are adjusting those so they sound good together.
I can do this at a basic level, but I can't do this at the level [00:10:00] that a lot of other people do it, cuz I just haven't put the time in so I can do good enough for myself. Yeah. I'm a hobbyist, right? Yeah. I can do good enough to have a lot of fun with it. Yeah. But when I'm trying to do something that felt a little more meaningful, it felt like a much taller ladder to climb.
And I don't think I ever really quite sorted that out. So I really should just hire somebody, . .
**Morgan:** Well, but you're a hobbyist .
**Dave:** Yes, exactly. And I, I was so determined to try to do this myself that I think that actually is where a lot of the time went. Yeah. So it's a little bit of perfectionism.
**Morgan:** Sure. So tell me about your process when you're like, you know what, I'm going to.
make a track. What do you start with? Do you start with an idea of a, a groove or a melody or, or what? Where do you
**Dave:** start? So, I like to start with whatever thing has captured my attention. And 90% of the time that is some sort of groove feel. So I really like the sound of like instrumental hip hop, so down tempo, rhythmic.
like sort of hip hop [00:11:00] adjacent beats, but not with the connotation of what a lot of people think of as a beat. But, so I'm, I'm listening to the, the interplay between the different instruments, how your body moves when you listen to it, the sense of swing, how some of the sounds might be delayed very slightly that makes it feel like it, you know, does it bounce forward or does it slide forward, or does it go 1, 2, 3, 4, and pace everything really cleanly?
When I hear a song that does something like that really well, I often will try to emulate it. Maybe one in 10 times I'll succeed in a way where I go, okay, there's something there. And that's usually where I start.
**Morgan:** Cool. So you start with the groove. Generally that's what I took out of that .
**Dave:** Yeah. Not, not always, but that's the basic, that's the basic flow.
**Morgan:** what, like, like I have, I have very mildly played in some of these softwares. It is completely overwhelming the amount of options you have, like it is to me. I, I, I really, I have, I've played around and I shut down because there's too much, like how in the [00:12:00] world do you figure out, even once you've got that basic groove, like.
you could do so many things with it once it's there.
**Dave:** Yeah. The decision paralysis. Yeah. Oh yeah. And 90% of the time I just get that and quit . The other 10% of the time I start with, well, let's take the default piano sound and let's just use that. Cuz now I don't have to make the decision. I can just play And well, , half the time the default piano sound is what's in the song.
By the time I decide it's done Sure. Because, you know, cuz that's what I wrote too. Yeah. So yeah, no, if there's nothing, if there's nothing in mind to choose Sure. Just take what's in front of you. Yeah. But I like to try to comp chords after that. Yeah.
**Morgan:** Okay. So basic, some basic chords. We've got a groove, we've got some cords on top.
Talk about fine tuning, like effects you mentioned. Juicy little, juicy little things you can do to a piano. Sound like, give some examples. What are some things you can do to a piano? Sound okay.
**Dave:** So piano is actually a fantastic instrument because despite being the default sound [00:13:00] in what I, when I think of a, you know, a keyboard with a lot of sounds on it, I think of the piano as sort of the basic sound, but it's not basic at all.
There's tons of sound happening. When you play a piano chord, there's like two or three different strings vibrating. I think they don't start at the same pitch that they. For just a second, they're out of tune. So if you have like take an echo effect, for example, if you echo a piano chord, hit playing staccato, you're gonna get staccato means very, very short.
Yeah. So quick little nk if you echo that, you're gonna get, but if you play a longer chord underneath that, like a don kind of thing, but you're echoing just the first part of it. You have the percuss. Rhythmic part of it that gets echoed that isn't necessarily in tune, and you have the sustained piano sound that sounds like this warm bed of piano chord, right?
If you take that effect and you separate it out from the sound [00:14:00] itself, you have this, you have two different like flavors, and you can, where am I going? This? You can emphasize one, you can emphasize the other. You can. , if you like. Let's, let's say you take the echo and you make it last for a really long time, you can make that feel like a rhythmic element itself because of the, the pattern when it's repeating
**Morgan:** of the percussion.
Are you talking of the wave as it goes forward? Or is it of the percussive, the loop of the percussive. Don .
**Dave:** Sorry. I kind of got in the woods there thinking about all the things you can do with the piano . I was thinking if you, so you can take the piano and make the piano the focus of your sound with the echo as an accent.
Yeah. As an effect. Like a little bit of flavor. Or you can make the echo and make that the core of your sound with the basic piano feel as the effect on top of it. And those are two very different feels. How crazy is
**Morgan:** that, that the, the like standard sound of an instrument is, can be the background effect.
**Dave:** I just think it's a great sound because you. , a lot of different effects are going to be useful based on the sounds going into them, and there's [00:15:00] a lot of sound to work with there. So kind of pick your favorite effect. A piano can do something with it, I feel like. Yeah, it's really
**Morgan:** funny cuz I'm, I'm a classically trained piano player and I can tell the difference in pianos, like if I play.
A, a 12 foot grand piano. It feels different from a six foot, it feels different from an upright, it feels different. You know, there's all these different kinds of pianos. And then within uprights, you know, you have a whole range. Like there's the kind of honkytonky, old timey ones with a ton of resonance.
So I, I have some degree of understanding the differences in different types of pianos, whereas if. Play piano, haven't been around them, haven't experienced, you know, playing, for example, a 12 foot grand piano. It really does sound and feel different, but it's funny to hear, like you're almost explaining on a like physical, like a physics level, , what's going on.
And [00:16:00] again, audio engineering general. Is just wild to me how you take these things. Like I take that so much for granted. I know what sound I'm gonna want. And I know like what piano I would wanna play for any particular sound. So like if I'm playing something like Brahms or show Pan, I'm gonna wanna play on a 12 foot or a six foot, you know, baby grand or a, or a grand, full grand.
Probably a full grand if I have a choice about it. But if I'm playing, you know, I'm working on this. Piece from a video game that's kind of a moral of a honky tonk type. It's not honky tonk, but it's like old timey. Like, like you're in the old west. There's a, there's a saloon. , okay. And it's got a piano, right?
Yeah. I would want for that to play that on an upright with, with more of that resonance. So, you know, when you choose a sound, when you choose a, a type of piano, I mean, there's so many just of the pianos, right? , like all of those that I listed are usually [00:17:00] in a program along with many others, and they don't, I don't know if they probably don't label them like 12 foot grand, but they, you know, they may label them in other ways.
It's crazy. I've seen some of the lists in Ableton of the different types, the different sounds of a pianos that you can choose from. There's so many , it's crazy to to picture. Because what I'm listening for and what you're listening for, on the one hand, they may be very similar, but on the other hand, they may be totally different depending on what you're doing with your project.
I don't know if any of that made any sense at
**Dave:** all. Actually, no. This is really interesting to me because coming at it from a hobby angle, and coming at it from a, you know, not having a background in piano angle, I feel often that I'm learning these things sort of from the outside in, and everything you just said now sounded that made sense, but I wouldn't have guessed any of that.
Like, oh yeah, there are different kinds of pianos, huh? I don't know what any of those are. Like, I go through the list. I only have a few of them available to me, but I, I don't know. I pick one at random. Yeah. I don't really know what those, what those sounds are. I sort of discover them. [00:18:00] and I'm saying, oh yeah, you're right.
You probably wouldn't want a grand piano in a western setting because you're right. I'm, when I think of that, I don't think of a grand piano. I think of a small upright with, you know,
**Morgan:** this sort of, well, it's about where the resonance happens. Right? Okay. So in a, in a grand piano, when those sounds, the sounds that I'm aware of in programs like, like Ableton, that, that our grand piano, when they, when I hear.
It's not just the piano, but it's the hall. Right? Right. They don't do the piano in like a tiny practice room, cuz trust me, I know what that sounds like. , she's like cement, cinder block, echo chambers. You've got, you know, typically a six foot in there. There, there are some with 12 foot foot, typically a six foot.
Piano in there, like they, they echo a very particular way. But then most, a lot of the ones, like there's a concert hall, it's the sound of the hall. And I can tell that resonance, I guess, versus the more honkytonk or the, the more oldtimey piano, upright [00:19:00] piano sound is your, it's resonating in the box, you know, and it's kind of a, the soundboard is.
Not anything to speak of and there's just a lot of, a lot of echoing happening. I'm sure many other people could explain it better, but it's, when I listen to those sounds, it's the environment as much as the actual hammer hitting the strings.
**Dave:** No, you're right. And that's, I'm thinking through this. That's something I think Ableton as a company does very well with their both their stock sounds and their you know, their larger library you can subscribe to is they, they strike this balance between recording a real instrument in a real space.
So it sounds natural, but not marrying the recording to that space so much that you can't put your own touch on it. Right, right. So they, there are a variety of effects and the technology for this that, so. This technology is called con. . It's worth googling if you're into reverbs and effects, but what a, what convolution in an audio context lets you do is make a staggeringly realistic simulation of a [00:20:00] space.
Yeah. So you can take this piano that doesn't have that much room sound in it, and you can put it in one of these really realistic concert hall spaces, but it's still a grand piano. Right in this simulated space. Whereas if you took a honky talk piano or you know, some sort of like saloon piano and you put it in the concert hall, it's gonna sound very different.
And I wonder how much of some of the preset sounds is actually using that effect versus using, versus having it being baked into the recording when they actually recorded the individual samples. Cuz I believe, right, I believe that specific piano that they have is actually like a micd physical piano.
Yeah. Yeah. . I'm trying to think back. I actually forget which presets or which. It's
**Morgan:** nuts. They, they went through and, I mean, let's not even get into like drums. . , yeah. They literally just hit every drum in existence in every way that you possibly
**Dave:** can. . I have so much respect for people who record sample libraries.
Oh my goodness. Oh my
**Morgan:** God. It must have taken decades. It
**Dave:** seems like it would take [00:21:00] forever to be so consistent.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Oh man. Okay, so. So we've got a groove, we've got some chords. We've made some decisions about what we're doing with, at least with the piano . Yeah. What's your next step? What do you, what do you do
Well so this is the easiest one to describe. Who knows? . Okay. So, something I really like about this kind of modern software is there are a lot of different ways to work with it. Some people like to arrange things left to right or top to bottom. If you're in a tracker on a timeline and. Then you go through and you think about what you want to have happen when, like maybe you start at the beginning of your song and you write an introduction, and then you have like a main, let's say you're doing a song, a form where you have an intro and a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, like a breakdown and another passthrough, or there's a variety of different forms, but they go left to right, start to ba, start to end.
You can do. Or you can start in the middle which is usually what I end up doing at some level is, is building up a theme that makes sense together. And you go, okay, how are we gonna introduce that? And then you [00:22:00] can drag it around on the timeline because it's all software. Write your intro, maybe you change it a few times and eventually you get it working nicely with your idea and then you.
Move into the next part or, and this is the most fun, but sometimes it's tricky to actually pull off. You can actually play the whole thing live looping over itself, and you can keep experimenting one idea after the next and putting all those ideas down. And when you find one you'd like, then you arrange it in time.
That's the one I like doing the most. But
**Morgan:** do you keep those separate or do you put them all in the same song? Because I feel like you could reuse those . Do you have a library of libraries like or a library of weird shit you've made ?
**Dave:** Yes. I don't organize it. So some, some people absolutely do this. They organize the ideas in an actual library of loops and then they can draw from that loop later.
Variety of loops. There we go. And there are a variety of techniques for doing this. They're all great. I don't have the discipline for. So what I do is my category in my head of where my id, my different [00:23:00] ideas are is just in the project files where they were created, because I have a basic chronology of that in my head because I was there making all of them.
And that has worked better for me than any library management system I've ever tried. .
**Morgan:** So why isn't your published?
**Dave:** Well, the simplest answer to that is because as they say, life happened and a whole lot of life happened around the time I was hoping to get it done. Do you want to finish it? I do want to finish.
They're supposed to be. Two more albums after it
**Morgan:** that are sketched out. Well, yeah. So I think you, you told me one time, it's a concept album, right? It's a
**Dave:** storytelling concept album. Yeah. There's an idea behind it. There's a philosophical angle, there's a question that's raised and there's a polemic about answering it, that sort
**Morgan:** of thing.
And it's, are you George r r Martin in this. I am not .
**Dave:** George r r Martin is a discovery writer. He will put his characters in situations and see what they do. I have a book full of sketches of diagrams and forms, and three by five cards that I've arranged on a table to figure out what should happen when, [00:24:00] and that's.
Much more how I roll. That's more like
**Morgan:** Toki, Andes , I guess
**Dave:** So, yeah. I think he was super detailed. I really like the idea of the form of something like the way it is presented, being part of the delivery of the message. Yeah. And part of the idea behind this is that somebody introduced me to a storytelling form.
That I thought fit the idea very well and I wanted to try to execute that, but it requires doing a bunch of homework to figure out, you know? Yeah. Which song should happen when? Who are your influences? Gosh, off the top of my head, the most obvious influence is future crew. The demo scene group? Yeah.
Because they were really, are you still around? They are not as a group, no. So one of the musicians runs a music service. I know he was doing production. He did a whole lot of different. and I forget what he's up to these days. The other one did a lot of contract music for games for a while, and I believe he worked on Max Payne and Alan Wake as a graphics artist.
Cool. I need to double check [00:25:00] that, but I don't think, oh, they're great. , the first fellow purple motion actually did put out a single, relatively. Which reminded me a lot of his old work, which was a delight. Nice. So he's still around, weirdly enough. One of the other major influences I cite is this metal band called Machine Supremacy.
Okay. Which is a sort of cyberpunk It's a very storytelling focused kind of band, but all the songs are energetic and fun and full of these, you know, video game influences and such. But I found out later that half the stories they were telling were from, you know, books and comics and such, and there is an overarching narrative across everything they're doing.
And this just absolutely clicked with my brain. Sure. Nice. But a lot of the songs are, Self-empowerment kinds of things. Like, you know, the world is a mess, but you and your friends can, you know, can pull this off. And that was a message I really needed to hear when I was first listening to them, and that has stuck around.
**Morgan:** Nice. You mentioned hip hop influence earlier. Is that kind of the genre that you go for when you make music?
**Dave:** Nowadays, that's what I aim for. Yeah. So the major influences [00:26:00] there are, and nobody into this kind of music is gonna be surprised by this, but Portishead, massive attack, all of the, the so-called trip hop artists.
And I know, I know if anyone's listening, how much the people involved don't like that term to describe the music. But if you put that into Google, can you explain
**Morgan:** for those of us who don't know? Yeah.
**Dave:** Okay. Massive attack in Porters head came out of the Bristol music scene in the 90. , which was an intersection of a lot of different things, but noteworthy from my perspective, were hip hop and Jamaican dub music, and they brought a lot of influences from both of those.
Well, these artists were so popular. at the time in those circles that they influenced a ton of other music I was listening to and I didn't figure out until 10 years later that the influences were all coming back to these people. Sure. Other artists in that style, like DJ Shadow was an American artist around the same time, his first album introducing, which again, no surprise if you're into this kind of style, I, I'm a, gosh, I've probably.
I don't know how many times I've [00:27:00] listened to that album, but it's, it's a series, it's a collage, for lack of a better word of samples off of other records that are arranged together to make a new emotion out of the old things that were there. Sure. And it's all groove and beats and samples and this kind of thing of existing work.
Yeah. His first album is almost entirely pre-recorded samples off of other records. There's a few, a few so that he recorded. So that's,
**Morgan:** I'm familiar with that being dj. So in the DJ world, I know that they, they take bits off of other albums, combine them in glorious and super creative and masterful ways to make something new.
Is, do you do that as well or, cuz it sounded like you were creating completely from
**Dave:** scratch. I tend to create a lot more from scratch, which started because I didn't wanna be encumbered with the legality of sampling. Yeah. And ended because I wanted to understand how everything works. Sure. So I do use the odd sample here and there.
Okay. And I've, every once in a while you'll find a vocal sample. This is a favorite angle on this. A lot of groove. A lot of what I like about Groove mimics how people. Yeah, so [00:28:00] if you have a phrase in mind and you say the phrase out loud, like even that sentence right there, say the phrase out loud.
There's like four defined points in that that are stresses. Yeah. And everything else in between that leads up to those, right? You can build a combination of a sample, some chords and drums. That mimics how you would say that and you can have the song mimic how you would speak a sentence and when you would take a breath, that sort of thing.
That's so cool. , I that's, that's what I think is so cool about it is trying to find these things and then when I go listen to a lot of music, I like, I realize they're already doing this. Yeah. Like this is what I think DJ Shadow does really well. A bunch of smaller artists that I will absolutely love to shout out, given half an opportunity, foremost among them the new.
Which is an American down tempo, hiphop duo, and cognitive, who is a French solo artist. These two just absolutely have nailed this feel for me, so I draw a lot from, from them as well.
**Morgan:** So what's next? What are you doing right now? Are you making music? .
**Dave:** I would like to be making a lot more music right now. Why wouldn't we all ? [00:29:00] Boy, it's true. The, I think the reality for a lot of people, and this is certainly true for me as much as I hate to admit it, is that there's just a lot going on.
Yeah. Everybody I've talked to, they have, you know, everybody's got a lot going on either at their day job or in the evenings or what have you. There's just a lot happening and I feel like it makes it very difficult to set time aside for creative works, especially. Not so much when you don't have time, but when you're tired.
Yeah, and I think a lot of people are struggling with this right now. Certainly a lot of people I talk to, and I absolutely am. So what's happening a lot for me is I am playing with music, but I'm not necessarily playing music and I'm not necessarily making music.
**Morgan:** Can you describe, I've, I've seen your setup, but can you describe Yeah.
So far everything we've talked about has been you with a computer. Okay. Yeah. But you have more . But wait, there's more. You have a whole room. Can you describe your, your setup,
**Dave:** your room? So if you hang out on Craigslist for like [00:30:00] 20 years and you hang out and wait for people to get rid of really interesting things that they don't want anymore, but you do.
For a song. That's what my room looks like. I like to collect small little pieces of interesting music here that do one thing or another. Most of these things are either synthesizers, they produce a sound via from some, some input in one interesting way or another. Most of these are keyboards. You know, you play a key and it makes a sound, and there's a whole bunch of different kinds of ways those sounds are made and each of.
categories has, you know, five or six different flavors within them that are of interest for different reasons. You know, maybe an artist used one or another, or maybe you just really like how one of them works. And so you sort of chase those down. And I, I've collected several of those. And then a lot of them are what are called MIDI controllers.
Yeah. And what these are some, MIDI is analogous to track your music. Like we were talking about, it's a control language for musical applications. So I've joked that it's sort of like digital sheet music, but what it really [00:31:00] is, is a series of instructions. Play this note now or take this knob and set it to this position now.
And it's not really like a sheet where you see it all at once. It's a series of little individual updates. So if you send that out to a machine, you can combine the pre-programmed instructions from a computer with your own instructions coming from you playing a keyboard or something like that. And there are a bunch of really interesting and creative ways to generate this.
**Morgan:** Yeah, let's talk about some of those. Okay. Because when I think midi, I think frankly what the first thing that comes to mind is in college when we had to , like transcribe or, or create an A in Sebelius or some of these other programs. Yeah. When it would generate, so you'd like write something up and then it would generate this horrible mid naming.
It's like a super whiny, annoying, buzzy sound. So when you say midy, it does not. Like bring a positive connotation to my head, as far as something that's gonna actually sound good. So can you [00:32:00] give an example of something you would do and what it would sound like?
**Dave:** Sure. Okay. Yeah. So when a lot of people think mid, they think cheesy sounds and especially cheesy sounds from the nineties.
Yes. And the reason why is a lot of computers had a mid or a mid synthesizer built in that when it received a mid. Message to play notes or whatever, it would just use whatever the indicated fake instrument was. Yeah. But there's nothing about MIDI that tells you what instrument it has to be. So what I like to do, for example, is on my computer, I will set up a synthesizer.
That plays, since people will know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about detune saws, but it sounds like, or whatever, it's like, like a series of V consonants, except for really good sounding. Instead of me yelling into a mic , and every time I play a key, it's gonna play that. And if you put this through a nice reverberation chamber, and you, you choose your vs.
Correctly. It sounds like the soundtrack to Blade Runner. And [00:33:00] I'll play one key after another, just adding notes to a chord. And this large swell of synthesized sound will come out of it. It's all, the sound is all coming from the computer, but the notes are all coming from me playing the keyboard. Well, there's several other things you can play besides a keyboard that will generate those.
So one of these that I, I, I think is just the most fun is a. Of little buttons. So e I've seen
**Morgan:** those. I've they've been a mystery to me. I have no idea. , we had one at my school and I still didn't know what it
**Dave:** did. . Oh yeah. So I mean, a grid full of buttons can do anything. Yeah. But the one I'm thinking of, a lot of people use these to play drums.
Like you've seen people play finger drums. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Same idea. Except when you say, except each little. Square in this grid codes for a single note in a scale, and you can arrange it however you do. What almost everybody does, including me, is you arrange it like a guitar where each row is like a string and each square you go up in the grid is the equivalent of going at one fret on the guitar and on the [00:34:00] next row up it's the same notes except offset by five positions just like on a guitar where the frets are offset by by five.
Cuz each. Each string is a fourth up, right? So all of the chords you learn on guitar also work on the grid full of buttons. If you can, you know, sort of do this translation in your head about what the, how this work. But the thing about the grid full of
**Morgan:** buttons, I will say it hurts my brain a little bit, but I think I'm following you.
I really do think I'm following
**Dave:** you. Yeah, . The, the point is, if, if, if you play like an e miner, a standard open e miner on a guitar, it's like, or, or say you're playing the bar chord version of this, it's gonna be any note you want on the lowest string. And then you go up to frets and over one string and you play that.
And then you go up one more string and you play that same note. Yeah, so it's like note over two up one and then up one more. And you can do the same thing on the grid. You can play any note, then you can go up a row and over two buttons and then up one more button. It's the same chord. The thing about the electronic pat full of buttons though, is that after you press it, it's tracking what your finger is doing, which means, oh, if you have a synthetic [00:35:00] sound that's playing, you can have it respond to that.
You could have it swell when you press down harder, or in some cases they'll track your finger like wiggling left, right up. Man,
**Morgan:** it's like, it's like a button plus a thein . That's absolutely
**Dave:** what it sounds like if you dial it in. Yeah. . And actually on, on one of these devices, the challenge I have found is to make it sound not like a thein , because it makes that little bendy, you know, if you slide, slide around to different
Oh yeah. How would you actually like. Because if you, at least for me, I have small hands, so playing guitar is very difficult for me. My finger moves all kind. Like if I go to change the chord, especially my finger moves all kinds of around. So you don't probably have to adjust the settings to I don't know.
What do you, how do you do that? Do you just say like, don't be so sensitive, .
**Dave:** Yeah. So, so two ways you can do it. One is to pick the range. That sounds good. And you only let it move within that little range. So you have a lot of freedom to do it, you know, sort of approximately. Yeah. And it'll sound some kind of good and like highly recommend it.
This is a great approach, , but sometimes you want a wide expressive range. Yeah. [00:36:00] Yeah. And you have to train yourself to do these tiny little movements just like you do on a lot of other instruments. And there's a place for that too.
**Morgan:** Totally. Oh, that's cool. That is super, super cool. Okay, so you've got the, the pad of buttons or a keyboard.
And when you say keyboard, you mean like a piano keyboard or a keytar keyboard? Not a, not a computer keyboard. . Correct. Just you can do it. Just keeping all of this, trying to keep it clear. in my head. I
**Dave:** did mean a piano style keyboard, but you absolutely can play a computer keyboard. Oh yeah. Yeah. ,
**Morgan:** but your room is full of piano
Yes. It's starting to get taken over with little grids, but .
**Morgan:** So can you reprogram these pads of buttons to, to do whatever you want? Or do you, because you have several, you collect them, which tells me that they do different things.
**Dave:** Yeah, they do. So I have, I have three three that I use regularly and each one is focused on something a little bit different.
So one of them is for people who are listening, the Ableton Push Controller. The reason this one is interesting is that it's laid out like a drum machine or it's, it's [00:37:00] designed to respond well as a drum machine works great for keys and such, but it's very married to Ableton Live and a lot of the interface features in the software are mirrored on the device itself.
And this turns out to be really useful in a bunch of ways. , but that's like hot keys. Yeah, like really interesting. Hot keys. Hot keys on steroids, sorta. And one of the things you can do with it is you can play on another keyboard and use this to sort of like say you've prepared a series of loops. and you're looping against yourself because you've just written the middle of a song and you want to control how that plays back to try out different ideas.
You can have this thing control the loop playback with the buttons and knobs and such while you try to play piano chords on a piano keyboard next to it.
**Morgan:** Okay, this, my brain just went in a completely different direction. Do you think that this type of thing will be. where AI music, which is coming, it's not here yet.
**Dave:** [00:38:00] I don't
**Morgan:** think so. Where you don't have to be doing all of this nonsense with the button pad. It just, you just say, okay, I wanna hear it with this sound. Play it back with this sound, play it back with the sound, play it with this, this, this, this. Play it for me 12 different ways with these different things.
**Dave:** Oh, that's a whole separate conversation. I know, right? And an interesting conversation. I'm gonna go with no. For a couple of reasons. So a ai, broadly speaking, AI is, somebody described it as the world's most elaborate, auto complete Yeah. It's not really thinking of things for you, it is guessing what you want next based off of past data.
No, you're, you
**Morgan:** give it the thi you give it the input. Yeah. And you say, I wanna hear this, but. These different options get rewrite this with these different options or replay this with these different small
**Dave:** changes. I think you're either gonna see one of two things. You're either gonna see AI is too much work to implement into the existing workflow.
The existing tools work too [00:39:00] well. AI is super imprecise. Or you're going to see the ai. Does the whole thing start to. And you don't need these tools at all. So you don't need an AI tool to help you navigate your software like say Ableton Live because your existing tools are fine. You're probably not even gonna be using Ableton Live.
You're gonna be using the AI software on its own. Yeah, I think that's,
**Morgan:** someone likened it one time to computer. From the enterprise, right? Okay. So you would say, computer write me this, and you would lay out all the parameters. You fill in the you know, there's no, you still have inputs and you still are the creative mastery over the
**Dave:** whole thing.
So I, I think that's exactly the way. I imagine it going is so be replacing Ableton almost. So it's not help me use Ableton Live, right? It's right. Why don't you generate these parts that I will use later in Ableton Live. So like, and, and I believe, I believe I've seen some implementations of this. You play a theme and it will come up with a rhythm and [00:40:00] harmony.
to match that. I want to say I've seen somebody do something like that with varying degrees of success, but I could see that being one model that works very well. So then so you take the output of that and plug it into your software, right. As opposed to Right. You know, having AI make the software easier.
But the other thing that I think we're gonna see a lot of AI, machine learning stuff that do very well is. , take this existing recording and give me an approximation of what's inside it. Yeah. So like, for example, isolating the drum tracks or isolating the vocals for karaoke. Right? Like, like the holy grail of why can't my computer do this?
Everyone thinks it should be easy, right? . And it turns out it's not very easy for a bunch of reasons. Yeah. But you can fake it. Yeah. And you can probably fake it with an AI model. Good enough for most people's purposes. Like if I hire a really nice instrument, or actually, let's take this the other way around, if I hum myself.
Singing [00:41:00] a song that I think is catchy and I tell it to make up a drum sound based off what I am beatboxing. Okay. I
**Morgan:** would have so much fun
**Dave:** with that . Okay. Well, there is a tool right now that will take an existing audio recording and attempt to generate the component parts of it. So you feed it a song and it will attempt to isolate the kick drum, snare, drum, high hats.
I think a couple of the instrument sounds, shoot, I forget which company this is. , like I signed up for a free trial of this and never used it. , . I remember seeing them at a trade show and I thought it was really cool, but what I was thinking was, rather than trying to take apart other people's music, what if I just, you know, sang into this thing Yes.
And told it to generate drums off of my voice. Well, now I'd have some really interesting abstract noise to play with. Would sound rhythmic at some level. Sure. Put it into a drum sampler. Let's sequence this. Let's go. Right. But it would not sound like any existing drum kit that ever existed or should exist.
Right. , because I'm a terrible vocalist. . One thing that I think will always be [00:42:00] true in this kind of arena is whatever tools are out there, artists will make something clever out of them. Absolutely, yes. I would use it for generating sounds to work with for sure. I, I have many opinions on. using it to quote, generate art.
The point of a lot of art for me is that people thought it would be worth making. Yeah. And it's never going to replace that cuz it's not people. It's interesting. For sure.
**Morgan:** So first of all, let's just be clear, this is the mirror test for people. I saw an article. Okay. Like, you know, like the, you know, the mirror test is, I don't know.
In biology when scientists are trying to study how self-aware an animal is, they'll give them a mirror and see if they're eventually able to recognize themselves. Okay. That's what this is. It is not a new being. It is not a sentient anything. It is just a mirror. Of what we have created and put in a place where it can scrape it.
I think there's possibility for, for a new form of art to emerge, [00:43:00] which is
**Dave:** inputs. Yeah. Something that I've, I've noticed, like obviously, you know, as is the custom these days, I'll get in arguments with friends about, you know, ai, is it good, is it bad? Like, is it annoying? Is it awesome? You know? Yeah, yeah. Which is great fun, but something that I think is not talked about enough is there is absolutely a.
to figuring out the inputs. Yes. And some people are really good at sorting that out. Yes, yes, yes. And whatever opinions we have on how the tool works, like the fact is that some people are really clever at it. Exactly. And people do things that I
**Morgan:** wouldn't discuss and that's where I think the art is gonna happen.
**Dave:** Yeah. I think there is an angle on it that does cloud a lot of discussions where in a, you know, making money, there exists a market sense. There are a lot of angles where it is going to. A revenue stream for people. Yeah, possibly. And we're saying that with visual art quite a bit like the headings on long form articles written by established publications.
You used to always see some artist's abstract art there. A lot of those are being generated by machine learning models. [00:44:00] Now at. Near zero cost to anybody. Yeah. Which, so that whole market is sort of drying up and people can talk about whether it's replacing art or not. And I don't think anybody thinks it's actually replacing art as an art form, but here in this market, it's very clear that that market's dried up.
Yeah. And other markets probably will, and it remains to me seen what's gonna happen with that. But irrespective of those ankles, I'm interested to see what people come up with. Yeah. Well,
**Morgan:** and especially in what you do, that's what's so interesting to me. Because I feel like of all of the many, many types of musicians that are out there in the world, people who do what you do are the closest to understanding the potential of it and, and giving it a chance and playing with it.
**Dave:** kind of an analogous angle, I think to this would be seeing a DJ perform. Yeah. You are seeing a person. Yes. You might be seeing one of two things on kind of opposite end of the spectrum. You might be seeing a person coming up with something, using records as a source material. Yes. That is a capital P performance.
Yes. You might also be seeing somebody who's off in the shadows and they're just playing [00:45:00] the right records that people want to hear. . Mm-hmm. . And then you might be seeing something at like a festival, like a headliner where the entire set that they're playing back is pre-recorded. Yes. They're not even actually playing it live.
They're just up there like having a great time. Like the equipment's not even plucked in. Yes. And like thousands of people are having a blast, right? Yes. And people get very like, well, they're not even doing anything. Yes. But people are having a great time with it. Yes. But hearing the band, like if it's, if it's band music, hearing the band play the same song that you might hear a DJ play is interesting for its own reasons, right?
Because I want to hear, or I wanna see the people doing this and making it happen. So if you have like a machine coming up with the music, that actually slots perfectly well into some contexts for me. Totally. If I'm, if I just wanna hear background music and I'm not interested in the, like I'm not here to see a show.
Like, okay, that's cool. That's interesting that it came up that way. Kind of a running joke that half of the EDM scene is worried that it will be too interchangeable. That's not, that's not meant to be too much of a [00:46:00] burn. I actually really like a lot of edm. But there are some artists whose performances are not that far off of that.
It's like them on their computer. Playing back Exactly. Loops that they have written. Yeah. And there's like one other artist on stage. I've seen those shows and I actually really enjoyed those.
**Morgan:** I have a great, yeah. I've really
**Dave:** enjoyed, I'm excited about the fact that they made the record. Yeah. And that's what clicks for me.
Yeah. And so I don't think you're gonna have that with machine generated music, but you could have somebody who took machine generated music and made it into something. I'm excited. and I do wanna see them. Yeah,
**Morgan:** yeah, yeah. That's kind. I absolutely see that. There's so many directions this
**Dave:** could go . Oh yeah, no, the, these are actually interesting conversations.
Cause I don't think anyone knows where this is gonna go. You can guess.
**Morgan:** Yeah. But yeah, and for me it's, I always look back at, at history, so Zeitgeist Academy came from a class I was in in college where we were learning, in this particular class, we were learning about opera. And that was the first time I'd heard the word zeitgeist.
And because it was the, the zeitgeist, I, I got all fi fired up. I got excited about opera, but it was kind of [00:47:00] coming off of. Series of, I mean, when you study music history or any history for that matter, it's this flow of like creativity. Like one generation rises creatively and then they're not, they're still going and the next generation is rising creatively with something else.
And every single generat. Since any kind of human technology exists is kids these days. And you old farts. Yeah. Right. And eventually you start learning. You study this in class after class, after class, after class, and not like, I got so excited about opera. And then the next class they're like, yeah, opera was old news.
It was only this. Fartsy farts. You guys going to opera ? You know, this was what was really cool. You hear that so many times that you kind of start to burn out when you hear boomers going goods these days and millennials going, you old farts. You're like, you know, get over it
**Dave:** already. . Hey, millennials aren't getting any younger
**Morgan:** This isn't new this, this is not, this happens. , [00:48:00] every single generation. And so I guess maybe now I'm just at an age where I'm, I'm kind of in the middle looking ahead and I'm like, this is a technology that the next generation will be comfortable with as canon or will start to create canon. Like there will be, there are artists working right now who will be in this medium.
**Dave:** Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
**Morgan:** Technology just, just bulldozes along, man. It's . It's gonna leave you behind. Well, so
**Dave:** you make a good point that you. Conclude, good or bad, it is going to be there. And yeah. You know there, there is the conflating thing that, again, talking about money and markets and a lot of people's livelihoods, a lot of people, let's say in the recording industry would love to not pay their artists, not paying artists in the record industry is like the oldest, it's very common.
You know, the oldest story there, right? Yeah. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would love to replace artists if they could. . I don't think that's what we're talking about here.
**Morgan:** Some artists will lose their livelihood, but other artists will gain a livelihood that they didn't [00:49:00] have
**Dave:** before. Yeah. So, so I guess where I'm going with that is like, I'm thinking of a couple of friends I know who are vehemently like anti ai and it's for these reasons and I absolutely agree with them for those reasons, but I think we're talking more about from a, you know, creative tools perspective.
Yeah. Where they're not gonna go away and somebody's gonna do something interesting. Yeah. Part of the reason I enjoy this kind. Discussion is, I think the most interesting framing of it is why do you do what you do? Yes. Because this is doing that science fiction thing where you take away one of those angles, like I'll say, well, what if you didn't have that?
Now? Why do you do what you do? And you know, okay, well what's the, eventually at some point someone goes, well, what's the point of making art? At all. Right. Great question. an excellent question that no, very few people have ever been able to summarize. Oh, no. Succinctly in a
**Morgan:** universal way. Oh, excuse me. We studied that question too.
Yeah. And that question, the answer to that question has the same ebbs and flows. It follows the zeitgeist. Art, poor art. Yeah. Art for art's sake. Okay. Versus. [00:50:00] The observer is integral. Sure. It rolls along between those two generation after generation after gen. No, the art is for the purity of the art. No, the art has to keep in mind who it's for and who's making it.
That is part of the art. No, the art is for the, you know, and again, it can go in these cycles over and over and over again. I,
**Dave:** I always joke when AI art enters a conversation because one of the things art is AI art is very good at doing. Giving people who really want to post things. Yeah. Ample ammunition to do this at With minimal, minimal effort.
Yes. And so what you do is you see a lot of art communities who, who have rules being like, don't be, it's not that it's bad, it's that the flood of it is unsustainable for us as a community. Yeah. Because the half the community who doesn't wanna see it at all is going to leave. And so you have this weird like social devices issue, right?
If I, an artist wants to post work that I have made, there are receptive communities to that. Yeah. If I, an artist who is [00:51:00] using AI as a medium wants to post art that I've made, I can flood an art community in seconds. with stuff that I personally have made and I'm one of thousands of people. Sure. And there are a lot of people Sure.
Who are very interested in the social capital of being seen. Yes. And having watched this pattern happen a couple of times, what I've seen a couple of people do is after they do that, so they do that for a while and then assuming they're still in. The community afterwards, they'll find things to do with this that are increasingly clever.
Yeah. So like I, I had a friend of mine who used to post, you know, we, we hang out in a chat room together and we, we had this chat room that was just art by this guy, like all day. And I was kinda like, man, , this is cool, but like, don't you have a day job? ? No, it teases. But what started to happen is he started, he started using it for increasingly weird things and pretty soon he was generating.
Stock art for himself to make into collages and song lyrics and stuff, and projects started to spawn off of this that had nothing to do with the AI tools other than they were the prompt. [00:52:00] Yes. It's what I think. Exactly. And it was, it was this great springboard towards like the sort of thing that like people who were against AI in these conversations were actually saying we should do more of.
Yeah. This is a, this is a philosophical point. I don't know if I wanted to make an album that I wanted to put out and like have pressed to CDs or vinyl or whatever, plastic Frisbee is the, the favorite format of the day, and I wanted to get that in record stores. I wanted to establish myself as a professional musician.
I'm gonna hire. Yes, but I don't do that because those aren't my goals. Right? My goals are to more like participate in this larger cultural conversation. Well, there's no quality barrier to that, right? And it's not that, I mean, I can get away with not being very good. I mean, it more like the point of doing it is not Polish, right?
Polish is like a tool towards the actual. So it's more
**Morgan:** your question of, you know, what is your art ? Yeah. What is art for you?
**Dave:** I used to, I used to play Keytar with a rock band and I was learning keys to join this band. Yeah. And one of the things you do when you're [00:53:00] learning is make a lot of really dumb mistakes.
And this offered me the opportunity to make a lot of really dumb mistakes in front of a lot of people. And. . There was a time when I made a mistake that I thought was so bad that the, I think my quote was, I would've thrown me out of the band. And, you know, nobody cared. Yeah. And why, why didn't anyone care?
Well, it turns out nobody was there to hear precise keyboard playing. Everybody was there to have a great time with a rock band. Right. Which is what they had, right. . And so like four or five people noticed two of them were in the band . Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was it. And it turns out you don't have to be a professional level keyboard player to play with a rock band where everyone's there to have fun,
**Morgan:** And this is, honestly, that's one of the key reasons I founded this whole project in the first place, is I. Love amateur musicians. I love them. I love them. I love them. And the reason is I've been very fortunate to be in, in many situations, even though I do have this musical background, I've been in situations where, you know, a group of complete amateurs got together and had the time of their [00:54:00] lives.
Putting on some show or another and you know, you'd get up on stage and they were all just terrified, but then they did it and, and you know, really put their all into it and just that rush on their faces, you know, and that, oh my God, are we performing? And you feel the feeling you get afterwards. Of knowing that you brought some joy to people and people clapped for you, ,
**Dave:** and just, just hearing you describe that like, I wanna be at that show.
I'm not like, yes, I love hearing like fantastic musicianship when the refinement of people who are very good at what they do, that's great, but what is inspiring to see is a bunch of people who are trying their absolute hardest to make something cool happen, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
**Morgan:** Okay, so Dave, there's this.
Phenomenon or this moment that I like to call a zeitgeist moment. So as I, I kind of explained earlier, zeitgeist means spirit of the times, right? All right. It's the feeling of what it feels like to be alive and like part of a culture, part of a dynamic culture specifically. So a zeitgeist [00:55:00] moment is again related to music when you are.
Listening or experiencing music in some way, and it just clicks and it just, it feels alive For you, what was your most recent zeitgeist moment?
**Dave:** Oh gosh, so, all right. Spirit of the times, so, yeah. When was
**Morgan:** the last time that you were, like you were just listening to music or experiencing music? Somehow? and it sometimes it feels like being like overcome with something.
Sometimes it feels like, like you're participating in something, whatever it means to you.
**Dave:** So as this happened, you know, Lots in this interview, you'll ask a great question and I'm immediately flooded with like a thousand different things I could say, or what angle should I take or I don't know. And I'm once again going to pick the first one that comes to mind.
Yeah, please do. Just hope that it's germane to the point. So I don't know about the most recent one, but the, I I thought of this one. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that band [00:56:00] I mentioned earlier, machine supremacy. I've, I've often cited this as my favorite band at the time, and that's, that's a, that's a meaningful.
Label now. Yeah. So this was a few years ago, I flew out to a festival called Mag Fest to well this is a big, you know, video game music festival, and this band is very much in those circles. And this is actually the second time. , I had seen this band. I flew out to Mag Fest the first time for the record.
This is across the country for me. So I flew out the first time because it was the first time, then only time they were playing in North America. And so I and the other fans were just like, well, we've got to see this. So the first time. . I made a lot of friends and a lot of friends who are around these circles, and I have since become very close with many of these friends.
Actually attended one of their weddings recently. So great friends, great people and, and you know, a wonderful community around this music that we really love. So the second time we're seeing this band you know, they're playing a few new songs cuz they're not just playing the current things, they're playing the stuff for the people who are really there to see it.
So, [00:57:00] I've had kind of a rough week, and that rough week was after kind of a, a rough month, and I'm really glad, really glad to be here around, you know, all these people and around all this positivity, right? And so I've managed to get myself up close, close enough that we're close to the bass bins and the, the, the sound and music is actually, or the, the mix is actually not nearly as good as it is, you know, back out in the center of the crowd.
But we didn't care. We wanted to be up there and . So I am sitting there surrounded by all of these, you know, old and new friends. Everybody's extremely into what's happening and they play this really, really old song that I was into back well back when I, in the spreadsheet days. In the spreadsheet.
Actually, no, this is well after the spreadsheet days. This is in , this is what, so when I was in, in college, which is, we're talking, you know, mid two thousands or so and, and this song that they're playing, it's called Winter Storm, if anyone knows, it used to be my ringtone and, and in fact , it used to be my ringtone on this phone that I got signed by this band now that I mentioned, now that I think. , so, [00:58:00] so there we are. They're playing. They're playing Winter Storm, my old favorite. Everyone knows the words. I'm surrounded by all these people. The song is kind of a pop song. It has some of the sound effects from those old demo scene sounds I was talking about.
But at this core, it's a metal song. So they get to the guitar solo, they play the guitar solo, they do the breakdown, they play the second guitar solo. Everyone's going bananas, and I'm realizing who I'm sitting in this crowd with, and they crest up to. the line and the song that the entire arrangement builds up to, which is I'm where I belong.
Oh my gosh. And that's exactly how I felt.
**Morgan:** I'm getting chills. Yes, that is exactly, yes. Oh, what a
**Dave:** great answer. Thanks so much. That's, that's what came to mind.
**Morgan:** Well, I've also had a really wonderful time talking with you, , as
**Dave:** if I Thank you so much.
**Morgan:** Yeah, where can people find
**Dave:** you? Oh, well, so my website is warrior bob.com.
My, my screen name Warrior Bob that I've had since I was 12, shout out to everybody doing their professional or creative work under their [00:59:00] AOL Instant Messenger handle from 1998, and I'm most active on Twitter Warrior Bob. with a number at the end of it because of course it's taken . But yeah music is up on SoundCloud.
You can find it from both of those. I used to play with a band called The Coopers. You can find us on YouTube. We'll have to have you back to talk
**Morgan:** about that whole thing sometime, .
**Dave:** I'll be very happy to. We had a blast. Awesome.
**Morgan:** Well, Dave, thank you so much. Thank
**Dave:** you Morgan.