Murf managed to catch up with the 20 something year old, self confessed songwriting addict from Derry, Northern Ireland, Daveit Ferris while he was in the middle of preparing for his most challenging solo venture yet.

Interview Started at 10:10pm 12/05/08
Murf says: So here we are again! It's been a few years since we sat down and did one of these interviews together, so how about you start by doing the whole introduction thing and tell people what you've been getting up to recently...

Daveit says: People have escaped my idiotic nature for too long! Recently, I've begun taking this 'Daveit Ferris' solo project a lot more serious. And for the first time since I started recording demos back in 2004, this 'solo' project is my primary focus. I've had a good run of creative outlet this year already. I released my first poetry book in January, followed by my first solo record, 'invites for drunk lips' in march, and on April 24th I released my second solo record 'The Lonely House Attracts the Hearts'. I've been a busy bumblebee!

Murf says: So just in case people didn't understand the later part of what you just said, just to clarify, you released TWO ALBUMS in TWO MONTHS? How do you manage to get out two albums in such short time?

Daveit says: Yeah man! Well since I produce/mix/master these all in my own little 'studio' (if you could call it that), I've found a really good pattern. Like my standard day will involve getting up, working on music for a few hours, recording the music, putting it onto my iPod, having a walk to think up vocal ideas, coming back home, recording. Etc. I don't consider myself a singer or a guitarist, but I do consider myself a songwriter. Music just has always come very easily to me. I've always written a lot of songs, and right now, I just want to get those songs to tape and release them to any other ears that want to listen. I realize the amount of material I've planned to release might be considered overkill, but beside I'm releasing a lot of material, I've been overly cautious to make sure I'm not skimping on the quality, to boost the quantity.

Murf says: Overkill? Perhaps you could expand on that? How much material do you plan on releasing exactly?

Daveit says: Overkill in the sense of the current method of bands, whereby in terms of 'famous' bands due to touring commitments, press etc, the standard is one album every 2 years, and in terms of local, it's common for a 3/4 track EP, once every year. I've been at the point several times of writing an album with Rescue the astronauts & telephone bruises, and having played those songs for around 2 months, I get bored and I want to move on. So it's beyond me how bands have live with songs for 2 years. But, that's just me I guess! The current plan is for 6 albums to be released this year. But right at this moment, I'm prepping my most ambitious project to date, due for release at the end of June. Two albums released on the same day. One entitled 'Love' and one entitled 'Lust'. 'Love' is a ballady acoustic piano affair, with 'lust' being almost 100% synth pop. That's a bestenemies exclusive right there! Overall, they'll weigh in around 24 tracks overall.

Murf says: (Laughs) Daveit, will there ever be a limit to your creativity?! (Laughs)

Daveit says: (Laughs) well I think that the limit that can arise, is when you begin to doubt your songs constantly. I rarely second guess my songs, because I'm a true believer in writing the music quite fast, and especially the lyrics, once I start with lyrics, they'll be done in 5-10 minutes, and if not, ill move on. If you come back a week later to 'finish up', it's like walking back to a car crash, you know? I'm fortunate that I've so many songs in storage too, so if I ever get stuck, ill re-use parts from unheard songs. Like 'thin ice' from my second record, must be at least 2/3 years old. Reworked, and relyriced, and luckily feels fresh.

Murf says: (Laughs) Would you say you had an effortless songwriting ability?

Daveit says: I wouldn't say that exactly, I think I've invested pretty much my life since I was 17 to songwriting. I've read up on structure, how to effect the listener, etc. I've done a lot of research on songwriting. Rivers from Weezer once said in an article that he studied 'songwriting' through just listening to bands like beach boys, and dissecting their reasoning for adding parts etc. I've done the same with numerous bands. And I think I've just gotten to the point when my ad-lib is of a good enough standard these days, to release as a track! It's been a long steep learning curve, but it's the only 'area' of music that I've actively tried to get better at. Piano/guitar/vocal skills have all came to me via songwriting. Not the other way around.

Murf says: It's definitely a talent that I'm sure a lot of people out there are jealous of! So you've released two albums already this year and to my knowledge, both have been digital releases? What do you think of the current state of the music industry and does your opinion have an impact on how you've been releasing your music as of late?

Daveit says: Yeah, both have been digital releases. It's a calculated plan. As, at this current time, I'm still testing the water, and slowly building a 'fan base'. At any stage, I know I can send a master CD to a pressing factory with artwork, and have these 'digital' releases as hard copies. But at the moment, I'm really comfortable making these exclusive digital albums for the fact that, that's where I see music going, and for a struggling artist like myself, I cant afford to spent £500 on hard copies only to shift 200 over a 6 month period. I noticed Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails put out 'the slip' last week, a free album download, in zip format with a .PDF of the artwork. Exactly the same as I've been doing with my albums. I didn't take my format idea with the PDF lyric booklet and hi-res covers from anyone. But I knew that, that's where things would head, and so, when I saw the NIN album, I said to myself 'I knew it'. I just see it as a risk to release hard copies these days. Unless you've got a big tour, with a chance to sell copies every night. If you're doing a one-off show in Belfast or something, you're running a risk.

Murf says: You mentioned earlier that you've been taking this whole solo thing a bit more seriously as of late... Have you any future plans or projects in the works where you're gonna be working in a 'band' environment again?

Daveit says: I'm currently working with a new 'band', untitled, and I'm still spending most of my time writing at home for our set, but it's exciting me. I've been incredibly dubious about jumping into a band situation again so soon. But it's something I've been working at for some time. It'll most likely remain a three piece, and will most likely be the first band I've been in where the band name is a 'one word' band name. Telephone Bruises hasn't been sacked at all, either. I've been jamming with a few musicians, but no plans or promises have been made. I'm making sure these people are right for the way I run bands. Admittedly, I don't run bands in a conventional way, I'm a complete control freak, and that can stress out a lot of people. But its cause my vision is always so intense for each project, that it's hard to draw that picture with 3 other hands trying to follow the lines. I know the end result will always been as good as I can do, if I've got control. I see how it could be tricky for other members, but I look at bands like 'Silverchair', where Chris and Ben like Daniel's songs, believe in them and are content to follow his vision, because he has a strong vision, rather than upset the balance. It's just the way that I work, and I'm sure it'll all click with these people really soon and you'll be seeing me rock out onstage at long last!

Murf says: So all this talk of moving to America and setting up base over there was perhaps just a bit of a dream at the time or is that still in your the plans for the future?

Daveit says: Oh no, that's defiantly still the plan. I mean, it's harder than it looks, there's a lot of visa and work visa stuff to sort, and all that stuff. But it's defiantly the plan. In regards to forming relationships here and then offing to America. It's been discussed with a few of the people I'm currently jamming with, who said they'd be up for the move had the band progress well up until that point. I made an effort to find losers who hate their current town so they'll pack and move with me. I mean, the handiest thing about being a songwriter is that, worst-case scenario that these guys wouldn't leave. I can pack my songs and find some new meat to play these in America, had that plan come into fruition really soon!

Murf says: Would you possibly consider staying in Northern Ireland, considering the new wealth of talent emerging at the moment with bands like In Case Of Fire and Fighting With Wire securing major label deals in the past few months? It seems that the industry is finally starting to recognise 'our wee country'.

Daveit says: That's a good point. Fighting with wire, and incase of fire (element)'s big breaks are LONG overdue. I mean, I was sneaking out to see Cahir and Craig's (2/3rds of FWW) last band Clearshot, when I was 14/15. They haven't given up once, and are finally beginning to get noticed and do well. It's amazing to know that both bands have gotten attention to our little country. But I honestly do believe that its because both bands have gone and toured around the UK, played high profile supports, etc. As opposed to get noticed cause they're from a certain place. I think there's no such thing as a 'Seattle' town these days. I think that you gotta fight for any bit of 'success' no matter where you're from/based.

Murf says: So you wouldn't consider Northern Ireland to possibly be the new Manchester scene of the 90s?

Daveit says: I would love if it was! I'm hugely into our local scene. But all the bands from here who've gotten 'success', Oppenheimer, The Answer, FWW, ICOF etc. Haven't just by chance, been some of our only bands who've constantly toured the UK, played and recorded constantly etc. I think there's still too many 'local bands' happy with that one show a month down in Auntie Annie's, writing a song every few months, doing ' a wee CD' every year or 2. The same bands are waiting for a knock on their rehearsal room door of a rich record exec, wielding a contract.

Murf says: That brings the interview around perfectly to what I'm sure is on the lips of everyone who has known of you and your music since your band 'The Mascara Story' rose to fame in 2004/2005. Seen as we've been chatting about bands making it big, you pretty much had it all in front of you whenever you won the Snickers Unsigned competition back then? Do you regret letting all that go when you split...

Murf says: Acrimoniously in October 2005 after the short UK tour with Reuben and Fighting With Wire?

Daveit says: Its strangely something I've managed to avoid talking about during press for rescue the astronauts / telephone bruises. But something I have no trouble answering. I don't regret it at all, and in complete hindsight, I was never cut out to be that 'guy'. I'm doing music now with the intention of getting 'out there', I never want to be 'famous' or any of that bullshit, that's not the driving force. The music is and always was. With mascaras first tour, I spent all my time in the dressing rooms alone, with terrible anxiety. I'm not a naturally confident person anyways, so having all these brand new people know me, just made me want to hide away. The places we got to see, and people we got to meet, were amazing. But having lived a 'rock' lifestyle for like 6 months, I wasn't worth what I'd been going through mentally. Although myself and Jay and Sean all loves the music. I wasn't really getting on well with either of them. I was communicating terribly to both, and in a sense, I felt like my mental situation wasn't being addressed or acknowledged by either, which just made me more desiccative and angry at them both. On the second tour, with Reuben, I wanted to make an effort to not be shy, and I just found I couldn't. My way around this was to be drunk for most of the day, so that I could meet people and hang out. Sean and jay didn't want to party much/at all on that tour, and just gave me an echoing 'you can't win'. I just got so sick of feeling trapped and not knowing which way to be, with coming from nowhere to being someone, being so young, and just starting to have to cope with diagnosed anxiety. It all just built up. But I can honestly say, I'm not regretful of the band breaking up. I've moved on and released a lot of music that IVE wanted to make. Not been tied to a certain genre I was beginning to feel I had to be tied to.

Murf says: In the aftermath, so to speak, of the mascara split, you formed a new band called Rescue The Astronauts. A lot of people might not know that after the split in October 2005, TMS did perform again, once in Belfast and once in Derry. Did it feel awkward after all that had happened during the split itself?

Daveit says: (Laughs) we DID perform? I must have been incredibly drunk for those shows! I think you're referring to when Sean and Jay joined rescue the astronauts, and we did a Mascara Story song (crowds of more than one) at a Belfast show.

Murf says: Did I get my facts wrong? (Laughs)

Daveit says: (Laughs) Yup, seems like someone changed the wikipedia page that day mister! But I get the sentiment. It was a little awkward to rejoin forces with jay initially, we had to really both show we were putting the work in, and we had to both accept past wrong doings and just try to start a clean slate. With Sean, there was no problem, as we had split mascara story on good terms and were hanging out the next week.

Murf says: I was at the Belfast show actually, no wikipedia for me, Sir! (Laughs) I think we should maybe start to wrap this interview up. So here come the fun questions that really expose people!

Daveit says: (Laughs) Oh dear Lord, mother divert thine eyes!

Murf says: (Laughs) Lets start with the old desert island question! What 3 things would you take with you?

Daveit says: Would have to be, My Laptop, an acoustic guitar and my current plaything

Murf says: (Laughs) We'll pretend there's a plug socket on the Island

Daveit says: Oh Bugger (laughs) let me revise. An acoustic guitar, my current plaything and sunglasses

Murf says: (Laughs) It'd be silly if YOU didn't bring your guitar! We're gonna do the dream team question now! If you could have anyone in the world in your band, who would they be, and to make things awkward for you, you've gotta fill the whole band!?

Daveit says: Great question! Daniel johns from Silverchair on guitar. Pete Wentz on bass. Hayley from Paramore on lead vox. Andrew from Something Corporate on piano. Som Wardner from My Mitriol on lead guitar, and me on erm… Harmonica/Yazoo

Murf says: That sounds like a major label CEO's wet dream!

Daveit says: We'd sell a fair few records I'd say! I think bestenemies should arrange it, like an eastern wedding!

Murf says: I'll try my best. Lets wrap things up now dude! How do people go about getting on contact, listening to your music or buying your music and as you said earlier, poetry book?

Daveit says: Well, my friend, I have a website (as opposed to just a myspace, wow!) www.thisisdaveitferris.co.uk, they'll find all the relative links there. But there are currently 6 songs online at www.myspace.com/daveitferris, all with links to buy each of the records. People can contact me personally through myspace or at daveitferris@gmail.com & I'll always reply... eventually!

Murf says: Sounds good to me! It's been great catching up again Daveit and I wish you all the best with your Love/Lust venture and all future endeavors!

Daveit says: Thank you very much, m to the u to the r to the f

Interview Over at 00:10 13/05/08