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Interview with Farmer Dave

I caught up with musician Dave Scher, better known by his nickname Farmer Dave.

Farmer Dave has done studio and production work, been a touring musician with Jenny Lewis, Interpol, Elvis Costello, Johnathan Rice and Vetiver, and Jenny & Johnny even refer to him in their song “New Yorker Cartoon” as “my best friend Farmer Dave.”

After The Show: What’s one of your favorite lyrics that you’ve ever written?

Farmer Dave: “And you came on from so far away
Miss Carolina 3AM
I send a bottle with your name
Floating down along the Seine
You burn in me while I’m gone
But the day’s gonna come
I’m gonna be by your side
From the daylight till the dawn
And we could go on”

How do you stay connected to the musicians you’re playing with onstage and not feel isolated when you’re sitting down stationary and everyone else (except the drummer) is standing up and moving around?

I stand up more these days
But sitting doesn’t make a difference
The connection is still there

Do you prefer playing guitar on faster or slower songs? Does tempo deeply influence the way you feel as you play a song?

a variety of tempos is the ideal
I want to experience
All the colors of the tempo rainbow

Your bands Beachwood Sparks and All Night Radio were on Sub Pop. What do you see as the future role of record labels in an age where albums are rarely purchased anymore?

I would like the labels to have more interest in artistic development
Like Motown, Old Hollywood,
or David Geffen’s Asylum label

Nature and California/the ocean seem to be big themes in your music. How do nature and music connect for you?

They are one and the same
I hear the best things in nature and out in the world
For me the human recordings, performances, and compositions we all listen to will always play second fiddle

You played lap steel on one of my favorite albums – Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking by The Like. How did that come about?

My girlfriend at the time managed The Like…I really loved them like family, and am happy to’ve known them and spent time with them…We had the best adventure, me driving them in a van across the country opening for Kings of Leon … it was rad.

Whose idea was it to do the “Ask Farmer Dave” advice column on Jenny Lewis’ website?

Probably J Lew.

Your song “By Your Side” was in the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World nine years after the song was released, and you did the music for a Tokyo Cyder commercial. What’s your view on music licensing? 

Licensing I don’t have much philosophy on.
I love music in movies and have always loved commercial compositions as music just like other kinds.
We have some real classic jingles growing up in the Southland.

I saw you playing a few July 4th’s back at Battery Park. What did you do for July 4th in 2012?

I went up to Pt Dume in Malibu and had a fire with friends. You could see the fireworks for each city all the way along the bay to Palos Verdes.

Thanks, Farmer Dave

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