Interview: Dave Weiner

Discussion in 'Artist Reviews & Interviews' started by Chris, May 24, 2005.

  1. Chris

    Chris Forum MVP

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    Apr 19, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    <div align="right"><img src="" alt="Dave Weiner">
    <b>Interview: Dave Weiner</b>
    <font size="1"><i>By: Brian Crowell</i></font>
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Dave Weiner" />
    As a website based on supporting the seven string & up guitar world, it was only a matter of time before we had a chance to talk with such an amazing 7-string weilder as Dave Weiner. Sure he's been Vai's right hand man on tour. Sure he's the envy of guitarists everywhere. But his sound & music is true to himself, and his ever growing following is the proof. On his recent solo release, "Shove the Sun Aside", Dave has created an album that has something for everyone. From "Long Run" to "Tourmaline", and all the songs in between, Dave has clearly shown he's a force all his own.

    <span class="ivorange">Brian Crowell</span>: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us at Dave!

    <span class="ivred">Dave Weiner</span>: No problem. Thank you very much for the chance to talk to you guys.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: For the last decade, 7-string based guitars have been your mainstay! After you picked up your seven in '93?, you've never looked back... What led to your first 7 love?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I honestly had a picture of Vai hanging on my fridge back then. This was right after P&W was released. One day, I noticed on the nut of the guitar he was holding were 4 locking bolts holding down his locking system. I had only seen 3 before that and was like "What the ****?" then I counted the strings and found 7. I was enthralled and had to try one. I found one in a local music shop and found out how to adapt a few chords and scales to the 7 string and was hooked ever since.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Have you ever thought to play on 8 or even 9 string guitars?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I'd love to try one, but I haven't yet. I'm good with the 7 strings for now .

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: There are many of us, myself included, that have picked up the sevenstring bug after seeing you live & hearing "STSA." Did ever expect to be such a 7-string influence?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Actually no but I'm glad it's influencing people in one way or another. That's awesome! Even though I only use the 7 string, I didn't overload the music with 7 string stuff. I think that'd be boring. Every song would be really heavy and in B. lol. But, I do use the 7 string all over the place for extended/different chords and scales. It's just used in a way that blends in with the other instruments.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: We see you favor certain guitars for clean vs dirty. Which has influenced this more, pickups or wood choice? Which body wood do you prefer on your 7s?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I think I've designed all my custom 7's with a different wood, just to have one of each and have the versatility. For my cd, I only had 2 custom 7 strings and I wanted to use them exclusively rather than using a stock production model. I have one that's a swamp ash body and it just sounded so clean and "pure" when soloing so I used that for all the distorted lead and rhythm parts. The other one is a basswood body that sounded punchy and had a very unique clean tone so I used it for all the clean parts.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Your new fixed bridge Ibanez LACS 7 looks awesome! You've had an endorsement with Ibanez for some time. Granted there may not be enough demand for having your own model right now, but if so what would some of the specs be?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I'd probably put 2 out. One just like my newest 7. It's so nice to play, so easy. No tremelos or frills. But the other model would be the swamp ash one I have. It's amazing.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: The Real Illusions tour & Asia G3 is finished, your back at home, what are your next plans?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I've got a few clinics to do this summer. I'm recording some music for those. Recording music for a new cd I hope to put out in 06. I'll be playing shows with my band in support of my cd (no dates yet but I'll have details on my site). I'm also recording a cd with my band. Just power-trio instrumental stuff. No planned songs or anything. Just hitting record and seeing what happens. That should be out late 05/early 06 as well. Other than all that, I'm doing some private teaching and trying to relax and have fun and get out on my sportbike whenever possible!

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: We'd love to see you do some shows on your own! Last word was you have Chris Maute(Bass) and Mike Kernicky(Drums) lined up for the band! What's the news in that arena? Are you looking for a "right hand man" guitarist of your own?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Like I said, I'm trying to line up a bunch of shows for later this summer. It will be Chris, Mike, myself and a Protools rig full of backing tracks lol. I'd love to have a big band but I can't afford it just yet.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Your album is fantasticly textured and written for the enjoyment of the common listener. It clearly has your own unique feel & sound. What are some of the steps you work through when writting your songs?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Most of the time I write songs in my head first, then take them to whatever instrument. I can't sing (very well anyway) so the guitar is usually my voice. I want to make sure my instrumental stuff isn't typical and regurgitated. If I think I've come up with something that sounds too much like something that's already out, I'll scrap it and start again. But I want everyone to enjoy it so I make sure the songs are good songs before worrying about what guitar techniques to spew all over it.
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Dave Weiner" />

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: The guitar work on the album is very mature, with no unecessary shred lines, or over the top attempts to prove oneself. Has your mantra always been music first?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Yeah. Just like I stated above, I want both musicians and non-musicians alike to enjoy the tunes. Too much instrumental music just sounds like a practice session or shred for the sake of shredding. That's not too listenable to anyone. So I put the song integrity before my playing.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: While everyone has their favorite song on "STSA", which one did you enjoy writting the most.

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Hmm, that's like asking a parent which child they like the most. It's almost impossible to pick. I actually wrote the song "Shove The Sun Aside" first. It came out in almost one take and I always love when things are that easy.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Your playing is very clean & articulate, and you even waited to add effect post-recording, to ensure it was so. What guitar regimens do you have today to keep up the chops? What do you do for warm ups?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Yes, all the recording is done dry: guitar to amp, nothing in between. The effects are all added later. I honestly don't practice a whole lot of technique anymore. I'll do a few exercises a couple times a week, but it's mostly jamming and working on note choice and phrasing now. For a warm up, I'll usually just play one of my songs.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: From schools to technique, what advice do you have for the guitarists working hard to advancing their playing?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I always recommend recording. That proves what you're doing. You can listen back and if you'r enot happy, you know exactly what to change. Also, as you learn from life and you grow from experience, I think your playing should as well. Push to try to come up with a new way to approach your guitar from time to time. That keeps things fresh. I'll always try to evolve my playing so that as I get older and change, so will my playing.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: You've mentioned on tour that you avoid listening to non-guitar centric music, in effort to avoid regurgitation. Such as ENYA. What else resided in your collection this tour?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Plenty of Enya of course. Lol . I've actually been compiling a few mix cd's of single that I like. Anything from Trapt's Still Frame (which is such a killer song) to Neil Diamond. I'm trying to listen to lots of stuff I don't usually listen to.. And enjoying a lot of it.

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Dave Weiner" />
    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Do you plan on staying with Vai's "The Breed" indefinitely, or do you see yourself breaking away at some point to fully pursue your solo carreer?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Well, I'll definitely be pursuing my own live playing, but the Vai gig is a great learning tool for me. The band is amazing and such great people. I'll stay with it at least though out the rest of the Real Illusions tour.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Your early influences included the likes of Vai, VanHalen? What other influences were there and have those influences changed over the years?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Tom Scholtz from Boston is my biggest influence out of anyone. He's brilliant. The harmonies and ingenuity. He's still my favorite player.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: You've done allot of work on Line 6 Guitar Port backing tracks. They are certainly appreciated! How did that come about?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Vai's engineer (Neil Citron) was producing that project. He asked me to handle it and I said "no problem". Lol but it wasn't that easy. I'm not the cleanest player in the world, but a lot of the guys from the 70s REALLY didn't worry about being clean with their playing. So it got frustrating to me to try to duplicate their playing. I wanted it to be as close as possible and trying to play in their manner was pissing me off. Lol. But it turned out great. Neil was very patient with my frustration.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: We got a glimpse of some the requirements of working with Steve from the "VAI: Live In Astoria" DVD. What things were expected from you?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Well, I'm a responsible person. I'm a the kind of person who will take charge when things need to get done if no one else is there to delegate. Steve saw that I was that kind of guy and started asking me to take care of a few things for him. Before long I was taking care of A LOT of things. Lol. I didn't mind though. It's earned me the reputation of "go-to guy" for a lot of things now: playing, engineering, producing, etc. Besides, if I can do something that's gonna keep Steve in a good frame of mind and make the show better, then I'm happy to do it.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Impressively, you engineering and produced your "STSA" album. What advice can you give other independents motivated to do the same thing?

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Shove the Sun Aside" />
    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Just go at it and learn from your mistakes and move on. It's an art and a science. There isn't really any strict right and wrong way to be an engineer. There are certain tried and trusted methods that are good to go from. But be creative and experimental with your music and gear.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: How did it come to be, on this tour, your preffered amp was the Mesa Stiletto? Did you sit down in a room full of amps and went nuts? Can we expect to hear more of it on the next album?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Haha, it's actually from me not sending my VHT out to LA in time for rehearsals. I flew out to LA empty handed. I got to Steve's studio, saw the Stiletto, plugged into it, really enjoyed it and that was it. It's a great, versatile, warm, smooth amp. I'll definitely be using it on my new recordings (along with the VHT of course).

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: It's been a couple months since the March 22nd Favored Nations release of "STSA", how has it worked out for you thus far?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: It's going great. The sales have far exceeded what I was expecting. And it's so cool to walk into a store and see my cd there. It's a bit of an ego trip, but I try to stay level headed always. It's just fun. The people at FN and my publicist all do great work to help get it out and known.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: Have you had the opportunity to meet and play with other FN artists, like Andy Timmons, Mattias IA Eklundh, etc?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Yes, I've met quite a few of the FN artist. Most just at a show for a brief period but all were great guys. Some of which would come up during our encore and jam. Andy Timmons, Eric Johnson, Dweezil, Johnny A, Johnny Hiland, Neal Schon, Greg Koch were a few. Amazing players.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: You are very close to your fan base, from your forum on Jemsite, to answering fan e-mail. How important has keeping this connection been for you?

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: I think it's very important. The internet is a great way to keep in touch. An artist is only successful because of his/her fans. If you aren't cool with them, then you're really missing out. I love talking and discussing music and gear and life in general. I'm a social person to begin with so chatting and staying in touch on the forum is fun for me. I'll keep doing it as long as I can.

    <span class="ivorange">BC</span>: I'd like to wrap up by saying thank you for your time in answering our questions! It's wonderful to see great musician so steadfast on the seven string! We cordially invite you to check out our community, and hope to see you there from time to time. You've been an inspiration to many of us, not just on guitar, but your message that we can overcome & attain anything if we work hard enough! So keep Shoving the Sun aside, and we'll look forward to hearing what you do next!

    <span class="ivred">DW</span>: Thank you all very much for the interview. It was my pleasure. Keep rocking your 7's (and more). See you soon!

    <div align="center"><a href=""><span class="ivred"> - Official Website</span></a></div>
  2. jtm45

    jtm45 Well-Known Member

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    May 3, 2005
    Hoshino,South Wales,U.K.
    Nicely executed interview Brian! :metal:

    All of the hard work has paid off very well. Now for your second interview you will be interviewing...........?

    In alll seriousness, congratualtions on a great piece of work Brian :yesway: .
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Ibanez Guitars Forum MVP

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    Apr 2, 2005
    Southern Maine
    I really enjoyed the reading the interview. Great job, Brian! Very cool. :)
  4. Digital Black

    Digital Black Regular

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    May 25, 2004
    Cleveland , Ohio
  5. BCrowell

    BCrowell Cubicle Dweller Contributor

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    Apr 8, 2005
    Eastern NC
    I'm glad ya'll like the interview... :yesway: It was a great honor to interview him! Be sure to thank Dave for taking the time to answer our questions...
  6. dan5150

    dan5150 Jammin' Dan

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    May 5, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks again for all of your time put into your research and for using the questions we all suggested!

  7. Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor Wannabe Shredder

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    May 4, 2005
    That's so cool!

  8. macalpine88

    macalpine88 Regular

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    Jul 13, 2004
    thanks, thats really good :shred:
  9. ajdehoogh

    ajdehoogh blarg Contributor

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    Oct 2, 2004
    :hbang: Nice interview.
  10. Allen Garrow

    Allen Garrow Famous Beaver Hunter

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    Apr 21, 2005
    Nashville TN
    Hey what the hell happened to my post on this subject. I read it last night shortly after it was put up,,,, make comments, and now they are gone? Anyway,,, maybe my comments were to long winded.... Awesome interview Brian! Dave is just one of great players that just does his thing. I have alot respect for someone like Dave,,who can walk the walk and still stay humble and approachable. Dave and Billy were definitely the highlight of my evening back when they played in Atlanta.

  11. Mark. A

    Mark. A gang* 4 lyfe Contributor

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    Jan 9, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Wicked interview man, Dave has some of the nicest guitars I've ever seen

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