BB: What makes for a good show and what has been
your best show so far?
TD: Oh, wow. Ever?!
BB: Yeah sure. I know thereís been a lot.
TD: Whew, wow. Thereíve been a lot of good shows. There used to be a club
in England called The Towne and Country. It was this big, big theatre. And
I had two amazing shows there. One with Throwing Muses and one with Belly.
Recently, or actually not so recently, with the solo stuff I remember we
had one really great show in Japan. There are a lot of them. You know I
have to say that the musicians that I
choose to play with really blow me
away so I always feel really good
about shows. Itís really just something so organic that I donít even know
that it can be defined. I learned a long time ago that you canít say,
ďThat was a great show, letís figure out why and try to duplicate that.Ē
Because it has this something that kind of involves a third party, because
you have yourself, the audience and then this other thing. For me it has a
lot to do with the crowd. I donít know if thatís for better or for worse.
I just pick up peopleís energy.
BB: Do you have any pre or post show rituals?
TD: I drink a glass of wine before I go on stage. (Laughter)
BB: Is that for your mental state or does the
wine help your vocals?
TD: Purely for the mental state. I have horrible, horrible stage fright.
Not to get graphic but I threw up for years before shows. When I was in
Belly we toured for eighteen months, and it took a horrible toll on me
physically. But something happens. After a while I guess it just got to a
point where Ö you become immune to anything in life. But when I take
breaks from it, as I do, and them come back to it I still get that terror.
BB: Do you do any interesting covers?
TD: We do a lot of interesting covers. On our last tour we did a Robyn
Hitchcock song called ďSweet Ghost of Light.Ē We just did ďLong Long
Long,Ē which is a Beatles song and we actually recorded that so itís going
on the next release. Iím not so much with the covers, but Iím getting more
into it. I want to do that Nina Simone song ďWild Is The Wind.Ē We did it
a long time ago.
BB: Tell us about your audience. What are your
fans like? Any interesting stories?
TD: I love my fans, I gotta say. Theyíre very good people. Theyíre funny
and theyíre smart. I feel like I have a really good rapport with them for
the most part. Some of them have become friends, and people that I like to
see. Itís a nice community of people because it extends beyond me. One
thing about my fans that I really like is that they have developed a
community of their own that is a network that started with the Pixies,
Muses, Belly, that whole crew of us. A lot of these people are fans of
everything thatís come after. Itís a community that almost has nothing to
do with the artist anymore, which I really like because I think that itís
healthier than if they were only fixed on me, for instance. Itís something
that goes beyond what brought them together to begin with. I also like
that theyíre not afraid to be critical. Theyíre not mean, but they are
honest. Theyíre not sycophants.
BB: Good word. I havenít used that since Junior
THE BOSTON MUSIC SCENE
What are some of your favorite places to play?
TD: Right now? I love the Paradise. I really like the people there. I like
the atmosphere. I love ZuZu. I think thatís probably one of my favorite
places. Right now ZuZu and the Lizard Lounge are my favorite places to go
and see somebody play. Iíve always loved The Middle East. Upstairs and
down. Thereíre some really good places to go see bands.
BB: Are there some bands from the past or
currently that were some of your favorites to play with?
TD: I love Count Zero. The Dambuilders, back in the day. The Pixies,
obviously. There were just so many, early on especially. The Uzis were a
band from a long time ago that was great.
BB: How would you compare the Boston music scene
to the other cities youíve played in?
TD: Boston seems friendlier to me than other cities. It feels like people
truly support each other here in a way that Iím sure happens elsewhere
but, maybe not with such a high concentration of bands. And it can be very
fragmented; there are definitely different scenes here. But there are a
lot of events that bring people together and I just feel like the people
are just very supportive here. And for the most part theyíre really good
BB: Do you attribute that to the fact that you
have been a Boston-based artist for such a long time, or do you think itís
just that those other cities may not be as geared to your style?
TD: I donít know really what it is. Iím not saying there is a total lack
of competition here, but people arenít as greedy or something. Thereís not
really a nasty, competitive air here. Itís more communal.
BB: If you could play on stage with anyone alive
who would it be?
TD: Oh, Leonard Cohen. Iím crazy about him. Heís a legend. Heís a great
songwriter. I think heís the best lyricist of all time. Heís justÖ ughÖ
thereís no one like him.
BB: If you could be in another profession other
than your own, what would it be?
TD: I think Iíd like to be a teacher. I used to say archeologist or
anthropologist because thatís what I started to study before I left to do
music, but I think Iíd like to be a teacher.
BB: At what level?
TD: The little ones.
BB: And what would be your least favorite idea
for another profession?
TD: Oh god. Hooker!? (Laughter)
BB: Wow, great answer. What do you hope to be
doing in music in a few years?
TD: I kind of like where I am now actually. Itís kind of a tight rope
balance to see how long I can do it as my ďday job.Ē I like that I still
do well enough that I can continue to do it full time, but itís
containable. Itís small and I can handle it. When I toured for those
eighteen months, it was a little crazy and I didnít handle it well. It
could have been the timing, but I think for my personality type a smaller
career is healthier for me. BB: What do you hope do within a year from now?
TD: A year from now, see, thatís the kind of future I can handle!
(Laughter) Well, I have this idea to do a series of co-writes with people.
Largely people that Iíve worked with before. So Iím contacting and putting
the word out with people that I want to do this. One of the ideas, in its
concept phase, was to have people deliver a piece of music to me and I
will write over it. You know, probably play some guitar, write words and I
would sing over it. I also have this project that has been sitting on the
back burner, a childrenís record that a friend of mine Chris and I put
together. Itís all Boston people that wrote a childrenís song, and weíre
going to make that a primary focus to get that out and start spreading the
word about that. So thatís my year.
BB: What do you hope people will get out of your
TD: I hope people will get something of themselves out of it, actually. I
like when people have taken a song of mine and personalized it, and made
it their own story. I feel like thatís a really successful song. It speaks
to somebody on their own level instead of trying to figure out what it has
to do with me.
BB: What advice do you have for aspiring local
TD: Artistically, as tight as it sounds, when you walk into a room to
write a song, close the door and leave every tiny scrap of business
outside that door. Donít let the industry into your music. Thatís one
thing I would say, on the artistic side. But, another thing logistically
is ďDonít Sign Anything,Ē until itís been poured over by an entertainment
lawyer, specifically. Thereís no way to overemphasize the importance of
BB: Does that mean you've had a
TD: Oh yeah. (Laughter) Actually I have...