A Q&A with Dave Foster

Favourite Band/Artist:

Oh blimey! What a question to start with! Like everyone, I listen to loads of different bands and across so many different genres too. I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan, obviously given that I’m a guitarist. But I would also consider myself a huge Massive Attack fan too as well as Peter Gabriel for his amazing voice and his incredible song writing. And then there’s John Mayer who is brilliant at everything, guitar playing, singing, songwriting. But if it came down to it there really is only one musician I can say that would rise to the top and say it’s David Bowie. How someone could continually reinvent himself like Bowie did was remarkable. He really invented the concept of re-inventing himself, when he killed off Ziggy Stardust. Right up to the very end with Blackstar (my favourite of all his albums) he was still stretching what he could do and constantly learning new things.

Song that changed your life:

Easy – ‘Beat It’ by Michael Jackson, Although I started playing guitar when I was 6, I hadn’t really discovered music until I was 12 years old and hadn’t really even considered how the guitar contributed to music until I heard ‘Beat It’. The song itself is great, the main riff played by Steve Lukather is ace and the groove is, as expected from what is essentially Toto playing on the track, very cool. But it’s the Van Halen solo that lit my musical fuse…What a solo and also what a guitar tone; that short guitar explosion changed everything.

Bucket List:

So far I think I’m doing okay with my bucket list, I have ticked off a few things such as writing and recording with Steve Rothery and since then we have become very good friends, recording at Real World Studios, flying to a gig in another country where people actually know who I am and all that. I would love to work with Peter Gabriel and also Bon Iver. I’d also love to score music for a film, though this is becoming a reality this year. I also would love to play in Japan, I’ve not been yet but it’ll be a cool thing to think I might even travel to Japan, let alone play there, I was brought up in a poor northern English mining town so having the opportunity to do some of these things is certainly not something that was expected.

Favourite Dave Foster Band track

That’s a tough question to ask any writer about their own material, though it’s also impossible not to have favourites. I guess the song that I think works the most it’s probably ‘Pata Dura’. I’m really proud of how that came about and how the arrangement works with the riffs and I love Dinet’s melody and the lyrics too. ‘New York’ Rain’ is the most kind of, complete, track we’ve ever done and there are times when I sit back and almost forget that it’s us. It’s a great track, uncomplicated with everything in the right place. ‘Counting Clouds’ is a track I’ll have to put in there with Anne Marie Helder taking the vocals in this and it turned out to be such a gorgeous track. My guitar playing on that is quite good too. I have to mention ‘Anything’ in there too as it was the track that I found so difficult to put together until one day it all came together in a totally satisfying manner, I couldn’t contain my excitement when all the pieces suddenly fit together.

Best musical memory

Supporting Marillion with Mr. So & So in 1998, we played the Manchester Apollo which is kind of the nearest mid sized venue to where I grew up and my parents came to watch me. It’s the only time that both of them have ever been to see me play live (although my mum did come to watch The Steve Rothery band in Manchester last year). They were really taken aback by the size of the gig and for probably the first time they seemed proud of what I had achieved up to that point.

10 favourite songs

Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
All Of The Law – Psychedelic Furs
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Hollywood Nights – Bob Seger
Disappointed – PiL
666 – Bon Iver
Oceanea – Thomas Dolby
Neverland – Marillion
It’s Late – Queen
Fly On A Windshield – Genesis

10 favourite albums

Blackstar – David Bowie
Mezzanine – Massive Attack
22, A Million – Bon Iver
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Sheer Heart Attack – Queen
Eat ‘Em And Smile – David Lee Roth
Superunknown – Soundgarden
Cuckoo – Curve
Angel Dust – Faith No More
Welcome to The Pleasuredome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

If you were not a musician (guitarplayer),
what would you be?

Good question! I always wanted to be an architect and was mid way through my college course when my dad was taken ill and I had to take over the family business which was a plumbing retailer, I think if I hadn’t have been able to pursue a musical career I would have more than likely ended up an architect, I love the idea of being part of something that would last longer than my flesh and bones.

Describe your perfect Sunday

Sat in the garden, during the tail end of summer watching the sunset and only hearing the birds, that’s as good as it gets for me.

Guitar List

Ibanez RG20063 (Jigsaw)
Ibanez JEM 77 FP
Ibanez JEM 77 BFP
Musicman Silhouette Double-Neck
Fender Masterbuilt ‘60’s Strat (Dennis Galuszka)
Knaggs Steve Stevens MK1
Fender Telecaster
Auden Chester
Taylor 412CE

Amp List

Bogner Ecstacy 101b x 2
Kemper Profiling Amp

Effects List

Kingsley Jester
Vemuram Jan Ray
Lovepedal OD11
Free the Tone Flight Time
Strymon Flint
Keeley Compressor
TC Electronic Flashback
Mojo Vibe
Line 6 HX Stomp
Mission Wah

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