About a week ago I wrote about my experience at a David Mayfield Parade concert in Dayton. At the show we talked and he agreed left his phone number so I could conduct an interview. After many attempts to contact him, I learned his phone was broken. I threw together this interview via email. David provides his witty charm even over the computer. I hope you enjoy what took a while to put together
1. At what point did you know music was your career?
I always knew I wanted to be a musician. I grew up with musical parents, all my friends were musicians. I never once thought of doing anything else. I couldn’t if I wanted to, I have no other skills.
2. How did you join Cadillac Sky?
Bryan Simpson called me, he got my number from a great musician and friend Tyler Grant. Tyler told Bryan I would be a good fit, when the previous guitar player left Cadillac Sky. I remember I was in Oregon with my sister when I got the call. I wasn’t really familiar with their music, but I looked it up and was very interested. I met up with them in Nashville for an audition and they asked me to join the band shortly after that.
3. When did you decide to go solo?
Well, I have always had a solo career on the side of my other projects. I made my first solo album back in 2003. I was working on the Parade album before It was clear that Cadillac Sky would break up, when that became clear I knew it would have to go from a side project to my main focus.
4. How did you put together the Parade Band?
Well I found them all in different ways. Wes my guitarist was introduced to me by my dear friend and manager Josh Joplin. I thought Wes was a real dick at first because he just seemed to nice. I thought it was insincere, but once I got to know him its like wow, this guy is awesome. He turned me on to Kristin and Joe, and Shelby we all found together at a jam night in Nashville. She was playing bass and we were all huddled in the corner saying “yeah thats the one”
5. Has their been a rebuilding process of your fan base?
A period of starting over? Oh for sure. I would say only a small percentage of my fans now were Cadillac Sky fans. The Parade is just playing different music and we are doing something so different its just a whole new world.
6. Where does your energy and goofiness come from?
Well I have always had lots of energy on stage, I’m not sure where that comes from, maybe sitting in a van for hours at a time has something to do with it. As far as being goofy, you know I’m just a big believer in entertainment. I love performers who are comfortable in their own skin and don’t think they are too cool to have fun. You know, the ones who stand there with sun glasses on, never smile, it just seems so silly. There was a time when performers who sang, danced, and were funny were the cool guys!
7. Explain the Phish incident and the possible response from it?
Well, Trey and Mike from Phish saw us play in North Carolina and bought T-shirts. They wore them the next day at their show and then put my face up on the big screens and said that I was their God Icolus. It’s been pretty cool, there have been lots of Phish fans come see us since then!
8. What led you to play drums for Avett at Bonnaroo 2010?
I was there at the first show the Avetts ever used a full drum set at. I think I was also the first person to play drums with them other than Scott or Seth, which is kinda funny because I’m not really a drummer! When there current drummer Jacob got pretty sick last minute, Scott called me and asked if I could fill in at Bonnaroo. I said sure and then took my ipod to guitar center and practiced on one of the electric drum sets cause I didn’t even own a drum set! It was an amazing experience! I sat in Mumford & Sons the next year on the same stage at just about the same time on the same day!
9. What’s the best thing about touring?
10. What’s the worst part about touring?
11. How long have you been growing your beard?
I started growing it almost 4 years ago and trim it way down short every few months or so and then grow it out long again. I’m kind of a beard harvester.
12. Where did you learn all of your crazy guitar tricks?
I just made them up. It helps that I really don’t give a shit about technics or learning other guitar players riffs and stuff. It made me a lot more open to just doing my own thing early on.
13. Cadillac Sky is technically on hiatus, what are the chances of a reunion?
Ha! That word Hiatus, it seems like every other band is on “Hiatus” these days. I’m done with Cadillac Sky forever. It was fun sometimes, and I’m happy to have been a part of it. I learned a lot from those guys and I’m proud of the record and EP that we made, but I’m so much happier now. I might consider a reunion show someday only if Bryan does it too, that would be fun. I do miss singing with Bryan sometimes.
14. Who are your influences?
My parents, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Doyle Lawson, & Jimmy Driftwood
15. What was the Communion Tour and what was it like?
It was a tour that Ben from Mumford & Sons set up. Us and a band from England called Mathew and the Atlas, and a gal named Lauren Shera. It was a lot of fun. We all played with each other and the transitions from one act to another were seem-less so we just sort of blended all three into one show.