“Ever seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movie where Jack Sparrow gets off his boat and it sinks right away?” vocalist Dave McWane of Big D and the Kids Table asks. “We got home [after our tour with Reel Big Fish and Keep Flying] on Sunday, and Monday was the lockdown.”
So, Big D regrouped and recorded their new album, Do Your Art, wherever they could— which involved McWane’s house and “a little bit in Vermont.”
“The lockdown kind of helped the record,” McWane adds. “Other than all the unfortunate things, of course, but it made us do more. We started doing Zoom hangouts. So, we were hanging out more, even though it wasn’t face to face.”
McWane found the unusual recording environment for Do Your Art inspiring:
“This sounds so weird because when I was young, I used to say, ‘no place I’d rather be than in a recording studio.’ But after a while, they’re dark places, so I liked being just here in my house; it was organic and relaxed.”
What does McWane hope fans get from Do Your Art? Well, that’s simple.
“I just hope they enjoy it,” he says. “I want it to be, like, you just lit the fuse; people get excited when they hear it. It’s a really fun record, so I really hope people enjoy it as much as we do.”
And while there’s a political streak to the record, with themes of class and capitalism, McWane didn’t want to tarnish the positive vibes with repeated mentions of the former POTUS.
“I didn’t want to touch anything to do with Trump, because it’s like trapping yourself in a bad memory,” McWane says.
McWane explains that he hopes the album encourages people to view art as the light at the end of the tunnel during life’s terrifying moments.
“With all these political leaders being corrupt, and all these active shooters, I wanted to start the artistic conversation of giving poor people and poor kids something to relate to,” he says. “If they’re huddled in a bathroom stall, and they can hear the end coming, instead of being scared, maybe we could have some lyrics to go to in those last moments that could help. They can go to a place and have a little bit more strength rather than biting their teeth to shatter before someone pops the door open. Crazy, right? It’s where we’re at.”
Coming out of the pandemic, there’s an abundance of new music out there, as well as the relatively recent resurgence of ska. But Big D formed in the late ’90s, right at the end of the genre’s third wave, so McWane is used to the genre being looked down on. All he hopes is that this revival doesn’t spawn a bunch of manufactured bands who go straight to the top, leaving the hard-working bands behind.
“I can’t tell you how many great musicians I know who think that they’re not great because they couldn’t do what these other people do by snapping their fingers,” he says.
McWane is humble in his career and proud of what his band has accomplished.
“I just want people to get [the album], and play it and enjoy it,” he says. “I’ve already done the part that’s my favorite, and that’s writing, talking about music with my friends, recording, working on artwork and lyrics. And then hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I’ll have a copy in my hands, and I can look at it, and I’ll say: ‘good job.’”
Watch the video for “New Day” here:
For more from Big D and the Kids Table, find them at their official website.
Photo courtesy of Big D and the Kids Table and Blake Hansen