The "HOWL" E.P.
"Danger On the Dance Floor"
" I remember seeing Amber Heard in that infamous, smoky, Puerto Rican dance scene from the movie, 'The Rum Diaries,' and thinking: 'THAT is what I want my music to look & feel like.' I paused the movie immediately and within an hour, 'Danger On the Dance Floor' was done. It started everything."
" My first years in LA, hustling as a bartender on Hollywood Blvd, I always saw guys in beautiful cars catcalling girls at 2am who were stumbling out of the nightclubs. I remember thinking to myself one night as I saw a girl in a short, red skirt & three inch heels just hop into one stranger's charcoal Mercedes, ' Wouldn't it be a nightmare if...' "
"little white bow"
" I remember 'Little White Bow' got written so fast & naturally, it just rolled. I saw people like this every weekend roaming the boulevard in Hollywood & I knew all their stories. They rarely ended well."
"piece of your love"
" There's an inherent optimism that comes with a new infatuation, an unignorable kind of excitement. 'Piece of Your Love' was always just a dedication of sorts to that feeling, wanting nothing more than to just be around someone you feel is suddenly more special to you than anyone else... "
" Anyone who's lived there will tell you that the plasticity of life in Los Angeles, although not universal, is by & large absolutely true. It's a constant struggle trying to make ends meet as a musician in Hollywood and I always wanted to believe that being a genuinely good man could still win out over the depthless guys with flashy cars & big bank accounts. I resented that side of LA when I was broke eating PB&J trying to chase a dream. 'Gold' was my 'F*ck you,' to those people, saying, 'You can waste your money on trying to win her over, but I still know where she sleeps at night: my one bedroom apartment. "
The Mates Sessions (LIVE)
"I grew up in a handful of small towns outside of Chicago. There was plenty of people who were born in those towns, grew up there & stayed there until their kids started to do the same. For me? I always wanted more than a white picket fence. I wanted adventure & to see the world. Somehow, I just always knew that I was there to do more & this song was my proclamation."
"Some boys act like men, some men act like boys. Somewhere in between once, there was a confused me, fallible as ever, making mistakes. I almost let one of the greatest loves I've known walk out of my life & like a diary entry during a phase of self pity, I penned this track."
"When my girlfriend first moved to Los Angeles, I wasn't living on peanut butter & jelly anymore but I wasn't driving a nice car either. Like most men, I wanted to give her everything & more, from day trip adventures to nice dinners. I was still a work in progress as a musician, however, & I felt myself starting to live outside of my means & began to question the insecurity that grew with it. Cowritten with my good friend, Caleb Shwing, we knocked this song out in two hours on a sunny LA afternoon at Caleb's place just below the Hollywood sign."
"HAND ME DOWNS"
"I've always been a fan of the underdog, maybe because I've always felt like one. One day I was thinking about how easily some people can toss aside a lover and how quickly that individual can become somebody else's entire universe. This was a song for any man who loved the one I love & let her go, as if she was some kind of hand me down sweater. It was my saying, 'I am rags over his riches, I don't need bells & whistles to love you better than him. What was lost to him was found with me and we can laugh together when he regrets ever letting you go.' "
DAVE CAVALIER & THE ELEMENO PEA
"The presidential election of 2016 was like one we've never seen before as a nation. Regardless of party affiliation, the divisive nature of the rhetoric and the repercussions it was already having on the country made me sick, but I didn't have the answer to any of it either. I was frustrated. So, when I sat down to pen the words to this syllabic soapbox, I didn't want to try and tell people to "do this" or "do that," but instead, I just wanted to say, "This is what I believe is right and if you agree? Let's stand together. Let's be the example." I felt like we all needed that because there weren't a lot of great examples our there for us otherwise. We had to rely on each other to be better."
"Life is hard. Everyday, we wake up and go out into the world and attempt to make the most of ourselves and the opportunities life presents us for our families, our lovers & for our own personal growth. This song was a reflection on the unique struggles people face in this world & a reminder that the journey is long & filled with up's & down's. Keep fighting and keep moving forward every time you've been knocked back & believe in who you are - you'll find happiness wherever you end up."
"I was in personal disarray after a break-up and remember this rollercoaster of loss & sadness that also paired with a unique feeling of gratefulness for having experienced something so special. That was pretty heavy, ha, so I wrote about it to try and figure it out. Ultimately, the song didn't really offer any resolution but it did end up conveying an odd acceptance of both sides, which, in truth, made it incredibly honest for that moment of my life."
"Watch you dance"
" 'Watch You Dance' was the first song I wrote with The Elemeno Pea. Although the first draft was really different lyrically, when we went back and finished it, I think we found that "new pair of shoes" kind of vibe I thought the music's energy brought. It set the tone for how we'd blend my blues style with The Elemeno Pea's highly inventive and skilled productions."
"good to be bad"
"You know it and I know it : it feels good to be bad. Done & done."
"KEEP A SECRET"
"The most beautiful things need not call attention to themselves. When I wrote this playful but sincere track, it was about the ends justifying the means. I don't care who doesn't or doesn't know about us because I'll keep our secret so long as you'll just be my girl."
To this day, still very much one of my favorite tracks. I was going through a rough patch & needed to dump some heavy emotion somewhere. The next day, I was in the studio with The Elemeno Pea fleshing out the music until that night when, sitting on my balcony at 3am staring blankly out at the cityscape, the lyrics began to just pour out of me. Listening back, it feels as honest & revealing as I'd hoped.
"WITHOUT YOU HERE"
"Trying to have a "normal" relationship as a musician isn't easy. Playing music is a complicated lifestyle spent in dark, smokey rooms performing for people looking for an escape from their everyday lives. Eventually, those rooms & that reality becomes your everyday life as a performer, so finding the opportunities to spend time with someone you love is hard. I remember a lonely evening at home, wanting to just put how I felt on paper. We were lucky enough to eventually capture that raw emotion on tape."