We premiered Dave Hause’s newest EP, Pray For Tucson, which marks the third of five EPs he’ll be releasing this year. We took a few minutes to catch up with Dave so he could give us all the details on the EP, covering hardcore bands and how this hectic release schedule is treating him.
Pray For Tucson is comprised of two songs from Resolutions and two covers of songs by Strike Anywhere and the Trouble. Why did you choose to re-record these songs and what did you do to change it up?
I recorded Resolutions in one shot, full-band and once I started playing live, people were like, “Hey, we love the record, but are you going to do a B-sides kind of thing where you do the alternate versions of how you play them live?” When I tour, I just tour by myself [so it sounds completely different]. I figured it would be cool to do different versions and then it dawned on me that the way that I structured Resolutions’ release was [with a one record contract].
I realized I had all these friends and labels over the years and it would be cool to release a series of these and do covers from the individual labels’ catalog. It just sort of unfolded that way. It was fun to go back in and re-imagine the songs in a different way.
Having played the songs so many times, how did you feel about having the opportunity to re-imagine them in a new light?
I think songs grow and change over the years. You can see your favorite bands and they’re going to play songs slightly different than the record or even the year prior. I like that. I think it keeps you guessing and [creates] a dialogue overall with the audience. When you rearrange songs and try to do them different ways, it’s challenging for the artist and the audience.
I think it’s fun because, inherently, songs are just a melody and a lyric. Take “Pray For Tucson.” It’s totally different. It’s in 3/4, with an electric, it’s a lot more blown out in terms of the vocals and then on [this EP], it’s almost a country vibe. It’s always a fun thing to rearrange stuff.
How did you pick these two Resolutions songs for this release?
I waited until they were all recorded. Most of the covers were recorded and I tried to figure it out [from there]. We wanted to make balanced EPs, so I figured there were five different songs I wanted to name each release after and I thought “Pray For Tucson” had a little bit more significance than “Years From Now.” You balanced them out on having different instrumentation on all four songs or different vibes. We just panned out and looked at what we had and how they would fit with the covers.
With this one being out on Bridge Nine, how did you pick Strike Anywhere and the Trouble for your covers?
Well, Bridge Nine was an interesting label because they mostly release hardcore/punk music. As a solo artist who oftentimes plays acoustic, it was a challenge to come up with two songs from their catalog that were appropriate. To play really fast or scream seems a little goofy when it’s just you and a guitar, so it took some doing. I love a lot of their releases, but it took a lot of work to find stuff that matched.
The Strike Anywhere cover was a great way of reinterpreting the song.
Thanks. Pete Steinkopf, who produced Resolutions and all these EPs, was really amped on how that one came out. Slowing it down and having it be acoustic made you hear the words even more than the Strike Anywhere release, and he said he ended up focusing on that.
I love that band and I love Thomas [Barnett, vocals]. He’s sort of a hero and a friend, so to be able to do one of their songs and do it some justice was a pretty cool experience.
The way you’re releasing these EPs is one per month, each on a different label. Why did you choose to do it this way and—since this is the third one—have you found the cycle successful?
A few friends of mine have done the “release one song per month and then release a record at the end of the year” thing with varying degrees of success. I think this worked out a little bit better for me because I released a record through common channels last year, so I got that “promotional push” or whatever to get people turned onto it.
To have reinterpretations of those same tracks coming out for five months of this year has been great. It’s work I did toward the end of last year, so it’s cool to have all this work and feel like I didn’t even do anything. I’ve got a release and people excited about the songs, once a month for five months during a year that I didn’t even write and record a record. People have been really kind.