Despite living in California now, the punk/Americana artist is still very much a child of the City of Brotherly Love—and he’s got a terrific new album to prove it.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Born and raised in the city, it’s where he started his hardcore band, Paint It Black, and eventually his punk band, The Loved Ones. Hell, his first concert was The Hooters, and despite the rest of the world’s insistence that the City of Brotherly Love is all cheesesteaks and Rocky statues, you don’t get much more authentically Philly than a Hooters concert.
So, the fact that Hause – who as a solo artist now plays a perfect blend of punk and Americana – asked Hooters singer/guitarist Eric Bazilian to co-produce his latest shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. The album title? Bury Me in Philadelphia. (Natch.)
Released last week, on Feb. 3 via Rise Records, the album is quite possibly his best to date. Not an easy feat as both Devour and Resolutions, his other solo efforts, were praised by critics and fans alike. Hause, gearing up for a tour that will likely have him on the road for most of this year, spoke recently about the influence Philadelphia has had on him, the chances of another Loved Ones record and writing music after getting sober.
BLURT: I wanted to start out talking about how and why you got Eric Bazilian involved. I think he’s wildly underrated and was stoked to see you were working with him.
DAVE HAUSE: I totally agree, he’s vastly underrated, and is one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. Helen Leicht, the midday DJ at WXPN in Philadelphia, found out that my first ever concert as a 7- year-old kid was The Hooters at the Tower Theater, and introduced us. Eric checked out Devour and Resolutions and really dug the work I had done, and came out to the headline show I played in Philly for Devour. He played “And We Danced” with me and my band as part of the encore, and we kept in touch. When things weren’t working with the producer I initially started working with for this record, Eric was my first call. He loved the demos of the songs and we booked the time and within a few months, the record was done. It was pretty amazing.
I know you live in California now, but even more so then just the title, I can’t help but think that this sounds like a Philly record. How has the city influenced your music?
Philly is what shaped my whole perspective, my work ethic, the way I view the world. It took moving to California to understand how much of a Philadelphian I truly am, and that ended up being a big part of this record. It’s another reason why recording it with Eric in the Philly area was so crucial. The cover art is the sky above Roxborough, where I grew up, and ultimately that theme of figuring out where you’re from and who you are, no matter how far you run definitely makes its way through the album.
You started writing this record after getting sober, from what I understand. How did that change the way you approached writing it? Was it harder?
I wrote it over the course of a few years, so some of it was while I was still partying. I think the focus that came once I stopped drinking and using drugs was really pivotal to not only completing this record the way I wanted it to be, but also the 40 other songs I have that’ll come out over the course of the next few years. It really helped to have clarity and to get the hell out of my own way. There are more than a few songs I wrote about that topic that didn’t make the record, but maybe will see the light of day down the road. We’ll see.
Your brother also worked with you on this one, right? How did that come about?
Tim was taking classes at Temple University when Devour came out but was a little uncertain what he wanted to do. He played a few songs with me at the record release shows I did in Philly and it was really fun, and it got my wheels turning to take him on tour. His first tour was a 10-week trip of North America in the winter, which was insane. We developed a musical bond beyond any I had ever come across, and when I was having a hard time determining what songs would become this record, I just started collaborating with him and he was a natural, he came up with so many amazing lines. I look forward to writing more music with him, most of our collaboration was lyrical, and his sense of melody is so keen, that’s gonna be so fun to turn over that leaf. He’s a great kid, really is a personal hero of mine.
You put out a great record last summer under The All Brights moniker. Any chance you guys will record a follow up?
Actually, we recorded another EP that’s been done for a year. I think it comes out Memorial Day, 2017. It’s even more ridiculous than the last one, and marries my love of satire, making fun of California culture, punk rock and cartoon noises to an absurd effect. It was fun making those songs with my friend Matt (Wilson), we cranked them out really quickly with the rule that if it made us laugh, it stayed. So, stupid.
You also played some shows with The Loved Ones last year to celebrate the anniversary of your debut. Any awkward moments playing with those guys again after so much time?
I think the only awkward thing about that stuff is that you revisit who you were when those songs were made. I’ve grown a lot as a human, and I’m hopefully kinder, more compassionate, and have less to prove, so remembering some of that young arrogant scared guy is uncomfortable, but all in all it was nice to play and see that we all survived, and actually thrived, 10 years later. We had a blast.
Any talk about working on new music with them?
I have most of what could be a third Loved Ones record written, it really is just a matter of whether or not we all set aside the time to rehearse and record it. We’ll see. I don’t want to play any Loved Ones shows unless we were to make new music.
What’s next for you after this record comes out?
Touring like crazy. We do record release shows on both coasts, headline Europe, then do Canada. It’s really exciting, I can’t wait to get this band up and running and really see what we can do. I have a record’s worth of songs almost completely recorded already, we’ll see what we do with that, and then a bunch of songs written that I need to record in addition to that, so things will be busy. I’m not taking such a long break between records, I want to see if I can get on a few years’ tear where I put a lot of stuff out. Who knows, gotta get this one out first I reckon…