Wednesday, August 29, 2012

David Garlitz: Carefree Love Song/Great Jazz Guitarist

"I Wanna Eat You Up" x Dave Garlitz from Boat Safety Films on Vimeo.

David Garlitz is an American singer/songwriter that lives in Paris, France. He came across the site early last week and sent me his new video, "I wanna eat you up." At first, I thought the song was for the child in the video, who I assume to be his daughter. However, this is not true. It was originally made for his wife. I love the fact that David uses a classical guitar, as that is the only type of acoustic guitar I own and use in many of my songs. Also, he only uses the guitar throughout the whole song, which can be difficult. So many people dress their songs up with unnecessary instruments, others find cool unique bits of flavor, and still some (like me), can't resist percussion of some sort! Still, David did a great job with his take on a silly love song, and he couples the music with some videography. "I wanna eat you up" is a part of a three-song EP that he is realeasing this fall on iTunes and at davidgarlitz.bandcamp.com. If you would like to read more about David, you can find information on his website, davidgarlitz.com. His film-maker, Giga Shane, can be reached at boatsafetyfilms.com. Finally, David's band, Calamity Jeanne, has demos you can listen to on their website, calamityjeanne.com. I interviewed David, and here is what he had to say:

1) Your song is called "I wanna eat you up." Where did you get the inspiration for that name?

Well, the song is really a love song for my wife, C├ęcile. I can't remember how the line "I wanna eat you up" came to mind - it's a common enough phrase - but I thought it would make a funny hook for a love song. I had a little notebook where I started writing down rhymes for the word "up," and when I came up with "on your fingertips I would gladly sup," I knew I was onto something! 

2) I heard that you are an American songwriter, but live in France. What made you choose Paris as your new home?

Well, I met my wife, who is French, while we were both in grad school. She was having such a great time spending a year in the States, traveling around and learning about the language, history, and culture, that it made me want to do the same thing! So the following year I applied for a job as a teaching assistant in the Paris  school system, and I went over thinking that I would just spend a year and check things out. Now it's been seven years! 

3) Who are your musical influences?

When I was a kid we listened to all kinds of music at home. My parents loved the Beatles, of course, and also Paul Simon and James Taylor, but my dad also had a pretty eclectic record collection : Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarret, Claude Bolling, Olivier Messaien, Gavin Bryars, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits... and on and on! Also, my mother was a Spanish teacher, so she often put on flamenco and salsa at parties. Then in high school some friends took me to see Phish, and I became a pretty big phish-head for a while. I found out that they were Sun Ra fans, so of course I had to check that stuff out, which led me to some far out avant-garde jazz like late Miles and guitarists like James Blood Ulmer and Derek Bailey. I also got into Marc Ribot, a guitarist that I particularly admire, whose Cubanos Postizos project got me back to Latin music like some of what my mom used to put on. I got really into Cuban music, and I still play professionally in a couple of groups around Paris. In the meantime, though, I've still got this songwriting thing that seems pretty rooted in Simon and Taylor, with maybe a little Cole Porter and Kermit the Frog mixed in...

4) What is your ultimate goal in music?

I have a great time making music and sharing it with others, and whenever I have a paying gig I always feel lucky, like I'm beating the system or something - especially if it's playing my own music! I love playing music festivals and the kinds of gigs where it's outside and people are hanging out on the lawn, etc., so I guess my goal for the immediate future is just to get more of those gigs! 

5) What was it like making a music video?

It was a lot of fun. Giga Shane is an old friend from when we were in school together at Temple University, both studying jazz guitar. We were roommates the year after college, and we share the same sense of humor - when we get together we just sit around and make up jokes and puns all day - so we have a kind of shorthand that made brainstorming and coming up with ideas pretty easy. Giga is a brilliant musician in his own right as well as an amazing film-maker, so he had no problem picking up on all of the intricacies of the music itself - bringing out the little guitar breaks, etc. - and the scenario for the video was all his idea, as well. We were spending a week at the beach with our families and we both have one-year old daughters who are super cute, so we thought "why not work them in?" Giga came up with the whole recipe idea and we were off to the races! He's been running his own film company, Boat Safety Films, for quite some time now, so the production side of things was really tight. He made a shot-list and a schedule starting at 7am, and we shot the whole thing in one day! I think my favorite part was the shower scene - I had to over-exaggerate my articulation so that you could see it through the shower glass, which was a fun challenge! 

My thoughts on the interview:

Indeed, that sup line was great. Reverse grammar... reminds me of my college days where I studied various Latin languages, including some French.

Wow, seven years in France. I agree, studying cultures other than your own is always a thrilling experience. But I see you got a little bit of new culture growing up. Spanish was the main language I studied in school; however, I don't have any plans to teach it haha.

Playing for people always beats playing alone, huh? I'm doing an MFA in composing, production music, and sound design, but I don't think I could ever cut the live scene out of my life either. Being around other people is simply exhilarating. 

Yes, your friend Giga is a great videographer. I finally had time to watch the last minute of the video, and I'm guessing that was him fighting the air for the last few seconds. Funny stuff.

Thanks again David for interviewing, and good luck with your career as a musician!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fun song, and a totally zany video! Kudos to both of you (and to the baby-- she's obviously a natural actress!).