Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By John Berbrich
FCE Staff 

Interview with David Wells

The Gathering

 

Last updated 10/18/2016 at 7:02am | View PDF

John Berbrich: Hey, David. Tell me about your latest band, The Gathering.

David Wells: Well, The Band consists of myself on guitar and vocals, Amber Nezezon on fiddle and vocals, Greg Jadlos on bass and vocals, and Mike Jadlos on all things drums and percussion wise. The Band came about from some session work myself, Amber, and Greg had been doing and grew from that. My focus has always been as a songwriter, and we have enough material to perform just that, but in the northern New York musical landscape we live off of mixing that with tons of cover material.

John: Two nights ago I saw you on a live feed from The Bitter End in Manhattan. Tell me a little about that experience.

David: Well this was my third trip to The Bitter End in New York City. The Band and I have played the New York Songwriter Sessions there twice before; this time it was a solo trip because Amber just had knee surgery, and Greg and Michael had other obligations also, so I travelled down and played this one on my own. But The Bitter End is the longest running rock club in the United States, and there is so much musical history there, essentially a history of American music and comedy. The list of who has played there will just blow your mind. So to step into that room and play where Dylan and his band were once the house band, or where Simon & Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie, Harry Chapin, David Crosby, James Taylor and so many more have played, is amazing. And probably the greatest thing about it, especially as a songwriter, is the opportunity to meet and connect with other songwriters, doing the same thing I've been doing for years. In the three trips, we've made some great connections and some amazing friends, and all of it is pushing me as a songwriter, and us as a band, to strive for bigger and better things. It has opened up a whole new world for us. And of course, it is the response also. To play your own music, in front of people who hear songwriters from everywhere-they are a dime a dozen down there-and to get the favorable response that we have. To have the guy who runs the showcase tell us we are welcome there anytime we would like, it is a pretty humbling and inspiring experience.

John: That's really exciting. How did you get started playing down there?

David: The New York Songwriters Sessions has an audition process where you send them your material and press kit stuff. Then ya sit back and wait. Working with The Gathering, these not only incredible musicians but also incredible friends, really urged me to start pushing my songwriting skills again so the thought of auditioning for something like The Bitter End was easy at that point. After the first time we played there back in April, the guy who does that booking, Larry Oakes (who is originally from the Lowville area by the way), told us we were welcome back anytime, so we've just taken it from there.

John: So do you perform covers there or play mostly original material?

David: At The Bitter End it is all original material.

John: And you've written a lot of great songs, I know that. You play many new ones or stick with the old favorites like "Even I" and "I Am"?

David: We've been playing a bunch of new material actually. Working with this group has once again sparked creative juices, so a lot of new material has been coming out lately.

John: Any plans for some new recordings?

David: Yes, we still have to work out some details but as a band we are planning on doing some work in Kyle Tupper's studio with him and Marcus Alvarez, so hopefully there will be an official first Gathering record in our future.

John: I caught your recent performance in Ives Park in Potsdam. Amber Nezezon was incredible on violin and vocals. Mike Jadlos plays the drums like he's beating people up. The entire band was excellent.

David: I am truly humbled to be surrounded by such talent. Myself, I've never been a flashy guitar player, not even a soloist really; I taught myself how to strum chords simply for the purpose of songwriting, and in my years of doing strictly solo performances, I really only approached guitar playing as a songwriter. But then to meet and work with someone like Amber who just simply can jump on any stage and play with whatever musicians you throw her way, it absolutely takes what I do from a writing perspective and brings it to a whole new level. She amazes me every time I hear her play. What can I say about Michael; as a drummer myself and with a background of playing drums, he never ceases to amaze me either. He's got more chops now at his age than I ever had behind a drum kit. And let's not forget Greg! I've worked with him now both as a guitarist/songwriter and as a drummer and percussionist. You will never find a more solid bass player who just seems to fall into any setting and kills it. We also do a lot of gigs as a three piece, just Amber, Greg, and me, and you can always rely on Greg's groove and timing when there isn't a drummer, even if Amber and I fall slightly off the wagon for a moment. It is humbling and beyond being a pleasure to play with such amazingly talented musicians. And it is because of them that I push harder to be better at what I do.

John: David, if you woke up tomorrow and discovered that you'd been elected president of the United States, what's the first thing you would do?

David: Ha-ha, I don't want that job!! I cannot stand politics, seems like a bunch of overgrown children to me. But I guess it is a necessary evil; I'm just glad there are other people willing to do the job. It would just be nice if they could put their petty political differences aside and do some things that are right for the people they are supposed to be working for.

John: Okay, David, we're running out of time. What's next for Wells and the Gathering?

David: Well we would love to get into a studio and do some recording work to capture our true sound. We've been carrying around my latest project, which really was still a solo project even though Amber and Greg both played on it. So to have something that is truly us would be great. So hopefully soon on that. We do have a few more shows in New York City this year as well, and a few scattered around northern New York, so we will be out and about in this area through the New Year; then it is on to see what 2017 brings.

John: Thanks, David.

David: It's been a pleasure John, thank you for speaking with me.

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