On Distractions, his last release with The Loved Ones, frontman Dave Hause took a stab at Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99.” It was a raw, stripped-down cover, shot through with rusty-throated vocals and electric guitars that showed the links between Hause’s main influences: punk, Springsteen-styled rock and blue-collar folk.
Those connections are on full display with his new solo record, Devour. Looking for simpatico musicians to help him create a hooky-heavy, tattooed, heartland rock & roll tribute to the hard realties of the American dream, Hause pieced together a supergroup that included My Morning Jacket’s Bo Koster, Social Distortion’s David Hidalgo Jr., Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, and harmony duo the Watson Twins. It was good company… and on the resulting album, it shows.
“Writing these songs and recording this album were almost completely opposite experiences,” he says. “The lyrical content on Devour was pretty extreme; I was writing my way through some significant mid-thirties heartbreak, and I was coming to terms with how my own demons — and the appetite that’s hard-wired into American culture — can end up haunting you as you get older. It was a really difficult album to finish. I wanted to find a silver lining, and it took a while to figure out how to end on a hopeful note. That ended up being the last third of the record.”
The recording process, however, was much easier.
“Working with Andrew Alekel at Grandmaster Recorders, where so many amazing records have been made, was a phenomenal experience,” Hause continues. “He and Mitch Townsend knew exactly how to get the sounds that were in my head, and the folks who played on the record were so unbelievably talented and generous that we just rolled right through the tracking process without a hitch. This video hopefully gives you a taste of that experience that I’m so honored to have had.”
He’s talking about the video trailer for the album, which we’re happy to premiere today. Look for Devour in mid-October.