In March, we recorded a David Mayfield Parade podcast, which was packed with fun chit-chat! Here’s a transcript from that interview for your reading pleasure, and another chance to learn more about a musician that’s surrounded by the best buzz.
I recently had a phone call with David Mayfield of The David Mayfield Parade. And since he has a new album coming out, it’s the perfect time for an interview, and some general chit-chat.
[MUSIC: “Love Will Only Break Your Heart” by The David Mayfield Parade]
Kayla: Right now I have David Mayfield on the phone, of The David Mayfield Parade. Welcome! I’m wondering where you’re calling from, actually.
David: I am in beautiful northeast Ohio—
David: —where the weather is, uh, cold and damp—
David: —but I’ve had plenty of vitamin D, so I’m still smiling.
Kayla: Oh, that’s good, that’s important! You know, seasonal affective disorder is very common—they call it SAD.
Kayla: Yeah [laughs]. Well, it’s also cold here in Madison – it’s snowing a lot today, and it’s like all slushy, so, everyone’s got their boots on and stuff; so, we’re pretty tough here, y’know.
David: Yeah. Slushy is a good word.
Kayla: Yeah? [Laughs] So, um, so David, I hear you have a new album—tell me about that.
David: I do. It’s coming out on April 1st, a little April Fool’s Day treat for the kids, and uh, I’m really excited about it. It’s called Good Man Down, and it features me singing words with musical accompaniment.
Kayla: I heard your sister was involved in that—Jessica Lea Mayfield. What’s it like working with her? I mean, some people couldn’t work with their siblings, you know—might be some punching going on. Do you guys get along pretty well?
David: Yeah. Jessica and I can get along beautifully for about fifteen or twenty minutes. And then, you know, we just—we start fighting—
David: —it’s usually pretty violent. But we get pretty creative in those fifteen to twenty minute time spans. And we’ve written a lot of songs together, and I help out on her records and she helps out on my records. No it’s great, you know, I was in her band for years before I started doing my own thing, so we’re real close. We were also home-schooled, and grew up in the family band, so we’re kind of weirdos that can really relate to each other.
Kayla: Well, that’s good! It’s good that you guys support each other’s musical careers. I see you have some really supportive fans, too. What do you like most about your fans? I see that they’ve supported you—you had a kickstarter recently for your album. What kind of fans do you usually find that you have?
David: It’s been interesting, you know I find that I have fans that really range from little kids to the elderly; people who like bluegrass music like what I do because of the roots aspect and all. So you know, I had one guy come up and say, “Man, I used to see Pink Floyd live, and I love your stuff.” Or people will say, “Oh, I don’t like country music, but I like what you do.” And so I think kind of because of the roots element, but with kind of the rock energy, it’s open to a lot of people. And then, plus, I don’t know if you’ve seen me live, but there’s lots of humor, and kind of sincere comedy that comes across and I think helps to appeal me to a wider audience.
Kayla: Mmhmm. So, for your shows, do you do a lot of traveling around the country to all different states?
David: I do, yeah. Last year, I played 214 shows.
Kayla: Whooooooooa! [Laughs]
David: And it was all over the country. And this year, I’ve got about 200 planned so far, and we might add some more, who knows. But that’s really the heart of the David Mayfield Parade, is just touring constantly and playing lots of shows.
Kayla: Mmhmm. Do you have any really favorite spots that you’ve been to?
David: Oh, yeah, well I love The Bottletree in Birmingham, Alabama—that’s a real fun place to play. For a backstage area, they have two old Winnebagos that you can hang out in, and they have—it’s just a real fun vibe, it’s like you’re camping, you know, when you’re backstage. So I like that place a whole lot. There’s a place called Ullrs Tavern in Winter Park, Colorado, that we play a couple times a year, and we just have the most fun up there. It’s this tiny little mountain town, and people are just nuts—they’re just excited to have a show in this little town, and they go completely crazy.
David: And uh, it’s one of the only shows where, by the end of the night, I’m lucky to still be alive.
Kayla: In a good way.
David: Last time we were there, after the show, I went behind the bar and bartended for two hours.
David: Just giving everyone free drinks. And if I didn’t know how to make the drink, I just made it up. Someone was like, give me a Manhattan, and I was like, “Okay, here’s, uh, Jager and an ice cube.”
Kayla: Oh, man.
David: I’m not a very good bartender, but I have fun.
Kayla: Any signature drinks? Did you make up anything like, you know, “The Mayfield”, or—? [Laughs]
David: No, see, I’m a gin drinker, when I do drink. So, my signature drink is usually a gin and tonic, or a gin gimlet, which is just gin and lime juice. So, I was making lots of those for people.
Kayla: [Laughs] I mean, I’m sure your fans loved you like, ten times more, if you gave them booze, so.
David: Yeah [laughs].
Kayla: So, you’ve been traveling around, you’ve seen quite a few different people and places. How about other artists? Have you gotten any really good advice from another artist that you’ve taken to heart?
David: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Well, The Avett Brothers have been a big part of my career. They’re good friends, and they kind of talked me into doing my own record. I used to just be a side man for a long time, and then I was in a band called Cadillac Sky for a couple years, and I would be hanging out with the Avetts, and I would sing with them my songs, and they would say, “Why don’t you make a record? These songs are good!” And I didn’t really have the, uh, the confidence in myself as a front person or a songwriter at that time. So it was really good for someone that I respected so much like them to encourage that, and then they’ve gone on to sing on all my albums, and let me open up shows for them a lot. So, they’ve really given me lots of good advice throughout the years.
Kayla: Mmhmm. It’s good to get encouragement from someone who’s really good, themselves, so that’s awesome. The Avett Brothers, that was. Speaking of The Avett Brothers, is there any other music that you’re really into right now? Like, any bands that you’re following, kind of?
David: Uh, I don’t really—I need some more. I need to get turned onto some new music. I kind of tend to obsess over certain things, and not a lot of it is relevant. I like Shovels and Rope—
Kayla: Yes! Shovels and Rope.
David: —is a new band that I heard that I really like, yeah. But basically I just listen to Randy Newman, and Paul Simon, and older stuff like that, but I need to broaden my horizons. I actually just produced an album for a band called Annabelle’s Curse; they’re from Bristol, Virginia. And I love their songs and writing, and I’ve become a fan, even though I worked with them in the studio.
Kayla: So you mentioned you like a lot of the classics, you know, like Paul Simon. Do you have a favorite album that is just your favorite album of all time—like just stuck with you, never changes?
David: Yes, absolutely. That album is Bridge Over Troubled Water, by Simon & Garfunkel. I just feel like it’s a perfect album. It has just the right mix of epic ballads and sincere lyrics, and then pop, fun, and humor. I really think it’s a record that everybody should spend some time with at some point in their life.
Kayla: Yeah. Well, David, thanks a lot for chatting with me today! It’s cool to learn about, you know, your musical influences—and good luck with your new album!
David: Yeah, thank you so much!
Kayla: And that was David Mayfield, from The David Mayfield Parade. To learn more, you can find them at thedavidmayfieldparade.com. You can find music by them, and our other podcast guests, in our Murfie Top Hits shop. Here’s a clip of a new track called, “Love Will Only Break Your Heart”, featuring Seth Avett, from the upcoming album, Good Man Down. Thanks for listening, everyone—I’ll see you next time.
[MUSIC: “Love Will Only Break Your Heart”, by The David Mayfield Parade]
[End of podcast]