Copyright Linda Fox, aka Dave Biddle, music producer and gentle giant, comes wandering out of the sun-kissed woods of the Pacific North West today with his best pal Rocky by his side. He’s been running as fast as he can while singing songs in a paradise that is disorientating. Quests of universal harmony and ambient, acid trance arise and find their way to us in the form of an immersive 360-degree music video for his track “Step by Step”: A mantra for staying chill, not overthinking, and taking things step by step at a time.
The track is featured on his latest LP “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”, which was released earlier this month via Berlin-based Shameless/Limitless/Street Pulse. It’s an album that nourishes niches – nestling between pop, ambient, and electro sounds that are made to breathe in deeply and submerge yourself in. “I find myself really into pop music at times but I just can’t get through an entire album. But when I listen to more ambient electronic records I sometimes want just a little lyrical content to shake things up, so with Dance Like Nobody’s Watching I tried to make an album that combined both those moods (hoping that there are tens of thousands of potential clients out there who are looking for the same thing as me).”
Hey Dave, so for all extensive purposes let’s start off by letting us know where you are from, where you grew up, and when you moved to Berlin?
For tax purposes I was born in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been going back and forth between here and Berlin regularly for the last few years and I was meant to be stationed in Berlin right now touring my new album, but the state of the world has got me back in my legal home of Vancouver.
How did you get into making music? (if you have any photos of early band pics, I’m sure your fans will be very happy to see them 🙂
Funnily enough I was just digging through my parent’s basement and found this old CD from 1999 when I was 13, from my first band called Spoof. Not sure why we went for that name but looking back on it I envy our naïve brilliance, especially with that cover graphic. I played keyboards. Here are some pics of that sweet lil piece of memorabilia.
This CD got made after we won some sort of talent search with a label called Green Light that I think was trying to cash in on bands like Hansen and The Moffats. The experience really influenced all my subsequent dealings in The Music Industry as I learned early on how to cash in on fads with optimal precision.
What’s remains one of the most fun things about coming up with a track for you?
I was in a band a while back that was bound by a pretty unusual contract with a big label called THE CHANCE CORPORATION, or Chance Corp™ for short. The songwriting process was this: myself and bandmate jammed for minimum 6 hours twice a week. We sent full recordings of these jam sessions directly to the Chance Corp™ head office. We then waited 6-9 business days for Chance Corp™ to send back an edited-down version of our jams, condensing many hours into a hand full of 3:30 “pop music songs”. We thanked Chance Corp™ for their generosity and continued jamming.
While that process did generate some very “successful music”, at times I found it restrictive. Now I don’t let any corporations interfere with my writing process. I mean none. Period.
Haha, ok on that note, take us through the recording, mixing, and mastering process for Dance Like Nobody’s Watching? What were some of the highs and lows…
The first single off this album is called Teenagers Kissing. At this point I can cut to the chase and just say what is now widely accepted by the scientific community, which is that Teenagers Kissing is an incredible song. I’d been working on that song for a long time, and it almost made it onto my last album 2020 Dream_Vision™, but I spoke with my financial advisor and she recommended I save it for the next album (a strategy financial advisors call “spreading the butter”). Of course I listened to her.
So following the release of 2020 Dream_Vision™ last year, I was left with this “incredible song” burning a hole in my bank account. I’d also been working on an instrumental chill-out album without knowing where that would land. So my accountant suggested I make an album that started with a real pop approach but then gradually fell apart into something more ambient, collaged and undefined. Structurally I was really inspired by The KLF’s Chill Out and Future Sound of London’s Lifeforms. I find myself really into pop music at times but I just can’t get through an entire album. But when I listen to more ambient electronic records I sometimes want just a little lyrical content to shake things up, so with Dance Like Nobody’s Watching I tried to make an album that combined both those moods (hoping that there are tens of thousands of potential clients out there who are looking for the same thing as me).
The most interesting part of recording this album was stitching together all the songs so there are no real breaks between tracks, and some of my favourite moments on the album are things that I added just to blend two finished songs together. For example, I just ran into a client on the street yesterday who was like “hey Linda, love the new album! I just wish Who’s Making a Friend was longer!” And I was like “YOU’RE LUCKY IT EVEN EXISTS. SHOW SOME GRATITUDE.” Anyways, the youth of today just don’t appreciate how good they have it with Unlimited Streaming Services providing an easy-to-use network of Dynamic Listening Tools for them to utilize from the comfort of their Electric Blue Bedrooms. But the song that client was referring to was in fact just something that came out of the stitching process, what we call a “Connector” in the industry, which comes between finished songs to blend them together. Connectors are great tools for tricking clients into thinking they’re still listening to one song, when in fact they are now listening to a whole new song! As it turns out, “sometimes Connectors are the best parts of the album”.
The Future Sound of London’s track Papua New Guinea was indeed THE ambient, trance, track of 2001. And a great music duo and reference point to draw from 🙂
Ok, so now lets get even more realz and ask you how it has felt being an artist releasing songs during a worldwide pandemic? Has your creativity and routine(s) been affected?
I’ve felt a bit guilty about releasing stuff during the pandemic, to be honest. I think because as soon as this global situation became clear, artists began flooding the web with their live-streams and isolation artworks, etc etc. And I understand that, because for artists self-expression is a mode of being that is hard to give up. But I really found myself wanting to hear from just about anybody other than artists, because for all the artists I know, myself included, the quarantine lifestyle is like turbo normal artist living where we just do our usual thing all the time. So I was really self-conscious about adding myself to the racket when I thought that listening to a nurse or grocery clerk describe their day would be more relevant to the moment. That being said, I also understand that nothing is more important than Economic Growth, so I put my product on the market right on schedule and I am continuing to do my best to make sure that my fiscal contributions add to the stability of Human Society in this Fragile Time.
Indeed. And now let us get onto the music video for your track “Step by Step”. How did you come up with the idea of recording the music video as a 360 VR experience?
I often watch new videos and wonder to myself “what the heck is going on in every other direction???”. So with this video I wanted to provide clients with the Full Viewing Experience that I felt the song deserved. I think the Youth of Today should have the option to choose where they look, and so I combined my passion for providing Options for the Youth of Today with my passion for Running Fast in Woods to create a super video. And if you watch until the very end you can see that, while in most circumstances I am a very emotionless and unapproachable public figure, when I am alone with my dog in the Woods I can in fact be very tender and affectionate.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to Ishq a lot for all my times of gentle focus, particularly this album – https://open.spotify.com/album/10QTKUS4xlRXXQGj7WFc3H
Times of cooking might get scored by this album – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5VtJHQKbjqKP5emDmW7hk7
I’ve also been doing lots of exercise at home which keeps me Emotionally Stable. For these time I have this excellent trance record that gets me hyped in a dystopian-survival-mode kinda way – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5m5_jEkjsM&t=4s
Also these songs for “miscellaneous living” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1UEfgwiULo
What’s the last item that you bought?
The last thing I bought was a couple rolls of bandaging for my dog’s paw. If you look carefully at the video for Step by Step you might see Rocky running really fast through the woods with me. Wherever I take him he runs full speed, no matter the surface. That’s because I say to him every night, “son, in this family we do everything 100%, and we never quit. Is that clear?”. He never responds, which I appreciate. But he keeps cutting his paws while running on rough terrain. His last cut finally healed yesterday so I took him to the beach for a swim to celebrate and he cut his paw again on some barnacles while swimming at 100% (maximum intensity). So now he’s all bandaged again. He’s a really brave boy.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Dave. Hope to see you around these parts again very soon!
By Marijana Jocic