“Famous” is a song about the things that truly matter. Beyond any need for fame or recognition, I admit all I need is for my girl to dance and love me and for our lives to be built one brick at a time if necessary, promising we’d get to where we ultimately want to be. If any other trivial, materialistic milestone was never reached? So be it. In t he end, none of that is necessary for us to be truly happy.
THE "RUMORS" E.P.
“SNAP OUT OF IT”
I remember thinking back on some of the more reckless moments of my early 20's and thought to myself what life would be like if I was still that individual, making decisions only for myself with total disregard for the consequences. Like if I came to the crossroads and went a different way, following the devil into the desert and off some cliff. There are always people who love you trying to keep you straight & when I sat back to write this song, that was the world I was imagining.
“TALK IS CHEAP”
Love is messy business. We try and we fail and we try again. In the end, what I learned most from my failings is that the best intentions always fall short if they aren’t paired with action, which the loudest way to show somebody you love them. Talk truly is cheap and this song was about all the things I do to show her she is loved.
“DAMAGE IS DONE”
"Damage Is Done" is a song about betrayal & not being able to go back. When I wrote it, two of my friends were on the wrong side of cheating situations. I remember imagining a pale blue bedroom in some picturesque, Cape Cod summer house, clothes spread out across the floor with the smell of regret still in the air, and the disgustingly empty feeling of coming home to that kind of nightmare. I imagined the empowerment of breaking glassware and the confused anger that would follow. I could feel my friends' hurt & tried to write it out so I could make it real for everybody else.
Living in Los Angeles, I'm inundated with pop culture and the social media addictions that go with it & it's tiring to say the least. "Rumors" is a track for the Kardashian obsessed, a subtle warning that even though high school never ends, you may not be a better person for it and maybe we'd all be a little better off by trying to create better versions of ourselves instead of just better versions of our online personas.
On the surface, this may seem like a song about a romantic relationship, but "No More" was actually written as a "Dear Music Industry" letter. It was the first of five songs I wrote for my "Rumors EP" and it was about setting the tone for all the songs to come by embracing who I was instead of trying to be who I'm not. No more trying to impress people, no more trying to bend and fit a particular mold. I wanted to write and play the way I wanted to be heard and say "Fuck you" in the process.
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.' "
"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."
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."