A few years back, I was graced with the opportunity to interview Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter, Dave Hause, as his acclaimed punk outlet, The Loved Ones, were set to make a special appearance with The Bouncing Souls to close out the “final” Home For The Holidays in Asbury Park. Around that time, I was a late bloomer, and first became obsessed with Hause’s 2013 sophomore solo effort, Devour, and The Loved Ones’ iconic debut, Keep Your Heart. So, to speak with Hause then was a humbling experience for myself, as his music personally helped me get through the rest of 2015, with all of its highs, lows and unexpected twists in between.
Hause would go on to have quite an eventful and productive 2016. He joined forces with the newly revived punk supergroup, The Falcon [featuring members of The Lawrence Arms and Alkaline Trio] to release Gather Up The Chaps, in addition to bringing The Loved Ones back to life to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Keep Your Heart. While Hause was heavily involved with many co-curricular activities throughout last year, he was highly determined to fit in some time to finally unveil a new solo record to musically touch base from where he left off with Devour.
To begin the New Year on a high note, Hause released his third solo effort, Bury Me In Philly, in the beginning of February. Lyrically inspired by his recent move out to California, Bury Me In Philly represents a new chapter in his musical career, while he still cherishes his East Coast roots. Through the album’s leading single, “With You,” listeners were introduced to an inviting tune that completely sets the stage for this anticipated release. Perceived as more of an uplifting effort in comparison to the dark and cryptic undertones of Devour, Bury Me In Philly also features deep cuts like “The Flinch,” “Shaky Jesus” “Helluva Home” and the title track, “Bury Me In Philly,” that enlighten longtime supporters with a nostalgic “Loved Ones sort of feel”—all while shedding light on Hause’s creative progression as a solo artist.
To celebrate the release of Bury Me In Philly, Dave Hause just completed a run of West Coast-based record release shows with his backing-band, The Mermaids, and will be coming back to his Tri-State stomping grounds to close out this week. What makes these East Coast record release shows just as special for Hause, is the fact that his upcoming dates in Philadelphia, New York, Boston and New Jersey all sold immediately—solely based on the excitement and anticipation surrounding Bury Me In Philly alone.
Right before Bury Me In Philly’s official release, I got to catch up with Dave Hause to discuss his new album, touring with both The Falcon and The Loved Ones last year, and his upcoming run of East Coast record release shows with his backing band, The Mermaids.
This month, you’ve released your long-awaited third solo record, Bury Me In Philly. What did you look forward to the most about releasing this record?
Well, I think it’s just been a long time coming. I wanted to release a record a lot sooner, but a couple of life things just happened. I toured a lot longer on Devour than I thought I would. I hit a little patch of… not really knowing exactly what I wanted to release yet. I ended up writing 40 songs for this album. Then, I got involved in The Falcon record [Gather Up The Chaps], and The Falcon touring, we did [The] Loved Ones reunion stuff, so it probably was about a year later than I wanted it to be, at least. Thankfully, now with all of these songs that I have written, I think there will be a lot shorter wait per output.
But I just think getting it out, getting it into people’s hands, and playing with a band are the things that I think I am the most fired up for. I’ve been through the record release thing a couple of times, and I kind of know what to expect. So some of the stuff that gets more associated with your ego is less interesting to me. I’m just excited about the creativity with the band and stuff like that. So yeah, it’s a really exciting time.
I know early on last year, you were heavily involved in touring with The Falcon, in addition to playing a small run of shows with The Loved Ones to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Keep Your Heart. How does it feel to start out this year by getting back into the swing of playing solo?
It feels great. I have this band called The Mermaids that I’ve put together as the backup band, and I wanted it to be really specific about building a band that would sort of be my Heartbreakers or my E-Street Band kind of thing, you know? I wanted it to have its own identity.
The Loved Ones shows were really fun, but you’re looking backwards when you do stuff like that. It’s not that creative to look backwards. It was really fun, and it sort of marked a time and an anniversary and you’re able to measure the distance between where you were when you made that music, and where you are now.
The Falcon was fun, and interesting. It was a new hat to wear—I’m sort of just the lead guitar player. I wrote one song [“If Dave Did It”] for that record. We probably did one tour too many—by sort of the end, we were maybe just a little looking forward to doing something else, and I had these songs boiling, you know? The last Falcon tour I did was right after the Bad Religion tour, and making my album, so I was not that interested in doing it as much. But it was really fun to spend the time with the people. That was sort of what The Falcon was about.
So it feels great man, I’m excited. I really believe in these songs, and I was able to work on them with some amazing people. I think the record comes off great, and it’s pretty scary to wait for press to come back, you know? It’s pretty cool to hear people like the album as much as that’s not really what you’re aiming for. You’re sort of looking to please yourself when you’re writing the songs, and record them. You do hope that people will like it, and to sort of get positive feedback, it’s helpful.
Considering that a lot of time has passed since putting out Devour, how does Bury Me In Philly lyrically or musically put things into perspective at this present time?
I think it was a record about leaving my hometown. I moved to California, I sort of took another chance on love and fell in love with my lady, and moved far away from home. In that process of all of that, I figured out how much of an East Coaster I truly am. A lot of that comes when you’re in contrast with another culture, and California culture is pretty different (laughs).
So, it sort of traces that whole journey, and it has a much more hopeful and slightly less bitter perspective on this album than Devour did. Devour was a lot more about the adult crash, and trying to cut your way through your thirties. This was a little bit of a more positive album as far as the tone.
Musically, I was really keen to making shorter, more concise and really melodic songs, so that it was something that felt like a drive to the beach, or a drive to the mountains, or even a drive to the grocery store—like, something that you’re going to put on and hear again. So I was pretty cutthroat with the songs as to what I allowed on there, and what I saved for other batches of songs.
Not too long ago, you moved out to California. Would you say that this record sort of touches upon your transition to the West Coast, in addition to never growing apart from your homegrown Philadelphia roots?
Well I do think sonically, it’s a lot less dark. Even in the chord progressions and stuff like that, it’s a lot more uplifting. I think there’s an element of moving that there isn’t much of a grind over here as there is on the East Coast. As much as that sort of taught me how to live, and who to be, and it really influenced my perspective, it’s not as prevalent out here. Maybe you can hear a little bit of that weight coming off musically. I don’t know… overall, I’m in a different place, and you just write from where you’re at. I’m actually interested in the coming back of the songs, and turning an outward eye to the world with my writing.
I’m hoping that this is a trilogy. Like three solo records about where I was at throughout my thirties, and then maybe start to write a little more in the vein of “Seasons Greetings From Ferguson”—that was a song I released on YouTube after the Ferguson shooting. I’d like to get a little more involved in that kind of examination of the outside world. So, I don’t know… we’ll see what’s next. But yeah, this was sort of just brining me up to where we are so far.
After announcing further details of Bury Me In Philly, we were given the opportunity to hear the record’s first single, “With You,” at the start of the album cycle. With this uplifting number, how did this song set this stage for record as a whole?
People have responded really well to it. I mean, that song has a bit of a Loved Ones feel. I’ve been writing songs sort of like that for a long time now, so that has that excitement. But “With You” is intended to be an invitation, you know? It’s meant to draw you in—it could be to a lover, or a friend or an audience. There’s a little bit of a meta self-reflection in your words. Like, “Yeah, I’ve been a solo artist now for two records and a couple of years, and many tours around the world, really.”
For as much as you can sort of prove it to yourself, and to other people that you could do it on your own, it’s not really the best way. And I think as I collaborated with other people, as I continued to play with other bands and new producers and things of that nature, that song rang truer and truer. I think it was true to my personal life too when you are open to going through the journey of life with other people. It enriches your life, and “With You” sort of comes from that.
One of the coolest things about your record release shows coming up is that all of your East Coast dates have sold out. How does it feel to see this much excitement surrounding Bury Me In Philly’s release? Especially since you’ll be unveiling most of these new tunes in such intimate settings.
It’s great. By design, the shows were smaller so that we could try to pack people in, and when they respond to the plan that’s really exciting. I’m super fired up—I love all of the support acts that are playing the shows, and it’s going to make for some special nights. Then we’re off to Europe to do a really big headlining tour.
I never take that stuff for granted. It always trips me up that there are people that are waiting for the music that I make. I know it’s sort of my job, but you do need those people to be excited, so when you turn it up, it’s very humbling, and reassuring. It reminds you that, “Maybe all of those hours in the van, and all of those hours in your room rehearsing as a kid, are worth it,” you know?
Personally speaking, I was a late bloomer, and did not discover your music until recently. I remember a few years ago where I would listen to Devour on a constant loop. With that being said, this third record is something that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.
I really do appreciate it. It’s not something that I ever take for granted, and it’s always something I cherish. I am excited to do the shows with the band without booze or drugs, and just… all around ready to throw myself into this next cycle. It’s going to be a long and fun ride.
Definitely! Once your U.S. record release shows are said and done, you’re going to be making your way back to Europe and the United Kingdom. On one final note, what’s the rest of the year looking like for Dave Hause, now that Bury Me In Philly is out there?
We have dates lined up, pretty much confirmed through June. I am doing a Canadian tour right after the European tour, and then we do the States again. We’re supporting a friend from the East Coast, so it’s really busy. In June, we go back to Europe to do some festivals, so we’re getting after it, man.
We’re working hard, and the back half of the year is already being talked about and being mapped out by our booking agents and all that jazz. I don’t know man, I think we’ll just play a lot and, I want to start organizing all of these other songs that I wrote into little releases of some kind. Whether or not they’re for a fourth or fifth album or they’re EPs or what. But I got a lot of music that’s been sort of backed up at the river mouth (laughs). So now that we kick open the dam with Bury Me In Philly coming out and people getting to know that record, I am hoping there’s going to be a steady stream of music coming after that to keep people fired up.
Totally man. The world is your oyster. It’s cool to know that you have all of these new songs saved up too. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see what the future has in store.
Yeah, it should be busy—I like to keep busy. I got enough songs for a couple of more solo records, and maybe even a Loved Ones record, but we’ll see if any of that extracurricular stuff comes back up in blooms. I figure if you’re given your dream job, you gotta take it seriously, and work hard at it. So, that’s sort of how I am always—just keep pummeling ahead, and keep enjoying the creation of music.
Right on. Dave, it was a pleasure to catch up. I’ll definitely see you at the New Jersey record release show in Garwood.
Yeah man, see you at the Crossroads. It’s such a romantic thing to say. It’s like a rock ‘n’ roll classic term, “Meet me at the crossroads.” (laughs)
Come join Dave Hause as he embarks on a small run of East Coast shows to celebrate the release of his third studio album, Bury Me In Philly. This week, Hause will be playing at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia on Feb. 22, Berlin in Manhattan on Feb. 23, and at Crossroads in Garwood on Feb. 25. You can also catch him with Frank Iero at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on April 18, and Union Transfer in Philadelphia on April 19. Bury Me In Philly is now available on Rise Records. For more information, go to davehause.com.