Warped Tour Interview: David McWane of Big D and the Kids Table
McWane chatted about successfully being in a band for nearly 17 years, Big D and the Kids Table’s new albums Stomp and Stroll that came out in June 2013, and collaborating with friends.
Interviewed by: Matt Lambert
Being one of the older bands on the tour, does that affect your mindset at all while playing or hanging out?
While playing it doesn’t affect me at all, because I think if you join a band you have that wonderful opportunity to be young forever. I would say there are 22 or 23 year old people that have definitely assimilated and have become older than me, 10 years younger than me. Off stage on Warped Tour, I think it’s a funny trip yeah, ‘cause different bands from screamo bands to emo bands to I don’t even know the names of some of the bands or what their style is, and those guys will come up to me and say “I really love your band” and they’re definitely playing the opposite style and they get a little nervous talking to you. It’s basically like walking into a room of a demographic you think will hate you but then they all think you’re great.
Do you find yourself giving advice to any of the younger bands or do you just let them do their own thing?
I definitely subscribe to the old saying “Advice should only be given if it’s asked for or life threatening.” I think if you ever start a sentence with “you know what you should do” then you know what you should do? Stop starting sentences with that. So yeah I don’t really give bands advice, unless if they want to hear something. I think it’s silly for men to give each other advice.
You recently released two albums; can you explain the concept behind them?
Yeah, we did Stomp and Stroll, and we did that because we had been writing punk/ska stuff for years and years and years, everybody who has iTunes they have more than one genre, maybe someone listens to metal and nothing else but not many people.
We write other songs too so we developed this style stroll as an outlet for us to write songs so the different punk internet sites and the people who go on them don’t get too upset. It’s worked out pretty good, so with our new records we wanted to write ska songs cause we can’t stop, and we wanted to write stroll songs cause we can’t stop. So we basically titled the records those to make things really simple for people and we’ll see how it goes.
So it’s two different styles of music completely?
Yeah, because a lot of bands, once they decide they want to write other styles of music they close their bands become ashamed of their old band and start up a new band. We’re not like that at all. We love all our old songs, we’re very happy that we have a quirky band name, we like being ska, we like being the underdogs. So even though we decided to write other styles of songs we’re not going to be ashamed of ourselves.
What’s the key to longevity in Big D and the Kids Table?
I think the longevity in the band is two things; one is we like the songs we write. And I do believe there are people that want to be in bands, and then there are musicians. People that want to be in bands want a lifestyle they want a certain thing. Musicians are just musicians and they’re addicted to music and they’re all about music. And with Big D we get excited if Ryan’s going to write a song what is he going to write and if I’m going to write a song. We’re all very supportive of each other and I think the other secret is that we look at ourselves as very close, good friends, look out for each other nobody is A number one even on the road if somebody’s getting quiet you make sure you’re nice to them. We’re definitely living our lives the way that song “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger.”
How do you feel about the ska scene as a whole in the present day?
I think the ska scene is what it should be and could be, and I don’t really know because I just know my band. What I mean is it’s just a style that’s there if you want to research it.
What other Warped Tour bands have you been into?
Ok, 2013 Warped Tour, I thought Five Knives was pretty cool, I’d describe them as if Trent Reznor and the French singer yell at a baby, it would be Five Knives or I guess Five Babies. MC Lars is always fun, Reel Big Fish always makes the day worth it. Stick to Your Guns is definitely a band that sticks to their guns with their morals, [I] really respect that. I would say finally, Gin Wigmore, is quite a pleasure she has a wonderful voice, I guess I’d describe her like if the Portishead singer was less depressed.
I noticed, flipping through Spotify, you recorded some songs with Moe Pope, a hip-hop artist from Boston, how was working with him, and how did you end up meeting him?
Moe and I had been friends since we were in our early 20s, I used to be roommates with some of the guys from his old band Mission and Dub Trio. We all used to live in the same house. We had been trying to collaborate forever and through DJ B.C. we finally got to find it. I couldn’t love any more his vocals on Fluent in Moe, it is one of the best records I’ve ever heard and not many people know about it. It is a light switch from nothing to happiness, just boom, it’s on, he’s great, he’s a talent.
Are you a fan of hip-hop in general?
I saw the birth of rap, and have loved it ever since. I know more about hip probably than most hip-hop guys. [laughs]
Any last words you’d like to share with our readers?
In the fall we’re having our DVD come out and the DVD is pretty ridiculous. It consists of everything we’ve done from 1996 – 2013 so you’ll see us when we’re 18 and 19 years old on our first tours and it’s the 90s so all of our clothes are extra large and we look pretty ridiculous.
Catch Big D and the Kids Table all summer on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour