We made an appointment to meet at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, which turned out to be just the right decision. I've never been into the bars of this beautifully restored Hollywood landmark, (but I did have to vote once for a presidential election in the ballroom where the first Academy Awards were held). I had been listening to and enjoying an advance copy of Duniven's CD, I Need To Try For Her, and with the prospect of an upcoming Radio Free Silver Lake/The Fold sponsorship of a Silver Lake Lounge residency in June, it seemed the appropriate time to reach out and sit and chat.
I met Patrick (who, for the sake of simplicity, is known musically as Duniven) for the first time when he came into the lobby of the Roosevelt and we headed into one of the bars in the lobby. He told me how happy he was that Radio Free Silver Lake had agreed to help present his residency, and that he had talked to Joe through emails, but that I was the first Radio Free Silver Laker he'd met in person. I let him know how much I like his album.
Not wishing to retread over areas Joe dealt with in his interview, I asked him about the time between disbanding The Capshuns and going to work on completely new material, with a far more personal edge to it. Plagued by sinusitis for years, he submitted to corrective surgery and the recovery time was somewhat lengthy, but creatively inspirational.
Determined to get away from the "Brit-pop" label mentioned in nearly every piece written about The Capshuns, he decided he needed to relocate his songwriting to a more internal place, to make his music a more personal expression. While recuperating from his surgery, he was listening to lots of artists whose best work was usually written from a point in their lives where they were at their most vulnerable.
Feeling rather vulnerable himself, he decided to try writing about 'the girl that got away', someone from earlier in his life for whom he harbored strong feelings that were never acted upon. 'The road not taken' and all that. It unleashed a torrent of emotions and resulted in the most personal and poignant writing of his career. He wrote about his regrets and his yearnings in regard to this one girl, from many angles and perspectives, ending up with around 20 songs. Choosing the best for inclusion on his album, he began assembling a new band to help him realize his compositions. (Photo above by Gaylord Hill, as it appears on the I Need To Try For Her CD cover.
This quest is detailed in Joe Fielder's interview with Duniven at Radio Free Silver Lake. Just to briefly recap: bassist Dan Komin came from The Capshuns, Chris Vargas is a drummer he had admired in other bands, who was anxious to team up with Duniven. Shea Branham is a guitarist of such skill and presence Patrick would not take no for an answer when he was asked to join the band. Jason Borger plays keys and is a hugely respected musician and has his own band, Jerry Borge who will play the first show June 6 and Ceci Castelblanco adds gorgeous vocal harmonies to Duniven's music.
I haven't done many, but this was the easiest interview I have given, and credit must go to Duniven for his ability and desire to be honest and direct. I even got a recommendation for a saline sinus spray. I've admired his talent, now I admire the person. We said goodbye as I was given a solid copy of his new album, I already know I like it. I look forward to his weekly shows this month, every Monday at Silver Lake Lounge. I outlined the various bills at Radio Free Silver Lake. See you at a show.