An Interview with Brooklyn-Based Singer-Songwriter, DAVE DOOBININ on His Latest Release “The Left Side” and More!
The singer-songwriter David Doobinin’s latest album, “The Left Side” is a reflective and, ultimately, redemptive album about home. It’s about the home that’s never the same after a loved one dies. It’s about the homes we seek after we leave our parents home. It’s about the home we seek in ourselves, that center of peace. When these homes are torn down, we all have to ask: Do we have the strength to carry on? That’s the question New York City-based artist David Doobinin explores on this collection.
Doobinin’s voice is mournful and consoling as he sings his elegant melodies. The starkly beautiful album favors a songs-first production aesthetic with impactful flourishes like swooping slide guitars, delicate touches of electronica, atmospheric keyboard passages, hypnotic chiming guitars, and dazzling musical counterpoint sections. It’s an album written in the wake of turmoil and during turmoil. Initially, it was a cathartic song cycle to help Doobinin process his father’s passing which occurred years ago. Learn more about this very promising singer-songwriter in the following interview:
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for All Access Music! Where does this interview find you today?
HEY ! I’m home in Brooklyn, NY.
Can you remember the moment when you decided to be a musician? Was there ever a time when you thought about being something else?
For me, its always been about writing songs, not being able to play lead guitar or know a ton of covers. So when I realized that I could tell stories with melody and words, I was hooked.
There’s that elusive thing that happens sometimes when you’re writing a song. That magic moment when the idea just appears. The artists job is doing whatever it takes to allow for those moments to take place.
I’ve been shooting all my videos recently for the new record. Filmmaking was a first love. I went to the New School for a bit to study.
Do you think living in NY has influenced you as musician? And if so, how has it?
Yeah , definitely. Every borough, each neighborhood, where the people came from, all the Stories, all the Struggles, the will, the bridges and tunnels, the Water. Just to list a few.
I read on your website that your album just released, The Left Side, is about home.
“It’s about the home that’s never the same after a loved one dies. It’s about the homes we seek after we leave our parents home. It’s about the home we seek in ourselves, that center of peace. When these homes are torn down, we all have to ask: Do we have the strength to carry on?”
Can you elaborate on this subject? Do you have a personal connection to all this?
I do. I was with my dad in the hospital for a month as he lay dying from cancer. After he passed away I didn’t have a place to live. I had been traveling for a while and had no money. Of course I had family to turn to but I think what I was feeling was that loss of home that my dad represented. I started suffering from panic Attacks. I left back to Europe with hardly any money. A one way ticket. I remember feeling like there was no way I would make it through that flight without losing my mind. Thankfully, there were friends in Europe who opened their hearts and home to me. That was the beginning of the search for a new Home. Not In Europe, or New York , but within. Music became the front door, the four walls and a roof.
The stories and melodies filled each room. My father never knew me as a songwriter and musician. He died before the first song was born.
Now I’m a father of a 5 year old girl. I see how important all those versions of home are … now more than ever.
What was it like working with your producer, Jeff Lipstein, who besides being a producer was formerly the drummer in one of your very first bands?
I really didn’t know that Jeff was producing records when we reconnected. We hadn’t seen one another in a while so he invited me over. I started playing “Freddy and Barbara” for him and he dialed in that ambient loop you hear throughout the song. Things started clicking and we began to make the record. I realized pretty quickly how good of a producer he was. Im a very visual songwriter and he was able to match that cinematic storytelling with incredibly expressive arrangements. He understands how different sounds relate to one another. Sounds simple , but i think thats missing in a lot of productions. Most importantly , there’s a song on this record (Swing a Hammer) that you can actually dance to. A first for me.. That’s all Jeff.
What are some of your favorite songs to perform live? And why those in particular?
“Freddy and Barbara”, “The War Song”, “Faraway”… They are all evocative. The characters come alive every time I sing them for people. Each lyric in those songs opens a door and I can feel the crowd walk through with me.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making? Any songs that you can’t get out of your head right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of APB lately. Bonnie Prince Billy and The Minutemen . My friends Chris Moore and Sandy Bells have great new records too.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
My band Skywriter was doing a late show at Luna Lounge in NYC. I was drunk and yelled at someone in the crowd. Our bass player got pissed at me, got off stage and spat his beer at me from down front. It was all over the place. I finished the tune alone and walked out the front door and sat on the curb to smoke a cigarette. I don’t yell at people anymore.
What you hope people to take away from listening to your music?
Joy, sadness, longing and desire.
I work hard and try my best!