Interview with Dave Arcari

Ahead of the release of his forthcoming album, 'Devil May Care', we talk to Dave Arcari about the influences behind the new music.

FT:  You have a new album on the way. What can you tell me about it and did you record and produce it  yourself?

DA:  I’m very fortunate to have the album project supported by Help Musicians. The support brought many benefits, not just financial but a need to be focussed and have a cohesive plan from writing right through to release…something I generally do anyway but with Help Musicians’ support I felt the need to tighten things up further.  I recorded all the music in my own studio here on the banks of Loch Lomond – although some of the contributors on a few of the tracks recorded their parts themselves.  The tracks were all mixed at Chem19 studios by my pal Paul Savage (The Delgados)…Paul has  recorded and /or mixed virtually all my solo output and is a fucking genius.

Production duties were all yours truly!

FT:  What were the inspirations behind the album?

DA:  Mmmm….whisky?!? The beautiful scenery around where we live….and some things that generally boil my piss! It’s not all angst tho’!

FT:  Are there any guest musicians appearing on it?

DA:  Yes! The title track has drums from Lurgan’s own Chris McMullan (The Bonnevilles). Chris and Andy make an awesome sound and are good people (we go back a fair bit!) and I felt Chris could augment the guitar on Devil May Care…he did it proud!!  A harmonica part from Jim Harcus – who was in my last band Radiotones – who came down and put some harp on Stick to your Guns…he also put down some Cajun accordion on another track but it got binned because I made an arse of it. The accordion was the only good bit!  And my pal Jamie Wilson – exceptional violin player and all round musician (one of these bastards that can play anything!) – recorded some violin and wah violin on Loch Lomond  (Home)…my re-write of the Scottish classic which also features the voices of friends and neighbours referred to as ‘the voices of the loch’.

FT:  Throughout the pandemic you were prolific on social media with shows and also setting up your own weekly group on Facebook. Tell me about the group.

DA:  Hahaha…yeah – lots of livestream concerts and stuff which really helped through some hard times thanks to the generosity of folks who like the music. I also did a few livestream series  – one was “Blues’n’2s” with guests like we were swapping songs and stories  over a few beers…then there was Cookin’ Up the Blues with live songs and some of my favourite recipes….and then ‘tools of the trade’ looking at some of my main instruments. When things settled down I started a Facebook group – Dave Arcari’s Wildcats – and for the last year or so I’ve been doing a Monday night livestream to the group….as well as the exclusive livestreams, folks get a heads up on everything, early access, exclusive ‘Wildcats’ merch and special offers/deals…it’s free to join but folks need to join my email list….it’s a great way to engage with the folks that are really into what we’re doing.

FT:  You’ve also been very active outside of your music with mountain biking, paddle boarding and cooking. Are those activities a good way to decompress from the business side of making music?

DA:  For sure …they’re my therapy! If I didn’t do these things the business would be 24/7…leaving no time for creativity/songwriting.

FT:  After almost two years off the road how does it feel getting ready to go out on tour to support the album?

DA:  Relief! I live for the live shows and touring. Great to have a wee run of shows lined up and it feels like the world’s getting back to ‘normal’…albeit step-by-step…

FT:  Will there be a vinyl release?

DA:  Not right up – just CD and download/streaming. We have no budget to produce it right now and manufacture time is seven or eight months so it’s not practical at any level. Maybe we’ll get to do a vinyl edition later!

FT:  Aside from concerts where can fans pick up physical copies of the album?

DA:  It’ll be up for pre-order on my website at soon – for delivery on or before official  release date of 18th November.

FT:  Thanks for your time. Looking forward to hearing the new music.

DA:  Thank you.