An Interview With Canadian Singer/Songwriter Dave Quanbury

Updated on April 9, 2018
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

Dave Quanbury is a Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter. His songs explore the inner world and touch on the emotional life of the mind. His latest album Still Life with Canadian is an exploration of the complex emotions that arose when, due to immigration issues, he was forced to leave Austin, Texas and move back to Winnipeg. I talk to him about how he first fell in love with music, how the creative process works for him and his plans for the future.

Dave Quanbury
Dave Quanbury

Interview with Dave Quanbury

Karl Magi: How did you first start making music?

Dave Quanbury: I started writing songs when I was about 18. I was in a rock band at the time, so I was writing the songs for the band. I started writing singer/songwriter stuff that I could play on guitar. I put out a record in 2003 called No Vacancy and that was the first collection of songs that I’d written. I wrote some of them on piano and some of them on guitar.

KM: Talk about the topics on which you like to write songs.

DQ: I’m always looking for an emotional angle or an interesting storytelling angle, so I think that songs can fall into one of two categories in that sense. There are songs that are of an emotional nature with some sort of longing or melancholia in them. There are songs that deal with crises of identity as well. I also like writing songs about characters. I was in a band called Twilight Hotel and the focus of that band was writing songs about down-and-out characters, about people outside of society. Lately, I’m back to writing the personal, emotional songs.

KM: What are your influences as a songwriter?

DQ: There are the historical influences from the great songwriters who’ve always been there like Tom Waits and Paul Simon. In more recent times, I’m really interested in a band called The War on Drugs. I think there’s always an artist of the moment who I’m currently into, and then there are these other influences that’ll never go away.

KM: How do you approach the process of songwriting?

DQ: A lot of people have their own approach and mine is usually all or nothing. I’ll go through periods of months or years where I don’t write any songs at all, but then some sort of switch will flip, and all of a sudden I’ll just write a whole bunch of songs. All of the songs on the album that I’m putting out in April were written after I had a terrible experience and I was really upset and depressed. All of those songs got written within eight months of each other. Those songs came really fast and furious for me. I usually write a song all at once. I talk to other people and they seem to spend months on a song, but for me it really all comes out.

KM: Tell me more about your new album Still Life with Canadian?

DQ: In contrast to the fact that the songs were written really fast, the album actually took a long time to make and it changed from the beginning to the end. When we first started making versions of the songs, I wasn’t happy with how they sounded. Myself and the producer Michael decided that we had to take them apart and build them back up from the ground, so we started over again on a lot of things and we made two or three different versions of the songs. As a result, I’m super happy with the album now.

In terms of the themes on the album, I had an experience where I got banned from living in the United States. I’d moved away from Winnipeg and I’d started my own life, but I was forced to come back here and live in my parent’s house again. I lost a big part of my independence and my self-worth.

The idea of telephones seems to show up in a lot of the songs, partly because my wife and I were using the telephone a lot. We had a long distance relationship when I got kicked out of Austin. I guess it’s about the idea of communicating and keeping love alive across distances.

KM: What’s your experience of the Winnipeg music scene lately?

DQ: I had moved away and so I’d lost touch with the scene. When I came back here, I really had to force myself to go out and reconnect with people. A lot of the venues had closed and there were new ones that weren’t there before. It’s a strong scene right now, but it’s harder to find an audience than it used to be. I set up a couple shows early on when I came back and there was sort of a rude awakening for me because I realized that people weren’t necessarily just come out to see a show I was doing. I had to make friends with other artists and network, start going to other people’s shows.

It was tough because I was feeling really reclusive and embarrassed to be back in Winnipeg because I was worried that because I’d left people would think that I thought I was too cool for Winnipeg, so it’s been hard. I haven’t reconnected with the scene as much as I probably could have.

KM: Talk about your plans for the future.

DQ: Aside from this record which I guess is my solo project, I have a brass band called the Exile Brass Band. It’s trumpet, trombone, saxophone and sousaphone. I play gigs in the city with them. Right now, they’re separate projects but I want to merge them. I want to bring them into the same band.

When I do the Exile Brass Band, it’s really fun and we’re dancing around and I’ve got a megaphone. When I do the Dave Quanbury show, I’ve got a guitar and I’m on stage as a singer/songwriter. I want to somehow bring those two things together. My vision for the future is to marry those two things which I guess means making some cool, funky dance music.

KM: How do you keep yourself inspired and recharge your creative batteries?

DQ: I went back to university, so right now I’m finding that to be an inspiration with the stuff that you learn and all of the assignments. Music is my hobby, so because I play guitar and trumpet, when I’m sick of writing songs I’ll go play trumpet and when I’m sick of playing trumpet, I’ll go practice guitar.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)