We’re happy to be speaking today with one of the most exciting musicians on the scene today, Dave Vargo; welcome to Vents, Dave! Before we begin kicking the proverbial tin can down the dirt road, how has your 2022 been treating you?
Thank you! I am excited to be speaking to you. 2022 has been going pretty good so far. Things are starting to return to normal. I am so happy to finally release some new music!
Major congratulations are in order for your upcoming album Crooked Miles which hits stores and all streaming platforms on May 6! Although this is your third full length album, do you ever get used to the buildup towards a release and the carnival atmosphere that it can sometimes inspire?
No matter how much I plan for it in advance I never seem to be totally ready for the buildup. The 2 weeks prior to the release are exciting but also stressful. I can’t really relax until 12:01 AM on release day.
What was the genesis of Crooked Miles? Is there a Secret Origin story you could share with us?
I wish that I had a good secret story, lol. Naming an album is almost as hard as coming up with a good name for a band. Crooked Miles come from the opening line of my song Fault Lines.
Who was your producer on Crooked Mile and what did that collaboration look like between the two of you?
Tim Pannella co-produced the album with me. This is the third album that we have done together. We have developed an easy going working relationship that allows us share ideas. We are both comfortable enough to honestly critique each other.
Did the worldwide pandemic and all of the ensuing insanity that followed in its wake play a hand in informing some of the music on Crooked Miles?
I don’t think that the Pandemic directly influenced my writing. However, I did have some people that were close to me pass away during this timeframe. That greatly effected a few of the songs that I wrote.
One of the great numbers on the upcoming Crooked Miles album is a lovely little ditty entitled You’ll Know. Is there a particular story behind this gem?
Thanks! You’ll Know is one of the songs that was definitely influenced by the passing of my Mother and my corgi Bella. A few of the lines are still difficult for me to sing live.
How is Crooked Miles different than your sophomore album? How is it similar?
That’s a difficult question for me to answer. It might sound funny but after an album is done I typically do not go back and listen to it again. My hope is that I have gotten better as a songwriter/singer/guitarist from album to album.
Is there one song over any other that you’re especially proud of on the Crooked Miles album?
Well, all of the songs are my babies, lol. If I had to pick just one I would probably say Back Then. I think that I came up with a really good opening lyric. “Never been a father. No longer a son.”
What do you hope that fans walk away feeling after listening to Crooked Miles?
I really strived to put together a strong collection of songs for the album. No fillers. I hope that fans like the album from top to bottom.
With the new album forthcoming, can fans look forward to seeing you on tour in the weeks and months ahead?
My calendar still starting to get busy. Mostly local shows. I am hoping to hit Nashville again in September.
Musically, who inspires you?
John Moreland, Ryan Adams, Caroline Spence, Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle…..
How did you land on the path of being a musician, Dave? Is there a Secret Origin story you could share with our reading audience?
I have always wanted to play guitar. I think that I started asking for lessons when I was about 5. I finally was allowed to start when I was 8. I got real serious when I was in junior high school. By that time there no other path that I could envision taking.
You hail from East Brunswick, New Jersey. How do those roots inform the music that you create?
Growing up when I did in East Brunswick everyone had a band. You’ve heard of garage bands. We had basement bands. Not all of them were good but there was a lot of music going on. Hard rock, folk, punk, jazz….there was a lot to be influenced by.
Final – SILLY! – Question: Favorite movie about the music scene – Almost Famous, This Is Spinal Tap or La Bamba?