Dave Hause returns to the UK for the first time in over three years and we catch up with him about his new record and what’s ahead.
Last month Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter Dave Hause released his third solo album with Bury Me In Philly – an homage to his hometown. Having played with multiple punk bands he merges these influences with Americana on the new record. After three years of endless experiences, a move across the country and falling in love, Dave Hause has plenty of marvellous stories to tell.
To celebrate the release of his new album, he has embarked on a European tour including several UK shows happening this week. With honest lyrics and a never-ending love for playing live, Dave Hause’s performances are not to be missed. We chat to him about playing in the UK, rock’n’roll, family and what keeps him going.
Check out the full interview below:
Happy belated birthday! Did you have a good birthday in Brighton yesterday?
Oh thank you very much! I did yeah, you know, as bizarre as it is, I don’t really like to celebrate birthdays and I don’t really like to celebrate them on tour. It’s weird. But there’s a really cool fan club type of thing that has developed out of Germany and Austria called The Rankers & Rotters and they came with streamers and balloons, and we really ended up having quite a time. I was pretty touched by their efforts.
That sounds amazing!
Yeah between them and the band they all kind of celebrated in a very sweet way, it was cool.
How’s the European tour been so far?
It’s been awesome! We haven’t been back in Europe to headline since 2014 when we played a few shows, and we haven’t really been in the UK, other than to do Reading & Leeds, since 2013. So it’s really been too long and the fact that there is still an audience and people that have a fervour for the songs and are excited for the new record is pretty mind-blowing. It’s pretty awesome.
What can we expect from the UK leg of the tour?
Well, one of the goals I had for the tour was to play every song off all three records now that we finally have a band here, and we completed that in Germany. The German fans have such an enormous fervor. So that basically just means we’re pretty prepared as a band to do anything. Up here in the North we have Leeds and Manchester shows that we’re playing and we’ll probably really switch up the set list pretty distinctly between the two shows and try to have as much varied material as we can. But really, the thing is The Mermaid, this band that we put together is really talented and really positive and such an uplifting thing. To have them in the mix is making for a much more dynamic and exciting show than I could put on by myself. I think that’s the biggest shift since last being here.
So what’s your favourite part about playing for UK audiences in regards to what the audience is like and what the room feels like?
Well I think it leads back of the original explosion of rock’n’roll, you know. We’re a couple of generations removed from all that, but I think what we regard as the rock’nroll touch stones after Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, it’s really then about The Stones, The Beatles, The Who and The Kinks. So there’s a lineage for that and not just in the places you play in the UK, but in the people. Their parents and grandparents experienced that first wave and there’s a sense of history here that still is cherished. A little bit more even than in America. For me that’s what’s always exciting is that after doing a lot of support here, I was able to play with The Revival Tour, and I went through the UK with Alkaline Trio and with The Gaslight Anthem. So to pick up a lot of their fans you can see these people are fans of a lot of the same stuff I am, the same songwriting. England and America have this really, obviously, long-standing history but also musical history that’s intertwined and I really like that about playing in the UK. Marks & Spencer and Wagamama is also pretty good.
You just finished touring with Bad Religion and Against Me! In the US. What did you learn from touring with them?
I think that I learned a lesson that I learned often and that you have to re-learn. It’s to keep going, and I think in both of those instances those are legacy bands, bands that have been around for a long time. They just keep moving forward, both of these bands. They keep going. Bad Religion have obviously been a legendary band, they sort of came right after The Clash, which is such a trip and we now have Jay (Bentley) from Bad Religion’s son Miles playing with The Mermaid. We have a link to them in that way. And with Against Me!, I’ve watched them go from playing in basements to really securing space on the punk-rock denim jacket. Their name is synonymous with punk rock and they’ve really run a long race and a fierce race, and stayed distinctly themselves. And I think that’s very inspiring. For me, I’ve only made now three solo records, but I’m still at a much earlier place in my musical journey despite being a little older. So it just gives me a lot of fire to keep going when you do a tour like that.
Congrats on the new album Bury Me In Philly! What were your inspirations?
Thank you! Well, I moved away from my hometown of Philadelphia and moved out to California, and fell in love, and had a lot of new experiences that I had to write about. And in the process of all that I really missed my hometown and I still do, so it traces that journey and examines what it’s like to feel like a stranger in a strange land – even if everything is perceivably going well. That’s kind of a lot of the inspiration. I have a LOT of material that I compiled over the course of the last couple years. There’s tons of new material and this batch I was able to put together with my brother. Once my brother got involved we really moved forward, he could figure out the ones that made the most sense for this batch, and he helped a lot with the lyrics. Where I’d be ninety percent of the way there, he’d help me finish with these really good lines, really good ideas. So that was kind of the journey of that album.
What was it like having your brother Tim on the road and involved in the record?
It’s been life-changing, the second-best decision I ever made other than playing solo. Going solo and then bringing Tim in have been two monumentally scary and also rewarding decisions. It’s great! He has tons of wisdom, he’s lived a pretty wild life with lots of loss so he has this old-soul wisdom. But he is also very young so he’s got this fervour to go do things, see things and learn things that often people my age have started to let get deluded, sort of beat down a little bit by the world and by the road and he doesn’t have that. It’s very, very inspiring to have him around. And it also makes me want to set a better example, be a better human for my little brother. He keeps me accountable.
After the UK tour, what else can we expect?
We’re doing a really long tour of North America. We’re co-headlining in Canada with The Bronx and then we come through America supporting Fran Iero, which is a really cool and unique pairing. We sort of do two different things but we have an immense respect for each other’s work. So it’ll be nice to play to his audience and bring some of our audience out to what he’s doing. It’s exciting. And then we’re doing some festivals in the summer. And hopefully doing more UK stuff later in the year. I definitely don’t want to allow another three and a half years to go by until we come back, that would be crazy. It’s one of my favourite places to be and to play, I love the UK. We’re going to make a real effort to keep coming back and keep growing. And with all these other songs, who knows, we might end up with another record.
Dave Hause is in the UK this week and we have a few remaining tickets left to see him and The Mermaid in Glasgow and Birmingham via Ticketmaster.co.uk.