10 Questions with ... David Ian
November 21, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Prescott Records
- David Ian Vintage Christmas (2011)
1) Talk a little about the process of recording David Ian Vintage Christmas. How and when did you decide to do this record?
This album was inspired early on when I was studying Jazz piano. I had a piano teacher that turned me on to Vince Guaraldi by encouraging me to learn some of the Peanuts music. As a result, I picked up a copy of the album A Charlie Brown Christmas and fell in love with it. Since then, I have always felt a connection between trio Jazz and Christmas music and decided about 6 or 7 years ago to make a Christmas album of my own.
The process started in dressing rooms at Superchick shows. I would drag my keyboard in and work on Christmas arrangements all afternoon, sometimes during summer months! I was fortunate enough to meet a couple Jazz legends at the 2009 Grammys, George Avakian and Hank Jones, which inspired me to buckle down and finish this project I have been so passionate about for years. Most of it was recorded in various living rooms, which ended up being perfect because that is exactly the intimate feel I wanted to create.
2) How did you choose which songs to include on the project?
I think when it comes down to it, we all love hearing Christmas classics during this season and so most of the songs I chose ended up being timeless favorites of my own that lent themselves well to the idea of a "vintage" sounding Christmas album.
3) This is a different sound than what we hear from you on Superchick records. What inspired the sounds of the album?
The Superchick sound is defined by very diverse backgrounds in music. All of us in Superchick come from a broad range of influences including hip hop, funk, jazz, classical and various forms of rock. My album David Ian Vintage Christmas characterizes the extreme jazz side of my influence taken from years of Classical and Jazz piano study. I hope it allows our Superchick fans to appreciate that there are many different sides of the band members and to discover one of my favorite musical outlets!
4) Do you have a favorite song on the album?
My favorite song on the album is "The Christmas Waltz." Not only did I get to play piano on this song but also the guitar. I think if you close your eyes, you might actually be able to see snow falling. That was my goal!
5) What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
My favorite Christmas Song is "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire). It reminds me of putting up and decorating our family Christmas tree. My family had a cassette tape that we used to record Christmas classics to directly from the radio. When you heard the sound of Nat King Cole's voice illuminate the room with his timeless recording while the tree was going up, you knew Christmas time had arrived.
6) What is your favorite Christmas memory?
One of my absolute favorite Christmas memories growing up was going caroling with my church youth group. Of course, despite calling it a youth group, this group generally consisted of people from the age of 10 to 65. We would pile into the church van and make our rounds to all the members' homes in our small church circle. Everyone who knew how to play an instrument would bring it along - everything from trumpets and clarinets to violins. All of our visits would inevitably crash a family gathering and the hosts would welcome us in for a dessert spread that they already had laid out. Sometimes I think we did it for all the treats. These rounds would go on until the wee hours of the morning by which time the sugar overload was inevitable, the snow had turned to ice and our hand warmers couldn't hang on any longer. It was glorious!
7) Do have any specific family Christmas traditions?
My family used to make frosted Christmas cutout cookies together and give them to our family, friends and neighbors. The recipe never changed and neither did the cutouts! I specifically remember the bell, the tree, and the camel cutouts. the camels would inevitably lose their legs when you tried to pry them off of the tray!
8) What are some of your favorite Christmas albums?
A Charlie Brown Christmas and Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album
9) What is one thing you hope that Santa brings you this year?
I would love to see my Christmas album bring joy to as many people as possible this year and hope that they will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!
10) If you could travel anywhere in the world to spend Christmas, where would you go?
My favorite Christmas location is Toronto, Canada where I spent most of my early Christmases. I love spending Christmas there, visiting family and friends, and you can always count on there being lots of snow!