Another interview that I hadn’t been able to find time to get to until now. I’m so glad I found time to get this out to Mr. Ward. and even happier that he found time to respond back so quickly! Check out what David G. Ward had to say here:
TCB: Would you kindly give our viewers a short bio about yourself?
DAVID: I am not your average aspiring singer/songwriter. My 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are a fond memory. What is funny is I cut my teeth on Skynyrd, Zepplin, Floyd, etc… and now I lean towards Fogelberg, Taylor, and some under the radar artists like Tony Lucca and Tyrone Wells. I guess the next step is Sinatra, Martin, the classics. (I have them already….). I have been a soldier (both enlisted man and an officer, yep 90 day wonder school), a mechanic ( a family owned garage), a carpenter/electrician/plumber, a High School Shop Teacher, A basketball coach (all levels both boys and girls), just to name a few occupations, but have settled on a self-employed IT contractor. I work in Software Quality Assurance, fancy title is a Quality Assurance Engineer, simply put…I test software to make sure it functions like it should. I get paid to break things. I have a great woman in my life that puts up with me, 26 years and counting. 4 kids, 3 grandchildren, 1 dog, and 4 cats (the cats are not mine, but am fond of the rodent control 1 of them brings to the table, and the back door).
TCB: How long have you been singing, songwriting, etc.?
DAVID: There is a good story here…I have always been a self-proclaimed “audiophile“, when younger I used to rip speakers apart and put them back in different configurations to get better sound. When I was about 10 my folks bought me a Yamaha Acoustic and I started lessons. What the bad thing was I would walk past a candy store on the way to lessons. My folks didn’t catch on for a while and always thought I was just excited about my lessons, little did they know it was a sugar high from the 5 dollars I spent on candy instead of guitar lessons. I think I went to 1 lesson, but I went every week for 3 months. I didn’t pick the guitar back up until I was in the Army (21 then). A few buddies played Bass, Guitar, and drums but never any vocals. They played one day on base and I jumped up and started belting it out with them. They asked me to join. We played a few places but nothing big, but the seed was planted, then I got orders for Korea. One of my buddies from the “band” gave me a beater old acoustic (it actually made Willie Nelson‘s guitar look mint) and I took it with me. They almost wouldn’t let me take it on the plane so I made up a story that my grandfather gave it to me, it was a family heirloom, etc… I flew for 12 hours with that guitar between my legs.
I taught myself how to play in Korea and started writing my own stuff right after the first 3 chords were mastered. I never really felt I could do justice to a cover tune so I just never learned anyone elses stuff. Not even Stairway…
I started hitting the coffee-house circuit in the mid 90’s and played a few Local Talent Radio spots, one for Mount Union College Radio and the other on a local station (I think it was CD 106 back then). The music was getting a little following and then I thought I was getting my big break. A Nashville A and R Rep was coming up to hear a buddies band and wanted to hear me as well. I played a few songs on their breaks. Well…He handed me my ego on a plate, I mean a real brutal, words not mentioned here, kind of lashing. So I gave it up for a while and really didn’t play for almost a decade. I didn’t put it down totally but will say that sets of strings went years without being changed. And now the conclusion, I have a good woman in my life. For my 50th she told me it was time to start playing/writing again and gave me a nice sum of cash to buy a new guitar. Little did she know what she started. A little construction work, some new equipment and now we have a home studio as well…she is a keeper. I have only been back in for a couple of years (Yes I am 52) but loving every minute of it.
TCB: What made you decide that “music” was a path you wanted to take?
DAVID: Not really sure if it was me that chose the path of music, more inclined to say music selected me. I feel blessed that my feelings about things can come out in tunes, not always good, but even if the song sucks it actually helps me deal with something in the news, my day, or anything that brought clouds my way. I will say it is NOT a hobby, I am serious about it, but in contradiction, I am also a realist about it. I know it takes patience, self-education, and most of all perseverance.
TCB: Do you play locally or do you travel as well?
DAVID: I do play out occasionally, mostly hitting open mic nights. I have yet to travel far to play. I guess my one claim to fame was playing the Hard Rock in Cleveland March 2012. We had made it thru the first round of the Hard Rock Rising 2012 Battle of the Bands to play live. We held our own against the “younger” bands and represented the geriatric crowd well. Plus I went up solo, me and the guitar. I do want to play out more and find my niche, if you will. The New Years Resolution was to push it a lot more and try to get the music heard. And I make no excuses, I just have to get out there more and just play, period.
TCB: What’s your favorite song that you have written or co-wrote?
DAVID: Unfortunately my favorite song is not on any of my web presence sites. It is a song titled “Did I“. I wrote it in my car to and from work, I have a lengthy commute of 88 miles each way and have a ton of windshield time. I had left early one morning and started thinking…did I turn off the coffee pot, did I close the garage door, did I feed the dog, etc…did I, etc…then I starting thinking…Did I kiss my wife before I left, Did I tell her I love her, you know all the small things in life. And the same thing on the way home, Did I log off the server, Did I check in that code, etc…Not that I would tell my co-workers I Love them before going home for the day, just more of the little things like Did I talk to my kids, did I think of my parents. It is a real personal song to me and how I feel about the “Did I’s” we should do every day. The song is coming soon as a better recording/mix/master is in the works. It will be on the sophomore Album. Another favorite is “There’s a Picture” mostly because of the why. I was helping out cleaning around the house and took a few picture frames down to change the faces and places in them. I found a picture behind a picture of a face I hadn’t seen for years.
TCB: How often do you typically spend writing one song?
DAVID: That’s kind of hit miss. I have sat down and just felt like all the planets aligned and boom, done. “Lie to me Tonight” was one of those songs that was done before I sat down. And then there is the volumes of notebooks with half-finished ideas that have 1990’s dust on them. Saturday mornings are usually the days I write. Get up early, make the coffee and start plucking away. No noise, no interruptions, everyone else is still sleeping. Music Time. I try to play at least an hour each night, new melody ideas, chord progressions, etc. I do struggle with rewriting, I think that is mostly due to me being overly self-critical. Looking at older ideas, half written stuff I always go…What the heck were you thinking here? Dude this is bad! …kind of stuff. I try to keep a recorder or pen and paper handy to capture ideas that I can run with but it never fails, I sit down to work on an idea and I go off on another tangent and what I ended up with had nothing to do with what I started on. I tend to create melodies first and then play them while rattling off words that my fit what the melody is telling me.
TCB: When you co-write with others, do you use technology such as Skype, Email, etc. or do you have “writing sessions”?
DAVID: A few years back I tried a co-write “once” and it ended miserably. There was no give or take on the other end. I do have some ideas I have sent to Trey Willeford, I really like the way his lyrics tell a great story. And also have shipped a few ideas to Rick Dean. We have talked about co-writing and I think it would really help me as a song writer, I (yes me) just need to kick myself in the @$$ and do it. I would always use the excuse of distance, but Skype and Email have removed those boundaries. There is a songwriters association in my area but I have yet to make the trip (40 miles) there.
TCB: Are you a solo artist or do you play with a full band?
DAVID: I am totally solo. Even though you listen to the Album I have additional instrumentation, when I play out it is me and the axe. The only band was in the Army and that at times was a pain. The Music was fun, but some of the baggage could have been lost in flight.
TCB: Who’s your favorite artist (other than yourself lol)?
DAVID: I am all over the place with the music I like. Good melody, good story, I am in. Since I have gone the singer/songwriter path I have been following some under the radar, but outstanding artists: David Wilcox (not the rocker from Canada), Tony Lucca, Tyrone Wells, Peter Mayer and have always loved the standards James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, Jim Croce, etc… But I will still throw on some Pink Floyd, Heart, Eagles, Foghat, Bad Company and turn up the volume.
TCB: Do you work with a manager & producer or do you handle things on that end yourself?
DAVID: No manager, except the wife of course (haha). But I do work with a gentleman who has done the mixing/production/mastering of the music and I really cannot say enough about him. Mr Paul Baggott from Dudley, UK. It is funny where music will take you and the people you meet and develop friendships with. We met via LinkedIn, found one another on ReverbNation and it just took off from there. He was instrumental in helping me get the first Album together and released and will be a strong force behind the next Album that is being worked on. He has also been very patient with helping me get to a point of better recordings and use of some of the software I have. He is a very talented singer/songwriter in his own right and I highly recommend tuning him in from his ReverbNation presence. He also has more Rock tracks under the name of Skyrats on RN, also highly recommended as well. I feel I fall short in this interview with communicating the true measure of my appreciation for all Paul has done and continues to do for the music and myself. He has a great ear for what needs done and added to a song to pull it all together. I would send him the acoustic guitar and vocal tracks and what I would get back far exceeded every expectation, every time. A trip across the pond is in the works to finally meet face to face and share a jar or two.
While he is not my manager there is one other person who has helped me out tremendously with advice, business knowledge, and critique of the music. Mr Rick Dean of The Dean of Music Publishing. What impresses me most with him is he is in the business to make money but will hand out advice, direction, suggestions, free of charge. To me a rare characteristic in a business fought with sharks and those that give false hopes while cashing your check. It restores my faith in humanity that there are still good people out there. We are working out an Administrative Contract to work on a professional level but I will always consider him a friend first.
TCB: Have you ever traveled outside of the U.S. to perform? If not, where would you like to go?
DAVID: I have never played a show outside the US. I would not limit myself to a favorite place to go and play. Any place would be a dream come true to me. Spin the globe and put your finger down, yep I’ll play there. (save the Antarctic, too cold and playing with gloves on…they kind of kill finger picking.)
TCB: Let’s talk Organizations and Foundations! Do you have any that you donate to or perform for?
DAVID: Anything that is a worthy cause. I guess the only stipulation would be that all monies raised go to help, not administrative fees or a promoters pocket. Ones close to heart tho…Make A Wish and anything that keeps music in schools.
I have offered up the music carte blanche locally and will be there at the drop of a hat when asked.
TCB: What’s the best advice that YOU would give an aspiring artist that wants to succeed in the Music Industry?
DAVID: Not everyone is going to like what you create; learn that quickly, move on, and keep making “your” music.
TCB: Where can we find you and your music?
DAVID: I have my own website and yes I did it myself:
CLICK HERE TO BE AUTOMATICALLY DIRECTED: OFFICIAL WEBSITE
There is a player on the Music page where you can hear full cuts of the songs on the album (first 11 songs) and some rough cuts as well. (and they are rough cuts mind you)
CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO AUTOMATICALLY BE DIRECTED:
The music is also on Spotify, Slackers Radio, Lastfm, SoundCloud and a bunch of others that I don’t remember.
Trying to keep up with and/or track of the musics social presence is a full-time job.
TCB: Is there anything you’d like to tell our viewers and your potential new fans that I didn’t cover here?
DAVID: I count my blessings everyday and always run out of fingers and toes. I have the love of good woman who stands beside me in everything I do. The friendships I have made thru music I hold close to heart. I consider myself a very lucky man. I am by no means a rich as far as cash, but am the wealthiest man in my world. It takes a village to raise a dreamer, the love and support from my closest friends from the Fairview country Club is beyond reproach, I am humbled and honored to have them in my life.
And no sooner than I am wrapping up my answers to this interview…the wife calls and has a flat tire on the other side of town…Life is Good!
TCB: A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO ME FROM MR. DAVID G. WARD BELOW:
I want to thank you for this opportunity and the time you take to do this for all artists. You will be able to say you were the first to interview me…(that may come back to haunt you)
There needs to be more people like you driven by a passion and not material gain. (even thought one day we all hope our passions start to pay the bills at least)
Keep doing what you are doing, it is appreciated more than you know.
David G. Ward
Thank You David for such wonderful kind words! I appreciate them and I appreciate ALL of the artists and folks in the music business that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing! Y’all are special people! And you make me feel appreciated for what I love doing!
I promise y’all more things are to come. Soon. Very soon! I have a few projects I’m already working on. And I have ideas for MANY MANY MORE that I hope to be able to complete for y’all.
I do have a “donate” button on my site (at the left side-bar) if you would like to “Sponsor” me and help support the funding of these projects. ALL money raised through sponsorship will go towards projects! None of it will be pocketed. I’m not like that. I love writing so I’ll write forever for free if that’s what I have to do.
I hope y’all enjoy David’s music as much as I do! Go listen! Follow him on Twitter. Like him on Facebook. Become a fan on ReverbNation. And so forth.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to do this interview!
-The Country Buzzz
Don’t forget to see my menu’s and tabs on the left side-bar to follow me everywhere!