Dave Phillips – Again for DSB, this time with Full Interview

Dave Phillips – Again for DSB, this time with Full Interview

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Dave Phillips

After four months when we started with DSB, the very first interview that we had was with Dire Straits UK – Tribute band from United Kingdom, and you can see the post by clicking here. Then we published one video from that band and we wrote about the members of band.

Today we have full interview with one of their members – Dave Phillips plus new video song that Dire Straits UK made with one young and lovely girl from Germany. You will be able to view the video later, but firstly read the interview that we made with Dave Phillips. We asked him a couple of interesting questions for all Dire Straits fans.

Interview with Dave

DSB: Can you tell us something about yourself, who is Dave Phillips, how old are you, where do you live and where are you from?
I was a child of the 80s, born into a family of primarily teachers and military. I was born in Southampton, grew up in Southampton and after a few years of working abroad and studying up North, I’m now firmly settled in Southampton with my fiancee.

DSB: Are you a professional musician and do you have a music career?
Since I was 18 I started to do something connected with music. So I worked as a soloist, part of a duo, in many covers bands, ran a franchised music school, worked as DJ and as recording engineer.

I took worked in the education sector for five years as a tutor of College and University students at a Pro School, before taking over as the Centre Manager for a number of years. I left that job recently to focus on a career in playing, performing, writing and recording – to live the dream basically.

DSB: When and why did you start playing?
Dire Straits was actually the reason. My dad introduced me to the Greatest Hits album and I was hooked. I was friends with a family of brothers who had their own band and their dad trust a guitar at me one day, when I was over a their house playing Super Mario, and told me to learn songs. So I played guitar and sang for them. It’s all I did from then on!

DSB: Which instruments do you play?
Guitar is my first instrument, but I taught myself to play piano from that. When the family got it’s first PC in the 90s, I started to look at MIDI recording and in the process of learning to sequence, I taught myself about Drums, Bass, Strings and general arranging.

I’d play various instruments in various bands for a while and when I got to the Music College, I started to listen and watch and learn from the musicians around me and I became very aware of the nuances of each of the instruments.

I played Drums for an originals project for a couple of years, but gave it up when I became self employed again as I really didn’t need to give the instrument much focus. In short – I can play everything! I even gave Sax and Flute a go for a couple of years.

DSB: What was the first tune you learned?
I think is was Walk of Life. The first solo piece I learned was Johnny b Goode.

Dave Phillips with his guitar.

DSB: We can see from the videos that you are a really good guitarist, when and where did you learn to play guitar?
I taught myself at home. I’ve had two music lessons in my life. Once when I was about 16 and another from one of the tutors working for me at the Music College. I’m thinking of getting coaching now, actually, just to tighten up a few things.

DSB: Which famous musicians have you learned from? Who are your musical influences?
I learned a huge amount from so many significant people. Mark Knopfler was obviously a key influence. Clapton was also another influence, although the older you get and the more you get into music, you begin to wonder about him!

Phil Collins, Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creegan, Chester Thompson, Daryl Stuermer,  Leyland Sklar, Shaun Baxter, Steve Lukather, Max Martin, Bryan Adams and Keith Scott are significant influences on what I do.

But I can’t ignore the influences of the not so famous people I’ve encountered: incredible local musicians who aren’t (yet) ‘famous names’ but have stunning musical knowledge and ability – Phil Braithwaite, Adam Dunn, Ed Williams and the guys in the Dire Straits Band – Rick Benbow and Al Begg. I’m always listening, watching, learning and assimilating what these guys all discuss and talk about and I hope it never stops!

DSB: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Xbox! I’ve been brought up on video games. I was about to launch a retro gaming YouTube channel until I was contracted to produce Pro Tools technique content for a Music College brand which has me busy busy until the end of the year!

But my evenings are either spent playing Xbox with my financee or watching movies. I’m particularly interested in Politics so I spend time following what’s happening around the world  and I also love learning about history, especially war and medieval history. But – actually most of my life is spent working. Whether it’s recording, practicing, writing, or even just planning and boring old band admin, it’s a full time job!

DSB: Do you perform in public?
Weekly! Either with the Dire Straits band or with one of my function bands. It’s my primary income – and also the reason I gave up the day job – and it’s the only way I get better as a musician. I hate not being able to play and perform.

The video wih Sina
Dave about this video said that Sina is a big Dire Straits fan and she wanted to continue with good work! Sina is a young drummer from Germany, and this video had over 100,000 views for one week.

DSB: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
On stage: laugh about it and carry on. You can never hide from a bum note so you might as well have fun with it. It’s all forgotten about in 4 bars time anyway.

Back stage, I’ll bang my head against a wardrobe – Dobby style! I might sulk for a day and then I’ll practice where I go wrong. Knopfler’s style and parts are tricky and demand accuracy to maintain authenticity, which make them a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Thankfully, 98% of the show is flawless.

DSB: How often and for how long do you practice?
The band practices before major performances – usually for a day. I actually have very little time to practice, although because we’re bringing new DS songs into the set, and currently planning a new band around Genesis, I’ve cleared my schedule for the next few months purely to play, learn and practice. When I do practice, my regime sees me practice parts for an hour at a time, taking regular breaks. I have been known to spend a full working day working on parts.

DSB: What kind of previous experience do you have?
I’m lucky in that I’ve been performing and in/around music since I was 15 and with the number of roles I’ve undertaken in my work life, I’ve got the benefits of being able to understand my industry very well – from both the business side and the performing side. I’ve not been involved in anything or anyone famous, but you never know where things might take you.

DSB: Do you have a formal music education?
Yes, I studied Audio Engineering  at a Pro School, I have formal certification in Pro Tools, and I train Pro Tools for Avid as well. I also have a Degree in Music Performance. It’s a big deal these days. Most young pros I deal with are music school grads.

DSB: What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite music bands/artists?
Oh my iTunes library is vast. It’s got everything in there. Buddy Holly, Searchers, Eagles, Drifters, Cliff Richard, Genesis, Phil Collins, Lionel Ritchie, Dire Straits, Quo, Clapton, Barenaked Ladies, Toto, Chris Rea, Green Day, Good Charlotte, Maroon 5 (when they were good), Taylor Swift – mainly Pop, Rock, Country, Rock n Roll.

Dire Straits, Knopfler himself and Barenaked Ladies, Genesis, Phil Collins and Toto are probably among top of my faves list.

DSB: About Dire Straits, when was the first time when you listened to a song from them, which song was that and when was the first cover version that you made from Dire Straits?
I first heard them back in early 90s. Walk of Life was the first cover I performed. In fact, I think it was the first song that I ever played in front of people.  I used to have Money for Nothing, Walk of Life and Sultans of Swing in my cover sets.

DSB: How many cover version of Dire Straits songs have you made?
Only 4 – Brothers in Arms, Lady Writer, Walk of Life and Your lLatest Trick.

DSB: Do you enjoy listening to music from Dire Straits?
Always. And Knopfler’s music as well. Good music never gets old or boring

DSB: What is your motto in life and what is that which motivates you to continue with good vibes and positive energy in life?
Working as a freelancer in music – you need to have these things to keep you motivated because everything is against you. “If there’s a thing that you think about everyday, you should probably be doing that thing.”  “What’s the worst that can happen?” is what I live by most days.

What motivates me most is really just a desire to do what I do and do it well. Working in music is ‘hard hard hard work’.  I work hard to provide a comfortable life for myself and my partner and if I don’t take anything for granted.

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