Dave McPherson interview at Bingley Music Live 2013

Dave McPherson talks pledge campaigns, charity work and passion for music

Matt Miles on 01 September 2020

You might know him as the lead singer of Inme, but Dave McPherson has also established himself as a uniquely talented solo singer-songwriter with an assiduous attitude to his personal work and touring schedule. McPherson took to the second stage at Bingley Music Live on Friday (August 30) for a heartfelt solo set which mixed his multifarious vocal range, complex guitar work and the honest lyricism that lends such a unique sound and captivating quality to his work. Virtual Festivals caught up with him shortly after the set for an interview to discuss the art of live performance, working with fans and climbing mountains.

Virtual Festivals: Hi Dave, that was a fantastic set. Having seen you perform before with Inme, it’s quite evident you enjoy your performances as much as the crowd do. How important is throwing yourself into a live show like that to you?

Dave McPherson: That’s where it began really. I do love studio as well, but I treat the two as completely separate, Like Freddie Mercury and Queen used to do. I don’t go ‘oh no we can’t do that, cause we won’t be able to do it live, if it’s like getting a choir and orchestral arrangements involved’ because with studio work it’s like a tattoo. It’s there for life.

I love the energy of a live show though, that’s where I feel at home. If someone is listening to my album at home, I’m not there! I like passion and a sense of urgency, and the energy of it all, which is much easier to translate live.

VF: So that being said, are you looking forward to any other acts at Bingley Music Live this weekend?

DM: Unfortunately I can’t stick around, but Wilko Johnson! That would have been it for me.

VF: What are you listening to at home at the moment?

DM: One band called Born Of Isiris, they just released a new album. Also recently a lot of Sinead O’Connor, she’s just amazing, her lyrics cut to the bone and her voice is perfect. She’s edgy, I like that.

VF: What’s been your 2013 festival highlight?

DM: I went to Download [Festival], not to perform just to have fun, and maybe I got a bit too messy but I remember Maiden played, Enter Shikari were amazing and I loved Karnivool.

Beautiful Days would probably be my highlight though. I would go to Beautiful Days even if I hated every band, just for the atmosphere and the vibe.

Bingley Music Live itself has been really enjoyable, I had no preconceptions when I came here and it’s just been lovely. A really beautiful location.

VF: All your latest projects, both solo and with Inme, have all been fan funded through pledge campaigns, what has that meant to you?

DM: Well it’s a transition really, into a new area of the music industry. You can give people more value for their money this way, I’ve done it with the last three albums, two solo and one with Inme. I’m lucky enough to have a very loyal fan base, so I always make sure I give them back so much more than if they had just bought the album.

VF: The incentives seem very personal and tailored to your fans, how did you make sure you were offering your fans exactly what it is they would want?

DM: You have to basically put yourself in people’s shoes. If I were pledging, I would not pay £1000 for an acoustic house party! You have to make it realistic, so for £20 I’d give a handwritten lyric sheet, album, and hundreds of rare tracks. With a pledge campaign you can make it something personal, I want to make sure it’s completely biased toward the music purchaser. If you’re downloading my album (for free), fuck you! You’ll just get a poor quality version of the album, whereas if you pledge £8, not only will you get the album itself, but so much more.

VF: You’re also committed to writing a song a day, is that right?

DM: Yeah that’s a little project I’m doing, I’ve got quite a few people involved. It just goes back to when I was a teenager and I just used to write an album a day, improvised. It was mostly tripe, but you’d get some good stuff out of it. Now I’m more comfortable as a musician, it’s just fun! I write seven songs a week. So for £36.50 the listener gets 365 songs a year, and they’re not all gold, like I might put one out and think ‘that one was a bit of a duffer’, but then someone messages me ‘it’s my favourite one so far’. That’s the beauty of it, music is all subjective, there is no right or wrong.

VF: We also heard you’re about to climb Mt. Snowden?

DM: Yeah that’s a couple of weeks away now. I toured with a band called Big Country, and the singer Mike Peters, he suffered with cancer and lukemia. He runs this charity called Love Hope Strength Foundation and they do it every year, organizing a trek up to the summit of Snowden with a series of intimate gigs from the supporting musicians along the way, all in support of the charity. Mike is such a nice person, there’s not a bad bone in his body, it’s a great cause so I was happy to do it.

VF: So what’s next for you? After you come back down from Mt. Snowden that is..

DM: I’m in another band, Centiment. Which is my brothers baby, we’re like technical, progressive, crazy, insane, cheeky metal. We’re launching a pledge campaign for that on October 3rd. My birthday! So I’m excited about that. My brothers been working on this since 2010 but it’s been me holding it back. Because I’ve just not found the time.

VF: Seems like you’re a fairly busy man, two bands and a third in the works, pledge campaign commitments, charity work, the 365 songs a year thing. Where do you find time for it all?

DM: It’s pretty stressful to be honest. The thing is for me, I don’t work of an evening, so come 7pm, I just chill out. That’s how I survive.

VF: Good advice. Thank you for your time.

DM: Thank you.


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