Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
Hello! I’m David Goldflies – you say it, GoldFlece – and I’m glad to be asked to talk to you folks. I’m a lifelong musician that managed to gain a little bit of credibility playing with arguably one of the best rock bands ever to exist, the Allman Brothers Band.
One thing that I’m always interested in when I sit down and chat with artists is what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
For me, the motivation “to be in music” happens every time I take on a project. Initially, I wasn’t given a choice in the matter. At four years old, my dad and grandfather started me on violin. The decision was made (by them), and many years of lessons and a bunch of practice led to me being really bored in the 3rd-grade orchestra. In 7th grade, I almost got thrown out of the orchestra by accidentally playing the piece twice as fast as written. Since then, music has been very situational. I copped a gig in the local Oxford, Ohio band Starstruck with Bill Bartlett, formerly of the Lemonpipers (Green Tambourine). We went into the studio and recorded the mega-hit Black Betty, which was released under the name Ram Jam. I was then asked to join the Dickey Betts and Great Southern band, which directly led to my touring and recording with the Allman Brothers Band. Now I am a multi-instrumentalist (violin, bass, guitar, Ableton live, vocals) and music director for our touring Allman Brothers Legacy group, A Brothers Revival. Of course, there was that one time I saw Return to Forever with Chick, Lenny, Al, and Stanley and left the Taft Theater in Cincinnati totally blown away and full of possibilities. But that’s another story.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
I’ve been mixing and mastering myself. I’m just finishing up a new release, my third album, Cocoa Brown and Rust, by GoldFlece. I think mixing is a lifelong process. There is always more to learn and try. Recently I’ve been very concerned about the sound system on which the recording will be heard. In a car? On broadcast radio? Streaming through headphones? I think different mixes for different mediums are a good idea. It is worth remembering that when listening to music, the listener either likes the material or doesn’t. Mixing can only do so much if the music itself is not good. I try to listen as critically as possible and in as many environments as possible to put out a good product. I learn on every project, accept my limitations, and hope the next album is better!
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
I’ve evolved three criteria for taking (or not taking) gigs. Thinking about this question, I wonder if I have subconsciously applied them to my entire life. The three criteria are these:
1) If the gig pays well, take it.
That seems like a no-brainer, but since I learned that time is limited, if the gig doesn’t pay well, don’t take it. BUT, that doesn’t mean you don’t take a low-paying gig, which leads to the second criteria. 2) If the gig is interesting, take it.
A gig being interesting is a really, really broad idea. Will a cool musician be at the gig? Is the gig in an interesting place? Is the music challenging? Interesting means just that; if I find something that interests me about the gig, then I’ll take it. Typically the symphony orchestras where I play double bass aren’t about to shower the musicians with money – but the music is great and, at times, very challenging. I’m in!
3) The third criteria is simple. If my music is being played, I’m there.
I write a lot. We even do an entertaining fiddle tune I’ve written called “Fadiddle” in the Brothers Revival show. I figure if my music is being played, either in a group I’ve put together or being programmed on a performance, then I need to show up. Just before Covid times, I had a piece called Web Dance premiere with the Panama City Symphony Orchestra. That performance was a nail-biter because, at the time, no one knew what was going to happen COVID-wise regarding live performance. That took place on March 14, 2020. Everything shut down here in northern Florida on March 15.
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
Growing up, my influences were a weird mix of standards, as played on the show Music til Dawn on WLW in Cincinnati, the classics (Beethoven, Bach, etc.), and American Top-40 pop music. As a kid, pop music like Hermans Hermits, the Archies, early Beatles, and the Monkees were my favorites. I remember getting a vinyl 45 of Daytripper by the Beatles and wearing it out on a cheap, portable record player.I also remember a time when my sister came home with a Led Zeppelin album. It sounded terrible to me! But two years later, I listened to the same album and loved it. I think our musical comprehension changes over time. I wasn’t ready for rock music, and then I was. Later the calling of jazz got me. I had what felt like an awakening listening to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way. My head was just ready for that music when I heard it. I have been with young musicians when they had a similar awakening to that music. It’s like you are ready, and then you hear, really hear, what the connections can be between different styles of music. I was so fortunate to play in the Allman Brothers Band since they were the very definition of musical fusion. Each player came from a different place, and the sum was greater than the parts.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
Covid was a mixed experience. I managed to avoid getting it, as did most, but not all of my friends and associates. Effectively there was no in-person music scene. I did stay busy in my project studio. I wasn’t too keen on streaming performances, so it turns out I had a lot of time on my hands. I became interested in astrophotography, taking pictures of the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and eventually star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. It turns out astrophotography is a very technically demanding endeavor, not entirely unlike setting up a band for a performance. By its nature, astrophotography is a socially distanced activity, so there were few roadblocks for getting into it. I’ve attached a few of the photos I’ve managed to take so far.
I, myself, personally think that there are too many social media platforms out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary, but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
Social media is a two-edged sword. It can be an excellent way to talk to your friends and fans inexpensively. Like letting them know you are on tour or have a new album release. But as I think we have seen, the ability to distribute false and misleading information is now effortless. So, I’m not sure where it all is heading. As an artist, you can’t disregard social media. On our most recent tour, our guitarist Matt handled our social media. His sense of humor and genuine appreciation of our fans has really resulted in a cool connection to our audience for A Brothers Revival.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
I think music is a built-in feature of our brain. While fine-tuning and expanding on an idea takes work, the idea of having 12 notes and shaping them into an organized thought comes very naturally to me. Inspiration comes from many places. For instance, I’ve had dreams with songs in them, and I’ve managed to remember just enough to get the idea down when I woke up. Sometimes it’s the sound of an instrument, like when you get a new effects processor, and you step through the presets.
At the end of 2020, I wrote the “bones” of the music for my upcoming release Cocao Brown and Rust in one week. There are eight songs. I’d never written that much in such a short amount of time, but I found myself enthralled with the sound of my Yamaha Silent guitar through a small PA. I’ve never done a “singer/songwriter” album, but it seemed interesting to give it a shot. The album will be available for streaming soon.
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
Practice. Then practice some more. Try to play with musicians better than you. If you are dedicated, good musicians will notice and share their knowledge. Also, save your money. One day in the music business, you are on top. The following year you are scrounging change out of your couch. So be a wise business person and save when money is coming in.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
If you made it this far, I’d love to have you as a fan on, you guessed it – Social Media. Please visit abrothersrevival.com, www.goldflece.com, and like us on our Facebook pages. I look forward to performing all over the US now that venues are opening up again.