Today’s Feature – March 14-15: Dave Yaden

March 17, 2008 at 10:58 am (Today's Feature)

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The Hollywood Renaissance man you haven’t heard of, Dave Yaden is more than the guy behind the scenes. In addition to his work as a producer, [from hip hop tracks with Justin Trugman (Eminem, Ol’ Dirty Bastard) to work with hardcore punk act Pierce the Veil], Yaden is also a songwriter, author and leader of his own band, The Weight.

Learning through saturation, Yaden attended USC and took in the scene for all that its worth. It’s safe to say he liked a little bit of everything he saw: He has co-written songs with PEV alums Tyler Hilton and Josh Kelley and he and his band have opened for acts such as Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch and even Willie Nelson. Currently, The Weight is supporting their album “Home,” as they work towards the anticipated release of the band’s second record.

Yaden, who beautifully reflects the sound of the ultimate Piano Man, Billy Joel, is also working on two books. He approaches writing like any true writer should, “When I sit down to write, I don’t care what comes out. I just know I have to write. The book, which continues to be an ongoing project, is about my faith.” His approach to writing is similar to his approach in all of his work – there’s simply a need to get all those thoughts out on paper.

You can catch Yaden and The Weight now on tour with Josh Kelley. Expect “passion… contorted faces… the blues… good laughs… and Billy Joel covers” at the show. Learn more about this multi-talented artist within the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Dave Yaden

PensEyeView.com (PEV): I read that you picked up music around ten and started your professional career at 13 years old, playing in local restaurants. It seems that music was there from the start?

Dave Yaden (DY): Yup. Mom played old jazz piano tunes–Mancini, Duke Ellington, etc. Dad played folk tunes on acoustic guitar.

PEV: What was it like playing at such a young age?

DY: Do we know we’re young when we ARE young? All I remember is that as I got older it seemed like everybody that I met that played music started before me!

PEV: Where you nervous?

DY: I seem to recall being nervous before my first recital when I was 11. Mostly I remember being excited to play for people.

PEV: Growing up in Houston, Texas, what kind of music were you listening to?

DY: My parents didn’t let my brother and I listen to anything but the classical station and Christian Radio until I was 14yrs old. After that I listened to Pop Radio.

PEV: You attended USC in LA and really cut your teeth on the music scene. What were those earlier days like?

DY: Crazy. I was playing in as many bands as I could and just trying to figure out Hollywood. At first it didn’t seem very inviting, but it was because I didn’t get it at the time. I learned a lot about rock’n roll. That’s also when I picked up the Hammond organ.

PEV: Was there a certain point when you realized that music was going to become more than just a hobby?

DY: I made that decision when I was in Texas.

PEV: You’ve recorded with several talented artists, including fellow PensEyeView.com alums, Josh Kelly and Tyler Hilton. Who have you not collaborated with so far that you would like to?

DY: Interesting question. Honestly, I judge who I’d like to collaborate with based upon personality and not music.

PEV: In all your travels, which city do you think offers the best scene for music?

DY: I’ll give you three: Chicago, New York and LA.

PEV: How has “life on the road” been for you? Good parts? Bad parts?

DY: I love the road. It’s a paid adventure. The only thing I miss is not being able to share the experiences with my wife and brother.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Dave Yaden performance?

DY: Passion. Contorted faces. The blues. Good laughs. Billy Joel covers.

PEV: Is there an up and coming artist out right now that you think we should all be looking into?

DY: Curtis Peoples.

PEV: Your band, The Weight, is currently on tour with Josh Kelley and is finishing up your second record. What can fans expect from this album?

DY: Grit.

PEV: How has your work on this album differed from your previous works?

DY: I would like to think it has matured

PEV: What is one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Dave Yaden?

DY: I used to be a body builder.

PEV: When you sit down to write, what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

DY: The noise of a coffee shop.

PEV: You are also an author. Tell us about your literary works and handling the balance between music and writing.

DY: When I sit down to write, I don’t care what comes out. I just know I have to write. The book, which continues to be an ongoing project, is about my faith. It has taken many different shapes over the past three years, but none that I am happy with yet.

PEV: When you are not touring or performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

DY: Writing music, singing, out in Hollywood with my beautiful wife and friends (drinking good wine if I can get my hands on it).

PEV: Before a show, are there any pre-show rituals you do or is just go out there and perform?

DY: Prayer.

PEV: Any embarrassing or funny live performance stories?

DY: I kicked my keyboard across the room into the bar at The Roxy in Hollywood.

PEV: So, what is next for Dave Yaden?

DY: Workin’ on the new record, right now. Lookin’ at tours for the summer and fall.

Check out Dave at www.DaveYaden.com

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