David Baldwin of The Dig

HV: Thanks so much for making room in your rock n roll schedule to chat, David. Please introduce yourselves to our readers. 
David: We are a rock n roll band from New York called the Dig. Our names our David, Emile, Erick and Mark. 

HV: Now you have an upcoming July residency at the Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles, which is one of our favorite LA venues. Besides playing those shows, what will you guys do with yourselves while you’re out here in LA? 
David: Good question, we’re still trying to figure that out. We’re definitely going to be writing music and rehearsing a lot. We’re planning on going out, meeting people, spreading the word about the residency. We’re also doing a show at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on July 21st and hopefully some more west coast dates will be added soon. 

HV: We’re glad to have you on this side of the country. Now unlike much of today’s indie rock music, your version of it isn’t necessarily based upon ‘louder and faster = better.’ The Dig songs tend to simmer warm and then boil over; straight up with no gimmicks or tricks, but still rich and intense. How did your sound develop? What are your musical influences? 
David: Our musical influences are pretty widespread among the four of us. Some common ground are bands like Nirvana, Wilco, Neil Young. We definitely didn’t take a “louder-faster” approach to making this record, although we did make an effort to strike a balance between mellower stuff and more high energy tunes to make listening to the album a more well-rounded and dynamic experience. We want to capture an intensity and energy even in the more mellow tracks. 

HV: It’s sounds like you’ve done just on your latest album Midnight Flowers. It dropped on May 29th and it’s round 2 with Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Phish, Trey Anastasio) producing. What does he bring to the table that makes a difference in the final product of your songs? 
David: Wow, where do we begin? He has been like a 5th band member in the making of both these records with us. It makes a big difference to have a fifth set of ears that we all look up to to help mold the songs, both in the final product and during the earlier stages of arranging. We started making this last record with something like 30 songs. He would come to rehearsals and bulldoze some songs, then rebuild them with us, trying out different forms or different tempos. On other tunes he would tell us not to change a thing. It’s been nice to have somebody who we all trust and respect driving the car when we need to make certain important musical decisions. 

HV: Is there one particular song that you feel most captures who the Dig are? 
David: I would say “I Already Forgot Everything You Said” would be a tune that captures the collaborative spirit of this band and the tone of the new record for sure. 

HV: Now this is NOT a trick question: Rolling Stones or the Beatles? 
David: Ahh, that’s an impossible question to answer. We love them both unconditionally. 

HV: Fair enough. You’ve toured with some formidable bands such as Portugal. The Man and The Walkmen; please tell us that you have at least one awesome (re: drunken) tour story that you can share. Unless, of course, there are legalities involved. 
David: Portugal. The Man was probably the most fun tour we’ve ever done. We had a violent snow ball fight in a shopping mall parking lot in Vail, Colorado with those guys that ended up being busted up by the cops. We also had a hotel party in Orlando that turned violent and ended up with us slapping each other in the face with shaving cream and putting cigarettes out on one another. Don’t know how awesome those are as stories but it was the most fun 5 weeks we can remember. 

HV: Actually that’s a whole new level of rock and roll debauchery right there and you all should be proud of yourselves. Are there any bands/artists that you’ve turned onto lately that are currently blowing your minds or any bands/artists that you guys would sell a kidney to go on tour with? 
David: We just got the new Here We Go Magic album, A Different Ship. That’s a newer band that we’re really into. Fortunately we got to play three shows with them a few years back, but we’d love to do a full tour with that band. We also really want to tour with our friends We Shared Milk. As far as selling a kidney goes, we might have to do that just to be able to keep touring with ourselves, let alone anyone else! 

HV: We hear you! It’s hard work being a touring band. Pressure time: who in the band has the best hair? 
David: That one’s easy, Mark. 

HV: As a four-man band who collaboratively write all of the songs and two lead vocalists (Emile and David), how do you determine whose voice will fit which song? 
David: It usually falls into place pretty naturally while we’re writing. Sometimes we’ll be jamming on a chord progression or riff that someone brought in, and if one of us starts singing a melody or lyric that we all like, they’ll end up singing the song. In other cases we’ll all craft the melody/lyrics together and intuitively figure out who’s gonna sing it. 

HV: Oddly, I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental, prog rock stuff lately (Sleep Maps, For a Minor Reflection); ever thought of crafting an instrumental song? I’m honestly fascinated by the thought of what that would sound like… 
David: We haven’t done one yet but we’d love to if it presented itself. Some of our favorite songs are instrumentals. Rumble, Green Onions, Sleepwalk, etc. 

HV: Well, we’ll be hear to listen to it if you ever do. We really appreciate you taking time out with us, David. Questions, comments, concerns? 
David: Concerns. 

HV: Duly noted. And now the most important question: I’m from NYC (Brooklyn), you’re from NYC: shouldn’t we be BFFs already? 
David: We aren’t!? What was all that one-in-a-million talk? 

HV: Well, we’ve got four weeks with you guys in LA to work this out.