David Leask Interview Regarding New Album 6 in 6/8

by Makeda Taylor on April 2, 2018

Thank you David for agreeing to spend sometime talking to us about your artist path. What is your earliest music memory? Did this instance have anything to do with the artist you are today?

Well my earliest musical memory would be when I was about 4 years old listening to my grandmother playing piano and everyone having a bit of a sing-a-long . A little later on when I was maybe 11, I remember looking forward to going to the Boy Scout meetings mostly because there was a piano in the cupboard of the hall where we met. I’d go down early and the janitor would let me in and I would explore and jam with it. While I don’t think I understood it at the time, there was this magical feeling of tapping into the power of music and it’s just kept drawing me in deeper & deeper ever since.

How long have you engaged in the craft of songwriting? Do you think that you are now producing some of your best works? Why…is it maturity or experience?

While I started writing some of my first songs as a kid in school rock bands, I think I became engaged and found a growing understanding of the craft of songwriting after moving to Canada and soaking up as much as I could from co-writers and organizations like the Songwriters Association Of Canada and any songwriting books I could lay my hands on. At this point in my life, I feel I am writing my best songs but naturally I want the next one I write to be even better. I’ve no doubt the songs I am writing now reflect a combination of my own life’s experiences up to this point, everything I’ve heard and tried and perhaps more than anything, my stubbornness to not bail and keep hanging around to listen until the song tells me what it wants to say.

What one change have you made that made the most impact on your artist successes?

I feel an important realization is that I’m here to fulfill my truest nature and be myself as opposed to chasing trends. If I can be the most authentic I possibly can in my writing and performing, to me that’s an artist’s measure of success.

How many albums have you released prior to your recent album 6 in 6/8?

Prior to Six in 6/8 I’ve released five full length records.

Was the process of producing 6 in 6/8 any different than your previous albums? I may be biased…but I think this is one of your best.

First of all, it was different in the sense that I had an idea of building a record around a time signature of 6/8 so in a sense it was a concept record. When looking at my song catalog, new and old, I realized I had some tracks that I’d already recorded that I felt would fit, as well as some yet to be recorded. With some of the older songs, I revisited the lyrics and built also on the production treatment. I was really pleased with how the songs all came together and how they flow and yet the time signature being the same is not really noticeable. It’s a real testament to the guidance and genius of my co-pilot producer Justin Abedin.

David your songs tell such amazing stories. Red Balloon was my favourite from a production perspective. What is your favourite track on 6 in 6/8 and why?

Boy, that’s a tough one, kinda like choosing a favourite child I guess. For me, “When You Think No One Loves You”, stands out as I remember writing that with Daryl Burgess and coming home from that session feeling like it’s the best song I’d ever written and then to cut it live off the floor with Jonathan Goldsmith on the piano and have Quisha Wint come in to arrange and sing amazing background vocals, it feels like there has been a nice sprinkling of magic dust on that tune. The other song I am particularly attached to is “Between Him & Me” which I co-wrote with my wife Mary Ellen. That song evolved over a period of 12 years, watching world events and rising religious intolerances of all kinds and it feels like we needed that length of time for us to grow up with the song.

Do you feel you have arrived as an artist to a place where you feel content about who you are and what you have accomplished? Expand on this.

I do think I am comfortable in my own skin and the fact that I am still creating & performing music after 25 years is an accomplishment in and of itself! Of course, you can never see what’s coming but if I aim to continue to get closer to the music, either when I’m writing or performing, it’ll help me gain a deeper understanding and help guide me forward.

David in a society that values popularity and privilege do you feel you have exposed enough of yourself to your audience?

I feel comfortable with the way I communicate through my email list and social media. While the model nowadays is one where supposedly fans like to know the minutia of everyday life, I try and operate more on the basis of saying something when I think it’s important for me to say it or others to hear it and hopefully has meaning for both of us in the process.

David in reference to the #metoo movement what do you do as an artist to demonstrate respect for women you encounter at your shows?

At my shows, I believe I demonstrate respect for women through my songs and stories. As someone who has been happily married for 26 years, people can get a strong sense of who I am through my words and music with songs like “You & I & The Universe” or “Underneath” or “The Good Fight” which are different kinds of love songs that express my experience of navigating life with someone very close to me.

Where can people reach you from a social media perspective?

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/davidleaskmusic & Twitter http://www.twitter.com/leaskexpected

David could you please share a link to a youtube video of you performing?

Thank you for sharing… is there anything else you would like to tell us?

One other comment I wanted to make has to do with my relationship with my audience. Over the years, I have come to realize that on any given evening, there’s a unique kind of co-collaboration between the musicians and the people who are listening. It’s a concept I’ve learned about called “Musicking” and I try to stay open to the realness of meeting in the music every time I play live.

 

David that is an amazing concept…Thank YOU.

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