Steal the Spotlight

Interview with Dan Davidson of Tupelo Honey

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Q: How do you think you have grown from one EP to this EP?

A: This EP (Machines & Robots) is most definitely a step up for the band. The September Sessions EP was a very unique album, it was recorded over a short time period in Toronto and we did it in a fashion reminiscent of how old jazz records were done. The album ended up being very raw and not over-produced, and just sounded like really great takes of really great songs. “Machines & Robots” is far more put together, produced and mixed in the vein of bands like Breaking Benjamin and Filter. We worked VERY hard to span our writing across several genres. We have slow songs, pop songs, heavy rock tunes, and radio rock singles. So basically, it’s the same Tupelo, delivered in a new way.

Q: What was the first show you went to and the first album you owned?

A: The first BIG concert I went to was Smashing Pumpkins in 1998. I was in grade 8. It was a very cool show, although the most inspiring shows I saw in my formative years were always the outdoor festivals like Edgefest. I remember one festival in particular where I saw Foo Fighters, Green Day, Finger Eleven, and several others of my favourites. It was that show that really made me start to understand and respect what it took for a band to be truly great live.

Q: Of the bands you have been on tour with which one have you related to most?

A: We are fortunate to have supported a number of really great bands over the years. We always have so much fun playing with bands like The Trews, Thornley, Default, and Theory Of A Deadman; those bands have become good friends over the years. I feel we can relate to Theory fairly well. They are just regular guys, who love the music and making new fans, just like us.

Q: Which one have you drawn from musically?

A: Thornley seems to be a big influence on our band. We all loved Ian’s old band, Big Wreck. He draws from blues, pop, and classic rock. He is a hell of a guitar player, and a very soulful songwriter.

Q:What kind of influences have you drawn from in the past?

A: Personally, bands that most influenced my musical tastes were the bands I listened to when I was 14-18. Bands like Foo Fighters, The Deftones, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machines, and Pantera were big for me.

Q: Personally, what is your favourite track on the new album?

A: I love ‘We Are’. It’s a new type of tune for us. We mixed down tuned heavy guitars with a poppy synth hook, and wrote a great catchy tune. There are even some gang vocals on that track!

Q: How much fun was it to film videos for your albums?

A: Well the music videos are definitely hard work. They are always satisfying and make us feel WAY cooler than we are! But if you mean the tour videos that we post, then the answer is, they are VERY fun. I love making those little road videos. We always have a blast when we tour and I think that fun is translated into our videos! We’re fairly ridiculous when were on the road. We’re like a bunch of 10 year olds.

Q: Where did the album art come from, whose idea was it?

A: Steve and I were talking about finding some graphics of schematics and robotic looking machinery and sending it to our designers. We got Ty and Greg’s opinions and came up with some very interesting concepts for our design team in Vancouver to work with. The Mustache Press, our designers do all our merchandise and CD graphics. We were really pleased with how the artwork turned out – it’s perfectly suited to our album!

Q: How proud were you to win the CMW Band Slam?

A: That was a pretty cool. It was neat to say that we won the biggest battle of the bands in Canada. A lot of people noted it as a huge accomplishment, but I think it was a small step in the grand scheme of things. Our band has lots to be proud of, that seems like forever ago now. It was great, but I don’t think music competitions are all that cool, they can be fun and something interesting to watch, but music shouldn’t be like football. It’s not a question of who is better than whom; it’s about coexisting, and appreciating the subtleties that make a person’s music their own.

Q: Are there rituals you go through before you hit the stage?

A: Not really. We tune our guitars, have a red bull, open a beer and think about the set we are about toplay. It’s just preparation things, like going over the song changes, the lyrics in problem spots, and some stuff to talk to the crowd about. We don’t do the whole Britney Spears prayer or anything.

Q: Are you guys involved with the internet at all? Website, myspace?

A: Of course! No band can do it without the internet. It’s the main channel of networking. We have a very constantly updates myspace page (, a youtube channel (, a really cool new website(, and even a facebook group. You’ve got to hit the internet hard.

A: What’s in your CD player now?

Q: CD’s? What’s a CD?! Just kidding! The only CD’s I buy just go straight to my iTunes, that is if I’m not buying it online…. I suppose I do have a few in my truck as well. The CD’s I’m listening to right now would probably be John Mayer - Continuum, and the new Filter record. John is such a musical guy, so tasteful, and a great guitar player, and Filter is such a great heavy band, painfully awesome vocals.

Q: Anything else?

A: I spoke earlier about how Band Slam was a small step. I suppose I should tell you about one of our largest milestone. Last year we opened for Bon Jovi twice. We played 2 sold out stadiums, Rexall Place in Edmonton, and The Saddledome in Calgary. 16 000 people a night. It was mind blowing and it definitely gave us a taste of where we want to be one day. There are some videos on youtube outlining the experience!

Also, I should point out that we are currently on tour with Brian Melo, with dates throughout Western and Central Canada in June. Then we are joining The Trews on tour with dates in July! We are very excited to get back on the road and perform. We love playing live for our fans!

Q: If we can share the stage with anyone, who would it be?

A: Personally, today I’d love to play with Rage Against The Machine, Breaking Benjamin, Foo Fighters, or Ozzy. Historically speaking, I would have loved to share the stage with Nirvana or Zepplin.


I want to give a big shout out to Dan and all of the members of Tupelo Honey, head over and check a few songs out on their myspace page (,  and a review of their EP Machines and Robots can be seen right here on Steal the Spotlight (Tupelo Review)

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