An interview with Tunebubble
Dave Molter is an accomplished veteran of the Pittsburgh, Midwest and East Coast music scenes since 1965. Dave took time to answer questions for Tunebubble and give an insight into his career highlights, his love of The Beatles and why earbuds are ruining music...plus some great advice for artists out there. Click the button to read it!
Dave Molter is an accomplished veteran of the Pittsburgh, Midwest and East Coast music scenes since 1965. Dave took time to answer questions for Tunebubble and give an insight into his career highlights, his love of The Beatles and why earbuds are ruining music...plus some great advice for artists out there!
Beth Williams Interview
Praise from Pop Rock Record
Dennis Pilon of Pop Rock Record picks "Tell Me That You Love Me" at #37 on his year-end list of "Should-be Hit" singles.
Pop Rock Record picks "Tell Me That You Love Me" as "Should-be hit" of 2019!
Review of the Foolish Heart EP
I featured a song recently by Pittsburgh native Dave Molter but then got a copy of his 2019 EP Foolish Heart. Wow! What an action packed collection of ear worms. While citing the 1960s and Beatles as his main influences, Molter offers up a collection that exudes the best of 1980s poprock a la Greg Kihn, Huey Lewis and the News and ELO. I already lauded the Jeff Lynne-ish “Mid-Century Man” in my previous Molter post, now let me add praise for the EP’s title track “Foolish Heart” which could easily find its way onto any John Waite solo album, the psychedelic “See the Sunshine,” and the smile-generating Beatlesque “Tell Me That You Love Me.” Seriously, for Beatles fans, try not breaking into a grin when this song comes on! My only complaint about Foolish Heart is that it is an EP.
Poprock Record wants more Molter!
More praise for Mid-Century Man
“Our next track I nicked from Wayne Lundqvist Ford latest amazing annual power pop compilation, Screwballs and Curveballs. From the 133 tracks in the collection, I had to showcase Dave Molter’s “Mid-Century Man.” The song’s got an opening jangle that cuts through everything (in a good way!) while the lyrics shed light on the great hopes of music-loving 1960s boomers, with some sweeping ‘ah’s and engaging instrumental interludes.” - Dennis Pilon
Praise for Mid-Century Man
“Kind words from Mr. Wayne Lunqvist Ford, aka The Ice Cream Man, whose show "Ice Cream Man Power Pop & More" airs weekly from Sweden to all the world. Catch up with him on Facebook. Two of my songs are on Wayne's compilation of indie music, "Screwballs & Curveballs." which is available FOR FREE from his website. I've always wanted a nickname, and Wayne was kind enough to supply one this week in this very flattering summation: Possibly the most grown up artist on the compilation, so he shall be given the title of 'The Daddy.' an absolutely amazing artist and it is an real pleasure to play him on the the show and the compilation, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the mid century man, the mid century main man Mr Dave Molter!” - Wayne Lundqvist Ford
— Ice Cream Man Power Pop & More
“Hey, 'Fading Away' hits the spot especially the sax. Gonna give it some deserved airtime on Big Indie Giant!” - Michael Charles
— Email from Big Indie Giant
“The minute I heard Dave Molter's 'Mid-Century Man' I was immediately hooked. The song is easy on the ear and very radio friendly. It feels like a familiar friend out of the 60's songbook up there with the greats of the Fab Four! 'Be The Sunshine' - Takes you deeper into the psychedelic tapestry of Dave's songwriting and musical talent. It's like a magic carpet ride, and at the moment, I don't want to get off! Michael Charles - Big Indie Giant Radio” - Michael Charles
— Big Indie Giant radio network
“Holy hell, I love your music! "Be The Sunshine" is an incredible song! I'm a huge fan of prog rock, and this track really possesses that vibe! Bob Cesca, HostThe Bob Cesca Show podcast” - Bob Cesca
— Email from The Bob Cesca Show
James Walsh of the Celebefex Show interviews Dave
Where are you from and what style of music do you create?
I’m originally from New Brighton, Pennsylvania, a small town about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for about 40 years — not in the city, but in multiple suburbs. The music I write is probably best described as rock, but I’m influenced by many styles — everything from old dance hall tunes to Vaudeville, West Coast jazz, big band swing, old-school country, rock, psychedelia, prog rock, world music, reggae and — well, almost everything. A big influence is the music of the British Invasion-era bands, both British and American, because I was a teenager when all that happened. So in my songs you’ll hear echoes of and nods to The Beatles, The Who, The Hollies, The Byrds, The Turtles, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and probably some artists that I don’t even know are in there. For example, my producer/guitarist, Buddy Hall, and I are quite often surprised to hear little snippets of styles in one of my songs that we didn’t even realize were in the tune until it came time for mixing. I think that’s a good thing because it means the music is ingrained.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
My brother, who was a great jazz player and 14 years older than I, was a major early influence. When my school friends were listening to Chubby Checker and Elvis, I was listening to Stan Kenton and other West Coast jazz guys. My brother and I often watched the old “Tonight” show with Steve Allen, which always had a great band and jazz musicians like Mel Torme as guests. My brother got me started on trombone when I was in junior high, and I was pretty square compared to most kids my age. That changed on the night of Feb. 9, 1964, when The Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It was an epiphany! One look at Paul McCartney, and I knew I wanted to be a bass player. After a year of my bugging her, my mom bought me my first bass guitar, and I started a band shortly after. I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop ever since.
What motivates me to keep going? Music is simply the most satisfying, rewarding thing I’ve ever found in life. I know because I’ve tried many other things, but I keep coming back to music. It gives me – and I hope my girlfriend will forgive me — a feeling unlike any other. My worst days in music usually have been better than my best non-music days. There’s a satisfaction that comes from creating. I’m not saying I don’t get discouraged, but it’s great when someone who doesn’t know you from Adam tells you that they like a song you wrote. I like to make people feel good, to entertain them. Music lets me do that.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
Well, I’ve had only one song published previously. It was a thing they called a 45, and it was almost 50 years ago. It was titled “Boogie, Boogie, Boogie” and put out on a local label. It sold – if you count the copies my band bought – probably six records … and it was a five-piece band! So for me to do an entire CD is a quantum leap. I’ve been writing songs over the years, and I finally decided I should do something with them five years ago. That was, not coincidentally, when I retired from my “real” job in communications. I bought Pro Tools and started doing demos at home. But it really wasn’t until just over a year ago, in 2018, that I went into a friend’s studio to see if the songs held up. They did, and that initial effort spurred me to keep going.
Late in 2018, I reconnected with Buddy Hall, a friend for 40 years. We had drifted apart over the years, but we had played in several bands together and I had been wanting to work with him again. He is not only an amazing guitarist but also a great producer/arranger. We got together in October and things went so well that we both became very excited. I started writing more songs. I’m no Beatle, but Buddy is my George Martin. We think alike, to the point where – and I know this is a cliché – we finish each other’s sentences. Many’s the time we’ll do basic tracks, I’ll go home, and the next day Buddy will send a mix with background vocals, more guitars and orchestrations that never cease to blow me away but are right in line with what I was thinking.
I’m not really trying to accomplish anything except releasing a CD. I have no illusions of achieving pop stardom or, frankly, even of selling that many CDs. I am surprised, flattered and excited that my initial two singles (“Mid-Century Man” and “Be the Sunshine”) have been added to the playlists of more than 20 indie radio stations since April 2019 and have even appeared in the Top 10 in Japan, the U.K., South Africa, Canada, Australia and even in mystical places like Texas. And I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say I’m doing this so that, my son (now 30) will be able to show people what his father was all about.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
Wow! One challenge is, it’s virtually impossible to crack mainstream radio these days, as even hometown stations are reluctant to play local artists. But I have a few deejay friends, and one of them told me, “You know what? I don’t know anyone who listens to FM radio anymore.” So maybe mainstream airplay isn’t so important. Just as I have no illusions about selling a million CDs (or downloads), I also don’t think I can ever appeal to twentysomethings. And I’m not trying to do that. I know my market niche. But I’ve been surprised when schoolteacher friends tell me they’ve played my songs for their 16-year-old students … and they like them! Of course I’m really still 16 in my head, so I guess that makes sense.
Another challenge is that when you’re an army of one, it’s tough to do the legwork – virtual or otherwise – to get your songs placed on indie radio. But technology definitely helps here. I can sit in Pittsburgh and reach out to Japan, the U.K., Canada, Australia, and South Africa! I find that the non-American market is a lot more receptive to indie music, especially anything that might be classified as “retro.” But I will say that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of indie stations in North America that do a splendid job of supporting unsigned and indie artists, and I’m grateful that they find my songs appealing.
What was the last song you listened to?
“Dangerous Heart” by Joey Landreth, a great Canadian guitarist/singer who has his own band and one with his brother in Canada. His songs are so well written, and his slide guitar playing is unlike any I’ve ever heard. If you don’t know his name, rush straight to Google and find him, then download often!
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Vinyl for sound quality and the tactile sensation of having something larger than 4-square inches in your hand. And for its smell. It smells like … RCA Victor-y!
And, I might add that at my age it’s easier to read the liner notes on a 12-inch square package. And the covers are works of art. I don’t know too many people who have framed CD jackets hanging on the wall. Second, CDs – at least the ones that came out after they figured out how to do it right. The first ones sounded brittle, harsh. I’m not a fan of MP3s. I understand the convenience, but the amount of compression that goes into them robs the music of any dynamic range and vivacity.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Oh, you’re trying to trap me! I’m not much of a fan of any online music service because they perpetuate the fallacy that songs are throwaways, background music to be sort of listened to while you’re texting or playing a video game.. And, although I’ve heard arguments on both sides of the issue, I’ve remain unconvinced that artists earn what they should from streaming. People tell me that I should be grateful to have my music exposed, and I am. The reality is, if you want exposure today, you have to be on these services. My music is on CDBaby, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp and a few others. Like I said, I’m an army of one; it’s hard to police everything. I’m grateful, but it is discouraging to hear friends tell me that they download all their music for free from Spotify. To me, indie radio offers much broader exposure and carries on the tradition of deejays playing songs they like, not only what the mothership tells them to play.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
My website: www.davemoltermusic.com has my official bio, song samples and news about anything I may be up to, like the Indiegogo (http://igg.me/at/davemolter) fundraising campaign I currently have to fund my CD, “Mid-Century Man.” If all goes well, it will be released by late summer 2019. Reverbnation (www.reverbnation.com/davemolter) has my EPK and photos as well as up-to-date songs and news and provides a way for me to keep in touch with fans easily.
Anything else before we sign off?
I’d just like to again thank my fans, indie radio deejays and programmers everywhere for making it possible for DIY artists like me to have their music played worldwide without having to bow down in back rooms before cigar-chomping moguls. I don’t know – maybe indie radio programmers do chomp cigars in back rooms. If that’s true, I ask them to face their computer screens after reading this. I’ll be bowing down.