On Episode 204, I'm joined by David Beck, bassist and chief songwriter of David Beck's Tejano Weekend. During this conversation, we talk about their latest album, the aptly titled Volume 2, writing Tejano songs in English, diving into a Mexican music culture that's loved in Texas, but often overlooked, collaborating with legends, and trading Billy Joe Shaver stories.
This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol and The Blue Light Live.
New Slang Patreon
New Slang Twitter
New Slang Instagram
New Slang Facebook
New Slang Merch Store
The Neon Eon Podcast
The Neon Eon Merch Store
Order The Lubbock Way, the debut book by Thomas Mooney, here.
Thomas Mooney 0:01
Hey y'all welcome back to baseline. I am music journalist Thomas Mooney. And on this episode, I'm joined by David Beck of David Beck's Tonto weekend. So yeah, it's been a minute since the last episode. I've been a little busy as of late, but I do have a handful of really great episodes that I need to get out to y'all. So we're kicking things off again with an old buddy. The after mention David back, we just released David Beck's Toronto weekend volume to just about a month ago, we talked about the blending of Johanna music and American singer songwriter collaborating with legends of the genre, how and why he started diving into Toronto music and what he has to add to the genre at large. If you haven't listened to David Beck's the whole weekend just yet, I do highly encourage you to check out all the work that they've done. There's Volume One and Volume Two, their stellar records. And then there's a couple of Tucson GPS that are very worthy of your time as well. So since the last episode, I've released the Lubbock way, my debut book about a small slice of love X music history, I've been really blown away by the support so far, this first edition of the book, there are only 806 copies, which of course is an homage to the panhandle area code. As of now I've sold just north of 500 of them. So what that means is if you want a copy, you oughta order one. Pretty soon, I'll throw a link in the show notes to the Newsline merch store where you can order one. It's also where you can get bus the hard T shirts with the new slang Panhandle music shirts, koozies, stickers, coffee mugs and a bunch of other things that you would expect in a merch store. Okay, I'll keep this really short and sweet. And just tell you to subscribe to new slang wherever you listen to podcasts, tell your friends, your family, your co workers, anyone that you think that would enjoy this length to go ahead and check out those links to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They are also in the show notes. Alright, let's get into it. Here is David Beck.
For you, though, like what I've already hit record, by the way, but like, you know, like, I guess like with a lot of artists and musicians, you know, having time is kind of like the the key to being able to sit down to write or create or whatever the case is. It's always about time, right? Having time. Yeah, you know, I don't know if that's really like, Hey, here's this huge, indefinite block of time. You don't know when it's gonna end when it's gonna, when we're done with it is like the, the most creative, the best way to create, you know, in the middle of a pandemic, but you everyone was a lot of that time. What did you kind of do with yours? Like, did you Did it feel right to write and create? Or did you have to? Was it just surreal, like, you know, I felt like it was for me?
David Beck 3:03
Um, no, I, I thought it was a really wonderful time to make some stuff I made up. Like a punk rock, kind of rock record thing that I always wanted to do since I was in high school. I thought about it like, every year of my adult year, years, like, once a year, I'd be like God dang up. Like, I love the misfits a lot. You know, again, I always went back to him, like a couple times a year, I just listened a bunch. And just always want to make a record like that. And so that was my opportunity to make it sound Spotify, it's called half a man. It's like, ode to the misfits kind of thing. Yeah, which I would never have been I would never have taken the time to do that. Yeah. Yeah, that's
Thomas Mooney 4:01
that's the the interesting part of all this is that you did find a lot of people who you had like these projects that would never probably seen the light of day never been able to happen with this time. You know, like, it's the I guess like with Mike and moon pies when they put out that Gary Stewart record that was something that they're kind of working on kind of not working on kind of working on. And you know, the reason why they were able to do it is because the pandemic that just kind of fell into that being the next thing for them, you know, and yeah, times a lot of artists they did that like okay, well I'm gonna make that kind of record. I'm gonna do this weird. Not necessarily weird, but you know, this pet project this some that I've been, maybe not, but that's not for everybody. But you know, I needed to mark it off the list.
David Beck 4:54
Yeah. It gave like oxygen to these little smoldering fires, and everybody you know, all of a sudden the adding of oxygen light up is super cool. I did that. And then which was a total he just fucking off kind of thing. And then and then finished this record that's going on now to have a week in volume two. So like after I kind of messed around I was like, Okay, I need to get back to some, like more serious things. And so finished that all that out, spent a lot of time on it. And then also did those summer the four songs that came out in the summer. Yeah, so finished like 14 with the with the punk EP, like 20 tracks or something like that.
Thomas Mooney 5:56
Yeah, I was good. I liked it so much about what you guys did with those two song EPS was, you know, a lot of times during the pandemic, people were like, you know, holding off records that were supposed to come out in 2020. And, you know, all of a sudden, there's, like, so much music out this year, where they were just holding back on on music, or like, maybe they were supposed to go in the studio in 2020. And like, basically, you know, long gap between releases. And I thought like, for starters, like those two EPs were, you know, they were, I love the hell out of them, but they are also kind of like little nuggets to keep on knowing like, okay, Volume Two is coming at some point.
David Beck 6:40
Absolutely. Yeah, we already had volume to like, pretty much done and then started those who like, Well, yeah, we got it. We got to put something out in the meantime. Which I think is
what's the there's like a Buddhist thing about you know, guys, like burn their fingers offered, or what's it called? When someone's like, doesn't stick around forever, what's it called? What is that thing?
Thomas Mooney 7:12
Oh, I have no idea. Fingers.
David Beck 7:16
Oh, impermanence. So like, the idea of impermanence, like, nothing's gonna stick around and like, everything goes away, like, so it doesn't really matter. Like, that's what I felt like, hey, well, I've always want to do this, let's just put the songs there. Because it doesn't matter. But the record matters a lot, you know, like, what everybody, you know, believe is collectively believe. You have to, to or you have to, you know, has to be a big thing. So, there's some beautiful things that were very light and fun. And, hey, there's some cover songs that we usually do live and people like, cool. Let's record. So I felt like, there's like lots of pressure on it, you know?
Thomas Mooney 7:59
Yeah, that's one of those things that, especially with like, the George Strait covers, I could, when I was listening, I was like, Okay, I could go for like another 1520 of these. But, you know, I think like doing that makes it maybe less fun. Less of a less, like, there's so much more pressure in saying, Oh, I'm going to we're going to do a entire record of George Strait covers where, you know, just like having to is enough, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, in saying that, though, like what what went into like deciding on on that pair versus, you know, the the wealth of the George Strait catalog, picking anything else in that in that book.
David Beck 8:45
So these, these all came from DS. DS was making a record at his house. And he had put a cover of cowboy rides away on it just shows like normal country rhythms. But instead of the I think it's still guitar is the little like, he used this just like GarageBand synthesizer. That actually sounded like a lot of like late 80s, early 90s standard stuff. And so that like having that tone shift in there, we're both like, oh my god, this could be we could just do it as a Polka and do it. Like, straight up to Ana style. So that's where that one came from, sort of randomly and organically. And then DS also called me because Asian friend had come on the radio, and it's got that weird halftime beat on the original which we're always on the hunt for like, Can this song via cumbia I think about it like twice a day might hear something on the radio I'm like can this be Korea could have you know, one work and we're listening to it like oh my god, ocean friends like perfect. So Are we just gonna are constantly on the hunt for you know songs that mean a lot to Texans? I mean a lot to us if they fit in the big just the general like, style of the whole fit on a weekend. Yeah. Which is like things in Texas that aren't ever going to go away.
Thomas Mooney 10:28
Right? That's what I've always been so impressed with. As far as like when it comes to the covers that y'all pick. Is that one in there? Like the the staples, right of Texas stuff. It's the lift forever. It's always on my mind, that kind of stuff. And yet, it's also one of those things where it's like, how has this not been done before? You know, how is like, and it makes it feel like even in this is such a specifically with those kind of songs. They is universally Texan, right? It's specifically feels Texan. And of course, like Tex Mex. And Tohono is also Texan. And yeah, it just like matches perfect in this way of going. There's like, still like this cultural sharing, if you will. And it feels like you guys have done, you know, as good a job as any as far as, you know, still mixing those two worlds.
David Beck 11:26
Yeah, well, I appreciate it. Yeah, it's a semi conscious endeavor. You know. There's, I'm very proud that we've sort of created a system that we can see things like clearly fit or don't fit into it. And that's, that's something that's really cool. Of having a band long enough to where you can like, kind of have a good gut feeling about bringing songs to the table or whatever, you know, when there's this clear path that's already been laid, by your self by your previous self. So that's a fun situation to be in. Some stuff doesn't work.
Thomas Mooney 12:22
Yeah, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff that you tried or you thought was going to be like a good crossover. A good Yeah. And it just kind of just, you know, fell flat.
David Beck 12:34
Yeah, my dad were in Colombia didn't work. You're what? D word. It's like a hip hop band from Southern Vermont. Okay. Yeah,
Thomas Mooney 12:56
yeah. Well, you know, what, I know we talked a little bit about about it before, but can you go into a little bit more on like, you know, the transition into to Ohana weekend as far as being a project that, you know, that was, I guess, like out of sons of fathers. Then you had blue heeler. And then into David Beck, Siochana weekend, can you talk a little bit about like that transition into into diving into this world where, you know, it was a, you know, you're a fan of it, but then like, you felt like you had something to contribute to it?
David Beck 13:32
Yeah. It started like anything else? Good start, I think, which is one totally being obsessed with a whole genre, it's even more than a genre. It's just a whole cultural plane that I felt like I had not tapped into too high music in general, and completely getting obsessed with it. And it made me and it still does, it made me so happy to. And just like, I just, I felt I felt like I was 12 years old, again, like, learning the guitar for the first time or like learning how to record yourself or like, listening to you know, a certain band that he had never heard and get an offseason. Like, I felt like I was a little kid again, which to me is always like, if I can get to feel like I'm 13 or whatever, like oh my god river depleted so sick, check out this record, and then like, tell my friends and stuff. Like if that's happening in my body. I got like pay attention to and so it started just passionately listening to it. And in writing some tunes and just sort of playing around With the readings and, and making Cumbias and stuff, and I don't know, I just stuck around long enough to where I felt the urge to put a whole band together for it. I don't know when the switch happened of like making it live, I can't remember of booking a show for it because it was, there was a pretty big gap. Because that would have been like Jill, July of 2017 or so it May, June, July, August, September. Okay, well, maybe I was like four months. And then we played a show from like, getting obsessed with it over a summer. Maybe longer than that, I really can't remember. I can't remember. But uh, is it quality time. But uh, I don't know, I also moved to Nashville for six months during the start of the whole thing, which was a big, like, I moved to Nashville and was obsessed with 200 music and no and very, you know, my friends in Texas, kind of didn't even know what I was up to, or didn't understand what I was up to. And then no one absolutely nobody in Nashville understood what I was doing, you know, showing people these songs and stuff, like combos and big pokers in st and stuff. And they're just like, I have no idea what, how to respond to this, you know. And so the fact that I kept doing it all the way through Nashville and then eventually moved back, I think was like a, like, took it out into the wilderness and it held up something that was going to stick around in my life for a long time.
Thomas Mooney 16:55
Yeah, that's, that's so interesting, right there. Because, you know, it seems that if you're like a creative person, and you're showing no matter, like what kind of genre it is, if if it's good or if there's something that intrigues you, you would, you know, kind of understand what the other person's doing. Regardless if you're a quote unquote, Nashville, country singer, songwriter, or, or Americana songwriter, something like that, because, you know, I feel like, at the end of the day, I think like, a lot of the songs you're doing, I'm sure you could have put that Americana lens on and been fine. But this right here, I feel is like, a, it's a little bit more intriguing. And I think it's, it's kind of like, like I said, like, it's kind of bridging to, you know, huge staples of, of Texas culture together. Where, you know, I think that like, we all kind of have had like these little moments, these little pockets of being introduced to tahona music or Tex Mex or kind of being on that radio or whatever going to sentence own and kind of being introduced even just by walking around the the riverwalk or whatever and yet like we don't necessarily those two rows on necessarily always cross paths as far as like the the Texas country or whatever we want to call it and Toronto worlds but every once in a while they do and then when they do like it's obviously like some some magic and of course I'm, you know, talking about like Texas tornadoes or like Doug som or Freddie fender and any of those guys Joe Ely, even Yeah.
David Beck 18:36
Like Los Lobos.
Thomas Mooney 18:37
Yeah, I remember. Yeah, I remember you talking about Los Lobos being like a big band as far as like, kind of finding that. That influence as far as you know, no one really else sounding like them in the Americana time during the 80s.
David Beck 18:54
Yeah. No, I mean, they. Yeah, it's, uh, I had, I didn't have any of these, like, when I started, I didn't have any, like aspirations, which sounds bad. I had zero aspirations of like, doing anything. Other than purely like self indulgent mimicry or whatever. But it turns out that there weren't a lot of people, if anybody really doing like a straight up Tehama thing, but also doing an English name, making it accessible to multiple cultures in Texas. And like, pretty soon out of the gate, like we had people at shows dancing together hanging out together, that wouldn't have gone to the same show together. In other in a different case, it was a different show, they wouldn't have gone they wouldn't have been in the same room together really. And I think that's a really important Hang on, I think that's a and like I said, there was no planning on this, there was no like, I'm gonna make across everything and it's gonna, there was nothing premeditated at all. It's just a passion project. And it still is. But it's had these really beautiful, fruitful after effects that I have to pinch myself sometimes and take a look at it and go, you know, I don't know, when the last time someone saying a song in Spanish in this room, you know, whatever, like, and I'm a weird white guy, dude, it says not the same, you know? But it's like, it feels good to see crowds in two different cultures all hanging out together. That's a big deal.
Thomas Mooney 20:46
Yeah, I also think like, you have to take those moments, it's so easy to just kind of brush off any kind of, you know, any kind of accomplishment, any kind of like, anything like that, as just oh, you know, it's cool. But like, I think that's what we have to do is like, be in the moment in the present moment and kind of go, oh, you know what like, that is, this is actually really cool. You know, these different kinds of people coming into a room and experiencing the same thing that they may have not otherwise done. One of the things that you mentioned a minute ago, that I wanted to go back on was, you know, you're talking about being obsessed with a Hano being feeling like you're like, 13. Again, right? You're essentially kind of like learning all this stuff. Did you feel that like, for one like that, it took a man of time to honestly shake the mimicry, but like, you know, find your own voice within that world? Or because you have been a songwriter for a while, that, like, it was kind of it was still very easy to sing from your own perspective, just to write from your own perspective. And, or was it a little bit more of like, you know, just kind of, since since it was so fresh and new, still kind of being, you know, really impression? Or more impressionable? Does that make sense?
David Beck 22:16
Yeah. So there's, there's two factors in it. And the first factor is like, just like, I had to literally, I hadn't studied anything. Since high school. I went to college, but I didn't really do anything in college. I barely did anything. I hadn't studied anything, or like, had to learn anything new until I started working with Madonna stuff at the very beginning. I had to, like, critically break down what the baselines are doing. What are the drums doing, researching, looking at videos, like, I had to, like, completely break down music style, because I wanted to recreate it so bad, but I had to learn. This is what the guitar does. This is what the ball does. These are the kick drum patterns. These are the percussion patterns. And like, I hadn't learned anything new in so long, that it was exhilarating to do that. So and then playing it and then playing it with the right feel. And, you know, finding all the players that that can pick up on it, that we're good listeners that could, you know, tap into the same feel and everything, I think. So there's like some fundamental musical things that I had to sit down and go note for note and learn things. And that was really, really cool. Especially to do that in my late 20s. Early 30s like to learn something, which sounds stupid, but I don't know if I would like, I don't know, anything else that I can tell you that I've like, learned how to do anything new. Right? It's kind of sad. But uh, I think probably a lot of adults or, you know, young adults or whatever, whatever. You know, unless you're, like, training for a job or something, or what are you? I know, there's a lot of people that have a bunch of activities, and then I'm gonna get in the pottery, then they learn all about pottery. But most of my friends we have like three things we do and then we don't change it. Anyway, so there's that which I had to learn. And then also the band. I feel like we like the first record is like super fun, but like we don't know are doing on it. And the second record, I feel like everybody has a way better grasp musically all the musicians on what our goals are, and we're way more comfortable and so I really think the second record, Volume Two is a really good example of us just sort of getting in the groove. And then on the other side of corn, the second part of all this, the songwriting for me, I think has stayed exactly the same, which is really cool. And that's not it. None of these are intentional. But, uh, I just ended up writing the same type of songs I always do. They just happen to be over poco or Colombia or whatever. So like, it's the same. I feel like I've my voice was there from the first song I wrote? And that, that never changed. Yeah, which is good, which is good.
Thomas Mooney 25:37
Yeah, that's, that's really interesting, right there. As far as, you know, kind of a that you're able to, like, maintain that, that same lane that same direction, right? Without feeling like you had to change your writing style. But then also at the same time, like, you know, being humble enough to to, to know that, like, I have to go and break down the songs to actually do anything justice. Because, you know, if you I guess if you don't do that, if he didn't do that, it would feel like you're, you know, just kind of, I don't know, I try to, you know, I guess take what's I guess? What's the word I'm looking for? You're like, if you've, I guess, like just kind of mailing it in, right? We're like, trying, yeah, appropriate. Some Yeah. But like, it sounds like you actually. And that's, that's something that's so interesting, right? There, too, is like, as you said, you know, a lot of times when you're an adult, you kind of stop learning, or you feel like you need to stop, or you don't have to learn, I guess is probably the better way. And yet, you know, I think that's like, also so amazing is when you do have those those moments of like, oh, you know what, there's still so much more that I can actually try and do. I don't have to like be limited by this earlier version of myself.
David Beck 27:03
Yeah. I think sometimes, yeah, it takes a new a new energy to you new to you, to just sort of push you over the edge to start working on stuff, you have to want to work on stuff. That's why I did shitty in college. I didn't care. It's suck. And I wish that going back because people, you know, I wasted a whole a whole thing that people strive for, and I feel really bad about it. But, you know, you got to, if you have that drive learning something new, it's just so good for your brain. And yeah, like
Thomas Mooney 27:49
you said, like this record right here, you felt like you guys knew what you're doing more like, right? There was how, yes, this feeling of oh, you know, we're, what we're doing is intentional. Not necessarily, like we're just falling into having a fun record. I'm assuming that had just come with just the repetition of playing live a whole lot. And, you know, doing, obviously, the the studying, if you will, but was it like was I'm sure like there wasn't necessarily one moment or anything like that. Not like a snap of a finger or anything like that. There wasn't like probably an aha moment. But was there a moment where you kind of like, at least when you were recording Volume Two that you kind of realized, okay, this is this is different than Volume One, this is a little bit more advanced, a little bit more progressive, in that step in that direction.
David Beck 28:42
I'm not when we were recording it. We just went in with a general confidence and more of like, knowing, like a, like a, we could see the end picture and we knew how to get there quick.
Thomas Mooney 29:01
David Beck 29:02
We knew what we wanted. We knew what we wanted stuff to sound like. We knew how we wanted to feel. So we just went in. Like, with less resistance, and more, a better understanding of where we wanted to end up. Yeah, and but we did have a breakthrough moment. It's a little bit different. But there was this. We played the San Antonio rodeo. We got a really awesome gig of the same sounding radio and one of those big tents. And which the same Tony rodeo is about as good as a gig for a day on a weekend as we could possibly get. Just it's in San Antonio. It's in the Toronto Mecca doesn't intimidate intimidating show for us, and so we went in half excited half like God I hope this works and And we started playing some remote Ayala stuff. And we had, like, probably 50 to 100 people dancing. It just like felt like the whole team was dancing and everybody was like, having a good time. And we felt like accepted and to that specific moment, you know, the three and a half minutes for that song. To me, it was like, Okay, this is gonna work. Yeah, you know, yeah, this will work, we can do it. We, we can do it and not feel like guilty about what we're doing or, you know, culturally or whatever. Like, we can, like people. I, from what from my point of view, it felt like everybody was like, Okay, y'all are cool. We got like the nod to be like, alright, it's not, well dance, because people don't feel like they're not going to dance. Do you know? So? It's like that, to me. It was like, we got the nod from San Antonio. The people have seen. So that was a breakthrough. That was like a pin point. I remember the day it's on a calendar kind of thing.
Thomas Mooney 31:17
Yeah. It's it's that's must be like a, obviously, a little bit of the approval. Right? The the nod? I know, the head nod you're talking about, you know?
David Beck 31:28
Thomas Mooney 31:29
David Beck 31:30
that's that's a big driving force to you notice to Drax is trying to expand that culture to be like, Okay, it's, you know, because it's, you know, it all comes from them. I mean, it's a, it's a texting deal, or whatever. But, you know, we wouldn't have much to do with it. White folks. So, to me, you know, it's, I don't know, just honoring someone else's culture. Because you love it. And because it brings you so much joy. You know, and so when you get a head nod from somebody about it, that is a really cool thing, because it's a shared, you're sharing this world together. And I think that's a beautiful thing.
Thomas Mooney 32:20
Right? Well, not to necessarily even take it this way. As far as I don't know if you've had any of these moments, but has or have you felt any resistance, even like, you know, or reservations from yourself? As far as you know, are we doing this justice or, you know, are people kind of, you know, it hasn't been any crowds are kind of, you know, resistant to, to y'all doing to hollow music.
David Beck 32:51
We've had one lady at the bluebonnet palace and Selma, yell, come up to the stage and yell at us that we shouldn't play this music. That's one lady out of I don't we've been playing for almost four years now. So, you know, if people don't like it, they're not telling me about it. But, you know, they're not vocal about it to me, but because I'm sure people don't like it. Some people don't like it. But, uh, no, I mean, other than that, it's, it's just generally been really well received. And I, you know, I doubt myself, I doubt everything I do. Let you know, quite a bit. Like, that's what keeps me in check on things. But I personally know it's coming from a good place. And we work really, really hard on it to make it as good as possible. And it's, it, you know, it's honoring what, you know, the Hispanic culture has created and it's just, it just shining a light on that and wanting and though, the way I you know, honor stuff is to try to recreate it and try to make more of it. Yeah. Well, that's how I feel about
Thomas Mooney 34:26
Yeah, I think so too. I mean, I think that like more than anything else, this is a, an opportunity for a lot of people to use you guys as a gateway to discuss. Yeah, you know,
David Beck 34:40
yeah, leave us behind. There's much better. There's there's much there's much much better things. Yeah. If we can if we can open the doors to someone. All of a sudden becoming obsessed with Roberto Pulido, then, you know, that's, I think that's a positive thing.
Thomas Mooney 34:59
You Yeah, well, one of the things I was wondering is, you know, do you feel like, let's, let's go back to that whole like, 13 you feel like 13? Like this new girl discovering right? Being invigorated? Do you did it feel like you unit up? Like, you know, having a hot streak as far as writing? Did it feel like this was a new when it when it came to the writing? Or? Why did it always kind of feel like the same kind of process? Did you know? Did you never feel like you know that like you didn't have something to write about? Or was it something like, you know, some water to a seed, because this was something fresh and new, that you felt like, Okay, I'm on a hot streak of riding because it's kind of been invigorating in that way.
David Beck 35:50
It was absolutely a hot streak. And it was, you know, taking a lot of all these skills, I've been working on my whole life with making one little alteration. And then that's all it took for it to feel fresh, for everything to feel fresh. Like I've never written a film before. And I'm super excited about it. One thing that was different about it, which was really exciting was So music is our shows largely dance based, we're trying to get people to dance. And so I'd never done this in any other band or anything. But I go we need. Like, I'd look, I'd listen to one of 7.5, which is a really badass radio station in San Antonio Kx, TN. And like, we'd be playing these shows, and we didn't have enough for 90 minutes. So we'd like stretch stuff out. And then hear a song in the radio and be like this tempo of a tune, like this. tempo of a Columbia is exactly what we need. In our set, we need this like, for a couple of weeks from now, we need more songs. Literally, we need more songs to play with, but I want to write a song, it's this type of, so I would write down the BPM, okay, it's 115 BPM or whatever. And then I go home and make a kuliah with samples and stuff. And I'd make in ProTools, and I'd make a Columbia at 115 Just the drums. Because I knew that was going to be that was going to cultivate the correct like energy that we are looking for. And then I would write a song on top of that on top of these loops. So like I've never with with other music I made, I never like listened to some freaking whatever Fleet Foxes and be like, that's the kind of song we need. Because it's all over the place. It's not danspace You know, if I had been making if I had been making other types of music, maybe I would have felt that or something but it like it. A lot of these students started with the rhythm and started with these, like, I we need something we need a Pokemon it feels like this fast. We need it to be this energy. And then our so I had a little these like guidelines that I'd set up for myself, which is really, which, you know, it can be daunting. Going to have a hall pass to do whatever. Absolutely. Whatever you want to write a song, it can be anything you can run a piano, guitar, whatever, it doesn't matter. You're like, oh God, you can really just like shut down with endless opportunity. You can just shut down. Hey, what you want to write a book about love the history of Lubbock? Oh my god, what time for you? I don't know. What about people about buildings? You know, it's like, no. Music 2015 2017 Okay, I can do that. You know, like, it just gave me some guidelines with writing. So
Thomas Mooney 39:03
yeah, no, I know exactly what you're talking about. It's the sometimes like, when you I guess what I framed it as is like, once you kind of set up some parameters. Once you like, say I'm only painting inside this box painting inside. Yeah. Somehow, like it's like, the outside the box approach to it. Because like, you're you're only you can focus. You know, it's the same thing that I've talked about as far as when you open, you're like, oh, I want to watch a movie or a show on Netflix. And then you just end up scrolling because like, it's just too much. You're overwhelmed by it. Yeah, I feel like Netflix for me would be if they just offered 10 shows at a time. Yeah, because I could just I could actually do it. But yeah, those those parameters are sometimes necessary.
David Beck 39:54
Yeah, absolutely. And in having a specific In are not even a specific end goal but a general like in goal of I want to write a song that makes people do this. Right. Okay. Okay, we know it's like algebra, we know the answer. And we know it's a cumbia. But we don't know what x and y are, you know, we know like a couple of these things, we just got figured out what those are. Yeah, we know, we know what the answer and we know what it equals N equals nine, it's got to have this next this tempo.
Thomas Mooney 40:33
Yeah, almost, like, apply it to have I got another specific kind of tool in the toolbox. You know, like, because, as you said, like, a lot of this music is danspace You're wanting dancers. And, you know, if you're playing the exact same thing, 90 minutes, you know, people get tired of doing that one specific thing. They want to hear some diversity, a little bit of, yeah. And you know, where you have that a little different when you're able to pull out like that different song. And it just changes the, the momentum of the the mood of the room, and then you're able to, obviously go back into whatever else, you know, it's the different brush.
David Beck 41:13
Yeah, yeah. You know what? I was gonna say, it's also like live music based. It's also like, a visceral, immediate reaction that you want people to like. You're not I wasn't sitting in my bedroom thinking about lost love. Right, whatever, whatever. Cool, minor seven chord I could play on the guitar. It's like, God, dang it. I wish these people like, I wish I would have danced. I wish we had this song to play. So we could at that moment of the show, you go home and go back. It's like, very immediate, like, that's what I mean.
Thomas Mooney 42:01
Yeah, no, it's the it's and this is gonna be like the the obviously cliche kind of thing. But, you know, in the movie, Selena Salinas, dad and his blood, his band, they were trying to do like doowop and stuff, right? And there's that scene in the very beginning, where they're trying to sing Blue Moon. And like they're being booed off stage, because they're wanting to dance. And there's that one lady who says, We want to dance. And like, exactly, if you had to, like, just watch, like a five second clip. You know, that's what it is. It's that dance culture, that live music aspect of it all.
David Beck 42:39
Yeah, it's a bad feeling to if you've ever been in a position to go to go. Like, this crowd is fucking hyped up. And like, we're at blue light, and everybody wants to party. And we have a really slow song next. And we have to do it because we don't have an accent. That's not a fun place to be. That's when you actually figure out some cover songs real quick to you. I know this one. Dude. It's in G. You know? Yeah, yeah. So that'll force you into some things. Positively.
Thomas Mooney 43:25
One of the things I need to say before I forget it, because I was thinking about it was obviously you guys do live forever. Billy Joe shaver. Yeah, and I only interviewed Billy Joe one time. But the reason I'm bringing it up is because during this conversation, and obviously talking with him on the like, during an interview, as I've kind of said, like we talked for about, I don't know, like 45 minutes, and I had like, five minutes of that conversation. It was just like him talking basically all the time, which was exactly what I wanted it to be. But one of the things he talked about was how when he was driving anywhere, all he listened to was the radio on on Spanish stations. Really? Yeah. And so like when you said, like, you were, you know, listening to the radio and going, oh, I need a little bit of this or a little bit of that. You know, I think it's like this weird, you know, it's the serendipity serendipity of the that song was destined to be a Hanukkah song at some point.
David Beck 44:30
That's awesome. I bet he would have liked it. Yeah, we never we never crossed paths or hope he would. But if you like, you know, that's what he listened to. I got to meet Billy Joe. When I was like, 18, I was playing with a guy named Rodney Hayden. I was playing bass and we opened for Billy Joe at Sam's Town point. And I had got to the show Before our soundcheck so it's like early afternoon, it's like three or mid afternoon, it's like three or four o'clock. There's really nobody else there at Sam's, I drove myself down there and went in the greenroom and Billy Jones just sitting in the green room by himself. And we talked for about an hour. And all he won. And I, I was 18 says, As a young guy, and he was just asking, like, about why I was playing music. And, and just encouraged me to do it. And he was telling me, you know, all about super hard and blah, blah. But if you feel like you want to do it, and you got to do it, you know. And it was super powerful in the moment, and an even more powerful when I sort of got older and realized, like, how influential Billy Joe shaver was country music and everything. He also told me a very graphic story about how life Life is like a watermelon. And something about having sex with a watermelon. I can't recall exactly. But it was it was something about fucking watermelon, and I can't remember what you know, yeah, they like, Get get to juice out of life. But you know, when you tell, I don't know, there's a parable. Look at a watermelon. Good. So it's very cool. Like, I was, I was. I knew it was special at the moment. So yeah. But not not fully understanding why it was so special.
Thomas Mooney 47:10
Though, I know what you mean, it was, like I said, when I talked to him. It was also one of those things where I had gotten the interview setup, and we're going to talk on the phone. And like I said, we talked for about an hour. And the next day, his manager, or publicist, or whoever it was called me, or emailed me asking, saying that, did we needed like, reschedule the interview? Because I asked Billy Joe about it. And he said that he doesn't remember talking to anyone. And I was like, oh my god, we're on the phone for like, an hour or so. I mean, it went well, like, it was really, really great. But it was also one of those little funny things was that during this interview, there was like three or four or five times where he said something to the effect of you know, I may be like, you know, I came or how old he was at the time, but I may be like, 72 years old, but also what a man's ass if need be. And I was just like, man, like, I didn't even Am I like putting on my like pushing these like, weird vibes out there that like I want to fight you or something like or do you just want to be known? And of course, this is already after he shot a guy but I think he knows that. You're tough Billy Joe, you don't. But he probably said it like, three or four times. Like, you know, maybe bah bah years old. But also what a man's ass if need be. Yeah. So
David Beck 48:43
he's a wild guy. Yeah, I just, I just remember him being super sweet. And like, encouraging. It was excited to music.
Thomas Mooney 49:00
Yeah, cool. Yeah, that's one of those things where I remember him saying, I know you said it a bunch of times and different to different people. But it was like, you know, God put me on earth to write songs. And like, that's what I'm going to do. And then really just kind of, like, you know, inspiring about that, you know, maybe you're not going to be singing those songs in front of every, you know, the biggest crowd or whatever, or get your songs cut by Waylon Jennings or whoever. But like, it was always in his, it's in his DNA to write or was to write you know, and that's really really kind of a like, like, he kind of said right there too inspiring. pushes you to think like, oh, you know if I can do it, too.
David Beck 49:50
Yeah, it uh, it's also I know that I don't know if you notice but human nor McDonald are really your buddies. Did you see those he was on the podcast? Norm never done a podcast and then on the TV show, yeah. So he did two different things and that and I feel like and Norm just passed away, which is wild. But I feel like they also related to each other to a lot like just die hard guys that were devoted to their craft, who had other friends that like, were super successful Waylon Jennings, sort of, which would be like, nor McDonald's, like Adam Sandler, was his buddy. You know, like guys that are like, way more popular that we're all the same group kind of getting started and stuff and but I like I like imposing that on their friendship, but it seems to me like they both kind of had this sort of on the fringe thing, but like very pure artists, you know?
Thomas Mooney 51:08
Yeah, no, I think like the that's spot on on all what you said there, the purity of it all. You know that. You the pursuit of writing a song for Billy Joe was like the same pursuit that norm had for writing jokes, like, the pursuit of writing that like that perfect joke. Yeah. You know, you mentioned the TV show. I do have like this one screenshot on my phone that I've had forever, since it came out. And that is of Billy Joe on the show. And he's reading a card that norm had told him to read and it says, bad news for e cigarette users. You look fucking stupid. And I've just always had the like, since I don't know member when he came on the show, but yeah. Yeah. I love it. Yeah, exactly. It's
David Beck 52:06
I love those. It's just, it's just bizarre to me, too, that. I don't know how, you know, Norm found Billy Joe shaver, and then how they get him, but it's just so like, it seemed like from two different planets, but they're really very similar people, I think.
Thomas Mooney 52:26
Yeah, that is interesting to the how do these worlds path or cross? You know, the? Yeah, I'm assuming, you know, that norm. Like reached out to Billy Joe about it. You know? Yeah. Well, I can see like norm being like a, you know, quote, unquote, outlaw country fan. And then like,
David Beck 52:46
yeah, yeah. No one was really big into Merle Haggard, Willie. Billy Jones. So he loved all that kind of stuff. Yeah. You know, so, yeah, I'm sure. I don't know how long their friendship went back before that. But
Thomas Mooney 53:06
yeah, one of the things I wanted to touch on before ending on any of this, but was last time we talked, some of that you said something that you had talked about was about, like, how, when you came to writing, like you had, like, specific notebooks to write in, and you wrote in them and you had like, the, the volumes of, of your songwriting over, since you've started writing, and how, like, that was kind of a, you know, as far as like you, I think, like, what you're talking about was like, how you're kind of disorganized, and a lot of things. But when it came to like writing down lyrics and writing, you had like a certain kind of notebook. And that's like the, kind of like that sacred ground, if you will. Sure. Yeah. Can you expand on that? Because I find that really, really fascinating. As far as just like, the creative side and I don't know, just, it's, I kind of agree, like sometimes you have to have like those spaces.
David Beck 54:09
I think it's to me, it does feel sacred. And it does, it's always been like the most important thing in my life since I sort of started when I was about 12 or 13. It took over everything. For better or worse, something's got left my school and didn't do great after I discovered how to record music. Just spend all day doing it, and no time doing anything else. But the books have been, well musics been the most consistent thing in my life as a general thing, but writing and recording and having dances has not stopped since I was in junior high and The books are just like a physical manifestation of the consistency of that. And ever I bought the first one, there was a place called colloquium in San Marcos, which is like the university bookstore. And I went and bought the, like eight and a half by 11 sketch books like Sketchpad books, like the black bound ones. And then I mean lines on them or anything. So it's just total freedom. And I bought one in 2007. In every few months, it's all up and then go back to the same colloquium and go get one off the shelf. And it's very like what's the word? Sick, sacred is close, but it's very, like, ceremonial. Yeah, like you could you get when you write the date in it, you know, when you start a whole new chapter sells. And so I went and did that at a colloquium for a long time. And then the colloquium shut down. And now I have to go to Hobby Lobby, which is way less cool.
Thomas Mooney 56:23
Yeah. Significantly less, like, have a ritual, you know?
David Beck 56:30
Yeah, it's still ritual, it still means the same. And it's still, I still really enjoy doing it. But yeah, the colloquium was cool. And now I'd go to Hobby Lobby, I ordered one off the internet, and that was the least cool. So at least I found somewhere where they sell him like physically, because it's like, it's very self important or whatever. But there's like that there's the book, this one that was sitting on the shelf that has ended up on the very front of the shelf, like that's the one who's like, predestined to be more.
Thomas Mooney 57:04
Yeah, absolutely. I also just think it's such a, you know, we have all these, like, romanticized ideas of how the songwriter finds the songs, and how they, how he, or she puts them to paper, and records them. And, you know, you hear these wild stories of, oh, you know, I was wrote on the back of a pizza box, or, you know, receipt or something like that. And, of course, that that does happen every once in a while, but, you know, I love like, the, the image of like the songwriter, you know, having a certain book, that or journal that, like, that's where they go. And you know, kind of having, like, we're, again, not necessarily like the parameters, but, you know, having something that that kind of creates the moment and the mood. So a lot more romanticized than, you know, you typing out on a computer, lyric or something,
David Beck 57:59
God in the past, like, seven years, 10 years now. And sorry for anyone who reads this or that I work with, but they'll write all their lyrics on their phone, and then they're recording the vocals, unlike recording because I produced it for the people. And they'll be recording the vocals and they have their phone in front of them. And it's, I don't like it. Yeah, like the phone is such an evil distracting thing.
Thomas Mooney 58:31
When it comes to art, yeah,
David Beck 58:33
it's like, please don't record this song with your phone area. And I realize some people don't care at all it's completely practical. Whatever. Why is this my own? Like little hang up on it, but
Thomas Mooney 58:49
yeah, no, I hear what you mean. I mean, whatever. Just to apply it for what I do. Like obviously the phone is very practical to take down notes and stuff like that. But you know what I'm writing at the computer or something like that. I come up on like a snag or something where I just can't you know, get around it or anything like that. I was just like, right? Put the pin in your paper in your hand and like right that way. And it feels like it feels a little bit more natural of course and it just feels like something sometimes more often than not like there's you know, it gets out better that way for me. Do you have a specific pin that you go to?
David Beck 59:31
I can't I like to I like to Sharpie and see if I actually don't think I have one in my studio right now. Oh, here's a Sharpie ultra fine point. The the like metal tip Sharpies. That's it
Thomas Mooney 1:00:00
Hey, I'm a big guy too to ask like what opinions because I think like this is it may sound boring for like 95% of the people listening but the high percent of know what we're talking about when it matters like when it matters what kind of penalties or you know like it's a little insight that I use as a uni ball signo 207 specifically like it says Michael
David Beck 1:00:28
let me see you in a ball signal three SN two it says
Thomas Mooney 1:00:36
there's two different types there's at the regular kind of nerves like micro or just like a little more of a fine
Unknown Speaker 1:00:45
Unknown Speaker 1:00:46
David Beck 1:00:50
I know where to get you for Christmas.
Thomas Mooney 1:00:52
Oh there we go man. Absolutely So yeah, David it's been a pleasure talking to you this afternoon on on this new record coming out tomorrow
David Beck 1:01:07
actually get excited I keep forgetting stuff to be Oh yeah. Yeah, it's it's really cool. And these are just all wrapped up in here but these are just leaving and we go through so many ups and downs just like we do this ride and we try hard enough I feel like we didn't try hard enough at all. No, we did everything we can like we just had we just go through like ups and downs and stuff so much and and then he was listening to it was like nobody's even heard this. Yeah, like the record so cool. The songs are good. Like no one even know what this is yet.
Thomas Mooney 1:01:56
Okay, that is it for episode 204 with David Beck. Be sure to check out David Beck's tahona weekend and their newest album volume to stop on over at the merch store. Order the Lubbock way my debut book. It's out now. Visit our presenting partners over at blue light live and desert door. And yeah, I'll see y'all later for another episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai