Can you talk to us more about your latest single “This Time Around”?
As with most of my songs, the chords and melody came first. Lyrically, the song was built around the line “turning twenties into ones”. The vision of someone sitting at a bar with a pocket full of twenty dollar bills that eventually turn into a pile of ones as they drink their problems away. What lead them to this? What pains are they dealing with?
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Nothing in particular. I jot down words, lines, and observations as I walk through my day to day life. Many of these notes end up being lyric ideas eventually.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
No, no plans at this time.
The single comes off your new album Battle Burns – what’s the story behind the title?
Battle Burns is also the title of the other song that is being released prior to the full album release. The line Battle burns was something that popped into my head as I was writing the song. I was able to use twice in the chorus, as both a noun and a verb.
“Been waiting ’round until you get your turn
Still the fires wage and the battle burns.
Keep fighting hard despite all you’ve learned
And all you’ve done, to earn all those battle burns.”
How was the recording and writing process?
I approached this album the same way as the first one. And thanks by the way for the nice review you wrote for that album! We didn’t start recording until I had most of the songs written and had performed them numerous times in front of live audiences. This allowed me to get an idea of what direction to take the songs in the studio. I wrote the last 3 songs while we were recording the others. Most of the time spent in the studio it is just me and my engineer/producer Tim Pannella, working on finding the balance of how to bring the songs to life without over producing them.
How your studies back on Berklee has influence your music?
I think the biggest influence is felt in my guitar playing and song production choices. In the back of my head I am always thinking “ Is this what this song needs? How do I best serve this song? Am I helping or hurting this song?”.
What role does NJ play in your music?
Being part of the local music scene has been a very positive influence on my growth as a songwriter. Asbury Park is full of all types of very creative artists. There is a lot of support for original music.
What aspects of Americana did you get to explore on this record?
Americana is a very broad music category. My style of Americana, or at least my goal for my style is to write songs that go a little deeper lyrically than the typical pop country or pop rock songs while maintaining a high level of musicality. Hopefully I accomplished that.
Any plans to hit the road?
No plans yet. My days of going on long tours are over. However, I would like to set up a couple of short tours, that don’t involve flying, in 2019.
What else is happening next in Dave Vargo’s world?
Right now everything is focused on getting these 2 singles heard and getting the album finished and released. It has been awhile since I have had new music to share so I am excited to get these songs out.
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