I had the pleasure of attending the album release party for DAVID DEACON at Toronto’s The Rivoli last night. His new 8-track album, released Oct. 6th is titled Good Day Good Night and features original songs based on his own life experiences, having lived and survived seven decades of thrills, near tragedies and multiple career changes. Sung in his signature bluesy balladeer style, each track will ignite our own imaginations and memories, and sitting there last night I was reminded of so many of my own experiences over a lifetime of similar length and diversity. I had the pleasure of chatting briefly with David backstage (pictured above) and was able to interview him a few days prior to his concert so I’ll let him share his thoughts in his own words…..
David, congratulations on your new album. It sounds like your original songs are the culmination of an exciting and diverse lifetime and multiple careers. What inspired you to create this 8-track album Good Day Good Night ? This album has been driven by a combination of new thoughts I wanted to explore and a change of style in the music itself. I have been moving towards more lyrical songs as opposed to the poetic lyrics and bluesy sounds that tended to drive earlier work. Now I have a greater focus on melody and groove, and I have been enjoying the simplicity of work that lets the hook carry more of the momentum in the whole piece. I think one of the most interesting parts of any creative career is the evolution of the artists viewpoint. Mine has evolved to a less complicated structure in both sound and lyric.
This and your earlier 2023 album, Four, come two decades after your previous album Strangers in the Morning…what took you so long? It was a combination of things, but a large part was money. There came a point where I needed to focus on making a living again. The good thing is, when I started writing again, the hiatus meant there was a lot of material that seemed to come out quickly and easily. Over the last 2 years it has resulted in 13 new songs and 5 reworked ones, which I feel is about as prolific a period as I have encountered. There also now seems to be a pattern in my life where I leave painting for awhile and then come back to it or leave writing for awhile and come back to it. Maybe this is similar for a lot of people, but with two different disciplines to work in the gap is greater with me.
Many of the tracks on GDGN are based on life’s struggles, disappointments, challenges – at age 70, do you feel good/better times are ahead of you now? I think that most of writing comes out of the struggles, the journey as some would say. When things are going brilliantly, we don’t tend to reflect on it too much, we just enjoy it. I always liked the quote from Emerson which goes “The people who stop at life’s first success are the world’s spiritual middle classes.” I think the more engaged we are in life, the more likely there will be struggles and disappointments, but all good learning comes with an element of struggle. I think my writing celebrates the struggle but doesn’t get lost in it or maudlin about it. I hope that’s true….and yes, I hope I continue not to “go gentle into that good night”.
How important are your paintings and visual arts and do they inspire your lyrics…or visa versa? My art seems to come from much different thoughts than my lyrics, although all my visual work focuses on people and pretty much all my writing does as well. It’s just you are engaging a different set of reference points. The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words is to me not true, but a picture can precipitate an emotional or intellectual response that is very different than words. I think that is why I tend to be doing one or the other, not both at the same time.
As a big auto racing fan, I have to ask you about your earlier experiences in endurance racing and prior to that, your motorcycling career. I understand you suffered near-catastrophic injuries coming off your bike, then switched to cars….you just don’t give up! Is that how you’ve tackled all your different endeavours? I remember the first time I raced at the 24 hours of Le Mans and going down the Mulsane straight at 220 miles an hour (approx. 360 KPH). Racing in the eighties was still very dangerous at that time, with two men being killed that weekend. There was a place called “the kink” which before they put in the chicane on the Mulsane to slow things down, was daunting. The car would skitter a little and I finally did it for a few laps flat out and it scared the hell out of me. I told Hans Stuck this (who was driving a sister car) when I got back in the pits and he said “don’t worry David, after a couple of hours, you will be used to it”. It was really funny, but it didn’t feel funny at the time. But there I was at one o’clock in the morning and going flat out through the kink with my lights only lighting up the entry point not the apex, and not really even thinking about it anymore. I think that was my most tangible moment of understanding that we just have to drive through fear. Taking on a renewed music career at this stage in my life means that I am still trying to drive through fear.What do you hope your fans/listeners get from your music? And where can they purchase CDs or listen via streaming services? Where people can get my music is on every streaming channel, such as Spotify, You Tube, Apple Music etc. Believe is my distributor and they ensure its availability through all the sources.
As to what do I think people might get from my music? I think hopefully they like the sound and groove but also, I know that when I read a book I underline passages which say something particular to me. I think I have a point of view on life which is a fairly rich way to draw the best out of experiences both good and bad. It is essentially based on a philosophy of “you are what you do” and tries to put emphasis on being sure to be fully engaged as much of the time as possible. As a result, I believe a lot of people might underline some of my lyrics if they read them in a book.
You can hear David’s new album via your favourite streaming platforms such as…Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Apple, etc.
And you can follow him on social media:
Facebook – Facebook.com/DavidDeaconMusic
Instagram – @ddeaconmusic
David’s been getting lots of media attention on radio and online so watch for upcoming concerts, and make sure you check out all the tracks on Good Day Good Night – I guarantee at least one will speak to you! Thanks to Kevin Pennant of Pennant Media Group for the invite.