This all began around October 2006 when I decided that gigging with a covers band was all good and nice but it was about time there was a return to some serious writing and recording after a few years lapse. I made a couple of rough demo’s of song ideas that had been kicking about for a while and the creative juices started flowing, not particularly quickly at that stage, but sufficiently to take the decision to continue with the aim of writing and recording my first album.
Just over 6 months into the project I received a phone call early one morning from my Mum to inform me that my Dad had passed away the previous night as a result of the strain put on his heart from several recent unsuccessful operations to attempt to remove a cancerous tumour. Needless to say this flattened both me and my creativity for quite a while (for well over 6 months in fact) where nothing further was achieved.
Once the worst of the obvious emotional effects of this event had eased (around the end of 2007) I decided that continuing with the album project was the best way forward. By early 2008 the bulk of the songs were written but with the arrangements and recordings needing to be the next step. Much changing of equipment and recording and then re-recording of parts followed.
Things progressed nicely through 2008 and into early 2009 to a point where the real detail of the final recordings were starting to take shape. To this point I had been working to basic programmed drum tracks but realised that the only way I was going to get the drums to feel like a drummer was to carefully study a few drummers and then get a drummer (or two) to listen back and tell me the error of my ways. A general seal of approval was acheived with some useful comments to boot. Now the album was really on track (no pun intended).
Having worked as a part of a band in a studio situation numerous times is all good and nice. you get to stand there bored off your face for long periods of time wondering what the bloke at the desk could possibly hear that was so different to what you could hear and why he kept making all of those minute adjustments to the point of my despair. Well now I know and will see studio engineers and producers in a completely different light going forwards!!!
I thought that recording and engineering all the individual parts myself was long winded but getting them all to work together as an overall production was far more difficult. I have played the various tracks to several people whose judgement I trust implicitly over the course of the production process so if it sounds great it's my fault but if it sounds crap it's their fault. Sounds fair to me!
Seriously though, I owe particular thanks for helping me get this far to my close friend Martin Rockport, my brother Chris Ward, my wife Julie Ward and of course my Mum & Dad - Jean and George without one or all of them at various times I would have without doubt completely lost my way.
With the bulk of the recording and final production in place it was time to decide on a name. As it is my intention to form a band to perform these songs, and that I have always previously worked with bands I was always looking for a name to suit that aim rather than to play simply as myself. During one long afternoon and probably far too many beers while discussing this with a group of friends we had arrived at either ‘Pants’ (English expression meaning ‘rubbish’ in this context) or ‘Peters Big Trousers’ (for no obvious reason). A couple of us were getting marginally concerned with the lower body clothing fascination in some quarters when Julie suggested “Given that at this point there is only Dave involved, why don’t you call it just ‘Dave’?” We decided that as a UKTV channel had recently changed its name to ‘Dave’ that this name was not quite ‘it’ yet. More beer, another discussion and all we can say is…………..Welcome to ‘JustDave’.
Vocals: Dave Ward
Keyboards/Tecnology: Roland/NI Kontakt/Cubase/IK/Slate/UAD/Waves
Drums: NI Studio Drummer/Slate